Saturday, 7 January 2012

Will they, won't they? Another strand to the e-book argument.

There's no doubt e-books and e-readers will have been big sellers over Christmas but this take on e-book lending from publishers does raise a lot of questions for public libraries in England. If libraries are going to be blocked from lending best sellers is there much point in spending large sums on systems such as Overdrive? 

It's a similar situation to the reluctance of education publishers to make certain text books available as e-books - they don't won't to lose out on the sales. In an average college popular textbooks have relatively short lives, they either get stolen or lost or fall apart because of the frequency of issue. An indestructible e-book would save college libraries a small fortune but could potentially seriously impact on the publishers profit margins.

1 comment:

  1. Apple aims to drive the use of electronic textbooks in the classroom by making it easier for publishers to create interactive titles.

    Unlike the traditial e-book (which despite the digital content is fairly flat) these books have embedded audio and video and link directly to external resources such as exam sites and questions.

    However with licences available on a one child, one book basis it is doubtful whether many insitutions would be find them financially viable. That said, the move to more interactive material does add a new layer to the future of e books and raises questions about the object that we currently think of as an e book. High School and College students a like are being brought up in an increasingly digital world so maybe we do need to take the e-book beyond 'flat' content and start responding positively when our students ask 'why does doesn't it do that?'