Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity

Author : Kathryn M. Conrad

Libraries have a long and distinguished history of publishing, since their earliest days. Traditionally libraries published to expose their collections through bibliographies, facsimiles, and catalogs.

While the Internet has made discovery and dissemination of library holdings easier than ever before, digital publishing technologies have also unlocked compelling new purposes for library publishing, including through Open Access publishing initiatives.

The self-publishing explosion and availability of self-publishing tools and services geared to libraries have heralded new opportunities for libraries, especially public libraries, to engage their communities in new ways.

By supporting self-publishing initiative in their communities, public libraries can promote standards of quality in self-publishing, provide unique opportunities to engage underserved populations, and become true archives of their communities.

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0020.106

From publishers to self-publishing: The disruptive effects of digitalisation on the book industry

Authors : Morten Hviid, Sabine Jacques, Sofia Izquierdo Sanchez

This paper explores the structure of the book publishing industry post-digitalisation. We argue that the introduction of successful e-book readers has belatedly given digitalisation the characteristics of a disruptive technology by making self-publishing a serious option for authors.

This has been supported by the entry of new types of intermediaries and the
strengthening of others. These changes have reduced the overall complexities for an author to get a book self-published.

As a result, a larger share of the surplus from the book industry is likely going to authors, explaining the significant increase in the supply of books. The potential over-supply of books has created a new problem by making consumer search more difficult.

We argue that digitalisation has shifted the potential market failure from inadequate supply of books to asymmetric information about quality.

It remains to be seen whether the market will provide appropriate intermediaries to solve the associated asymmetric information problem and, if not, what appropriate interventions should be contemplated.

URL : https://zenodo.org/record/321609/files/CREATe-Working-Paper-2017-06.pdf