Stretching Your eBook Collection DollarsKathy Petlewski, Electronic Resources Librarian Plymouth District Library firstname.lastname@example.org
The Storefront Approach• Our consortium never intended to have a traditionally comprehensive collection from Overdrive.• We have emphasized what was new and/or popular.• If it circulates well in print, then it will probably do well in 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, Great Michigan Reads etc.
Buying Pre-Pub Titles• Purchasing ebooks 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 set up.• Analysis has showed that we ended purchasing more copies if they appear as pre- pubs than if we put them on the site when they are actually released.
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 ebooks available for licensing.• Out of the top 14 in the USA Today Best-Sellers for March 3, 2012, 4 ebooks 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 enormous ramifications
Multi-Facetted 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 ebooks published by Random House prior to March 1st.• As an Advantage library, Plymouth also took these same actions on a much smaller basis.
Viewing Reports is Key to Success in Budgeting• Using the ContentReserve site is essential if you want to find out what your patrons are reading.• Use it to 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-book is most popular.
What We Discovered in the Statistics• By far, ROMANCE is the most popular genre among our patrons.• Patrons checked out ebooks 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, memoirs)
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 more reasonable price.• Took a chance on buying ebooks 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 Steps• As a consortium, encourage member libraries to become Advantage Libraries. This can cut down on the number of duplicate copies of best-sellers needed on a consortium level.• If an Advantage Library, seek funds from local sources such as the Friends group.• If you don’t already have it, get a separate line item put in your library budgets for e-books.
Questions or Comments This presentation may be found online at:http://www.slideshare.net/kpetlewski/ stretching_ebook_dollars