There’s big problems with the market for academic e-books

Posted in Governance and administration on March 29th, 2021 by steve

“In the time since a small group of academic librarians launched the #ebooksos campaign with an Open Letter asking for an investigation into the academic e-book publishing industry, we have faced some questioning of our actions …” (more)

[Rachel Bickley, Wonkhe, 29 March]

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The Ebook R/Evolution – Not as Easy as It Seems

Posted in Research on April 24th, 2017 by steve

“Earlier this month at the 12th annual Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) conference, the evolution of the ebook and its place in the library and scholarly community was an undeniable sub-theme – one that left me thinking any revolutionary vision for ebooks has been greatly stymied by disconnects between end-user perspectives and the agendas of scholarly resource suppliers …” (more)

[Lettie Conrad, The Scholarly Kitchen, 24 April]

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‘Sales of ebooks are not rising fast enough to match the decline of printed textbooks’ via @cg_williams

Posted in Teaching on August 27th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Following yesterday’s post about ‘Can Books Survive the Digital World’, I was chatting to a College Librarian about eBooks for one of my modules. I was surprised to find that access to one of the books was very restricted – it is available to only one student at a time for only two hours. Not much use when I have two classes with over 60 students needing this book. …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 26 August]

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About the price of academic textbooks

Posted in Teaching on September 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“And considering what happens if I rent a Kindle text …” (audio)

[Bernie Goldbach, audioboom, 22 September]

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Book production: Papering over e-books

Posted in Research on April 15th, 2014 by steve

“One might easily think that print publishing is a fussy business: all of that preparation to put ink on paper seems rather last century — or last half millennium. Electronic books have been hailed as the future and the perfection of the codex format, because of their ease of production, distribution, and infinite perfect replication. Yet this Babbage has found that not to be the case …” (more)

[Babbage (The Economist), 15 April]


Children should ‘feel the texture of a book’ alongside digital learning

Posted in Teaching on January 22nd, 2014 by steve

“Children from two to 10 years old should ‘feel the texture of a book and the printed word in reading and writing and the physical holding of it’, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has told the Dáil …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 22 January]

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The Education Conundrum

Posted in Research on November 20th, 2013 by steve

“This blog is taking break until the new year but in the meantime I leave you with details of my new eBook. I have given it the slightly pretentious title of The Education Conundrum: One academic’s thoughts on a wicked problem …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 20 November]


Switch to e-books was ‘an unmitigated disaster’ says school principal

Posted in Teaching on November 19th, 2013 by steve

“A principal has called the move to switch students from books to tablets ‘an unmitigated disaster’ and has ordered new books for the first year classes …” (more)

[Denise Calnan, Independent, 19 November]


Gains from downloading textbooks wiped out by VAT

Posted in Teaching on August 7th, 2013 by steve

“Parents are being hammered by value added tax (VAT) as more schools move to replace printed textbooks with electronic learning, it has emerged …” (more)

[Charlie Weston, Independent, 7 August]

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Feeling the pain of the switch to ebooks

Posted in Teaching on August 7th, 2013 by steve

“Thousands of secondary-school children are set to embrace the switch to electronic school books this September. School bags will be lighter as electronic devices replace heavy books, but parents are set to bear a big economic burden as more schools go digital …” (more)

[Charlie Weston, Independent, 7 August]

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Children turn away from books in favour of reading electronically

Posted in Teaching on May 16th, 2013 by steve

“Children are spending more time reading on computers or other electronic devices than on books, magazines and comics for the first time, according to a study out today …” (more)

[Richard Garner, Belfast Telegraph, 16 May]


On Innovation & Disruption

Posted in Research on May 7th, 2013 by steve

“Baldur Bjarnason has a great post on his blog this week, Which kind of innovation? In it, he asks whether ebooks can be considered a true disruptive innovation (as per the work of Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma) or whether they should be considered a sustaining innovation that the publishing industry flubbed …” (more)

[Eoin Purcell’s Blog, 6 May]


Penguin reaches pact with EU to end e-book price-fixing probe

Posted in Legal issues on April 19th, 2013 by steve

EU“Penguin has vowed to change its pricing strategy for digital books, including by terminating an e-book pricing pact with Apple, to resolve an antitrust probe by the European Union …” (more)

[Shara Tibken, CNET News, 19 April]

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CourseSmart E-Textbooks Track Students’ Progress for Teachers

Posted in Teaching on April 9th, 2013 by steve

“Several Texas A&M professors know something that generations of teachers could only hope to guess: whether students are reading their textbooks. They know when students are skipping pages, failing to highlight significant passages, not bothering to take notes — or simply not opening the book at all …” (more)

[David Streitfeld, New York Times, 8 April]


The future of reading

Posted in Life on April 9th, 2013 by steve

“In versions of the 2012 Horizon Report, eBooks were considered by many of the expert panel to be on the 1 year horizon for full adoption into education …” (more)

[Steve Wheeler, Learning with ‘e’s, 9 April]

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On Developing Author Power

Posted in Research on March 13th, 2013 by steve

“Back in July 2006 I wrote: ‘E-books will push this change even more. There is no reason why authors’ royalties should be the same on e-books as they are for paper books and in many ways there is no reason why the authors cannot sell e-books themselves …'” (more)

[Eoin Purcell’s Blog, 13 March]


What Happens to Publishers and Authors If a Used Ebook Market Becomes Legal?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 12th, 2013 by steve

“Amazon has a patent to develop a market for used digital content. Apple has filed for a similar patent and ReDigi, a self-styled marketplace for used digital content, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Capitol Records over the resale of digital music files …” (more)

[Jeremy Greenfield, Forbes, 11 March]


For Many Students, Print Is Still King

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2013 by steve

“Despite the hype about e-books, the classic textbook hasn’t gone away. In fact, the hold-it-in-your-hands book remains the first choice for many instructors and students …” (more)

[Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 January]

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EU and publishers in ebooks deal

Posted in Legal issues on December 13th, 2012 by steve

“The European Union’s competition watchdog has accepted proposals by four publishers and Apple to end agreements that set retail prices for ebooks – a practice the EU feared violated competition rules …” (more)

[Independent, 13 December]

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Theory of the E-book

Posted in Research on December 6th, 2012 by steve

“By this time, we know what an e-book is. It can be differentiated from the device we read it on, a device such as an e-reader, tablet, or smartphone, and in many cases it can be read on multiple devices …” (more)

[Joseph Esposito, The Scholarly Kitchen, 6 December]