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Old 03-11-2021, 04:11 PM   #16
JSWolf
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Who needs who more at this point?
Yes, Overdrive availability probably was a boost to Kindle sales originally, but now?
I think it is more likely that if this happened (which it won't) people with Kindles would buy more books from Amazon, and more would sign up for Kindle Unlimited, rather than switch to Kobo.
Meanwhile Overdrive would lose a huge chunk of their US userbase.
(And Amazon could just partner with a different library network, like the NYPL's SimplyE. No harm to them, kills Overdrive. But they don't need to, library access has served its purpose.)

Amazon only distribute books through Overdrive in the US, they have no library access elsewhere, but that hasn't stopped them dominating other markets, has it?
What other markets? Most Resders sold outside the US are not Kindles. Tolino, Kobo, Pocketbook, Boyue Likebook, Onyx Boox, and others.

As said by @CathyA, SimplyE gets very poor reviews meaning in plain English that it's rubbish. It's yet another custom app needed to read eBooks and it won't work on my Kobo or Kindle.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by patrik View Post
Thanks. What's weird is I thought Amazon had decided to sell its publications to libraries recently(?). Maybe I'm misremembering.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
What other markets? Most Resders sold outside the US are not Kindles. Tolino, Kobo, Pocketbook, Boyue Likebook, Onyx Boox, and others.

One of those things is not like the other.
Kobo is a genuine global player, and sells at scale. The others? How well do they sell outside their home regions?
Kobo is the only one Amazon needs to consider a real competitor globally.

Quote:
As said by @CathyA, SimplyE gets very poor reviews meaning in plain English that it's rubbish. It's yet another custom app needed to read eBooks and it won't work on my Kobo or Kindle.
Yup, like Cloudlibrary, like RBDigital, like BorrowBox.
These services are increasing.
One thing that was on the slight side of Kobo when I was looking at getting an eReader was library lending. Then my library switched away from Overdrive.

Last edited by murraypaul; 03-11-2021 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:23 PM   #19
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My basic take is the same as before - If you really want to read it as an eBook, then buy it. If you are a grown adult with a job, then it's a just matter of priorities.
Those darn libraries... so "20th century."

As for Amazon and it's not selling its own published books to libraries... for the most part they're not worth reading anyhow. I've quit looking at their free book of the month lists anymore. When I did download them it was a chore to read them. I guess there might be a few exceptions.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Yup, like Cloudlibrary, like RBDigital, like BorrowBox.

These services are increasing.
Unfortunately, no way to download books directly to an eReader (that I've seen).
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:35 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I'm in favor of that. I'd love to see Amazon get taken down. Overdrive has helped Amazon in a big way. But Amazon refuses to help Overdrive. So (IMHO), screw you Amazon.
I'm guessing that Amazon has probably helped Overdrive "in a big way" in the U.S. also. By far most eReaders in this country are built by Amazon, by giving Kindle owners the ability to use them, Overdrive has undoubtedly increased its usage by quite a bit.

I think this is only becoming an issue because Amazon has signed a few (very few) known writers to their in-house companies (like Koontz and Kaling).

I think it's a valid issue, but it doesn't affect library users anything like the Big Five issue a year or so ago.
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Old 03-11-2021, 05:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
Amazon books from DPLA would be available through the SimplyE app, not via Overdrive or in your browser or on your Kindle. The reviews of the SimplyE app are pretty bad, and it's one more platform for librarians to learn and support.
Amazon's Kindle ecosystem is completely proprietary. I find it to be extremely unlikely that they would agree to make any of their books available via an outside app. It is more likely that they would allow borrows made using SimplyE to be fulfilled on amazon.com for reading using Kindle apps/devices, as is currently done by OverDrive in the US.
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Old 03-11-2021, 05:34 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rcentros View Post
Those darn libraries... so "20th century."

As for Amazon and it's not selling its own published books to libraries... for the most part they're not worth reading anyhow. I've quit looking at their free book of the month lists anymore. When I did download them it was a chore to read them. I guess there might be a few exceptions.
Amazon imprints (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon Crossing, the article mentions Lake Union but I could find nothing for that publisher), include titles by popular or well regarded authors. The are subject to review by Amazon’s editors, and in the case of Amazon Crossing, Amazon commissions a translation (I wish they would also publish it in the original language, but apparently they do not acquire rights to do so). These comprise a few thousand titles (or at least 2000), all of them are available in print, so if a library wants to make them available, all they have to do is purchase copies from Amazon. I understand some people prefer print books.

Kindle Direct Publishing is a different story, though there books worth reading there as well. KDP authors can choose to have print editions, which again could be purchased and lent out by libraries.

All authors share the problem of ‘discovery’. To the extent that having their ebooks available in public libraries helps with that, they should be given the option to make their ebooks available for borrowing there. It seems Amazon is doing some negotiations that will allow this but I don’t expect to know the details until they’re finalized. In particular, there is no evidence that ePub would not be part of this, or that Overdrive wouldn’t be.

