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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Magdalini Vasileiou, Richard Hartley and Jennifer Rowley

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the e‐book marketplace players and their services against a context in which e‐books are becoming an increasingly…

6221

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the e‐book marketplace players and their services against a context in which e‐books are becoming an increasingly significant category of digital resource.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts with a brief overview of the literature on the global e‐book market and e‐book business models offered by vendors to libraries. Analysis of the web sites of nine e‐book publishers and 11 e‐book aggregators was used as a basis for profiling the main features of e‐books (user‐oriented features and librarian‐ oriented features) and the services offered by e‐book publishers and e‐book aggregators. Key points from these profiles are discussed, and conclusions and recommendations for the future of the e‐book marketplace are offered.

Findings

The e‐book market is under constant change and it is important to monitor its development, not just at national but also at international level. Currently, the majority of e‐book vendors market to libraries – typically academic libraries, and publishers are increasingly using e‐aggregators to distribute their titles. Collections of e‐books are expanding gradually and there is evidence of increasing uptake. Current e‐book business models are complex and range considerably.

Practical implications

This development of the availability of e‐books could have significant implications for the future role of libraries and for library strategies, policies and processes.

Originality/value

The paper draws attention to the potential of the future importance of e‐books and profiles the uptake of the e‐book marketplace in terms of main players and their services.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Magdalini Vasileiou and Jennifer Rowley

The purpose of this paper is to report research into the marketing and promotion of e‐books, and use this as a case study context to generate insights into approaches in…

11351

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report research into the marketing and promotion of e‐books, and use this as a case study context to generate insights into approaches in academic libraries to the marketing of new services. As such it contributes to the limited empirical research on both the introduction of e‐book services and on marketing in academic libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 25 academic librarians, in seven case study libraries, holding the following posts: subject librarians, e‐resources librarians, or cataloguers. Interviews focussed on: the existence of a promotion/marketing strategy for e‐books; the marketing and promotion tools used to promote e‐books; promotion via academics; the issues and challenges in promoting e‐books; and future plans for the promotion of e‐books.

Findings

None of the libraries had a marketing communication strategy relating to e‐books, yet, on the other hand, most interviewees were able to point to a range of tools used to promote e‐books, and some had plans for improvements in their promotion activities.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates a laissez faire approach to the marketing of potentially significant new services from academic libraries – providing access to e‐books. Recommendations for development focus on taking a strategic approach to marketing and promotion, managing tensions between promotion and supply, innovation in promotional tools, and influencing word‐of‐mouth.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Magdalini Vasileiou, Richard Hartley and Jennifer Rowley

E‐books are an important and growing type of digital resource. Academic libraries have traditionally had a major role in selecting books and making them available to…

3508

Abstract

Purpose

E‐books are an important and growing type of digital resource. Academic libraries have traditionally had a major role in selecting books and making them available to learners, scholars, and researchers. Therefore the processes and criteria that they apply in the selection and acquisition of e‐books may potentially have significant consequences for the future viability of e‐books as a product. This paper aims to report on research into the criteria and processes that academic libraries use to choose e‐books.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 27 librarians in seven academic libraries in the UK.

Findings

Academic libraries purchase e‐books from a portfolio of different vendors. In order to select the books and packages that they acquire they apply a number of criteria, including business models, licence, price, platform, interface, subject coverage, and match to reading lists. High on the list of librarians' concerns are: the variation in and complexity of business models for purchasing, licence variety and digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, and perceived high prices.

Originality/value

This study focuses directly and in depth on the buying and selection processes and criteria. Insights offered by this study may be of value to publishers, aggregators and librarians.

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