Selling Online Academic Content: New Business Models

Most scholarly publishers have been feeling the adverse effects of difficult market conditions over the past few years. Libraries have on the whole been investing more in online products that provide access to more content than traditional books-on-shelves would. Academic publishers are rethinking the ways in which they package their content. Digital products such as University Press Scholarship Online (Oxford University Press), University Publishing Online (Cambridge University Press), SAGE Knowledge and Wiley Online Library (John Wiley and Sons) mean a thousands of books are at the fingertips of researchers, students and academics at institutions around the world. However, the collections that these products are split into are still prohibitively expensive for many smaller institutional libraries, leaving a chunk of the potential market untapped. So, what are academic publishers doing to make these products accessible for all?

The answer lies in the models which publishers are adopting to make these products appealing for smaller libraries. Over the last few years, several models have been adopted to allow libraries to continue expanding their e-book collections, answering their patrons’ content needs but remaining within budget. Two of the more common models are evidence-based acquisition (EBA) and demand-driven acquisition (DDA) (or patron-drive acquisition, PDA), which allow libraries to purchase access to e-books that their patrons will actually use. Under these models, the patrons’ use of resources (which is monitored by the library and the publisher) ultimately decides which titles are purchased for perpetual access. The difference is that under the DDA/PDA model patrons make recommendations and collection data is reviewed, whereas EBA allows for a full title-by-title analysis of usage at the end of an access period.

How these models work is that a library purchases access to a collection of e-books up-front for an extended period of time (normally six to twelve months). Throughout the access period, usage is monitored, to ensure the library’s patrons are getting as much out of the collection as possible. The library will at last decide, based on usage statistics, which titles they wish to include perpetually in their e-book collection.

Early trials of these models proved to be unconvincing in arguments for libraries to change their purchasing habits, as libraries spent too much too quickly and the models were rather more complex than purchasing print. However, as more information and evidence is available, purchasing content is this manner is becoming more desirable. Experiments are still being conducted with how to attain ultimate cost effectiveness for libraries (e.g. this pilot at the University of Central Florida Libraries), aiming to understand how patrons use scholarly content and how publishers can best deliver it.

Digital platforms for scholarly publishing will continue to gain in importance, and publishers need to recognise this by adapting sales models to answer this demand. With EBA and DDA/PDA, there is a slow change in this. Time will tell whether these models become the norm in accessing academic monographs from leading publishers.

More information about these models can be found in the white paper Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs prepared by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).

Selling Online Academic Content: New Business Models

Most scholarly publishers have been feeling the adverse effects of difficult market conditions over the past few years. Libraries have on the whole been investing more in online products that provide access to more content than traditional books-on-shelves would. Academic publishers are rethinking the ways in which they package their content. Digital products such as University Press Scholarship Online (Oxford University Press), University Publishing Online (Cambridge University Press), SAGE Knowledge and Wiley Online Library (John Wiley and Sons) mean a thousands of books are at the fingertips of researchers, students, and academics at institutions around the world. However, the collections that these products are split into are still prohibitively expensive for many smaller institutional libraries, leaving a chunk of the potential market untapped. So, what are academic publishers doing to make these products accessible for all?

The answer lies in the models publishers are adopting to make these products appealing for smaller libraries. Over the last few years, several models have been adopted to allow libraries to continue expanding their e-book collections, answering their patrons’ content needs but remaining within budget. Two of the more common models are evidence-based acquisition (EBA) and demand-driven acquisition (DDA) (or patron-drive acquisition, PDA), which allow libraries to purchase access to e-books that their patrons will actually use. Under these models, the patrons’ use of resources (which is monitored by the library and the publisher) ultimately decides which titles are purchased for perpetual access. The difference is that under the DDA/PDA model patrons make recommendations and collection data is reviewed, whereas EBA allows for a full title-by-title analysis of usage at the end of an access period.

How these models work is that a library purchases access to a collection of e-books up-front for an extended period of time (normally six to twelve months). Throughout the access period, usage is monitored, to ensure the library’s patrons are getting as much out of the collection as possible. The library will at last decide, based on usage statistics, which titles they wish to include perpetually in their e-book collection.

Early trials of these models proved to be unconvincing in arguments for libraries to change their purchasing habits, as libraries spent too much too quickly and the models were rather more complex than purchasing print. However, as more information and evidence is available, purchasing content is this manner is becoming more desirable. Experiments are still being conducted with how to attain ultimate cost effectiveness for libraries (e.g. this pilot at the University of Central Florida Libraries), aiming to understand how patrons use scholarly content and how publishers can best deliver it.

Digital platforms for scholarly publishing will continue to gain in importance, and publishers need to recognise this by adapting sales models to answer this demand. With EBA and DDA/PDA, there is a slow change in this. Time will tell whether these models become the norm in accessing academic monographs from leading publishers.

More information about these models can be found in the white paper Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs prepared by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).

Tamarindo Communications Intern and Graduate Evening

Considering a career in communications? Enthusiastic about energy? Please join Tamarindo Communications on 22nd February 2017 at the Turl Street Kitchen. (Rumour has it there may be free beer.)

