Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Libraries, Librarians and eBooks (or is it Ebooks?)


The Main Building at Macdonald College, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, many moons ago.

There's been a great deal written in the press lately about e-books, supposed price-fixing between Amazon's adversaries, Apple and some others, being the biggest story.

Last week I read an article about how digital books are changing how reading is done (while texting and watching video and uploading to Pinterest) and just yesterday I read a (related?) article claiming that Digital Books are making reading sexy again, well, I read the title of the article.

 I just downloaded three or was it four digital books on my (already outdated) Kindle. 3 Man-Booker winners and a book recommended by the New York Times Review of Books. The latter book is about college baseball and even though I am in the middle of reading it, I can't recall the title or author.

(Unlike with hardcover books, you don't see the title every time you 'pick up' the books.) It's a nice book with very well drawn out characters.

And then there's my own e-book story, Threshold Girl,  not yet widely discussed, except by me, on this blog....

 Radcliffe/Harvard, Cornell, and now OISE, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

These are places with libraries that have added my e-bookThreshold Girl into their collection!

Radcliffe/Harvard has a digital collection, and OISE printed out the e-book for inclusion in  their stacks (even thought it is still a draft) and asked me to inform them when the final draft is completed.

Library and Archives Canada will add Threshold Girl to their collection when the final draft is completed.

Library by library I plug away promoting my e-book, the first in a trilogy about young women in Canada in 1910, based on real letters.

I've made sporadic attempts at getting the attention of librarians.I read up on how University Libraries acquire books and the iffier topic of DIGITAL acquisitions.

Harvard is on the forefront of the digital age, with respect to university collections, no surprise. Most other libraries are in a kind of  limbo.

Years ago, I worked for a e-book publisher, in Montreal. It was an experimental concern - and I can't write anything about it as I signed a three inch thick confidentiality agreement. (Really too bad.)

It just goes to prove that I've been thinking about e-books for a long time now, although, as a reader, I'm not totally won over. I don't feel SEXY reading an e-book. And my right thumb seizes some times, clicking the pages through :)

My story Threshold Girl isn't yet in proper digital format, just pdf. But then some American University librarians surveyed said they still preferred this format.

I tried to make my ebook 'sexy' by adding beautiful plates from the Delineator.

Yes,  Radcliffe, Cornell, and now the University of Toronto have accepted my history-inspired e-book, Threshold Girl for their collections. I should be inspired. You can't get more prestigious than that!

I should be inspired. Inspired to finish Edith's Story (the Diary of a Confirmed Spinster) which is already plotted out and for which I have already received publicity in the Cornwall Ontario Press.

Inspired to contact more university librarians.

You'd think Macdonald College or McGill would like a copy of Threshold Girl. The story takes place at Macdonald in 1911/1912 and is set in Montreal. I sent them a notice and I noticed that McGill downloaded the e-book from my website. But no word as yet.

The Story of Flora Nicholson  is not new to them. The Education Department at McGill has been using the story of Flora to prepare students for their practicum. (Or at least it did in the past.)

Alas, maybe the book is 'too controversial' for a Quebec institution. That Two Solitudes theme.

Well, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is coming up. So I will put on my Publicist's hat and work on that angle.