Anthony Haynes writes: As one of our previous posts explained, we supply Teaching Creative Writing (edited by Elaine Walker, published 30 June) to libraries in a variety of formats – in print (in hardcover) and as an e-book in PDF and ePub editions.
One of the library suppliers we use for supplying e-books is ebrary. From a publisher’s point of view, we find ebrary very good to work with: in particular, they’re communicative. More importantly, they offer libraries and their readers diverse ways of accessing books.
For example, a library can subscribe to ebrary’s database, providing multi-user access. It can offer patron-driven acquisition, whereby readers can access a vast range of e-books and library purchase is triggered only by a certain level of usage (this puts an end to the problem of libraries acquiring some books that nobody in fact reads). Or the library can borrow an e-book on short-term loan. Or it can buy the e-book outright. A straightforward slide-show explaining these services is available on ebrary’s website.
In general, the work of library suppliers is little known to individual readers but we think it’s one of the book industry’s quite success stories – especially in the area of e-books. The imagination shown by suppliers such as ebrary has diversified library’s options and the result seems to us to be win-win-win-win: readers can access a wider range of books; libraries can allocate their budgets with maximum efficiency; we’re able to make our books available to large number of libraries and their readers; and, as a result, ebrary makes a return on its investment.