Publishers & Digital Libraries

Yesterday Larisa, our CEO was at a function that will bring Three Little Sisters and subsidiary companies into the future of publishing, libraries, archives and well everything to do with literature and art of all types. The primary focus of that future being the publisher and library\archive relationship.

Everyone has heard about Macmillan-Tor inflicting an embargo a few months back (the story broke August 2018) citing that digital library lending was killing publisher profits. I, personally, doubt this greatly myself but the Panorama Project is yet to come out with their analytical statistics just yet – considering they just started the project – to which Tor is participating in which also throws out a whole big confusing counterproductive message to the one they just put out with their embargo. I do very much believe that Macmillan (aka Tor) jumped the gun when they enforced this self inflicted embargo on digital e-lending of Sci-Fi and fantasy novels.

Honestly, they are only hurting themselves with their customer\fan base by restricting them as they are and so suddenly without warning. We all know the library\publisher relationship has always been strained so to speak. Those waters are hard to navigate when you have a for profit and a non-profit trying to “work” together. As I watch the big five publishing houses along with Macmillan-Tor struggle with the idea of the changing tides of the publishing waters, it’s like watching a ships captain stubbornly stand there refusing to budge while his ship sinks and screams in futility that he will go down with his ship.

I’ve been watching comments from their fan base and customer base. Most are angry at Macmillan-Tor for no warning and no constructive communication between them, the libraries and apps that rely on the digital content and the users of that content. There was no warning, no communication, no forum to debate it in. Not even the libraries got warning from Macmillan-Tor. Just simply, a refusal to coordinate and work together.

They cite that the digital lending is killing profits, however, I beg to differ in the fact that most people who enjoy a book will seek out either both the digital copy to own themselves and the hard copy (printed copy) or one or the other depending on preferences. They are sorely mistaken in their archaic thought processes that libraries kill profits in publishing, if anything, libraries have always lent a helping hand, my first King book may have been from my dad but my second one I read as a library book – to which I own a hard copy of to this very day (for those of you wondering “The Eyes of The Dragon”. His first Sci-Fi written specifically for his daughter no less).

Although I had written thirteen novels by the time my daughter had attained an equal number of years, she hadn’t read any of them. She’s made it clear that she loves  me, but has very little interest in my vampires, ghoulies, and slushy crawling things.

I sat down one night in our western Maine house to start this story, then called  The Napkins. Eventually the tale was told, and Naomi took hold of the finished manuscript with a marked lack of enthusiasm. That look gradually changed to one of rapt interest as the story kidnapped her. It was good to have her come to me later and give me a hug and tell me the only thing wrong with it was that she didn’t want it to end.

We at Three Little Sisters (DBA The Real Saga Press & Little Bird Books Press) believe in unification between libraries, archivists, publishers, artists and authors. We believe in working together for complete inclusion whether it be that child in China who wants to read the digital copy of Winnie the Pooh for the first time or that mother who would like to share her childhood bedtime stories she grew up with with her children in Canada. We believe in access for all no matter where you are from, what walk of life, who you are and what you have or don’t have. Literature, art and yes even music (like the old fading Scandinavian herd calls that are an integral part of Scandinavian culture) are both a human right and even a human globally shared culture. Who can say anyone of us should deny the globally shared culture of an entire species based on specific perceived standards?