Another Way for Libraries to Evolve That Involves Self-Publishing

I’ve been watching how libraries will change in the coming years because I’ve always been a library supporter. I’ve seen doom and gloom posts that say libraries are dead, and I’ve also seen posts that say libraries will evolve into something different…more like community learning centers.

I tend to agree with the latter. I don’t think libraries will ever disappear. And the article to which I’m linking might be an indication as to how they will evolve in the near future. Also take into account the mention of self-publishing, which seems to be making headlines everywhere I go these days.

Digital publishing company Smashwords and Califa, a consortium of 220 California libraries, have formed a partnership to distribute Smashwords eBooks in libraries and to give member libraries the ability to let patrons publish eBooks through Smashwords.

Library Journal explained the self-publishing process: “A patron will be able to use the Califa interface, being built with VuFind, to upload their manuscripts to Smashwords, which then will make the books available to its retail partners (such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony). But Smashwords will also notify Califa that a patron has uploaded a title and see if Califa wishes to purchase the title for its collection.”

Less than four years ago publishing professionals were not only laughing at e-publishing, but also self-publishing. You can read more by clicking the link below.

What in the world will happen next?

Free E-books: Free Library of Philadelphia

A friend pointed this link out to me earlier this week and I haven’t had time to check it out yet.

But from what I gather, you can borrow e-books from the Free Library of Philadelphia no matter where you live.

I will be checking it out in more detail, probably later this week. I’ve always been a huge fan of public libraries and I think this is a great way for them to co-exist in the digital age of publishing.

The Thing About Publishers, Lending E-books, and Libraries…

Is that the publishers aren’t paying attention to the voracious habits of people who read e-books. A craze that continues to grow almost daily. It seems they are still treating e-books like print books, and even worse, treating people who read e-books like people who read print books.

I’ve learned a lot from the comment threads on my blog posts about why people pirate e-books. In this particular post, people have opened up and shared more than I ever thought they would. I’ve always been a huge supporter of libraries and I often buy used books. I even bought my Kobo because I can borrow e-books at the library with it. And, I don’t just read library books and used books. I buy new books often.

HarperCollins did something interesting with a loan cap on e-books. You can read more about it here, where the details are explained far better than I ever could. Read the comments, too. This one is particularly interesting. “This will hurt the publishers but they don’t know it yet. They will lose sales by cutting us out. Readers don’t buy all the books they read, but they have always bought enough to pay the bills. We buy books, too. If nobody can share a book, nobody cares. That’s not piracy, that’s “social networking” before it got trademarked.”

All I can say is that as an author I’ve always supported the public library system. As a reader, I have my own print copy of THE HOTEL AT THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET circulating between two different friends as I write this post. And if publishers continue to make it harder and harder for libraries and readers, no one’s going to wind up happy…especially not the authors. And I can tell you right now I’ve had my own share of grievances with print publishers regarding back listed e-books I’ve been in. I’m just glad I signed non-exclusives with these publishers at the time, never thinking my work with them would wind up in digital print and I wouldn’t be receiving royalties. And now I’m not too thrilled about the restrictions they are putting on libraries.