Tamarindo Communications are on the search for new talent as part of their Internship and Graduate programmes.

They are a strategic, commercially focused PR and communications advisory based in central Oxford. They provide consultancy and advice to established global businesses and fast-growing young firms within the renewable energy, maritime, and financial services sectors.

It's free to join, but please register at the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/intern-and-graduate-evening-tickets-31354667655?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing

 

Welcome to Scion

March will see the publication of the third instalment in Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season series. The books are a must-read for fans of the urban fantasy or supernatural dystopian genres.

Shannon published the first book of the series in 2013 at just 21 years old, acquiring a six-figure deal for a potential seven-book series that aspiring authors would be envious of. Since then the film rights have been picked up by Imaginarium Studios, owned by Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish.

Samantha Shannon’s work is influenced somewhat by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as well as George Orwell’s books, and centres on Paige Mahoney, a ‘dreamwalker’ living in a high-security society called Scion, located in London in the year 2059. The first book sees her kidnapped and taken to Oxford, now turned secret prison camp for people like her who go against the system. Here she meets the Rephaim, a community of otherworldly beings and one in particular, Warden, who is placed as her keeper and soon appears to have a secret motive when it comes to Paige’s abilities. The subsequent books in the series see Paige embrace her abilities and challenge the Scion government, further exploring her relationship with the Rephaim and allowing readers to experience the world Shannon has created in more depth.

Shannon has been likened to J. K. Rowling which isn’t surprising when you look at the rich, multi-layered fantasy world she has created. Her characters feature in an alternative land as unique and three-dimensional as those created by the likes of Philip Pullman and C. S. Lewis. With its seven orders of clairvoyants, alternative slang, and an entire alternate history of wars, uprisings and factions, the Bone Season series displays an extensive amount of world-building and research that has gone into this project.

Interestingly, the idea for the novel came to the author while she was interning at David Godwin Associates literary agency, the very same agency that went on to represent her completed first novel. After promoting the novel at the London Book fair the agency sold the rights to Bloomsbury, and Shannon has made her home there ever since.

Samantha Shannon, having studied at Oxford University, has visited the city on occasion to talk about her books and carry out book signings, so here’s hoping next year will see her return after the publication of The Song Rising—watch this space!

Welcoming the New London and UK SYP Chairs for 2017

The Society of Young Publishers (SYP) are pleased to announce the new appointment of its 2017 chairs.

These poignant appointments will see the start of a new structure for the SYP with the creation of an independent UK committee, previously conjoined within the London branch.

The first to take up UK chair for 2017 in this new structure is Alice Geary.

The London branch chair for 2017 will be Louise Newton.

Alice said: "A real focus for the SYP last year was to raise awareness of the society as a united body working across the 5 regional branches, and separating the UK Chair role from the London committee is a great opportunity to further strengthen the society’s brand and relations. It's a huge honour to have been made UK Chair 2017 and I am delighted to be working with such an inspiring and dedicated team in the year ahead."

Louise said: "I'm very pleased to be spending my final year on the SYP committee as 2017 London Chair. The SYP were incredibly supportive when I started out in the industry and I am eager to continue to offer that same level of support, and to grow and sustain the SYP for future members."

You can follow Alice and Louise on Twitter:

@alice_geary1

@NewtonLou

SYP Oxford Needs YOU! – applications now open for 2017 committee

Applications for SYP Oxford's 2017 committee are now open! Want to be part of it?

Click here to see what positions are available and apply.

The committee roles are open for all applications, although some roles require a member to have been on the committee for at least a year before applying.

The Oxford committee term runs from January 2017 to January 2018.

Applications for all committee roles advertised are open to all, although some roles require a member to have been on the committee for at least a year before applying.

Applications are open until Friday 20th January and successful candidates will be contacted after the deadline. Good luck!

APPLY NOW

 

KIM SCOTT WALWYN PRIZE RELAUNCHES in 2017

The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize is back for 2017 and opens for submissions today – Monday 09 January.

The Prize recognises the professional achievements and promise of women in publishing and is open to any woman who has worked in publishing in the UK for up to seven years.
To enter either get yourself nominated by 5PM Friday 27th January OR self-nominate by 5PM Friday 10th February.

Entry forms can be found at https://kimscottwalwyn.org

The winner of the prize receives £1000 sponsored by the SYP and a 2-day training course of their choice at the PTC.


See the full official press release here


 

The Limitations of a Masterpiece

In this blog post, Shauna Nolan Doyle shares her thoughts on the phenomenon where authors who have produced numerous novels are often only known for one popular novel, and the effect this has on often obscuring their other equally important work.

When an author becomes renowned in the literary tradition, it is often the case that one novel in particular accumulates the vast majority of attention amongst readers and critics alike. It is, of course, only right that authors are recognised for their contributions to literature. However, there are limitations which this can impose upon the author and their other works, limitations which some authors go on to resent as their careers progress. It is not just authors who are inclined to feel strongly about the aftermath of their ‘masterpiece’; their readers can also become frustrated with the fame one novel receives, whilst the other works are nowhere near as widely read or discussed.

