Stretching Your E-Book Dollars Kathy Petlewski Electronic Resources Librarian Plymouth District Library email@example.com
Today’s Topics Include . . . Brief review of the various e-book vendors Benefits and drawbacks of joining a consortium Finding a consortium to join E-book collection development philosophy Budget-wise approach to purchasing Using statistics to stretch your dollars Paying for your collection Free sources for e-books
Let’s start by taking a poll!How many of you already have an e-bookcollection?How many of you are considering an e-bookcollection? Don’t forget to press “submit.”
Choices in E-Book Platforms The Big Three Overdrive Axis 360 3M Cloud (Baker & Library Taylor)
OverDrive (1986) 650,000 premium digital titles from more than 1,000 publishers Serves 5,000 libraries, consortiums, schools, and colleges worldwide Offers downloadable music, videos, e-audio books and e- books in a variety of formats including Kindle compatible. Advantage Program allows individual members of consortiums the ability to purchase digital materials just for their own patrons. API’s coming in late April to better integrate OverDrive with ILS systems.
3M Cloud Library (2011) Currently in use at 10 beta sites with general release installations at 30 library systems in April. More than 40 publishers with over 100,000 titles. Discovery Terminal download stations in libraries Integrates with Polaris ILS allowing unified account and seamless searching. 3M E-Readers made for lending environments are available for purchase. Works with PC & Mac, iPad & Nook, iPhone & Android but not Kindle right now.
Axis 360 (2011) Baker & Taylor bundles physical books & digital format in a single ordering process. Uses the Blio ereader app. (text-to speech capabilities) 198 publishers currently with about 112,000 titles but new agreement with Smashwords will add independently published authors and their works. Currently supports Windows, Android and IOS, but PDF and EPUB formats will be supported by the end of April. (no Kindle) 107 libraries or library systems currently have signed on, with 38 live as of March 2012.
Freading (2011) The ebook companion of Freegal – multiple users can read simultaneously on pay-per-download model. Token system used with number of tokens needed based on the publication date of book Over 20,000 titles available, but none from the Big Six publishers. No MARC records and no ILS integration at this point. Books come in PDF and EPUB formats and may be used with iPad, most Android-based tablets & phones, Nook, Kobo, Sony and Kindle Fire.
Time for another short poll ! If you already have e-books, how many of you are in a consortium? How many of you provide e-books as a stand- alone library? Don’t forget to press “submit.”
To Join or Not to Join - That is the QuestionIs a consortium right for you? Share start-up costs for opening-day collection. MARC records are purchased once for everyone. Joint responsibilities in collection development. Collective purchasing power in a consortium for a variety of formats (e-audio, e-book, e-video etc.) Being part of a consortium provides support and information from other members of your group.
To Join or Not to Join -That is the Question Is a stand-alone subscription right for you? Your Library has total control over the look of the web page with your branding. You spend as much or as little as you decide for your collection. Collection development can focus on local community needs. You have the staff and budget to do so!
Finding a Consortium to Join Ask your local consortium or state consortium if there is one open for you to join. (Some are closed by OverDrive.) Ask your state’s library association. If you are already working with apreferred vendor, ask them. Post to listservs in your area.
Creating Your Own Group Get the word out that you are establishing a group by email, & regional meetings and ask for participants. Notify your state library or consortium since they may be able to provide expertise. Once you have enough libraries, meet to select a platform or several platforms to investigate. Request information and demonstrations from these vendors and make your choice. Establish a collection development philosophy you can live with. Set the pricing scheme and budget for the opening day collection and at least one year.
E-Book Collection Development Decide early on if you want a comprehensive collection that mirrors your physical one Popular collection of bestsellers and media favorites Only adult or a mix with YA and Youth Establish a budget and decide how you want to allocate the funds. Set a holds ratio that fits with your general collection policy. Select a person or group to do the actual purchasing.
The Storefront ApproachOur consortium never intended to have a traditionallycomprehensive collection from Overdrive.We have emphasized what was new and/or popular.If it circulates well in print, then it will probably do wellin digital format.If it’s in the media, then it will circulate.
