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Category Archives: ebook publishing
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I’ve written several articles about HarperCollins and their policy concerning ebooks they sell to libraries. After one of their books has been loaned out 26 times, it self destructs and the library must buy another copy if they wish to continue making it available.
I believe a library acquires ownership rights when they purchase an ebook from a publisher. I believe the library, which becomes the legal owner of any ebook they purchase, should be the one to determine how that ebook is disposed of, not the publisher they purchased it from! And like a paper book, I believe a library should be able to sell their ebooks just like they sell their paper books when they become obsolete.
Here in Florida many of our libraries have been forced to reduce their staff and operating hours because of budget cuts. The decision by HarperCollins to make libraries pay more for their ebooks when they are suffering from such budget cuts is predatory and disgraceful!
There is an online petition circulating that has garnered over 63,000 signatures. I’ve already added my name to it. If you believe as I do, you can add your name to the petition by clicking here.
The Association of American Publishers recently published sales results for February, 2011. Surprise! The publishing format in #1 place was ebooks! The AAP also reported ebook sales increased 202.3% over February, 2010! You can read the report by clicking here.
The report goes on to say, “Many publishers report that e-Book readers who enjoy a newly-released book will frequently buy an author’s full backlist”. That should be making both authors and publishers happy!
Personally, when I’m reading a story unfolding through a series of books, as I finish one volume I immediately purchase the next one without even getting out of my chair!
I’ve got a meeting to attend so I’ve got to cut this short. Thanks for stopping by!
HarperCollins knew they were going to take some heat when they decided to make ebooks electronically vanish when they had been checked out 26 times, but apparently they misjudged how strong the reaction would be. Many libraries started a boycott against HarperCollins and the movement spread across the country and into Canada!
Personally, I think this is crazy! Assuming a library has a two week lending period for paper books, and no one ever returned one early or late, the 26th person would have to wait almost an entire year to finally get their hands on it! If the book became deteriorated during that time, the library would have the opportunity to sell it and use the money to help them buy a new copy!
On the other hand, a best selling HarperCollins ebook could be loaned out 26 times in one day and POOF… It just disappears! The library would buy the ebook, but have no chance to sell it. If you buy something, isn’t it a right of ownership that you also have the right to sell it? This also applies to individuals! If you buy an ebook, shouldn’t you also have the right to sell it? There all kinds of things going on here!
Anyway, Last Tuesday a HarperCollins representative told a large group of librarians that the number 26 was not set in stone. They said it was their number for now, but they wanted input from the libraries about how the number was working for them and HarperCollins was willing to listen. If you would like to read more about this, please click here and click here!
I think the boycott is working and HarperCollins is feeling the pain in their bottom line. The ebook industry is new and has growing pains. Many issues must be worked out to make ebook distribution fair for the author and the buyer. For the first time in history an author can write and publish their own book. Amazon, the largest bookstore in the world, is happy to publish almost anyone for a reasonable fee! I think brick and mortar publishers are coming to grips with this and trying different things to stay in business.
This is good stuff! Let’s watch it together!
More and more libraries across the country are offering ebooks to their card holders. That’s good! You don’t even have to return the ebook to the library! After the lending period is up, it automatically reverts back to the library that loaned it to you. The funny thing is many libraries don’t own the ebook they’re lending… They’ve purchased a license agreement to loan the ebook. When you actually download the ebook, you find yourself connected to an ebook lending service. One of the largest ebook lenders is OverDrive and that’s the service many libraries use.
When OverDrive distributes an ebook they wrap it up with DRM (digital rights management) software. This software determines what you can and cannot do with the ebook. Recently HarperCollins, a major worldwide publisher, directed Overdrive to include lending limits in their DRM.
HarperCollins did a study and determined the average paper book can be lent out by a library twenty-six times before it must be replaced due to wear and tear. Using this criteria, HarperCollins had OverDrive modify their DRM software so any HarperCollins ebook loaned out after March 7th, 2011, will self destruct after being loaned out twenty-six times. If the library wants to continue loaning the ebook they must purchase another license.
Although I understand why HarperCollins is doing this, I don’t like it. I feel we’re opening a gate which will lead to additional restrictions as time goes on. The whole ebook industry is continually evolving. Authors can now self publish and distribute their products via the internet. Let’s see where it goes!
Bibliotastic.com will publish the works of aspiring authors as an ebook, allow anyone to download the ebook for free, accept comments and reviews from those who have read the ebook, and provide the author with valuable feedback! Continue reading