By Edward Nawotka
On Friday, The New York Public library announced that it is offering half a million of its public domain titles on demand, via digital service provider Kirtas. What’s new about the model is that the library won’t have the book digitized, until a copy has actually been purchased in advance. “ New technology has allowed the Library to greatly expand access to its collections,” said Paul LeClerc, President of The New York Public Library. “Now, for the first time, library users are able to order copies of specific items from our vast public domain collections that are useful to them. Additionally the program creates a digital legacy for future users of the same item and a revenue stream to support our operations.” The release adds that “Kirtas currently has 13 partnerships with universities and public libraries to make special collections available for sale online. ” The company’s Web site also lists partnerships in 57 different countries.
The New York Times reports that the Chinese government is looking to build media groups of a size and scale to rival Bloomberg, Time Warner, and News Corp. “In its announcement last week, Beijing said that state-owned groups would be reorganized to allow outside financing so that they could live on their own rather than being attached to government departments as parasites,’” says the paper. It’s similar to a plan which is in place to make publishing companies financially independent of the government in due course. Among the first to benefit from this plan, notes the NYT, is Shanghai Media Group, which “had $1 billion in revenue and $100 million in profit last year.” The paper also suggests, that “Foreign media companies looking for greater access to China’s vast market may be disappointed, analysts say of the new guidelines,” although it also offers a quote from a Chinese media consultant saying that this is a good time for foreigners to go to China to seek partnerships.
PW reports that Grupo Planeta has planned a one million copy first printing of the Spanish-language edition of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol for worldwide distribution. It will be priced at $24.95 and released in as a trade paperback.