April 16, 2014

Simon & Schuster Agrees to Sell “All Iowa Reads” 2013 Winner eBook Edition to Libraries

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Kudos to all involved! Well done! We like how the committee and Wendy Sheanin worked together to get the job done.

It’s also interesting to see what S&S wanted to know before making their decision.

From the Iowa Center for the Book Website:

On Monday December 3,  Wendy Sheanin (Director of Marketing and Adult Publishing Group at Simon & Schuster) notified the Iowa Center for the Book that “The Year We Left Home” [the All Iowa Reads 2013 winner] will be on sale as an eBook on January 1, 2013 and available from OverDrive, a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital content.

Sheanin worked with AIR Committee members Nancy Simpson and Robin Martin to make it possible. “Wendy had the courage to approach the people who count and propose an important change…she risked a good deal by standing up for Iowa’s program,” said Simpson.

“I am so relieved,” said Martin. “Making the AIR book available in multiple formats is essential to our program’s success. With the changes in the publishing industry, we can no longer depend on large print as an option for special needs readers. eBooks offer an alternative when users can adjust the size of text to their needs. When we found out that Simon & Schuster did not sell ebooks to libraries, my heart sank. We were on a mission from that day forward.”

Simpson and Martin provided answers to a series of questions asked by S&S such as the history of the AIR program (now in its 11th year), how many Iowans read the AIR selection, how many copies are sold, names of past AIR titles, circulation numbers. “We gave the data we have,” said Martin. “While we don’t know the exact number of circulations of our selections, we do know that Iowa libraries own a total of 300 to 400 copies of each of the previous AIR titles. At least 100 libraries hold AIR book discussions annually. We were able to persuade Wendy of the impact that All Iowa Reads has had on our communities thanks to the feedback from Iowa librarians and individuals who participate.”

Read the Complete Blog Post

Hat Tip and Thanks: @mattrweaver

UPDATE: Jeremy Greenfield at Digital Book World has posted a comment from S&S stating:

“It doesn’t signal a policy change but it does indicate that we can be flexible where circumstances merit,” said [S&S spokesperson Adam] Rothberg, adding the Simon & Schuster is currently in talks with members of the library community about its library ebook policy.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.