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IFLA 2014 eLending Background Paper

July 31, 2014 Comments off

IFLA 2014 eLending Background Paper (PDF)
Source: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

eBook Trends

Given the different stages of maturity of eBook publishing in different countries, it is not surprising that digital publishing statistics and trends vary substantially by region and country.

In the United States, the most developed market for eBooks, 2013 saw a significant decline in eBook sales growth. This is dramatically illustrated considering the Association of American Publishers’ first quarter eBook sale s growth (the peak selling period of the year) over the past 4 years:

2010 +252%
2011 + 159%
2012 + 28%
2013 + 5%

When considering eBook sales it is now routine for English language market analysts to use terms like “matured’, “levelled off” and “plateaued”. Having said this it is evident that eBooks now form an important and still growing revenue stream for trade publishers. In the words of one commentator “The e-book may turn out to be more of a complement to the printed book, as audiobooks have long been, rather than an outright substitute”.

Having said this it is evident that eBooks now form an important and still growing revenue stream for trade publishers. In the words of one commentator “The e – book may turn out to be more of a complement to the printed book, as audiobooks have long been, rather than an outright substitute”. In this context it should be noted that in 2013 overall US adult trade hardcover book revenue rose 9.7% in 2013 , while adult eBook revenue rose by 3.8%. In 2013 in the US, overall adult eBook revenue accounted for 27% of all adult trade revenue. By comparison, 2013 eBook sales in Canada (a less mature market for eBooks) accounted for 17% of all book purchases. In non – English speaking EU countries eBook sales revenue is correspondingly much lower, numbering in the low single digits: e.g. in Norway eBook sales account for less than 1% of publisher revenue and in The Netherlands 2.2% of revenue.

Hat tip: INFOdocket

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The Paradox of Publicity: How Awards Can Negatively Affect the Evaluation of Quality

April 16, 2014 Comments off

The Paradox of Publicity: How Awards Can Negatively Affect the Evaluation of Quality
Source: Social Science Research Network

Although increases in status often lead to more favorable inferences about quality in subsequent evaluations, in this paper, we examine a setting in which an increase to an actor’s status results in less favorable quality evaluations, contrary to what much of sociological and management theory would predict. Comparing thousands of reader reviews on Goodreads.com of 64 English-language books that either won or were short-listed for prestigious book awards between 2007 and 2011, we find that prizewinning books tend to attract more readers following the announcement of an award and that readers’ ratings of award-winning books tend to decline more precipitously following the announcement of an award relative to books that were named as finalists but did not win. We explain this surprising result, focusing on two mechanisms whereby signals of quality that tend to promote adoption can subsequently have a negative impact on evaluation. First, we propose that the audience evaluating a high-status actor or object tends to shift as a result of a public status shock, like an award, increasing in number but also in diverse tastes. We outline how this shift might translate into less favorable evaluations of quality. Second, we show that the increase in popularity that tends to follow a status shock is off-putting to some, also resulting in more negative evaluations. We show that our proposed mechanisms together explain the negative effect of status on evaluations in the context of the literary world.

The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers

March 13, 2014 Comments off

The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers
Source: Ricoh

There is not a single book industry. There are many subsectors within the book industry; the major categories include: Trade books, educational books, scientifi c/professional books, children’s books, art/coffee table books and religious books. For the purposes of this research, we focused on the two largest sectors, trade books and educational books. The majority of the output is black text, with limited four-color usage in educational books.

Both trade books and educational book industries are undergoing tremendous changes. Like many industries undergoing change, the changes tend to be driven by new technologies enabling a shift in who controls the value of that industry. The Internet laid the tracks from which new technologies could be deployed, enabling shifts in control over sales/distribution, publishing and where content could be displayed. Combined, these new technologies caused a decline in printed book purchases that since the 2008/2009 recession has run between 4 to 5 percent annually.