There are countless authors in the literary canon that are easily recognised for having produced a particularly famous work. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813), Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather (1969), are titles most readily associated with their authors. These novels are from varying time periods and different genres, yet something about these novels in particular captured the attention of millions of readers. The only drawback of this recognition is that their other works are often overshadowed, or at the very least repeatedly compared to, what the majority deem to be their single masterpiece. In fact, all three of these well ­known authors produced a vast wealth of literature which is largely ignored.

It goes without saying that authors do not get the right to dictate how their work is received by readers once it has been published. In the case of Puzo’s The Godfather the author admitted to not having much pride in the book; he is said to have only written it “to make money”, yet this is a book which sold millions of copies before the infamous movie was even thought of. Puzo, perhaps more than any author, has a vast oeuvre which was condemned to do nothing more than gather dust. The Fourth K (1990) is set during the fictional presidency of Francis Xavier Kennedy; it was not a success but Puzo dubbed it his “most ambitious” project. The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965) is the novel that Puzo felt deserved the success that The Godfather received, but it is not for the writer to decide the fate of their novels. It is also impossible to truly determine what makes one book succeed where the others fail.

Neither can the readers who decide to read the majority (or all) of an author’s works determine why the masses only recognise the importance of a single novel. As an avid reader of anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, I’ve found that my patience for discussing The Great Gatsby has all but disappeared. I appreciate that it is a spectacular book, but his worth as an author is not determined by Gatsby alone. Authors deserve recognition for their entire contribution to literature; the work that is deemed a masterpiece by the masses is by no means less valid than the other works which authors spend months perfecting for the enjoyment of the public. Reading some of the lesser known works of well known authors allows readers to follow the artistic development of an author; without making an effort to appreciate varying literary contributions, the perspective of the reader will remain a limited one.

Former SYP committee members win Young Stationers’ Prize

The 2016 Young Stationers' Prize has been awarded to Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods, the founders of Diamond Kahn & Woods  Literary Agency. The winners are also former Society of Young Publishers committee members -- Ella Kahn was Chair and Bryony Woods was Student Liaison Officer in 2011.

From left to right: Angela Clarke (2015 winner), Bryony Woods and Ella Kahn.

From left to right Angela Clarke (2015 winner), Bryony Woods and Ella Kahn.

In her announcement of the award on 19 July, Sue Pandit, Court Assistant and Chair of the Judging Panel, recognized the quality of entries for this year’s award and the challenges faced by the judging panel in selecting the winner.

Ella and Bryony co-founded the Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency in 2012, when they were both in their mid-twenties. Their business was built from scratch with no investment and no client list. They taught themselves the practicalities of running a business, from tax and accounting to setting up a website. They have now signed over 40 authors and have sold over 40 titles to major publishers in the UK and abroad. Their client list spans children’s fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction - with a number of prize-winning authors. They are passionate about searching for new and diverse writing talent from writers of all backgrounds. Both advocate for young people seeking careers in publishing.

The Stationers' Company is the City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content industries. The Company’s mission is to be the most effective independent forum in the UK Communications and Content industries, actively contributing to the strategic development, success and education of these industries. The majority of our members work in or supply the paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspaper, broadcasting and online media industries.

Discounted tickets to BookMachine/Unite event – United, We Publish II: ‘Your Pay – Your Say?’

 

The SYP have 10 discounted tickets to give away to upcoming event United, We Publish II: Your pay  - your say?, a discussion about pay and conditions for workers in the publishing industry, organised by BookMachine and trade union UNITE. It will be an evening of workshops with food and drink included in the ticket price.

The keynote speaker will be Owen Jones, columnist at The Guardian and author of Chavs: The  Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment – And How They Get Away With It.

Owen-Jones

Picture: Owen Jones

Other speakers on the night will also include:

  • Tania Hummel, an executive coach and HR professional,
  • Simon Dubbins, Director of International and Research for UNITE
  • Michelle Stanistreet, the first woman general secretary in the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)'s history

SYP UK Chair 2016, Zara Markland, said of the BookMachine/Unite 'United, We Publish' events:

“The previous event in 2015 provided an introduction and an insight into the valuable role trade unions play in publishing and journalism. Everyone at the event I talked to said they really enjoyed learning how the trade union was relevant to their role and that they came away with lots of information and knowledge about their rights in the workplace. I certainly felt personally more empowered, more aware and completely enthused to help improve working conditions within the industry. This event I'm sure will be just as insightful, especially with Owen Jones on board with his first hand knowledge and insight. I can't wait! ”


When? 14 July 2016, 6.30pm
Where? St. Bride's Foundation, London
How much? £15 on the doors, £8 early bird (until 24 June), £5 BookMachine/Unite members/SYP discount (until 14 July)

You have until 14 July to be one of the 10 lucky SYP members to collect your £5 ticket  using the promo code 'SYPFOLKS' 

**Click here to buy your ticket and for more info.**

 

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