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News Libraries should only lend ebooks '26 times'

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 7 Mar 2011.

  1. [PUNK] crompers

    [PUNK] crompers Dremedial

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    this is foolish, if they're going to charge it should be like a rental system to the library and thats fair enough, but putting a number of loans on the figure is stupid. it should be you have the licence to this ebook for 3 months, for so much money, foolish man.
     
  2. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    Couldn't they make some kind of eBook membership requirement for the library's? Something like 9.95$ a month for free rental of eBooks?
     
  3. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Hmm... the quality would go massively downhill without the publishers' proofing and editing process, and if everyone could publish the marketplace would be flooded with rubbish. It would be very difficult to filter the wheat from the chaff, and without the publishers' promotion efforts you'd miss some good stuff. Yes there'd be an Amazon style recommendations engine but chances are you'd end up sticking with authors you already know. My point is that I think there's still room for publishers to add value in a more distributed market, but their role has to change. Perhaps more of a hybrid agent / editor role.

    There is also, and will for some time to come (if not always) be, a market for hard copy books, and self-publishing in hard copy isn't really a viable option for most authors. I can see their role becoming more of an agency printer type role in this regard.

    As for eBooks, to be honest I don't really see there being a long term market in lending them. More likely in my view is the market will stabilise and prices will fall to the point where it's not seen as unreasonable to pay (say) £1 for an e-book (of which author takes maybe 70%, with 10% each for agent, publisher and distributor), which you can then read to your heart's content. Want to recommend it to your friend? Ok, your e-book reader might let you do that directly, and your friend then gets to read the first chapter free (can already do this with many titles on Kindle) and if they like it they pay £1 themselves for the full title.

    Free libraries don't really have anywhere to fit in with that model. They're something of an anachronism in the 21st century e-book world. Nobody expects to get other forms of entertainment free - want to watch a movie? Either buy it, pay to stream it, or hand over a couple of quid to rent it. The idea of freely "lending" some ones and zeros to someone is very odd.

    The alternative to libraries that I can foresee, which would be great for serious readers, is some form of subscription package, which would be to the current e-book buying model like Napster's paid streaming service is to iTunes / Amazon MP3 - an all-you-can-eat package for a fixed monthly fee.
     
  4. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    TBH why would you even go to a library to download an ebook? Isn't that what the interenet is for?
    Personally I wouldn't mind paying a small fee (ie. less than 50p) for each loan provided it was for a suitable length of time. After all, whats to stop you taking out a book hundreds of times and never actually paying for it? very few libraries replace books that often anyway, Heck there's books in queens older than me still being loaned on a daily basis!
     
  5. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    You can already do that through Amazon, and it's being for ages via systems like Lulu. The reason self published books don't sell is there is no easy way to find the good among the dross, and people buy books they've heard of.

    With the iOS appstore, you've got quality control before you submit. IE if it's buggy it won't get in the store, if it doesn't do what it should, it won't get in.

    With books, who judges the quality? The copyright infringement? Legal and defamation issues? If the answer is "no-one" then any book in the top 25 and making money would be very quickly swamped by dozens of rubbish clones.

    So in such an "open" system, you'd still have publishers promoting titles to get them heard about and bumped up with SEO, means it wouldn't be much easier for a fully independent to get seen than it is currently.
     
  6. veland

    veland New Member

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    A bit off-topic, but a Discworld quote is always good:

    It was a puzzle why things were always dragged kicking and screaming. No one ever seemed to want to, for example, lead them gently by the hand. -- (Terry Pratchett, The Truth)
     
  7. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    But libraries are an easy way to gain knowledge and entertainment. Not everyone has the internet, and for those that don't due to the cost or complexity of it, a library is a real life line to entertainment and reference.

    It genuinely saddens me that someone finds it difficult to see the benefit of a free resource of books to a society.

    Oh, and I don't borrow books from a library myself by the way, but I wouldn't dream of calling for libraries to close.
     
  8. Obsidianflame

    Obsidianflame New Member

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    Evolve or die.
     
  9. Tech NoOb

    Tech NoOb New Member

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    Why can't they make e-book rental like film rental?

    Where you can buy the book/ film for a higher price or rent the book/ film for a limited time for a lower price.

    If the e-book is under copyright of the publisher then they would make a SMALL amount of money every time the book is rented out just like films.
     
  10. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Ehrm... what?! Bullsh**.
     
