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Re: Gale eBooks cost MORE than print versions...

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  • Daniel P. B. Smith
    ... I couldn t figure out what this meant. So I consulted the URL and was dumbfounded to find the following: Gale e-books will be sold as individual units or
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2002
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      > Prices for e-book versions of the
      > Gale collection will increase the prices of the print versions.

      I couldn't figure out what this meant. So I consulted the URL and was
      dumbfounded to find the following:

      Gale e-books will be sold as individual units or in bundles with
      print titles. Although final prices are not yet set, Barnes
      indicated that libraries purchasing only the e-book version would
      generally pay around 10-percent more than the price for the print,
      while purchasers of both print and e-book versions could expect to
      pay 150 percent of the print-only price. He admitted to having heard
      librarian complaints about higher charges for electronic versions,
      but assured me that the costs of hosting, maintaining, and
      supporting electronic products ran higher than printing, binding,
      and shipping costs.

      Gammon said that she knew librarians found the higher pricing
      “counter-intuitive.” She too attributed the difference to what it
      cost to “maintain, build, and service archives, market products,
      design training materials, and supply customer support,” not to
      mention the technological innovation required to improve future
      functionality.

      Speaking of pricing, when Gammon was asked whether netLibrary
      purchases were permanent—i.e., whether libraries do not have to keep
      paying subscription rates to maintain ownership—she described
      netLibrary’s policy as follows: “Libraries have the options to pay
      15 percent of the price of the book annually or 55 percent of the
      price of the book one time. In the latter case, they own the title.
      In the first instance, they do not own the title.”

      I'm confident that in a year or so we'll see a news story "Gale drops
      eBook program," quote a representative as saying that "eBooks are dead;
      the projected demand just never materialized; those old-fashioned
      fuddy-duddy technophobe librarians just prefer the feel and smell of
      paper editions."

      --
      Daniel P. B. Smith
      Current email address: dpbsmith@...
      "Lifetime forwarding" address: dpbsmith@...
    • David P. Dillard
      I found the comments in this message interesting. I agree that some of the pricing models employed by the very strong companies in the publishing and
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 1, 2002
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        I found the comments in this message interesting. I agree that some of
        the pricing models employed by the very strong companies in the publishing
        and electronic publishing field are not seemingly fair. Much ink has been
        expended about this and related issues on the Library Libcensing
        (LIBLICENSE-L) discussion group moderated by Ann Okerson out of Harvard
        University. Reading the archives of this list might be useful for some of
        the members of this list to see the controversial issues between
        libraries, publishers, aggregators and so forth.

        Liblicense-L List
        <http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/index.shtml>

        Liblicense-L List Archives
        http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ListArchives/

        Some publishers have a reputation in the journal publishing field for some
        very large prices for their periodical publications, reading the
        Liblicense list should disclose some of those.

        Gale is part of a much larger resource and is unlikely to get out of the
        electronic publishing field. Gale had some of its reference books like
        the Encyclopedia of Associations on CDRom some years before the end
        of the last millenium. Indeed this publication was available in DIALOG,
        a searching service created in the early nineteen-seventies by Lockheed
        and sold to Knight-Ridder around 1987 and then sold a decade latter to
        MAID, as early as 1991 and probably earlier. Increasingly GALE reference
        tools are being made available online full text. Gale also owns as part
        of its division the database product known as Infotrak which covers
        journal and magazine literature in a range of fields with full text
        content online.

        I use the word division in the above sentence because in more recent times
        there has been a major change in a newspaper publisher in Canada,
        Thompson. Thompson sold all of its Canadian newspapers except the Globe
        and Mail to fund expansion of its resources in the databank and database
        field. Thompson already owned Westlaw. They bought Gale and with it
        Infortrak. MAID was not doing well with Dialog and its Datastar
        subsidiary that Knight Ridder had purchased from Radio Suisse. Thompson
        bought both of those subsidiaries from MAID. They now also own the
        databases of the Institute for Scientific Information which include
        Science, Social Science, and Arts and Humanities Citation Indexes online.