But there is a silver lining, a lining that is benefiting the digital production printing industry. With orders for books becoming ever smaller and more frequent, and with more titles being introduced annually than ever before (due to self-publishing and backorder list titles), production inkjet printing technology is solving problems faced by book manufacturers related to the compression of order size, handling increases in order frequency and reducing manual labor through automation.

From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and beyond: A typology of public library engagement in America

March 13, 2014 Comments off

From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and beyond: A typology of public library engagement in America
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

The digital era has brought profound challenges and opportunities to countless institutions and industries, from universities to newspapers to the music industry, in ways both large and small. Institutions that were previously identified with printed material—and its attendant properties of being expensive, scarce, and obscure—are now considering how to take on new roles as purveyors of information, connections, and entertainment, using the latest formats and technologies.

The impact of digital technologies on public libraries is particularly interesting because libraries serve so many people (about half of all Americans ages 16 and older used a public library in some form in the past year, as of September 2013) and correspondingly try to meet a wide variety of needs. This is also what makes the task of public libraries—as well as governments, news organizations, religious groups, schools, and any other institution that is trying to reach a wide swath of the American public—so challenging: They are trying to respond to new technologies while maintaining older strategies of knowledge dissemination.

Hat tip: INFODocket

How a Nation Engages with Art: Highlights from the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA)

October 10, 2013 Comments off

How a Nation Engages with Art: Highlights from the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA)
Source: National Endowment of the Arts

This report presents results from an initial analysis of the 2012 SPPA. It contains statistics with demographic insights about U.S. adults’ participation across five modes of art activity: attending; reading books and literature; consuming through electronic media; making and sharing; and learning. Findings are discussed for specific art forms and trend data provided where possible. Also includes links to additional data and resources for researchers.

Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations

June 25, 2013 Comments off

Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project

Younger Americans—those ages 16-29—exhibit a fascinating mix of habits and preferences when it comes to reading, libraries, and technology. Almost all Americans under age 30 are online, and they are more likely than older patrons to use libraries’ computer and internet connections; however, they are also still closely bound to print, as three-quarters (75%) of younger Americans say they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared with 64% of adults ages 30 and older.

Similarly, younger Americans’ library usage reflect a blend of traditional and technological services. Americans under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library, and once there they borrow print books and browse the shelves at similar rates. Large majorities of those under age 30 say it is “very important” for libraries to have librarians as well as books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services, move most services online, or move print books out of public areas.

At the same time, younger library visitors are more likely than older patrons to access the library’s internet or computers or use the library’s research resources, such as databases. And younger patrons are also significantly more likely than those ages 30 and older to use the library as a study or “hang out” space: 60% of younger patrons say they go to the library to study, sit and read, or watch or listen to media, significantly more than the 45% of older patrons who do this. And a majority of Americans of all age groups say libraries should have more comfortable spaces for reading, working, and relaxing.

Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading

May 1, 2013 Comments off

Parents, Children, Libraries, and Reading

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project

The vast majority of parents of minor children — children younger than 18 — feel libraries are very important for their children. That attachment carries over into parents’ own higher-than-average use of a wide range of library services.

The ties between parents and libraries start with the importance parents attach to the role of reading in their children’s lives. Half of parents of children under age 12 (50%) read to their child every day and an additional 26% do so a few times a week. Those with children under age 6 are especially keen on daily reading with their child: 58% of these parents read with their child every day and another 26% read multiple times a week with their children.

The importance parents assign to reading and access to knowledge shapes their enthusiasm for libraries and their programs:

  • 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 79% describe libraries as “very important.” That is especially true of parents of young children (those under 6), some 84% of whom describe libraries as very important.
  • 84% of these parents who say libraries are important say a major reason they want their children to have access to libraries is that libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.
  • 81% say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries provide their children with information and resources not available at home.
  • 71% also say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries are a safe place for children.

Almost every parent (97%) says it is important for libraries to offer programs and classes for children and teens.

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