Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daily Thoughts 9/16/2009

Samuel R. Delany, African American Science Fiction Writer and Essayist. His writing can be quite controversial.

Daily Thoughts 9/16/2009

Today has been a quiet day. We did a reference meeting discussing different reference books. I discussed the 2008 New York State Statistical Yearbook which gives a lot of useful information including information on many of the agencies in New York as well as county crime statistics.

I also discussed our meeting with a local publisher with one of the technical services people. Hopefully, we should be getting some very interesting books.

On the way to work, I finished reading Free The Future of A Radical Price by Chris Anderson. It has quite a bit of relevance to libraries. As books start out in the digital form, they become increasingly sought after as ebooks, they also become pirated and available as torrent downloads. People prefer to have books in digital format for free and it is very easy to get them this way; or at very low prices. Many people would like to pay $4.99 for an ebook.

I have read a variety of books in the digital format for free, many of the from the Baen Free Library, Creative Commons, or through Project Gutenberg. There is a lot of material out of copyright which you can get very easily.

Today books start out as ebooks, maybe they are not sold initially as ebooks, but the editing and manuscripts are usually done and stored on a computer. This file is what is sent to the publisher to turn it into a variety of formats, pdf, ebook, audiobook, physical book, and other formats. A physical hardcopy has become a value added service. People still prefer to read their books in paper. I am not sure how long this will last as digital readers become better.

A lot of authors are giving away their books for free in a digital form, following the idea that giving away a free ebook drives the sales of the print book. Many people find reading a print book preferable to ebooks. Two very prominent authors who do this are Paulo Coelho and Cory Doctorow. I enjoy reading Cory Doctorow quite a bit.

Chris Anderson gives a reason to why this works in his book and why it is going to grow and continue happening. If you want to understand why companies bundle free products with pay products, this book does a good job. It is also very entertaining.

I was a bit under the weather the last couple of days, so I spent some times updating the book displays, and making sure the new arrivals section was in order. I think tomorrow I will get back to my weeding.

I really should get back to reading the Egalley of The Case for Books Past, Present, and Future. There is an article on it in Publishers Weekly. I have been distracted.

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