The Kindle, which was joined by other devices like Kobo’s e-reader, the Nook from Barnes & Noble and the iPad, drew millions of book buyers to e-readers, which offered seamless, instant purchases. Publishers saw huge spikes in digital sales during and after the holidays, after people received e-readers as gifts.But those double- and triple-digit growth rates plummeted as e-reading devices fell out of fashion with consumers, replaced by smartphones and tablets. Some 12 million e-readers were sold last year, a steep drop from the nearly 20 million sold in 2011, according to Forrester Research. The portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2015, from 50 percent in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.Higher e-book prices may also be driving readers back to paper.As publishers renegotiated new terms with Amazon in the past year and demanded the ability to set their own e-book prices, many have started charging more. With little difference in price between a $13 e-book and a paperback, some consumers may be opting for the print version.On Amazon, the paperback editions of some popular titles, like “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, are several dollars cheaper than their digital counterparts. Paperback sales rose by 8.4 percent in the first five months of this year, the Association of American Publishers reported.The tug of war between pixels and print almost certainly isn’t over. Industry analysts and publishing executives say it is too soon to declare the death of the digital publishing revolution. An appealing new device might come along. Already, a growing number of people are reading e-books on their cellphones. Amazon recently unveiled a new tablet for $50, which could draw a new wave of customers to e-books (the first-generation Kindle cost $400).It is also possible that a growing number of people are still buying and reading e-books, just not from traditional publishers. The declining e-book sales reported by publishers do not account for the millions of readers who have migrated to cheap and plentiful self-published e-books, which often cost less than a dollar.At Amazon, digital book sales have maintained their upward trajectory, according to Russell Grandinetti, senior vice president of Kindle. Last year, Amazon, which controls some 65 percent of the e-book market, introduced an e-book subscription service that allows readers to pay a flat monthly fee of $10 for unlimited digital reading. It offers more than a million titles, many of them from self-published authors.Some publishing executives say the world is changing too quickly to declare that the digital tide is waning.“Maybe it’s just a pause here,” said Carolyn Reidy, the president and chief executive of Simon & Schuster. “Will the next generation want to read books on their smartphones, and will we see another burst come?”

Source: The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead – The New York Times

BookwormBookworm is a simple and powerful way to visualize trends in repositories of digitized texts.

Source: Bookworm

A draft report commissioned by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) has said £20m should be invested in digital services over the next three years to prevent libraries from becoming “soup kitchens for the written word.”The report, entitled ‘Essential Digital Infrastructure for Public Libraries in England’ and conducted by Bibliocommons, a commercial provider of library software systems, says libraries are “pushing” users away by their lack of investment in digital technology.However, library campaigners including former Waterstones boss Tim Coates has criticised the draft report as “vexacious” for portraying libraries as “no longer being predominantly about books.”The draft document outlines the possibilities of digital development for public libraries in England and is intended to help libraries identify the changes to technology needed to “provide leverage and cohesiveness” for library services, and to meet the demands of users who journey “online and off” to the institutions.The official report will be published in October.

Source: Lack of digital library investment ‘pushing’ users away | The Bookseller

Kids today with their selfies and their Snapchats and their love of literature.Millennials, like each generation that was young before them, tend to attract all kinds of ire from their elders for being superficial, self-obsessed, anti-intellectuals. But a study out today from the Pew Research Center offers some vindication for the younger set. Millennials are reading more books than the over-30 crowd, Pew found in a survey of more than 6,000 Americans.Some 88 percent of Americans younger than 30 said they read a book in the past year compared with 79 percent of those older than 30. At the same time, American readers’ relationship with public libraries is changing—with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities.

Source: Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations – The Atlantic

So I’d been asked to write a book about whatever I wanted, and this editor didn’t even know whether I’d written anything before. It didn’t matter. It would sell its 300 copies regardless. Not to people with an interest in reading the book, but to librarians who would put it on a shelf and then, a few years later, probably bury it in a storeroom.Most academics get these requests. A colleague was recently courted by an editor who, after confessing they only published expensive hardbacks (at around £200), explained that this was an opportunity for my colleague to enhance his academic record. He was told he could give them pretty much anything, like an old report, or some old articles.“I can’t believe anyone would write a book that would be too expensive for anyone to buy,” the colleague told me over the phone. “Just to add a line to your cv.”Another colleague, on discovering his published book was getting widespread attention but was too expensive to buy, tried to get the publishers to rush out a cheaper paperback version. They ignored his request.These may sound like stories of concern to academics alone. But the problem is this: much of the time that goes into writing these books is made possible through taxpayers’ money. And who buys these books? Well, university libraries – and they, too, are paid for by taxpayers. Meanwhile, the books are not available for taxpayers to read – unless they have a university library card.In the US, taxpayers are said to be spending $139bn a year on research, and in the UK, £4.7bn. Too much of that money is disappearing into big pockets.So what are the alternatives? We could stop publishing these books altogether – which may be advisable in a time of hysterical mass publication . Or we publish only with decent publishers, who believe that books are meant to be read and not simply profited from. And if it’s only a matter of making research available, then of course there’s open source publishing, which most academics are aware of by now.So why don’t academics simply stay away from the greedy publishers? The only answer I can think of is vanity.