  11. azazel1024

    azazel1024 New Member

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    My local library loans out eReaders that you can load up eBooks on. I agree on a royalty system for libraries. However, I think it should be based on a much lower rate. Overhead for eBooks is nothing like printed books. Obviously, real novels are much higher volume than what I am used too with publishing, but with around 20,000 print runs for large pamphlets (around 80 pages each, stiched, high quality high weight paper, etc) is around $1 per. Of course that takes in to account the printer making some profit. However, I doubt many publishing companies print in house.

    So for, call it, a 350 page book I assume the publisher is paying at least $1, probably more like $1.50-2.00 per book to print. Then distribution costs. So in the end, an $8 books there is probably anything from $2-3 of overhead. On an eBook there is a tiny overhead if sold through the publisher, and some through some place like Amazon.

    If we call it $6 per book proft (of course of that some goes as a royalty to the writer and maybe a royalty to artists, though that was probably flat fee work).

    Books last a hell of a lot longer than 26 loans. Speaking as someone who worked for a university library for a couple of years and I am close friends with a municipal librarian in my county, average is probably more like 60-100 loans for fiction, a little more for non-fiction and probably more like 40-50 for childrens books. Of course sometimes it is a lot less, sometimes a lot more. Most univeristy library books tended to be loaned well over 200-300 times and last a good 40+ years. Frankly I think the royalty should take the place of an initial purchase.

    Call it purchase price minus overhead divided by 100 and call it a day. By my math that works out to about 6 cents per loan no more and no initial cost.

    At least as it stands in the states, there are no laws that say eBooks can't be loaned and nothing about royalty fees having to be paid on loans...so unless laws changed or are dramatically reinterpreted, publishing companies are up crap creek without a paddle.
     
  12. dicobalt

    dicobalt New Member

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    Publishers are middle men that don't need to exist in the world of ebooks.
     
  13. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    Ha. Hahahaha.

    That's one of the points of ebooks. They don't wear out

    Silly man.
     
  14. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    There will always have to be library's not everyone has access to kindles or ebooks or even the internet. Until such a time as everyone is online with access to these. I think there will be a need for them or something will need to provide access to services that a library does..?
     
  15. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf New Member

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    See I've not yet worked out why Libraries want to get into ebook lending, I can't quite work out why I'd want to walk to a building to download data, when I should be able to do that at home. Perhaps Libraries are diversifying a bit too much and should stick to loaning hard and paper back copies till the market for ebooks is a bit more stable, broad and needed by a larger mass of people.
     
  16. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    The Kindle allows you to "loan" an e-book to another Kindle. The file copies over to the other device for 2 weeks, during which time it is unavailable on the original device. I'm curious how the publishers feel about me loaning a book more than 26 times.

    A number of people have asked why a person should have to walk to a library to check out an e-book. Have you all checked your local library's e-book check out policy? Our library is set up to allow you to download e-book directly to your home computer or mobile device.

    Unfortunately, all of their e-books are DRM loaded Adobe epub files, so they don't support the Kindle at this time.
     
  17. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    [​IMG]

    Use the interwebz!
     
  18. tank_rider

    tank_rider New Member

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    I think the publishers are missing a point here that if there is no real storage costs to keeping ebooks then libraries no matter how small will all be able to stock more ebooks than regular printed ones and therefore will be buying more anyway. It will also mean they can get all the most up to date titles very quickly. I can see this becoming a paid for service though much like renting cds and dvds are in british libraries.
     
  19. Whirly

    Whirly New Member

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    There's nothing like seeing history repeat itself, is there? And there's nothing more foolish than ignoring the lessons of very recent history. Yet here we go again, only this time with the written word.

    First we had the invention of the MP3 and the industry fought it like mad, desperate to keep hold of their excess profits....now we have an entire generation who feel it is normal to get music for free. Trying to get them to pay is becoming a nightmare for the industry.

    Then we had the invention of the DivX and the industry fought it like mad, desperate to keep hold of their excess profits....now we have an entire generation who feel it is normal to get video for free. Trying to get them to pay is becoming a nightmare for the industry.

    Now we are moving into an age of E-Readers and the industry is fighting like mad, desperate to keep hold of their excess profits....

    If you ask me, it would be a good idea for them to rethink their distribution methods now to ensure people feel that they are getting value for money, because the lesson is, if you continue to cling to the old models, people get used to getting their entertainment for free, and re-educating them becomes nigh on impossible.
     
  20. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Actually you have generation of people who BUY mp3's and AVI's online rather than purchase archaic forms of storage like CD's and DVD's. Written media sadly seems to be going the same way. I'm not sorry to see CD's go, good riddance..but I do fear for my beloved books.
     
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