Thursday, July 07, 2016

eBook Updates, pricing and trends

Based on an annual study from Follett and School Library Journal, we can see that the percent of school libraries offering eBooks has plateaued, although the size of the collections continues to grow:

Perhaps this is due to the disparity in pricing and availability, which while better than a few years ago, is still an issue for libraries.  Based on work pioneered at Douglas County Public Library, we looked at comparable prices for this year’s Abe Lincoln award nominees:

The above chart basically shows that a librarian could buy roughly 20 (21) hardcovers OR 40 paperbacks OR 18 ebooks for the same money ($320 to $325). That amount is roughly double the cost that an individual would spend on Amazon ($172) to buy the same eBooks or, again, roughly double the cost of buying one paperback copy ($161) of each title.  Prices are as of June 2016.  Perhaps we will see some movement in the future as more consolidations occur.  This past spring, Follett purchased Baker & Taylor and last year, OverDrive announced it was being acquired.

Do you have an interesting way to promote eBooks?  Let us know.  Interested in etextbooks use of digital content in schools? Check out this joint report from ASCD and OverDrive, published in April 2016.