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Old 02-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #76
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Nah, OverDrive itself probably doesn't care, the publishers being a completely different matter.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:00 PM   #77
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I do have to admit I can see one point in this. Less popular books could see their book sales really hurt by libraries. Right now, a major limiting factor of libraries is convenience. You have to actually go out and drive to the library to get the book. With eBooks, when it is just as convienient to borrow the book from a library's web page as an online bookstore, a lot of people would not be buying any books at all. Obviously more popular books would have long wait lists to push people to bookstores but a lot of other books would not. I'm not saying this approach is the right or even best one, but I do understand some of where they are coming from. Smaller distribution authors could really be hurt by ebook lending in the future.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:36 PM   #78
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The Kindle has been disparaged frequently because it does not allow borrowing from libraries. Some bloggers are noting that if you take borrowing off the table, it is a huge boost for the Kindle.

I just bought a Literati, mainly to try borrowing library books. I have vision problems and find that the backlit screen doesn't work well for me at all. I had been considering a new e-ink reader that would be capable of borrowing, but think that I will wait to see how this shakes out.
The success of Kindle in the market proves that for most users, library borrowing is not that important a feature.

In my case, I have been reading library books on my iPod Touch for a few months now. There were a initially few titles of high interest, but now that I've read these, I'm working through titles of more middling interest, and finding that once I get a chance to check them out and read a couple of chapters, that I return about 75% of them without reading further. The selection available at my library is skewed pretty heavily towards popular genres which I am not interested in (e.g. romance novels, self-help books). I have a couple dozen titles on my Wish List, of which only about 5 are available at any given time. And none of these are books that I'd read if I had to pay for them.

So while I'd like to be able to read library books on my Kindle, it is just in the 'nice to have' category. Amazon will not be adding ePub support at any time soon, and adding what would amount to an additional digital format to Overdrive's offerings, and given limited library budgets, would further restrict selection and therefore availability for all patrons. Short of legislation, I don't see much hope that the artificial scarcity enforced jointly by publishers and Overdrive will give way to a new age of digital content abundance.

I think there is an opportunity for Amazon or some other player (Google?) to launch a commercial ebook lending service that is format-neutral and is driven by subscription revenue, 'like Netflix streaming', or one-time, time-limited 'rentals' with prices less than 'purchases'. I think publishers, large and small, would find that less threatening than a model where their content is offered for free, unlimited usage.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #79
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With eBooks, when it is just as convienient to borrow the book from a library's web page as an online bookstore, a lot of people would not be buying any books at all.
Over here in the UK (and the new Harper Collins rules will apparently apply to us as well) the Publishers' Association tried to establish as a base-line position last year that "remote lending" would not be allowed when eBooks are in libraries.

They didn't just mean "out of area," either. Their suggestion is that those who want to borrow an eBook from a library would have to actually go to the library and load it on to their reading device there. Some publishers may permit it, of course, but the PA seems to think it's a bad thing.

Mind you, when I asked their CEO if the publishing industry was in danger of repeating the mistakes of the music industry with digital media, he told me he didn't think the music industry had made mistakes.

More on my blog: http://gonedigital.net/2010/11/23/libraries-and-ebooks/

Nigel.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:59 PM   #80
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Mind you, when I asked their CEO if the publishing industry was in danger of repeating the mistakes of the music industry with digital media, he told me he didn't think the music industry had made mistakes.

More on my blog: http://gonedigital.net/2010/11/23/libraries-and-ebooks/

Nigel.


I've still had a question in the back of my mind about whether the publishing executives are evil or just stupid. I guess one is solidly in the stupid column.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:08 PM   #81
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Mind you, when I asked their CEO if the publishing industry was in danger of repeating the mistakes of the music industry with digital media, he told me he didn't think the music industry had made mistakes.

