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[Xmca-l] Libraries, publishers, ebooks & Amazon

Hi XMCAristas,

This came in my box from Cory Doctorow, thought it may be of interest in terms of scholarly comms and the future of digital libraries?

Kind regards,


Publishing is in a weird place: ebook sales are stagnating; publishing
has shrunk to five major publishers; libraries and publishers are at
each others' throats over ebook pricing; and major writers' groups are
up in arms over ebook royalties, and, of course, we only have one major
book retailer left -- what is to be done?

In my new Locus Magazine column, "Peace in Our Time," I propose a pair
of software projects that could bring all together writers, publishers
and libraries to increase competition, give publishers the market
intelligence they need to sell more books, triple writers' ebook
royalties, and sell more ebooks to libraries, on much fairer terms.

The first project is a free/open version of Overdrive, the software that
publishers insist that libraries use for ebook circulation. A free/open
version, collectively created and maintained by the library community,
would create a source of data that publishers could use to compete with
Amazon, their biggest frenemy, while still protecting patron privacy.
The publishers' quid-pro-quo for this data would be an end to the
practice of gouging libraries on ebook prices, leaving them with more
capital to buy more books.

The second project is a federated ebook store for writers, that would
allow writers to act as retailers for their publishers, selling their
own books and keeping the retailer's share in addition to their
traditional royalty: a move that would increase the writer's share by
300%, without costing the publishers a penny. Writer-operated ebook
stores, spread all over the Web but searchable from central portals, do
not violate the publishers' agreements with Amazon, but they do create
new sales category: "fair trade ebooks," whose sale gives the writers
you love the money to feed their families and write more books --
without costing you anything extra.





Cory Doctorow
Wickr: doctorow

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