        Dialog
        http://www.dialog.com/

        Dialog Catalog
        http://library.dialog.com/dbcat/

        Dialog Bluesheets
        http://library.dialog.com/bluesheets/

        DataStar Datasheets
        http://ds.datastarweb.com/ds/products/datastar/ds.htm

        Dialog List of Datbase Bluesheets by Database Title
        http://library.dialog.com/bluesheets/html/blf.html

        If one browses the Dialog catalog, one will find a very substantial number
        of full text databases including monographic publications including some
        from its sister company Gale. The King James Bible, by the way is Dialog
        File 297. Given the investment that Thompson has made in Gale and in
        Dialog, I strongly suspect that Gale publications in electronic format
        will not be disappearing from the computer screens of paying customers any
        time soon. The Netlibrary contract allows libraries to lease the Gale
        reference and perhaps other Gale publications rather than pay by use and
        content viewed which would be the case in the online searching model of
        DIALOG.

        One mitigating factor in what libraries will pay for online content from
        Gale and other high priced publishers is that many libraries belong to
        consortia and these consortia may negotiate more favorable contracts for
        their members for the use of these tools.

        Another substantial problem faced by librarians who love that wonderful
        smell of paper is that demand for books in print and online is way down
        compared to the use of magazines and journals online fulltext or in print,
        in part because the databases that are used on the computer with a
        simulated smell of paper to keep us librarians happy focus on periodical
        literature that is abstract or fulltext searchable and leads clients to a
        list of articles rather than books about their topic. Futhermore the use
        of search engines by students and even serious professional researches who
        find some or a significant portion of their content on a variety of web
        pages, reduces the attention accorded to books by those seeking
        information. Electronic and print books are both facing stiff competition
        from other forms of print and electronic media.


        Sincerely,
        David Dillard
        Temple University
        (215) 204 - 4584
        jwne@...

        On Tue, 1 Oct 2002, Daniel P. B. Smith wrote:

        > > Prices for e-book versions of the
        > > Gale collection will increase the prices of the print versions.
        >
        > I couldn't figure out what this meant. So I consulted the URL and was
        > dumbfounded to find the following:
        >
        > Gale e-books will be sold as individual units or in bundles with
        > print titles. Although final prices are not yet set, Barnes
        > indicated that libraries purchasing only the e-book version would
        > generally pay around 10-percent more than the price for the print,
        > while purchasers of both print and e-book versions could expect to
        > pay 150 percent of the print-only price. He admitted to having heard
        > librarian complaints about higher charges for electronic versions,
        > but assured me that the costs of hosting, maintaining, and
        > supporting electronic products ran higher than printing, binding,
        > and shipping costs.
        >
        > Gammon said that she knew librarians found the higher pricing
        > “counter-intuitive.” She too attributed the difference to what it
        > cost to “maintain, build, and service archives, market products,
        > design training materials, and supply customer support,” not to
        > mention the technological innovation required to improve future
        > functionality.
        >
        > Speaking of pricing, when Gammon was asked whether netLibrary
        > purchases were permanent—i.e., whether libraries do not have to keep
        > paying subscription rates to maintain ownership—she described
        > netLibrary’s policy as follows: “Libraries have the options to pay
        > 15 percent of the price of the book annually or 55 percent of the
        > price of the book one time. In the latter case, they own the title.
        > In the first instance, they do not own the title.”
        >
        > I'm confident that in a year or so we'll see a news story "Gale drops
        > eBook program," quote a representative as saying that "eBooks are dead;
        > the projected demand just never materialized; those old-fashioned
        > fuddy-duddy technophobe librarians just prefer the feel and smell of
        > paper editions."

        > Daniel P. B. Smith
        > Current email address: dpbsmith@...
        > "Lifetime forwarding" address: dpbsmith@...
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