Patrick K. Dawson's Blog: Blog of Novelist Patrick K. Dawson - Posts Tagged "libraries"

Unless you've been hiding behind your book cover, you know that e-books have taken over sales from the days of paper, papyrus, leather, and stone tablets. But what you may not know is the impact from the change on public libraries and you, the readers. Right now it's not good news.

One source stated that 51% of all books published come from the big six publishers. Yet three out of six won't sell e-books to libraries and the other three have high prices or many restrictions. Until publishers can figure out a business model that works for them, that means readers do not have access to many top selling books in electronic formats from their library (including mine if I get picked up soon by the big six.)

It is understandable that publishers and some authors are worried about pirated books, shared e-books with Digital Rights Management issues, and lost revenue streams. But some readers and library officials are asking is shutting out public libraries from e-books the answer?

Don't jump to blame the "big boys" quite yet as they try to react. They're frozen in awe of the rapidly changing market scope and aren't sure of the next steps. Maybe the libraries can help them to see a workable solution light and the public and new authors can too.

Self-published authors have had to turn to creative means through Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook, iBooks, Google Books, CreateSpace, Smashmouth, Goodreads, and other methods to offer e-books to the general public. Critics speak of all the junk in this day and age where anybody and everybody is publishing a book, and not always a good piece of work at that. Yet 16 out the top 100 recent bestsellers came from self-published authors. Readers have found the gems and some self-published authors are then being picked up by the the big six. Even my novel was picked by the readers as a finalist for the 2012 Readers Favorite Award for Chick Lit (http://readersfavorite.com/2012-award... ), while agents and major publishers have not quite discovered me...yet.

So why all of the self-publishing? Agents and big publishers can't keep up with all the book proposals from a public who can easily write, format, and submit manuscripts. But how can they get through all the materials to find the gems? Plus, the gems they have found just prior to the e-book explosion will require alterations to existing contracts to account for an e-book, related royalties, and how to treat classics not in an e-book format.

There are those on the cutting edge trying to adapt within the book industry. Literary Agent Robert Gottlieb, the head of Trident Media Group, started a specialized division to handle e-books in the rapidly changing arena. There is Jamie LaRue, Director of Douglas County libraries in Colorado, and his recent efforts to spearhead changes across the library world. There are likely others rising from the grassroots movement. Getting these players together is a key to success.

So what is the answer? What can be done, and where do you all come into play? How do libraries, publishers, and agents separate the junk, distribute profits, and make books available to the public?

There is a developing plan that is about to grow and impact every library across the world. A leading proponent of this change is Jamie LaRue.

Mr. LaRue has procured an Adobe Content Server as the first library in the world to upload e-book content. He is working with key contacts internationally to figure out a plan to bring e-books to public libraries, replace disappearing revenue from late fees off paperbacks, protect author and publisher content and copyrights through digital rights management, and bring only good and filtered materials for public consumption (not speaking of censure of content or style but quality.) This is no easy task.

How does he get material uploaded in a central repository, make sure the quality is in place for content, log and maintain a growing database, secure rights management, and so much more?

On August 1, 2012 I was invited along with other local and successful authors in the south metro-Denver area to discuss this entire subject in a closed forum held by Mr. LaRue and Lisa Casper, event coordinator for the library . The intent of the forum was in asking authors what we felt about donating e-books to launch the initial phase, what royalty we would be willing to share for marketing exposure, would this marketing exposure lead to other revenue streams to replace declining library revenue, if we were picked up by agents and publishers how we could ensure libraries are protected in our contracts, how to narrow millions of new new books being printed to the quality ones, how to allow a new avenue in exposure for raw talent similar to those guests invited to the forum who are on the cusp of being discovered, and more.

After a few hours, Mr. LaRue and Ms. Casper had quite a bit of new information and ideas that are on the cutting edge of providing you, our loyal readers and fans, access to e-books and the hopes that a good plan will lure a frightened group of big six publishers to come join the fun. Mr. LaRue is assembling materials to present to the Douglas County Board that will enlist their support on Douglas County being the first to lead the charge for change.

