138 vance


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138 vance

  1. 1. SSP Annual Meeting: Making Ebooks Work June, 2005 Alix Vance, VP Business Development Provided that end users are ready to embrace online resources – including ebooks – how can publishers navigate the complexities and meet these consumers where they are, with business models that are sustainable?§ Distinctions between trade books/popular novels, textbooks, reference works, monographs, and primary source works are heightened in an online environment.§ Unique needs and expectations for each type of ebook pose challenges in bringing ebooks to market -- versus more similar ejournals. ejournals. 1
  2. 2. Usage§ Research from Columbia University and the Littman-Connaway- Littman-Connaway-Duke study (2004) reports that ebooks in libraries are indeed being used – in many cases at greater rates than their print counterparts.§ Columbia Evaluation Project (Summerfield, Mandel, and Kantor) reference and non-reference Kantor) non- e-books were used more than the print versions of the same titles. “[N]early three times as many “[N]early scholars clicked on the average online monograph book as circulated its print version”. As per the Littman-Connaway research: “most of Littman- the top subjects, social sciences, business, literature, were used approximately as much in print as in e- e- book format. Titles in education, medicine, psychology, and computers were used more in e- e- book format than in print.”§ Ready market for digital delivery of text and a growing willingness to read/do research/analyze online.§ Heavy usage of ebooks already; supported by distance learning.§ Student population already is well-disposed to using well- e-books. Technologically savvy students are attuned to the efficiencies of online access versus the pleasures of turning a page.§ Online ebook use still supports printing and print materials. materials . 2
  3. 3. Deal breakers for libraries when dealing with e-vendors? e- § Overly- Overly-restrictive licensing agreements that inhibit the easy flow and exchange of materials within their institutions § Complicated search engines that present challenges to remote authentication and networked environments § E -resources that arent reliable and require a lot of technical handholding to keep them up and running § Proprietary search engines that try to shoehorn users into very linear search strategies § Lack of standardization in search interfaces, display and formatting, and integration with library systems Keys to success§ Affordable ownership- ownership- § Adequate and flexible based pricing models rights for downloading,§ Simultaneous use by printing, copying, and multiple patrons sharing§ Title availability across § Title by title acquisitions disciplines (front and back and flexible alternatives to list) at-or-near print release at-or- annual subscriptions§ Features not available in § Low learning curve with print -- multimedia, full- full- near- near-immediate text searching, markup, gratification, using readily citations, linking available plug- ins and off- plug- off- the- the-shelf software§ Independence from proprietary hardware § Convenient acquisition -- new title alerting and side- side- by- by-side purchasing with print§ Also – seamless patron authentication, e-acquisition e- tools, OPAC integration via linked MARC records.§ “Ultimately, the winners offer systems that play nicely with others -- be it on open-URL issues or open- technical handshaking with ILS and other e-e- resources.” 3
  4. 4. Further consideration§ "Web wants to be free” firmly entrenched in the undergraduate psyche with limited understanding or acceptance of revenue streams or costs associated with producing and maintaining online resources.§ Increasing pressure on business models to garner revenue from add -on services – linking, archiving, add- online targeted search tools, short-term rental/pay -per- short- rental/pay-per- view, e-reserves – versus content pricing alone. e-§ Librarians have some willingness to mix and match business and access models but also need to set consistent patron usage expectations – difficult when type of ebook and/or subject may dictate which model(s) model(s) work best. In the world of the student web, publisher reputation is less of an influence than what the user wants and how easily they can get it. Product loyalty has to be earned all over again in the digital world -- not be being different from everyone else, but by being cooperative, collaborative, flexible, and infinitely accessible. alix.vance@eblib.com 4