News

Macmillan Announces Library Ebook Embargo, New Lending Terms

Macmillan Announces Library Ebook Embargo, New Lending Terms

In a letter sent to “Macmillan Authors, Macmillan Illustrators, and Agents“ on Thursday, July 25th, Macmillan CEO John Sargent announced new lending terms and pricing for library ebooks, claiming library lending was “cannibalizing sales“ and impacting royalties as revenue from library sales are “a small fraction of the revenue we share with you on a retail read. While the embargo is disappointing news for libraries, authors, and, most importantly, readers—it reinforces the need for a cross-industry initiative to identify ways publishers and libraries can continue to support their intrinsically related missions while delivering mutually beneficial outcomes. We encourage more publishers, independent booksellers, authors, agents, and allied associations and vendors to collaborate with us and help measure the real impact libraries have on developing readers, driving book discovery, and generating book sales in their local communities, and beyond.

Meet Our New Project Lead: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

Meet Our New Project Lead: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

We are happy to announce the new Project Lead for Panorama Project. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez is an entrepreneurial media and marketing professional with 25 years’ experience in consumer and B2B publishing, and a history of building strong relationships with communities, colleagues and clients. Based in New York, his first real job was a Page at Mt. Vernon Public Library which nurtured his love of reading and introduced him to the full spectrum of the publishing industry.

Panorama Project Meeting at ALA Annual Draws Another Large Crowd

We drew another large crowd at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC on June 23 for our one-hour session “Update from The Panorama Project: Addressing the Challenges for Library Digital Book Lending.”

Steve Potash, founder and CEO of Rakuten OverDrive, welcomed the 65-plus attendees and provided some background on the ideas and concerns that led to the creation of the Panorama Project over a year ago.

Sari Feldman (Executive Director, Cuyahoga County Library and former ALA President) delivered an update on critical issues regarding digital library lending, including recent changes in terms for digital use from two publishers. Sari called for all librarians to join the effort to gather and share data to show that “libraries build readership.”

Alexis Petric-Black (Senior Manager, Publisher Relations, Rakuten OverDrive) introduced Panorama Picks—our recently launched program that uses library demand data to reveal opportunities for booksellers, publishers, authors and libraries.

Sharon Bruni (Associate Director of Public Services, Mt. Lebanon Public Library) then presented the initial findings from the Project’s recent survey of Readers’ Advisory activities (see the session slides for details). The survey findings demonstrate the variety, volume and impact of library Readers’ Advisory activities on book/author discovery, brand development and sales.

Becky Spratford (librarian and founder of RA for All) closed the session with tips on how libraries can address the online and social media promotion opportunities surfaced in the initial survey results. Click here to read Becky’s blog post summarizing her talk. The post also includes lots of helpful links.

Click here to view and download the session slides.

The Second Edition of Our Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities is Now Available

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We’re delighted to announce that the second edition of the Project’s Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities is now available—online and as a downloadable PDF. This revised version of the Directory includes a new appendix on Listeners' Advisory as well as a significant update of the Librarian Networking and Training appendix.

The Directory is the work of the Project’s Readers’ Advisory Impact Committee (RAIC)—a group of over 40 librarians and industry professional convened in fall 2018 by the Panorama Project to research and document the wide variety of Readers’ Advisory services, activities, and title recommendations provided by public libraries and librarians. The committee invites readers to share their feedback on the Directory and submit additional activities, examples and useful links.

The committee is currently analyzing the 400-plus responses it received from its recent survey of public libraries on their Readers’ Advisory activities and will issue a report later this summer.

Learn more about the Panorama Project Reader’s Advisory Impact Committee.

Our Book Expo 2019 Session on Readers’ Advisory and Panorama Picks Drew a Crowd

Over 175 people joined us at Book Expo 2019 in New York for our session, Learn How Public Libraries Impact Title/Author Discovery and Book Sales: Data-Driven Insights from the Panorama Project. It was an engaged audience of booksellers, vendors, publishers and librarians and we received positive reviews afterward.

Bill Kelly (Adult Programming Manager, Cuyahoga County Public Library) provided an update on the breadth of U.S. public libraries and how CCPL drives sales at its author events. In 2018 over 11,000 books were sold at 93 events—by the library and its independent bookselling partner, Mac’s Backs.

Alexis Petric-Black (Senior Publisher Relations Manager, Rakuten OverDrive) introduced Panorama Picks, our new program that reveals unmet demand for books and sales opportunities for booksellers. The program provides a series of regional lists of titles compiled from the wait lists for ebooks at local libraries. The initial lists are available now. Updated lists will be published on a quarterly basis. Click here to learn more and sign-up to be notified when new lists are published.

Book Expo panel members Cliff Guren, Bill Kelly, Alexis Petric-Black and Skip Dye

Book Expo panel members Cliff Guren, Bill Kelly, Alexis Petric-Black and Skip Dye

Skip Dye (VP of Library Marketing and Digital Sales and VP of Sales Operations, Penguin Random House) closed the session with insights on how PRH works with libraries to launch new authors and titles. With the longhand belief that library patrons are key influencers, PRH actively markets to library readers, in the library, in the library’s online platforms, and on a variety of social media sites. Skip is also a big believer in the power of print promotion in libraries: he noted that he’s often surprised how long the posters they distribute to libraries stay on the walls!

Click here to view and download the session slides.

Panorama Picks is Live!

