A Shocking Message From Libraries

Libraries delivered a shocking message to publishers yesterday: Those who borrow ebooks from libraries also buy books — about 3.2 books a month, a new study from the American Library Association and library ebook distributor OverDrive found.
Rather than shocking, the message is one libraries have been screaming at publishers for a while now. The ALA has helped orchestrate several studies that suggest this is true and Pew conducted one that suggested it as well.
The other thing libraries have been telling publishers is that readers discover new books to buy in libraries. This latest study finds that 57% of patrons use the library as their primary point of book discovery, for instance. (Read more findings here.)
We have no direct knowledge of this that we can share, but it’s our guess that publishers have heard the message. So, here’s a message from DBW to libraries: Those publishers are our readers (along with many librarians) and they’re smart folks. They’ve heard your message and have evidently not yet done what you want them to do in regards to ebooks. So, try another strategy, a different message.
Is wide-spread library ebook borrowing an inevitability? We don’t know. But it’s not happening any faster because of yesterday’s study.

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The rest of the day’s top news: 
Fictionwise Finished (DBW)
The first successful ebook retailer, Fictionwise, will wind down its business on Dec. 4. The business was bested by Amazon and later acquired by Barnes & Noble.
Slate Hates E-Reading (Slate)
“E-reading isn’t reading” is the subtitle of a Slate polemic on how e-reading isn’t like “real” reading – you know, out of a “book” book? We will admit that e-reading is different in some important ways than reading out of a print book, but saying that it isn’t reading at all is like saying reading on an airplane isn’t reading the way reading in front of a roaring fire under a vintage quilt through a dusty monocle is reading.

How the Economics of Ebook Subscription Services Work (DBW)
Responding to a post earlier in the week that claimed the economics of ebook subscription services would never work, founder of Spain-based subscription service 24Symbols Justo Hidalgo explains how it could work successfully.
Aggressive Advice for Authors (DBW)
Speaking at a meeting of the New York State Bar Association Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law section, RosettaBooks founder and CEO Arthur Klebanoff said that authors should seek out publishers that play ball with Amazon. He had some other choice words regarding the industry, too.
HarperCollins Snaps up Latest Self-Published Hit (New York Times)
Cora Carmack has sold her self-published novel LOSING IT to HarperCollins for a nearly million dollar advance. Prior to being bought, the book made the DBW Ebook Best-Seller list ($3.00 to $7.99) for two straight weeks (here and here).
Hachette Commits to EPUB3 (DBW)
Hachette will publish a handful of books in the EPUB3 format this winter and by March 2013 will publish all of its books in the format. Perhaps this move will spur even one major ebook retailing platform to support the standard.
Today’s Theme: Unlocking Digital Content (Pub Lunch)
From Audible to Penguin to Scholastic to Book Baby, the theme of the day is unlocking more digital content.
Ebooks for Scholars (DBW)
Scholarly database JSTOR will now make available some 15,000 ebooks to its subscribers. Libraries and universities will only buy what they consume and the books will be cross-linked with the rest of JSTOR’s articles and data.
Wiley Goes DRM Free in Deal With O’Reilly (DBW)
Wiley will now sell 3,000 of its ebooks through O’Reilly’s DRM-free bookstore.
Flip to Your Next Read (DBW)
Popular social reading start-up Flipboard has launched a new books section and is integrating with the Apple iBookstore.
Kobo to Juice Black Friday Mini Sales With Rebate (ABA)
Indie bookstores participating in the ABA’s program to sell Kobo devices and ebooks are getting a helping hand from the e-book retailer in the form of $30 rebates for each Kobo Mini sold, dropping the price to the consumer for the diminutive e-reader to $49.

Image credit: shocking message image via Shutterstock


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