But change is scary, be it good or bad change. Companies are no less frightened with change than an individual. The only difference is it takes longer to allay the fears and emotions of a big company. Instead of balking at the efforts of Mr. LaRue and the libraries, the libraries think publishers should reconsider the huge revenue potential that libraries have always given to authors via exposure, translating into sales at book stores and now on-line. Instead of fighting change, publishers should embrace creative ideas, working closely with Mr. LaRue and others like him. This proactive approach may keep some publishers from being left behind. The old cliche' change waits for nobody is still powerful yet often ignore no matter the industry. Eastman Kodak recent bankruptcy is a perfect example and Borders too. "Change" has no favorites when it comes to undercutting.

The day of big book distributors controlling inventory is now being replaced by print on demand orders (or as manufacturing has always called it, just in time manufacturing.) Amazon, Smashmouth, and other sources are making the need for independent distributors and even publishers less important in their old business model. Instead publishers and agents need to see themselves as marketers and promoters of a new breed of authors. This is why I am still interested in them as an author because of their contacts, marketing expertise, and sales channels. The day of needing them as the sole source who could afford to print a book are past. Publishers should consider creating their own print on demand solutions for their authors paperbacks with in-store previewing electronically, reducing inventory costs and returns, and they should pursue buying successful on-line solutions like Goodreads, Smashmouth, and other "buyout" candidates. It won't be long before Google or Amazon does instead.

Agents may consider seeking out new authors who are self-published and share in a higher reward with just two players as opposed to a third that includes a publisher. With so many avenues to self-publish, the agent's expertise, marketing connections, sales channels could squeeze out the need for existing publishers. Book stores may realize that the many changes will force them to consider more print on-demand orders and consignments.

Regardless, as an author, I just want to be read. I want to find as many avenues to fans who will enjoy my novels, whether it's via a bookstore, on-line, or from a library. My hope is that both sides can come together and get it worked out so the readers do not suffer.

What can you do at this point?

Stay tuned to my blog, tweet and re-tweet this post, read Mr. LaRue's blog http://jaslarue.blogspot.com/ , and other great blogs like http://librarianinblack.net/librarian... as the changes continue to unfold, or blog on your own about this important topic.

Read related articles on the e-book world, publishers, and libraries: http://evoke.cvlsites.org/resources-g... ; http://douglascountylibraries.org/con... ; http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/0... ; http://librarianinblack.net/librarian... ; http://www.publiclibrariesonline.org/... ; http://librarycity.org/

And when I get more information. I'll post it to keep you up to date. Feel free to share any comments or feedback that I can pass along to the focus group as we work with Mr. LaRue or contact him via his blog.

Book lovers and creators live in exciting times. This is just another example of a rapidly changing future of the publishing industry.

Cheers - Patrick, author Lessons in the Journey
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E-book lovers of all types of material are 'this close' to getting free library e-books, and you, the reader, can push for it in your hometown library by leveraging the methods started by Colorado's Douglas County Libraries (DCL) and Jamie LaRue, Director of DCL.

This week DCL launched their digital branch and continue to try to influence and drive the movement internationally so you can have access to e-books at libraries from independent and self-published authors to the "big six" publishers (see a link to the new digital branch here: http://douglascountylibraries.org/dig... ).

So what is a part of this change?

A Denver Post YourHub article explained the launching of the eBook Digital Branch August 23, 2012 (unfortunately, no e-version of the story on line yet). The digital push is not just limited to books. The library is making services and content available through tools and apps like OverDrive, Freegal, and Zinio. That means access to e-books, music, and magazines respectively and now through 'DCL to Go' as the tool to download a growing e-book collection through cooperation and partnership with: Tyndale House Publishers, Poisoned Pen Press, Akashic Books, University of California Press, Smashwords, Twilight Times Books, Rosen Publishing, and Reference Point Press. Check DCL to Go of the Douglas County website as offerings continue to grow, featured items appear, and new releases.