Today we are introducing a new program called Panorama Picks that reveals unmet demand for books and sales opportunities for booksellers. Panorama Picks is based on demand for books that readers are waiting to borrow from the nation’s public libraries. The program provides a series of regional lists of titles compiled from the wait lists for ebooks at local libraries. The lists will be updated on a quarterly basis.

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The Panorama Picks lists also provide valuable insights to publishers and authors. We expect that the data will be used to uncover trends—demand data from the library can be a leading indicator of the next hot genre or subcategory that booksellers, publishers and authors can leverage. The lists can tell a story and we’re excited to make them available.

Visit the Panorama Picks webpage to learn more, sign-up to be notified when new lists are available, take our short survey on the program and share your feedback. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on Panorama Picks!

Community Reading Event Report Update

Last November we published our Community Reading Event Impact Report which presented our findings on the impact of the April 2018 Big Library Reads event on the sales of first-time author Jennifer McGaha’s Flat Broke with Two Goats (Sourcebooks, 2018). The report tracked sales of the book from its publication in January through May 2018. This post provides additional insight on the impact of the campaign over the remainder of 2018. The update is based on sales and marketing data generously provided by Sourcebooks.

While print and ebook sales declined following the community reading event in early April and Sourcebooks’ social media campaign in late April/early May, the publisher reported that the rate of decline was slower than usual for similar titles. Sales in June, July, and early August remained close to the pre-campaign sales levels the title established in March.

Ebook Unit Sales

In addition, the strong sales that the title enjoyed during the community reading event generated enough sustained interest to warrant two special ebook promotions--one in July and one in November. These promotions clearly impacted ebook sales (as seen below), but also correspond to increases in print sales during the same time periods.

Print Unit Sales

The July promotion drove sales volumes close to the peak volumes established during the community reading event. The November promotion drove another substantial lift. (Note that December ebook sales numbers were not available for this update.) Post-campaign ebook sales (May through November) stayed above pre-campaign levels.

We will be conducting additional community reading event studies throughout 2019.

Panorama Project Open Meeting Draws a Crowd at ALA Midwinter

Our open meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle drew quite a crowd—75 people joined us for an update on the project and a preview of our 2019 research plans. The session began with Steve Potash (Founder & CEO, Rakuten OverDrive) speaking about the ongoing need for objective data that can help educate the publishing community on the valuable work libraries do to connect readers with books and authors. Cliff Guren (Panorama Project lead) then recapped the project’s accomplishments over the past 10 months and gave an update (posted here) on the 2018 sales of Flat Broke with Two Goats, the title highlighted in the project‘s recently published Community Reading Event Impact Report.

Cliff then introduced a new initiative called Panorama Picks. This project uses aggregated, anonymized library ebook demand data to surface titles beyond the current bestseller list in high demand at public libraries. The project will compile lists of in demand adult and young-adult fiction and non-fiction titles on a quarterly basis. The lists will be shared with booksellers at no cost to help raise the visibility of the titles and promote sales. More information on Panorama Picks will be posted closer to the target launch date in late March.

The focus then turned to Readers’ Advisory. Magan Szwarek (Director of Reference Services at the Schaumburg, Illinois Township District Library and Readers‘ Advisory Impact Committee co-chair) introduced the committee’s first work product. The Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities catalogs the many services, programs, and marketing campaigns that public libraries and librarians, use to connect readers with books and authors. This first of its kind publication is the work of a committee of over 40 librarians and industry professional convened in fall 2018 by the Panorama Project. The full directory and a quick guide to Readers’ Advisory are available for download. You can also browse an online version of the full directory. The committee invites readers to share their feedback and submit additional activities, examples and useful links.

We were delighted to see that our open meeting was one of the sessions highlighted in Publishers Weekly’s show summary.

Learn more about the Readers’ Advisory Impact Committee and the Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities

View/download our media alert on the publication of the directory (PDF)

View/download the session presentation (PDF)

Panorama Project “Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities” Now Available

The Panorama Project Readers’ Advisory Impact Committee (RAIC) has published its first work product. The committee’s Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities catalogs the many services, programs, and marketing campaigns that 16,000-plus U.S. public libraries and over 45,000 public librarians use to connect readers with books and authors. This first of its kind publication is the work of a committee of over 40 librarians and industry professional convened in fall 2018 by the Panorama Project. The RAIC introduced the directory at the Panorama Project’s open meeting at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference. The full directory and a quick guide to Readers’ Advisory are available for download. You can also browse an online version of the full directory. The committee invites readers to share their feedback and submit additional activities, examples and useful links.

The directory provides descriptions and examples for 16 book/author recommendation services and activities. They include librarian-to-patron activities such as in-person conversations and recommendations, and library-to-community activities such as reading groups and book clubs, newsletters, author events, and a wide range of social media activities and virtual displays. The committee will continue cataloging Readers’ Advisory activities and reference examples. Updates will be published on a regular basis. Next, the committee will be surveying the country’s public libraries to determine which advisory activities are most prevalent and measure the effectiveness of the most widely adopted activities.

The Panorama Project convened the RAIC to research and document the wide variety of Readers’ Advisory services, activities, and title recommendations provided by public libraries and librarians. The committee is co-chaired by Bill Kelly (Adult Programming Manager, Cuyahoga County Public Library), Cindy Orr (Digital Collection Advisor, OverDrive), and Magan Swarek (Director of Reference Services, Schaumburg Township District Library).

Learn more about the Panorama Project Reader’s Advisory Impact Committee.