Macmillan will sell e-books to libraries, but it won’t stop their downfall

http://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2012/11/23/06/11/book-67049_640.jpg

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/01/macmillan-will-sell-e-books-to-libraries-in-pilot-program-at-25-per-title/

The big six have still not hired anyone to help them understand history.  In 1992 I owned a growing chain of video stores.  The movie companies had a difficult time with us.  They didn’t want us to rent videos, but realized they couldn’t NOT sell to us (for many years the income we created was typically more than made in the theaters).  So, they artificially inflated the price of most movies to “offset their losses”.  Want to buy Patriot Games?  It’s gonna cost you about $100 in 1992 (Though Disney’s Aladdin would only cost you $24.95).  It worked for a while, but when’s the last time you went to a video store (no fair counting Red Box).  Fast forward a few years… Spotify, Pandora, many others…  Music companies continue to struggle with music licensing, but at least they’ve started to move (too slowly) in the right direction.  Yet, book publishers continue to operate in the “completely clueless” category.  (Clueless would have also been about $100, btw).

I’ve long since stopped buying most of my books from publishers.   There are amazing resources online for open education texts, and most of my casual reading comes from self-published authors on Amazon.   Meanwhile, the big six are biting one of the last few hands that feed them.  Libraries are still happy to pay a LOT of money for books (unlike me).  However, if they keep being starved out of the market, they’ll soon stop being “places where you check out books”.  Public libraries are already figuring out that they are gathering and learning places.  It’s only a matter of time before they figure out a new business model that doesn’t include paying obscene rates to book publishers at all.

It’s a shame that publishers always seem to take this approach.  All I can hope is that the few successful authors out there realize that the ride isn’t going to last much longer.  I don’t begrudge any writer accepting a big contract from a publisher… but I hope they’ve been saving up for the coming rainy day.

Lecture Capture Class for Faculty

Image of Lens
http://pixabay.com/en/video-icon-glass-lens-cartoon-36860/

Monday I’ll do a short faculty learning session on lecture capture. I’m really talking less about the technology and more about the pedagogy I’ll talk about flipping the classroom, as well as recording F2F classes for archive and study assistance. I’ll present some of the research we’ve done at Virginia Western Community College with the students over the last two years. So, the question is, what else should I talk about? Anything burning in your minds that I should cover?

The year of the social monkey…

Just how many “social” platforms are out there now?  How do we know which ones to use?   It’s going to be a crazy year for everyone’s favorite monkey (for those of you that don’t know, I’m half of “Einstein’s Monkey“) as I explore even more.  This year’s goal?  To figure out what combination of online communications seem to be most effective for me.  More Twitter, more YouTube, more what else???

Stay tuned!