More on my blog: http://gonedigital.net/2010/11/23/libraries-and-ebooks/


I'm enjoying reading your blog, by the way.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:36 PM   #82
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Mind you, when I asked their CEO if the publishing industry was in danger of repeating the mistakes of the music industry with digital media, he told me he didn't think the music industry had made mistakes.
Despite my "well it's better than nothing" response I am now utterly disgusted. This is just completely facepalm-rific. We may be in for years of pain in this arena if people like that are at the helm.

Last edited by thename; 02-28-2011 at 02:40 PM. Reason: slow thinking
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:22 PM   #83
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Actually, this sounds good for library expense management. Since books are more popular when they first come out (or are mentioned by Oprah, etc), the library could order a ton of books (I assume these 26 use books are pretty cheap) and then just extend the license on a few, once the demand dies down.

I was 45 out of 45 on the waitlist for The Chicago Way. I am currently #3. Good thing we weren't under the new system!
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:41 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danwdoo View Post
I do have to admit I can see one point in this. Less popular books could see their book sales really hurt by libraries. Right now, a major limiting factor of libraries is convenience. You have to actually go out and drive to the library to get the book. With eBooks, when it is just as convienient to borrow the book from a library's web page as an online bookstore, a lot of people would not be buying any books at all. Obviously more popular books would have long wait lists to push people to bookstores but a lot of other books would not. I'm not saying this approach is the right or even best one, but I do understand some of where they are coming from. Smaller distribution authors could really be hurt by ebook lending in the future.
I think it could work differently for midlist authors. Library loans are about reader exposure. Most of my autobuy authors, even the midlist ones, I originally discovered through a library check-out. If I know I like an author from a library loan, I'm more likely to buy that author's next book. Library loans are one way a backlist keeps on giving. Also it's not unusual for the library to have only 1-2 books by a midlist author, leaving the new fan to buy the rest...
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #85
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I assume these 26 use books are pretty cheap
Given the history of eBook pricing, I really wouldn't place any bets at all on there being even a small reduction to accompany this restrictive licensing.

Publishers are quite happy to allow eBooks to be priced higher, even though they're more restricted than paperbacks; a little thing like making them time-limited is unlikely to trouble them enough to make them decrease the price.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #86
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Given the history of eBook pricing, I really wouldn't place any bets at all on there being even a small reduction to accompany this restrictive licensing.

Publishers are quite happy to allow eBooks to be priced higher, even though they're more restricted than paperbacks; a little thing like making them time-limited is unlikely to trouble them enough to make them decrease the price.
You are probably right. But logic says if I can buy a hard cover book for $25 and lend it out 50 times, an ebook should be no more than half that price. But logic is not a prerequisite to being a publisher. However, I think librarians are a little more savvy.

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Old 02-28-2011, 05:36 PM   #87
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You are probably right. But logic says if I can buy a hard cover book for $25 and lend it out 50 times, an ebook should be no more than half that price. But logic is not a prerequisite to being a publisher. However, I think librarians are a little more savvy.
Libraries don't get discounts on ebooks like they do for paper books. From what some coworkers were discussing, digital books can be double the hardcover price.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:48 PM   #88
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Well, if I were a librarian, I wouldn't buy any ebooks that expired after a certain number of loans. But what do I know?
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:56 PM   #89
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Actually, this sounds good for library expense management. Since books are more popular when they first come out (or are mentioned by Oprah, etc), the library could order a ton of books (I assume these 26 use books are pretty cheap) and then just extend the license on a few, once the demand dies down.
What would the benefit be?

Are you mistakenly assuming they would pay a lower price for a usage-limited book than they do already? This is the publishing industry we're talking about.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:51 PM   #90
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What would the benefit be?

Are you mistakenly assuming they would pay a lower price for a usage-limited book than they do already? This is the publishing industry we're talking about.
Even if they're not cheaper, though, they can still get the 5 copies of a new book and then not have to keep paying for 5 copies' worth after the initial "Best! Book! Ever!" period is up.

I do agree it's bogus and likely they'll either keep or raise current prices, though. "We're just charging extra to make sure your tubes aren't getting all clogged up with book pages!"
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