Book and Reading News

Springer to bring MyCopy to U.S., Canada

Imagine libraries that stock themselves organically based on what patrons decide to print. Wright State University librarian Sue Polanka writes that Springer Science+Business Media will bring its MyCopy on-demand book production service to North American libraries beginning next week. She has posted a June 22-dated press release from the company.

This is an intriguing program, because it turns the library into a potential retail distribution point for on-demand books from the Springer 11,000-titles strong e-book library (and, potentially, titles from other publishers that join the initiative through Springer’s MyCopy service). A library visitor can order a soft cover copy of any book in the MyCopy database and receive it with a color copy and black-and-white text for $24.95. The same price applies for all on-demand books provided by MyCopy.

There is no specific discussion of the pricing of on-demand journals from Springer’s 2,000-plus scientific and other journals catalog.

Libraries, of course, could shoulder the cost of creating a copy of an e-book for a patron, but it is more likely that, having paid for access to the e-book collection libraries will let patrons pay for personal paper copies themselves and, perhaps, provide some subsidies for low-income patrons.

The potential, too, exists for self-organizing groups of patrons to pay for a printed copy that remains in the library after they are done with it.

Thirty libraries in the U.S. and Canada participated in the trial phase of the MyCopy service and will be able to offer it immediately to patrons as of the date of the press release.

Book and Reading News

Kindle de-coupled from book sales? No.

The New York Times reports on allegedly revelatory statements by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at a Wired conference in New York today.

In the future,’s Kindle e-book reader will display more book formats beyond its own. And you should also expect to see Kindle books on a lot more devices.

Amazon has, of course, acquired several of the developers of leading e-book formats, most recently Lexcycle, maker of the Stanza Reader that dominates the iPhone platform, or did before Amazon released Kindle for iPhone. It is not surprising that the company will support non-Amazon formats since it already does, including Adobe’s PDF format in the Kindle DX (though without support for internal or external linking and standard navigational features of the PDF), amongst other non-DRM formats, but it is sheer speculation to say that ePub support (which Amazon should support) is coming soon.

What of the question of Kindle hardware’s independence from the Kindle bookstore, which The New York Times says is a startling disclosure? The two groups have long operated separately, but Bezo’s comments today to the effect that he wants to see many different titles in many formats on the Kindle at the $9.99 price point contradicts the significance attributed to his remarks. If a book format