As I mentioned in my last blog, many readers can't get access to "big six" published books from a library because publishers won't sell them yet. They have legitimate concerns about content security and also fear libraries can't control an electronic inventory like paperbacks. Both are being proven wrong as Douglas County and others strive to protect the integrity and cash flow of the industry evolving to eBooks.

People ask me, "As an author trying to make a living, why do you support readers not purchasing books but reading them through libraries?" Because as an author or a publisher, libraries have always been a huge marketing player in promoting books that eventually result in increased sales. This won't change but will only increase because of online viewership and website promotion by libraries. In fact, there are now creative ways by public libraries to increase publisher revenue. Readers may buy an eBook through a library's website via a vendor like Bilbary and a partnership like that with DCL. So if a reader likes a book or can't wait for it to free up, they can purchase one just as if they went to Amazon or B&N on-line.

In the article Jamie was quoted as saying, "We continue to champion e-content based on discounted purchasing, content ownership, digital rights management, volume purchasing based on demand, and a 'click to buy' feature. Thanks to our partnership with publishers and our revolutionary platform, we can do what libraries are supposed to do: make it easy for patrons to find new materials."

As Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a change'n," and the option of library patrons avoiding a drive to a physical library by going to a digital one provides yet another platform for readers and the publishing industry alike.

For those who want to know more about the eBook public library efforts that Jamie LaRue is helping to champion, visit his ongoing blog posts :
http://jaslarue.blogspot.com/2012/08/.... I'll continue to pass along tidbits as I hear them..sometimes directly from Jamie.

Happy reading - Patrick, author Lessons in the Journey
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Goodreads author Patrick K. Dawson won Bronze for Readers Favorite's "Chick Lit" category.

The 2012 Readers Favorite Book Awards were announced today on their website (http://readersfavorite.com/2012-award...) and awards will be handed out at the Miami International Book Fair in November.

Winning Authors in this category were:
Gold - Leigh K. Cunningham
Silver - Kate Metz
Bronze - Patrick K. Dawson
Finalist - Bonnie Trachtenberg

Mr. Dawson's book received 5 Stars in the contest's review process by Joy Hannabass, who was the randomly selected reviewer by Readers Favorite for preliminary rounds. (http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/)

"Patrick K. Dawson captures the hearts of his readers in his book 'Lessons in the Journey,' a provoking, moving and heartwarming story that will draw you into its pages and won’t let you go until you finish reading," Ms. Hannabass writes.

Continuing, she said, "We get to know Liz through the flashbacks into her life, meeting the important people in her life along the way. I enjoyed reading the story this way since it gave me the overall feeling of what her life was like: the emotions, the fears, and the pain and suffering she went through. And I could feel the struggles Liz had with her faith throughout her life as well, not at all easy for her. We can take many things from this beautifully written story. I highly recommend this book to everyone. "

Ms. Hannabass had one big surprise from the book. "And for me the most fascinating thing about this book is that it is written by a man. You will wonder how he writes a story so beautifully that it captures the hearts of women. This would be a wonderful book for a book club to read and discuss!"

When asked for comment, Mr. Dawson stated, "I am thrilled to win an award and that the novel has touched so many readers with its realistic story-line."

When asked how it feels to win bronze, he said, "Think how many Olympians just miss the medal stand. I'll take bronze without any complaints and am grateful to the judges, reviewers, and the the many readers."

When asked what's next, Mr. Dawson said, " The standalone sequel is written and I will be shopping both noevls with agents and publishers. In the meantime, I just hope readers will enjoy the first one and spread the word. Readers are an undiscovered author's biggest aide. Many authors, like JK Rowling, started that way. It just takes getting discovered. For example, many fans of Diane Chamberlain are discovering and buying it because of Amazon's Customers Who Bought This Also Bought..."

Who knows, maybe Mr. Dawson will be a breakthrough, bestseller some time soon.

You may read a preview and learn more about Patrick's award winning book by visiting his website at http://www.patrickkdawson.com/index.html ) (or) purchase it via Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Tattered Cover Books Stores, or order through retail outlets.

