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View Diary: eBooks: Oyster or Scribd, Who Will Become the Netflix of eBooks? (22 comments)

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  •  Maybe pay-lending explains why libraries (3+ / 0-)

    can't really get elending off the ground affordably. Looks like publishers may have figured out that they can get paid more this way.

    I'll be interested in learning whether you're able to find books that you want to read. Do books have unlimited access? (or is it like the library, where once x number people are reading a book, you have to wait for one of them to check in before you can check out.)

    •  Well, since both of these subscription services (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Abelia, RiveroftheWest

      are fairly new, I don't think they have had much impact on the  movement to ebook lending by libraries. What I have been able to find is that publishers simply hate the thought that libraries allow people to read their books (or ebooks) free. At the same time, they recognize that libraries are an effective way of encouraging the public to read. Love/hate relationship.

      And they really don't know how to price ebook licenses for libraries.

      You have unlimited access to the ebooks in the vendor's library. Scibd has all of the HarperCollins backlist, which is huge and Oyster has a selection of HarperCollins titles. Many of the authors that I enjoy are available on Scribd, especially for the Monday Night Mystery series.

      I think this business is still in its infancy, and it may not ever grow up, much less grow old. They are appealing to those with the disposable income who wish to have a large library at their fingertips on demand. I don't know how many subscribers it will take to make this a profitable venture, but Scribd raised $26 million to start their service.

      •  I was thinking Harper Collins (3+ / 0-)

        might have been looking ahead to this. They were the first ones (famously! I remember all the Facebook outrage at the time) to come up with the model where libraries are basically renting books. They "expire" after a certain number of digital reads. Ebooks are expensive for libraries (as a percentage of their collection) and they're out there doing free marketing and tech support for e-readers. All of our local libraries have demo nights or help desks and lending programs where people can learn how to use different e-readers. It seems like such a great opportunity for publishers to support.

        It reminds me also of the issues around radio play v. internet play for online music services. (the podcast of Sound Opinions has had some interesting shows on this topic.) As with libraries, these channels promote and let people know about the artists and songs. But the internet services can't (yet) afford to pay the same royalties as the big guys.

        It's such an interesting subject. Love your diaries on the epublishing world!

        •  Thanks, Abelia! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          I had to teach our librarians how to use OverDrive. But then, we are at the end of the food chain out here where Christ lost his sandals.

          I wrote a three part series about libraries and ebooks, starting with Part I that explained who the players were and what they offered. Part II was a how-to guide for library patrons, and Part III was a look at the response from authors to the publishing world's efforts to derail eBook lending by libraries.

          I am sure publishers would prefer a straight pay as you read subscription service. But I don't think there are enough people with the kind of income that can sustain that as a widespread business model. I signed up for them only to make the comparison, I doubt that I will continue the subscription for long.

          Unless I find that I can save money by using one or the other.

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