News Briefings: HarperCollins Strives for Global Reach | Book Scanning Service1DollarScan Integrates with Evernote. Everyone happy?
This summer, HarperCollins announced it would be launching a global publishing program called HarperCollins 360, designed to increase availability of the publisher's titles across all English-speaking markets.
The idea is to use a network of print-on-demand [POD] facilities located in regional warehouses so that any title in English will be available in any English-language market, making rights, and not technology or geography, the only impediment to getting a book into a customer's hands.
According to Jean Marie Kelly, the newly appointed Affiliate Publisher of HarperCollins 360, the program rolled out by making 400 backlist titles (not via POD) from the publisher's U.K. division available to U.S. warehouses. The titles had previously been available through distributor Trafalgar. HarperCollins 360's plan is to make more front-list titles available through the program, with three scheduled for this fall, and five more, says Kelly, this winter.
The three lined up for imminent release are: the continuation of Janny Wurts' epic fantasy series "Wars of Light And Shadow;" "Hobbitus Ille: The Latin Hobbit"; and what could be the final major work from yoga master B. K. S. Iyengar, "Heart of the Yoga Sutras."
"I think in this new age, with all the technology we have, why do we have some books unavailable [in some regions]?" asks Kelly of the impetus behind the program. "Whether it's Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. or Canada, we want to make that book available to anyone who wants to have it."
By using POD technology in partnership with Donnelly in the U.K. and Australia (and with plans to have a U.S. POD operation running within one year), titles needn't be warehoused in a region to be available there for print purchase. This is good news for consumers—who may have had to pay exorbitant international shipping on titles—and good news for authors.
"I think one of the things we want to do is give our authors the most profound ability to reach readers," says Kelly. "[It makes] happier authors. Keeping our authors as happy as we can is a very big priority."
This process could affect how rights are handled going forward.
"I was just over in the U.K. and our rights department has shown a lot of enthusiasm for what we're doing," says Kelly. "We want to make the best deal for the author and the publisher. Some authors already have long-established deals in place with publishers in other regions, but with new books and new authors, people will be looking at this earlier in the acquisition process. This is something we think we can keep in-house and, in the process, do better by the author and better by us."
The focus right now is on markets in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. As for that other gigantic repository of English speakers, India, Kelly says that for HarperCollins 360, "India is interesting. [HarperCollins'] office in India is starting to grow itself. That will be a place we're looking to expand in the next couple of years, a definite focus in later phases of the project."
Book Scanning Service1DollarScan Integrates with Evernote. Everyone happy?
In August, the folks at 1DollarScan announced a program that makes their nifty, if somewhat controversial, service a little bit niftier. The San Jose, Calif., company scans customers' print books and converts them into ebooks—essentially giving John and Jane Q. Bookworm access to the same services big publishers outsource offshore when they convert their backlist titles.
Through a partnership with Evernote—the early favorite for best cloud app ever—customers who have their print books converted to ebooks through 1DollarScan can access those books through their Evernote interface.
Beyond being able to access scanned ebooks anywhere Evernote goes (aka: everywhere), 1DollarScan VP of marketing Ryan Brusuelas explains that users will also be able to record their notes, comments and impressions on those books through Evernote.
According to Brusuelas, "the main benefit of this integration is so that people can organize their e-reading experience. Right now, it's not very organized. We're dealing with, ironically, a new digital clutter."
Brusuelas notes that 1DollarScan (which is affiliated with the Japanese company Bookscan, which performs the same services, and which is unrelated to Nielsen BookScan), after cutting the book spines for scanning, indeed destroys and recycles all of that delicious pulp.
As part of the scanning service, through which 1DollarScan converts, using optical character recognition, print books into reflowable PDF files, the company requires customers to agree to not distribute their new files, and includes that signed ownership document in the PDF.
"So far we haven't had any issues," says Brusuelas. "We believe it falls under fair use." He adds that "our goal is not to compete with publishers, it is to collaborate with publishers."
Publishers and authors are provided a portal to approve or deny the scanning of printed material at author.1dollarscan.com. However, not everyone is convinced the company is acting responsibly; as reported elsewhere, the Authors Guild believes this process to be copyright infringement.
Speaking of publisher bugaboos, 1DollarScan also offers an Amazon direct option, wherein print books ordered from Amazon can be sent directly to 1DollarScan to be converted to ebooks.
Services like this could go a long way toward solving a problem lots of ebook converts have: what to do with all of those read and unread p-books once one has made the leap to digital reading. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
This piece originally appeared in Publishing Business Today, Book Business' daily email newsletter. Subscribe for your daily fix of publishing business headlines at bookbusinessmag.com/newsletter.