Talk of the Town: 8 Things that Happened in the Publishing Industry in March 2021

The world is now slowly gearing up to get back to the life we all were familiar with in our pre-corona days. However, with the new mutations, the battle is far from over. The tiniest creature proved how fragile humanity is and left us dumbstruck in its wake.

The pandemic has changed the way we think, work and live our lives in general, resulting in many adaptive measures taken to restore at least digital normalcy. We bring you the latest news from the publishing industry that is undergoing a paradigm shift to keep the ball rolling. Check out our 8 select articles for the month of March that give you an insight on the latest publishing news.

  1. University Presses launch new ebook sales model

To increase their market reach and make ebooks available to a larger audience, 16 prominent university presses have signed an agreement with De Gruyter to sell their products to university libraries. A library can buy the complete collection of frontlist titles generating sustainable revenue for the press, which will in turn help resolve the financial challenges the presses are currently facing. Read the full story here.

2. To tell the truth: public libraries in the fight against misinformation, disinformation

We live in a world of information, tainted with an equal amount of fake, irrelevant, or twisted facts. With the world forced into online dissemination of information, making sure that the facts reach the masses without major twists is proving challenging and exhausting. Not to mention the trouble created by the misinterpretation or misrepresentation. Public libraries, at the forefront of the fight against wrong or incomplete information, are now seeking different ways to sensitize the people about fact-checking, instead of trusting everything they hear or read. Read the full story here.

3. University presses add to warnings over UKRI’s new OA policy

The new Open Access Policy proposed by UK Research and Innovation may pull the plug for some of the university presses. A Publishers Association’s report asserted that the policy will result in a major loss for many journals in the next 5 years, and an increased cost for the universities. Read the full story here.

4. Ebook sales model brings together high-profile players

Elizabeth Redden captured the new ebook model in detail. Read the full story here.

5. Want to borrow that e-book from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you

With amazon entering into publishing, affordable ebooks in libraries has become a thing of past. The tech and ecommerce giant has stopped libraries from accessing its ebook collections. Being the pioneer in digital books with Kindle and having its own distribution network, Amazon has also been publishing its own ebooks and audio books which are inaccessible to the libraries. However, the American Library Association is very vocal in opposing this ban and a new bill is also underway to make ebooks sold by ecommerce giants available for the libraries. Read full story here.

6. American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Includes Billions for IMLS, Higher Ed, E-Rate

In a historic move, the American Congress has assigned billions of dollars to revive the academic, school, and public libraries, including funding for library-eligible programs. The IMLS has received a $200 million grant – the largest one in its entire history. Read the full story here

7. The UK’s Publishers Association Releases Its New Diversity Report

Inclusion of minorities and underrepresented classes of the society is a long and tiring battle. Equal treatment of humans, irrespective of their caste, creed, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, is still a far-fetched dream and has a long way to go.

Along the same lines, the Publishers Association has released a report stating that though publishing is consistent in meeting the requirement of having 50% women in senior roles, achieving the ethnic diversity is making a very slow progress. Read the full story here.

8. MIT Press launches Direct to Open

With the launch of its D2O (Direct to Open),MIT Press has moved its professional and monograph books from a market-based to a library-supported open access model where the institutions can work together to have an open access to a large number of books. Libraries can now pay the participant fees and have access to more than one collection. Read the full story here.