Read Joy's full review here: http://readersfavorite.com/review/6661

(Press Release - 9/1/12)
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I just wanted to thank the many new readers who have been buying my book, especially Diane Chamberlain fans. Since the announcement of the bronze medal, I have seen a big bump in sales. I appreciate the new readers who are spending hard earned money on me, a new author, and I hope the novel touches you in some way and stirs some thought. I know you have many choices and I thank you for supporting my writing. Thanks to the many who are mentioning it for book clubs.

My standalone sequel, Miracles from the Ashes will soon be going through edits with Hilary Ross, editor for some novels by Stephen King, Ken Follett and Catherine Coulter. Making the transition from the indie-publishing world to the big leagues has been an eye-opener and is like going from singing Karaoke to the finals on Idol to stardom:) I'm not sure where it will all end up, but you all have been along for the journey.

Thanks - Patrick, author - Lessons in the Journey
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For those Colorado readers who need a reminder and those who are not yet aware, Arapahoe County's Koelbel Library is hosting a Colorado Authors event Saturday October 27, 2012 from 1-3. It is open to the public and I will be there to meet readers, fans, sell & sign books, etc. with other local successful Colorado Authors. I'd love to meet you.

Koelbel Library
5955 South Holly Street
Centennial, CO 80121
(303) 220-7704

Hope to see you there and please pass this along to friends and family who may like to attend:)

Patrick, award winning author - Lessons in the Journey
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Well, I officially received my bronze medal from Readers Favorite Saturday in a private ceremony in Miami. I thought of you, Goodreads Readers, as I accepted it and stood in awe at the opportunity you all afforded in my receiving the award. Thanks for being loyal readers/ supporters and spreading the word about the book.

The novel was proudly on display in the Readers Favorite booth at the Miami International Book Fair. I met our awards guest speaker Paul Michael Glaser aka Detective David Starsky on the 1970s television series Starsky and Hutch and had a picture taken with him. I'll post it sometime soon on my website.

My sales continue to do well from word of mouth by recent readers of Diane Chamberlain, Susan Salluce, Eileen Townsend, and Drusilla Campbell. I continue to get great emails and reviews. But knowing I can't please everyone, I occasionally get the bad review about the first novel's spiritual message despite the back cover and reviews mentioning that the main character is questioning her faith, like The Shack and Eat Pray Love. Go figure:) Well, book two - a the standalone sequel - will be more to their liking since it does not focus on a faith journey.

The second book (Miracles From the Ashes) is a story of a mother donating her daughter's organs and some recipients: Mia, a 10 year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who loves life; Alisha, an immigrant teen from India who has a big future in soccer; Michael, a highly driven business professional; Gabriela, a young immigrant mother of two; La-Ron, a bright teenager fighting to survive life in the dangerous projects; and Ashling, a 25 year-old young woman and musician who loves the outdoors in Colorado. Imagine being in either position and how difficult that would be.

Speaking of Miracles From the Ashes, I received my line edits back from Hilary Ross (an editor for Catherine Coulter, Ken Follett, and Stephen King) in NY so I can tweak the minors changes and shop it to top agents and publishers. I'll also be working on a round of copy edits in parallel, but I want to be able to get the book out soon for all of you awaiting its release. Say prayers the big boys and girls in NY et al like it and will pick it up. You can read a preview of book two under the author/ upcoming novel section of my website www.patrickkdawson.com .

And finally, I am starting work on the standalone prequel (Love Across an Ocean). It is a love story about Liz's great grandparents in Italy and their coming to America. The researching and story line process is unfolding in my mind even though I know where the story will go.

Happy reading and Happy Thanksgiving to all my fans, readers, family, and friends. Keep spreading the word.

Patrick
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I know that some of my readers are wondering what is up with the release of book two and the standalone sequel? I haven't dropped off the face of the earth and the book is on the road to publication.

I heard back from a major NY agency who has expressed interest and is asking for a partial rewrite. So book three writing time is on hold as I draft the minor edits and work with my line and copy editor on book two.

Keep the faith and thanks again for your support and spreading the word on book one:)

Patrick, author -
Lessons in the Journey - Readers Favorite Bronze Medal Winner
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