With each passing month, more ebooks are becoming available to libraries for purchase. Patrons are asking for them; librarians, in turn, are trying to get them from publishers; and publishers, sometimes reluctantly, are selling their ebooks to libraries.
Yesterday, Macmillan made good on its declaration from Sept. of last year to test selling ebooks to libraries. It will make 1,200 back-list titles available from its Minotaur mystery and crime imprint. They can be lent out 52 times or over two years – whichever comes first – before the library has to buy them again. They will cost libraries $25 each, about two-to-three times what they cost for consumers to buy them.
With this move, Macmillan joins other large publishers Hachette and Penguin, which both have ebook lending pilots. Two of the other big publishers, HarperCollins and Random House, already make their books available to libraries. Which leaves Simon & Schuster standing alone among the largest publishers.
To date, Simon & Schuster has exactly two books that it makes available to libraries for purchase. A spokesperson told Digital Book World in Dec., however, that the company is in talks with library representatives about its policy.
Most other publishers sell their ebooks to libraries, of course, but that generally goes unreported. For now, Macmillan will stand alone in praise for taking a few tentative steps toward what everyone else already does; and Simon & Schuster will stand more truly alone in its library ebook policy.
Related: American Library Association on DBW
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Younger Ebook Readers Three Times as Likely to Discover New Books Through Social Media (DBW)
Social media is a promising marketing tool for publishers. People spend so much of their time on Facebook and Twitter and using the services to market is free, for the most part. But outside of Goodreads, the conversion rates aren’t good, according to recent data from the Codex Group. Young people, however, are getting more of their book recommendations from social media – perhaps good news long-term for publishers.
Storybird: Making Illustrated Digital Content Social (paidContent)
Three years after its founding, Toronto-based Storybird has two million members building their own, shareable illustrated digital titles. Some 125,000 schools have signed on. Seems like a very strong competitor for Blurb.
Agents Helping Agents Help Authors (Pub Lunch)
Agency Trident Media Group has helped more than 50 of its clients self-published ebooks. Now it’s expanding its expertise in the area to a new division, TMG Distribution Services, with the intention of helping other agencies help their clients self-publish ebooks.
Authors Selling Direct (TechCrunch)
Gumroad, a start-up that helps anyone sell directly to consumers through a single link, said that publishing is one of its biggest verticals. In that vein, it has added a suite of new features to cater to authors, including a watermarking system of DRM. Related: A New Form of DRM – A Legal and Pragmatic Solution for Publishers.
Suggestive, Seductive, Successful Cover Design (DBW)
There are certain rules you need to follow when designing your ebook cover. First and foremost, think small. (This is part two in a ten-part series. Read part one here.)
How to Make Book Trailers Jump Off the Screen (DBW)
An analysis of how one book trailer became wildly successful and a Q&A with its architect (and author).
Kindle Fire Profitable? (GigaOm)
In 2011, Amazon was reportedly losing money on every Kindle Fire it sold. In 2012, the company’s costs decreased significantly on the device. However, if Amazon is breaking even on every one sold, it would take about $10 a month of digital content purchases for the company to make a healthy 20% margin on its sale of the device.
Amazon Acquires Text-to-Speech Firm (DBW)
Amazon acquired IVONA, a text-to-speech technology firm that already powers the text-to-speech functionality on the Kindle Fire.
Amazon: In Deep With Self-Publishing (PW)
Amazon is using highly visible real estate on its website to tell the world how much better off authors are self-publishing versus working with a traditional publisher. (Authors, of course, have their own opinions on the matter.)
Free Ebook of the Day (Appnewser)
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