How Does That Work in Theory ? Check both the New York Times & USA Today bestseller lists weekly. Look at the holds lists for our print books. Scan the media to find out what our patrons are hearing about - - movie tie-ins, morning show appearances etc. Local book club favorites, NPR features, Everyone’s Reading, etc.
The Realities of Today’s Overdrive* Out of the New York Times Bestseller List dated March 18, 2012, only 5 of the top 14 titles were listed on Overdrive as e-books available for licensing. Out of the top 14 in the USA Today Best-Sellers for March 3, 2012, 4 e-books were available. (3 were licensed for e-audio but not e-book format.) Penguin’s decision to drop OverDrive is huge. Random House’s pricing as of March 1st also has had enormous ramifications.* and others as well.
Budget-Wise Approach to Purchasing If you or your consortium can afford it, purchase in large quantities if publishers are changing policies or pricing. Our consortium purchased several hundred titles before Penguin stopped access. We also purchased older titles by popular authors and filled in series for e-books published by Random House prior to March 1st. As an Advantage library, Plymouth also took these same actions on a local basis.
Buying Pre-Pub Titles Purchasing e-books before they are published will put them on the site early. This leads to lots of holds before the title is released and will trigger the Holds Management System if you have one in place. Analysis has showed that we ended up purchasing more copies if they appeared pre-pub than if we put them on the site when they are actually released.
Viewing Reports is Key to Success in Budgeting Using the ContentReserve site in OverDrive is essential if you want to find out what your patrons are reading. Stay up to date on holds ratios. Find out the most popular genres in your community. See which authors are checked out most frequently. Discover which format of e-titles are most popular.
What We Discovered in the Statistics By far, ROMANCE is the most popular genre among our patrons. Patrons checked out e-books that we didn’t own in our library in print format. Most of these were not best- selling authors, but big in romance paperback. Patrons were just as likely to read an older book by a given author as they were the latest release. Fiction titles were in much greater demand than non- fiction with the exception of those in national news. (biographies, politics, current events)
Using Statistics Helped Save Money Happily, romance books tend to be more reasonably priced than most best-sellers. Felt more comfortable purchasing older titles by popular authors at a lower price. Took a chance on buying e-books on sale in genres we know have been popular – ie: Amish series from Thomas Nelson. By closely monitoring holds ratios, we can better determine when to purchase additional copies of popular books. (Our automatic purchasing of holds was discontinued after Random House raised prices.)
Taking Additional StepsAs a consortium in OverDrive, encourage member libraries tobecome Advantage Libraries. This can cut down on the numberof duplicate copies of best-sellers needed on a consortium level.If you are an “Advantage Library,” seek funds from local sourcessuch as the Friends group since only local patrons benefit.Put a separate line item in your annual budgets for e-books.
Paying for Your E-book CollectionLook to local groups such as your Friends of the Libraryor local civic organizations such as the Lion’s Club. Apply for an LSTA grant. (Oregon Digital Library received$100,000 for their statewide e-book program.)Seek out grants from other regional sources. (IndianapolisPublic Library received $100,000 from the IndianapolisFoundation’s The Library Fund to add 5,800 downloadable e-books to their existing collection.)
Still Don’t Have the Funds for E-books - Try this… Provide links on your web site to places that provide free or low-cost e-books. Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com/ “Discover Great E-books from Indie Authors and Publishers” Google Books – http://books.google.com In Google Play, you can choose books by price – or free. ManyBooks – http://manybooks.net Most of these books are taken from Project Gutenberg, public domain, or creative commons, but are presented in an appealing format.
Instructions on Importing MARC records for your catalog
Wrapping It Up Selecting an e-book platform depends, to a large extent, on the size of your budget. Joining a consortium may be the best option for buying power, but you give up individual control of the collection. Developing a collection philosophy is essential for budgeting purposes. Keeping a close eye on your statistics helps stretch your dollars. There are free resources to consider if funding is not available for a commercial collection.
Time for Questions & Comments Thanks for attending today!
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