September 29, 2011
Are eBooks Destined to Become the "8-track Tape" of the 21st Century?
In the context of current law eBook offerings, I think we can conclude from Jean O'Grady's recent Dewey B Strategic post the answer to the title question is "yes." ("The more I talk to publishers about the model for "circulating" multi-volume treatises, the more I am disheartened at the predominance of print based paradigms.") While not addressing the prospect eventual development of enhanced law eBooks as discussed here, O'Grady does offer our major vendors some advice in the context of the private sector. Remember this is the market sector that really drives the entire legal publishing industry market:
Law Firms Need A Different Model - Law Books and Lawyers are Different
Law firms are not public libraries. We are purchasing corporate access to content, we need a model that permits the unfettered access to appropriate units of content on an "as needed" basis.
Treatises are not monographs - they are complex organisms that change over time.
Lawyers need information not "volumes."
Lawyers require updating by "push " not "pull."
Even in the two other, fairly insignificant to vendors based on their total spending, market sectors, ah that would be the legal academy and the public sector, I wouldn't recommend wasting a single penny of buying the current iteration of eBooks. I, for one, don't care if my statutory or public patrons are asking for them (they aren't). However, if they want an 8-track, they can spend their own funds. I wouldn't even provide the current (read lame format) law eBooks to patrons at no cost if WEXIS were to offer them.
Until professional grade law eBooks come to market, I'm just saying "no." O'Grady's "8-track" characterization is dead-on. For more, check out her eBooks: Why are Publishers Pouring Digital Content into 19th Century Wineskins? [JH]
I don't think anyone uses our eBook offerings. They are a HUGE pain to use-- one has to load each page individually. There's no scrolling down to multiple pages. And who is going to wait ten seconds to turn the page?
I'd far rather read a PDF than an eBook. Either they need some usability design and testing, or they need to just drop them altogether.
Posted by: Lorelle Anderson | Sep 29, 2011 7:16:42 AM