Personally I rarely open the Libby app with the idea that I’m going to discover anything new to read: I only use it to look for specific books that I’d like to borrow. And for years, it is hit or miss as to any given new or recent book will be available (guessing roughly 50%). So the benefit to authors is not obvious to me. However I do sometimes purchase a book I’ve borrowed when the price is right, so there’s that.

Last edited by tomsem; 03-11-2021 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:26 PM   #24
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Amazon imprints (Thomas & Mercer, Amazon Crossing, the article mentions Lake Union but I could find nothing for that publisher), include titles by popular or well regarded authors. ...
The only one I know of is Koontz. I've heard of Kalin (from the Office) but I had no idea she wrote any books.
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Old 03-11-2021, 09:10 PM   #25
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The only one I know of is Koontz. I've heard of Kalin (from the Office) but I had no idea she wrote any books.
Which begs the question: what is the WaPo writer complaining about?

The opening paragraph mentions Mindy Kaling’s ‘latest book’, “Nothing Like I Imagined”, which is actually not a book, but a series of 6 very short stories (17 pages for the first one; t’s a 21 minute audiobook). You can purchase either for $1.99 (or free to KU and Audible subscribers).

This is not something library patrons should feel deprived of: do they really want to check out a 17 page story? It’s a bad example to lead with, as it was never intended for print, or even to be collected into a single book. It’s snack food, meant only to spice up KU and Audible. Nobody’s clamoring for this, and she is not promoting it.

They would have done better to lead with Dean Koontz, except that Mindy Kaling is at least a hundred times more famous.

No doubt Amazon will continue to recruit more commercially successful authors, and it may start to be a problem if Amazon doesn’t make them available for sale elsewhere (but it requires storefronts willing to sell ‘Amazon’ books).
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Old 03-11-2021, 09:54 PM   #26
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Which begs the question: what is the WaPo writer complaining about?...
I’m guessing he took his cue from the libraries/associations and maybe Overdrive, and just didn’t do a comprehensive job of putting across the issue. To me, the flashy names cited are negligible but the Amazon publishing catalogue does actually encompass quite a lot now, leaving aside the self-published crowd, and if the libraries are getting hammered by customers for content they can’t deliver, and in turn are pushing Overdrive and the other distributors for that content, that creates a problem for them. We know the romance community is huge and a lot of the Montlake or Lake Union audience may be bugging their libraries why they can’t find their favorite authors. There are also a fair amount of midlist crime fiction authors with a loyal following under the Amazon imprints - the James Bond books are all under Amazon and as far as I can tell not available for libraries. Then there’s Amazon Crossing, which several articles have shown has come to be the leading house for translated fiction in the US now (hard to believe...) That’s a big chunk of specialist literature cut off from the check out counter. There are a lot of subtleties to the issue, I just think he grabbed onto the star names to get attention.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:34 PM   #27
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There are a lot of subtleties to the issue . . .
I'm missing the subtle part.

They don't offer any Amazon publishing titles to public libraries. Nothing subtle there.

University presses used to be just as bad, but once in a while they lately allow a title to go to Overdrive.

The Bezos-owned Washington Post is widely available, on computers and tablets but not eReaders, to public library patrons (in Pennsylvania, it comes through Gale OneFile News). That's the only subtlety I see, and it's not much a subtlety to realize that Bezos personally does not equal Amazon. (I subscribe anyway, for greater convenience, and because of being grandfathered into a good price.)
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:28 PM   #28
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I'm missing the subtle part.

They don't offer any Amazon publishing titles to public libraries. Nothing subtle there.

University presses used to be just as bad, but once in a while they lately allow a title to go to Overdrive.

The Bezos-owned Washington Post is widely available, on computers and tablets but not eReaders, to public library patrons (in Pennsylvania, it comes through Gale OneFile News). That's the only subtlety I see, and it's not much a subtlety to realize that Bezos personally does not equal Amazon. (I subscribe anyway, for greater convenience, and because of being grandfathered into a good price.)
Yes, subtleties was the wrong word; I meant complexities. IMO the reporter focused on the big name authors while there are other broader parts to the issue, as I described. Don’t really know what your last paragraph has to do with the issue at hand.
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:14 AM   #29
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People got that strange idea that libraries are here for reading books for free. That is not what they are for, libraries exist to access out-of-print and commercially nonviable literature.
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Old 03-12-2021, 01:19 AM   #30
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People got that strange idea that libraries are here for reading books for free. That is not what they are for, libraries exist to access out-of-print and commercially nonviable literature.
What an interesting description of "what libraries are for" - I must tell my librarian friends how thoroughly wrong they've been about the reason their workplaces exist, thank you.
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