News update

A few articles that caught my eye.

Ebooks VAT should be slashed to zero in 2012 budget, say publishers The Guardian

Publishers Association adds voice to 5,000-strong petition calling for VAT on ebooks to be abolished, to align with print books”

If VAT was abolished it would at least be easier for consumers to properly compare prices with printed editions. And after that, libraries can ask why they’re not getting the same discout that they get from book suppliers rather than publisher’s prices…

“Skoobe: the new word in ebook libraries The Observer

E-lenders are blooming, encouraging readers to borrow new books at cheaper prices. But do publishers and writers benefit?”

 “Munich-based startup Skoobe (read it backwards) charges users €9.99 a month to borrow up to two titles for 30 days.”

This whole article appears to be written by someone who can’t be bothered to look into how UK libraries loan eBooks for free. 9.99 for 2 eBook loans per month? That’s almost as much as it’ll cost to buy a couple of eBooks. Lazy journalism.

“Ebooks: the format of the academic future The Guardian

Steven Schwartz explains why more universities should start publishing ebooks and how they benefit students”

A bit of a self-indulgent article (pot, kettle, black), but there’s a good point buried in there about textbooks actually making proper use of the digital medium (interactive media et al) rather than just being digitised monographs.

“”Major change” predicted for French e-book market” The Bookseller

Although this “does not mean that we will no longer read printed books tomorrow”, e-books will benefit from the continuing success of reading devices and tablets

A major conclusion reached in my inset yesterday. eBooks and print books are best used in combination.