Source: Academics are being hoodwinked into writing books nobody can buy | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

But an article published in March by the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology found it was starting to occur, albeit slowly.“Various text-sharing platforms distribute tens of millions of documents online for free,” the study found. “However, these are still unknown to most of academia. Only a handful of articles acknowledge their existence in short passages, and no systematic study of the available collections has been undertaken until now.”

Source: Australian academics seek to challenge ‘web of avarice’ in scientific publishing | Science | The Guardian

visegradinsightPirate e-book libraries enable historically unprecedented access to the best scholarly knowledge, which CEE countries are definitely taking advantage of. Who is using these libraries and for what reasons?
Unique data on pirate library use helps answer these questions.
7_Vise_Bodo Balazs (2)

Hello,We represent the Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon and we would like to kindly ask you to forbid access to both our IPs (we are sure you can find them otherwise contact us to provide them to you) to the website have included you in our restricted list in the institution firewall, but students have found ways to bypass it. We hope you could make it radical from your side.Please note that many students have been severely punished for using this website. We are only asking for this, in order to spare the others.We pay yearly subscriptions to many Editors and hope to stay “legal”. We appreciate all your efforts and respect them. We hope to come to an understanding together.Thank you very much.Hoping to hear from you very soon.PS: Move this thread to where it should be if needed, we couldn’t find an appropriate thread for such a request.

Source: Students accessing LG and fair use doctrine

Science departments in Russia’s universities are facing a crisis of information following the decision last week of a Western publisher to lock them out of access to thousands of unique scientific journals and magazines because the government can no longer afford to foot the bill.

According to a spokesperson from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, one of Russia’s state agencies, which is responsible for the development of national science, is unable to pay for subscriptions for scientific journals and magazines published by Springer due to a sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble this year.

Yriy Popov, a former associate professor of the Voronezh State University of Building Technologies and a well-known Russian scientist in the field of building science and technologies, warned that, in addition to Springer, there is a threat that the Russian scientific community may lose access to the magazines of other Western scientific publishers, such as Elsevier.

Matthias Aicher, head of Springer for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, has confirmed that the company closed the access to scientific publications for Russian universities and research institutes from 12 May.

According to Aicher, the Russian government failed to pay for the subscription for 2014 to the amount of €890,000 (US$1 million).

Vladimir Fortov, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the current problem is very serious as scientific periodicals have so far been the main way for Russian scientists to get information regarding basic and applied sciences.

Fortov said: “Thanks to these journals, Russian scientists are aware of the latest developments and research in global science. Failure of further subscriptions means that Russian scientists will be isolated from global science.

“Springer is a very serious publishing house, and the loss of access to its journals will be a major blow for Russian science, including university science.”

He has not ruled out the possibility that this issue may be resolved after the intervention of the national government. At the same time, according to some sources close to the Russian Academy of Sciences, representatives of some leading Russian universities are considering signing a petition to the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asking him to help resolve the problem.

In 2014 the annual subscription for Springer publications in Russia was set at €3.2 million (US$3.6 million).

According to an official spokesperson of Springer, the company extended free subscription to Russian science several times, but eventually due to existing debts decided to close it for an indefinite period.

In the meantime, representatives of the press service of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research said that the agency could not use the same model as before the economic crisis in Russia in December 2014 to January 2015 and devaluation of the local currency.

The seriousness of the current situation is confirmed by recent statements of Alexander Hlunov, board member of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

He said that Springer sets prices for its journals in Euros but devaluation of the Russian currency has meant that the price in rubles has doubled.

“The Russian budget currently has no available funds for these projects. We currently cannot afford such costs but if there is an increase of scientific spending in the Russian federal budget, this decision could be revised.”

According to Yriy Popov, many Russian scientists and university professors from different areas of science have used Springer journals as guidelines in their research activities.

Source: Universities denied access to West’s science journals – University World News

Welcome to Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries; Valiant Entertainment for Archer & Armstrong, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, and X-O Manowar; Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga; Barry Eisler’s John Rain novels; Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines series; and The Foreworld Saga by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Eric Bear, Joseph Brassey, Nicole Galland, and Cooper Moo. Licenses for more Worlds are on the way.

via What Is Kindle Worlds?.

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