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Infinite riches in a little room: how can we manage, market and modernise the e-books phenomenon?

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  1. Infinite riches in a little room: how can we manage, market and modernise the e-books phenomenon? Linda Bennett linda@goldleaf.co.uk Linda Bennett Gold Leaf

  2. Queen Anne is dead Gold Leaf

  3. Gold Leaf

  4. 2003: librarians’ underlying perception Publishers are out to squeeze every last penny from us. E-books will be a good way of getting more for our money. They should be cheaper than print or free. Gold Leaf

  5. 2003: publishers’ underlying perception E-books will be the thin end of the wedge if we don’t set out to marginalise them. Essentially, we are about printed publications. We will either ignore e-books or tinker around the edges with them. Gold Leaf

  6. Perceptions: the fundamental issues • What constitutes the core role of the publisher? • What is a fair value to set upon the publisher’s work? Gold Leaf

  7. Main barriers to promoting / marketing e-books for librarians (2003) • Pricing models, especially one book, one user • Visibility: cataloguing, metadata and cross-referencing • Embargoes on high-demand titles (textbooks) • American bias • Currency • Text quality and functionality • Aggregator solvency • Navigation of aggregator / publisher databases • Statistics: particularly of usage • Access issues • The “armchair reader” syndrome Gold Leaf

  8. Main barriers to marketing / promoting e-books for publishers (2003) • DRM issues • Royalties • Pricing models / return on investment • VAT • Fears of “cannibalisation”: What material to make available: what to do about textbooks • Cataloguing, metadata and cross-referencing: how to address • Text quality and functionality • Aggregator solvency • Statistics: usage; publishers’ payment information • The “armchair reader” syndrome Gold Leaf

  9. E-books: routes to market for publishers 2005 • Sell via one or more aggregators • Sell via one or more library suppliers • Sell via one or more digital warehouses • Sell via one or more retailers • Sell via a public body such as JISC • Sell via a customised transactional website, such as eBookstore • Develop your own proprietary platform • Special initiatives: Universal Digital Textbook, Holtzbrinck Gold Leaf

  10. Cataloguing and Metadata

  11. Access

  12. Librarians’ best practice: criteria (2003) • Library did not criticise academics or students for limited awareness / enthusiasm • E-books were put on the library’s catalogue • Organised attempt at training sessions made, preferably distinguishing between needs of different groups • Attempt made to work with academics to identify suitable e-books to adopt • Attempt made to analyse and adjust needs to information provided by user statistics Gold Leaf

  13. Moving on ….

  14. Exploring the frontiers of e-learning - borders, outposts and migration

  15. Bruce Ingraham, 2005 “… we tend to think of reading as an ‘arm chair’ activity …. the reality for most academics [and by extension their students] is that reading is a desk-based activity.” Ingraham, B. et al. Academic print in digital formats. ALT-C 2005 Research Proceedings Gold Leaf

  16. Moving on again … It’s about the content, stupid! Gold Leaf

  17. What is happening in universities now: • Most have a pro-vice chancellor / senior figure whose role is to establish a teaching and learning strategy • He or she is often supported by a teaching and learning committee • Result: often, organised advocacy of “blended learning” • Result: often, use of VLEs as an integrated part of the curriculum • Result: sometimes, appointment of learning technologists to help academics to develop content for VLEs Gold Leaf

  18. What is happening in university libraries now • Some already have an “e-preferred” resources policy • The role of the librarian is changing: • librarians are adopting a more interactive role: no longer just the keepers of resources, but promoters of them • they are actively engaged in demonstrating online resources to undergraduates in lectures [“interstitial teaching”] • They are actively engaged in helping postgraduates and academics to carry out research using online resources Gold Leaf

  19. Help with content needed by academics and librarians now • Understanding the available formats and which ones are best for which purposes • Managing quality of content and design • Understanding the best text fonts and layout to use for effective readability and accessibility • Finding an effective management system in which to store content • Finding an effective national and international rights management system • Finding effective cataloguing and access systems • Setting up a sufficiently powerful metadata mechanism Gold Leaf

  20. Question Isn’t this what publishers are supposed to do? Gold Leaf

  21. Perceptions: the fundamental issues • What constitutes the core role of the publisher? • What is a fair value to set upon the publisher’s work? Gold Leaf

  22. Publishers and Librarians, Librarians and Publishers • Same goals? • Respect! Getting the economics right • Keeping up with academic developments • Experiments. Working together to try, test and modify formats and products • Marketing and Promotion. Sophisticated integral attributes needed, not add-ons. Working together essential Gold Leaf

  23. Librarians and Publishers, Publishers and Librarians It always was about content. Even for Caxton. Gold Leaf

  24. Infinite riches in a little room: how can we manage, market and modernise the e-books phenomenon? Linda Bennett Linda Bennett linda@goldleaf.co.uk Gold Leaf