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Monday News: Debates over fee access to digital lending; DIY bookshelves;...

ladder bookcase

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

14 Comments

  1. SAO
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:21:38

    “Protecting footfall” strikes me as a new way of ignoring many potential readers in order to protect the status quo. An exemption for the housebound means that the handicapped or their carers will have to trek to the library to fill out intrusive forms. Busy people who live in small towns with limited library hours will be out of luck.

    I certainly hope libraries realize that their mission is to help potential readers access books and the publishers’ goal is to make money and the two are not the same.

  2. sula
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:45:32

    Seems to me that I already do pay for the privilege of using books at my local library – e or paper. It’s called taxes. (for what it’s worth, I have no bone with paying my taxes either as I see it as the cost of participating in civilization)

  3. Julia Broadbooks
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:57:10

    Our library system allows you to borrow paper books from home too. I can request a book and it will be pulled from the shelves of whatever branch that has it and delivered to my door. Considering that, it seems extra burdensome for patrons to be charged to borrow ebooks.

  4. Annemarie
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 08:12:06

    My nearest library is in the downtown core and hell to get to any time of the day, and so I’d just as likely avoid the library altogether and go to one of the three used bookstore in walking distance from my apartment. At least with ebook lending they’re getting me on their website every week or so.

    I’d be up for a subscription service, assuming I don’t have to sit on a waitlist. Unfortunately, since I live in Canada, I’d probably be shut out of that service the same way I can’t access Amazon Prime.

  5. SuperWendy
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:07:38

    Honestly, I’m not sure why publishers aren’t pushing the subscription thing more a la the Harry Potter books. Libraries purchase a license for X number of years for X number of copies. When that license is up, libraries then make the decision to renew or not – or maybe only renew a select number of copies. We have a model for this already with databases – it’s something we’re used to. Also, while there are many authors you need a bazillion copies of out of the gate (the new John Grisham, the new Nora, Fifty Shades) – a couple years down the line? You don’t need all those copies anymore. You need some, but you don’t need a bazillion. So instead of renewing say 25 licenses, you renew only 5.

    The authors with their own tables at RWA (besides the HUGE names like Nora) tend to be those folks being “featured” at the conference in some way. For example, Brenda Jackson is getting the lifetime achievement award. Robyn Carr is speaking at the awards luncheon etc.

    (And ugh, on the signing not being alphabetical. I’m reserving final judgment until I actually attend the thing – but my first reaction is ugh and double ugh).

  6. Isobel Carr
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:48:44

    The map I was sent says the shaded areas are YA. The Avon authors are in the rows that are front and center at the entrance. Carolyn Jewel says she figured out the formula for the rest of us, but I honestly didn’t understand her explanation (not a math person, LOL!). It’s not by publisher, or genre, or anything that makes sense to me (but I did notice that my pub seems to be spread out with one author per table, e.g. my row is Jami Alden, me, and then Eileen Dryer). By genre might have been nice, as then readers could easily browse. I’m hoping it will lead to more interaction, but my concern is that it’s going to cause sales to plummet as readers wander about with their eyes glued to the map.

  7. Jane
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:53:48

    @Isobel Carr: You are right. I was confused by the numbers and the tables.

  8. Kim
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:21:33

    From a reader’s standpoint, I really don’t see a problem with the seating at RWA. Assuming that maps are being handed out at the literacy signing, then it’s fairly easy to find an author. If there aren’t any maps, then it’s a different story. Authors at tables 1000-1006 might actually get some additional sales since Nora Roberts is seated right behind them. That’s assuming the long lines don’t block those tables.

  9. Kim in Hawaii
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 12:17:18

    Aloha! For the past two years, I have volunteered with the Literacy Signing, so I offer my perspective to the seating chart. I was told that it was tradition to seat the authors alphabetically and “switch off” every year whether the entry spilled to the beginning or the end of the alphabet. In Orlando/2010, the hotel required it to be the middle. In New York/2011, it was the end. But the long lines from the breakout authors, especially Sherrilyn Kenyon, created havoc with the entry and the “Z” authors. So I think a large center aisle will address that problem.

    I also noticed that the YA authors embedded in the alphabet were creating havoc, too, such as Ally Carter’s teen line was clogging up the C row. I had recommended clustering the YA authors, which seems to be the case for 2012.

    “Breakout authors” are big sellers, such as Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christina Dood, Simone Elkeles, Nalini Singh, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis.

    Other “breakout authors” have a role in the RWA conference. Brenda Jackson is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award; Robyn Carr is hosting the awards luncheon; Victoria Alexander is hosting the GH/RITA ceremony; Silvia Day is the incoming president.

    No matter how RWA plans the Literacy Signing, something will go awry with that many people. It’s the nature of the beast and hopefully readers will patiently try to figure it out. The signing has been extended from two to three hours.

    Regarding the rationale for the overall seating chart – has anyone asked RWA?

  10. Ros
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 12:42:20

    Cute bookshelves – that actually hold books! I love the ladder one. I get so fed up of trendy bookshelves that you can only fit a handful of books on.

  11. Expy
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 12:43:18

    25 Awesome DIY Ideas For Bookshelves

    I like #4 Ladder + Wood Bookshelves the best. The others seem particularly impractical, and are truly for people who rarely buy DTB or just rarely read or are more interested in having their house look fashionable.

    Public Libraries News: Should Library ebooks be charged for?

    Society of Authors letter to Ed Vaizey (sent on 1st May) is concerned about providing ebooks to public libraries. While accepting the importance of libraries and ebooks to them, it wants a deal based on the following rules: Library ebooks do not compete with commercial sales of ebooks esp. in independent bookshops

    Now there’s a contradiction if I ever see one. Seems like the SoA just don’t want libraries to exist, imo.

  12. Jane
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:41:18

    @Kim in Hawaii – Oh probably because RWA kicked me out several years ago. I don’t think the DA readership has a huge interest in RWA events. I only thought this was interesting because of Avon’s increased brand awareness campaign.

  13. Isobel Carr
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:12:45

    @Jane: We’re all confused, LOL! It’s certainly got me scratching my head.

  14. sao
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:50:57

    The problem with this: “it wants a deal based on the following rules: Library ebooks do not compete with commercial sales of ebooks,” is that no one has researched the effect of libraries on sales in any depth. In the absence of data, the assumption seems to be that any reading of a book that wasn’t purchased new is a lost sale

    I find it tedious to read about another set of Luddites trying to close down the opportunities digital books offer, rather than figuring out how to use them to profitably make readers happy.

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