Draven Jackson

It’s Time to Write

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Graduate school can be a major stressor to students looking to apply. Between trying to pick the perfect university to sacrifice your time and money to and making sure you’re qualified to do so, the application process can be overwhelming. Students can add that little extra splash of uniqueness to their graduate applications by creating a well-developed resume that offers interesting, published materials. Such an addition is beneficial to both the student’s application and their personal sanity. 

Why being published early matters 

Being “published” seems like an impossible step for graduated students. It’s overwhelming even after you spend years honing your writing skills. When we think publication, our brains seem to automatically lean towards “traditional publishing” or “when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties (Links to an external site.) from the sales” (Writer’s Digest Shop (Links to an external site.)). 

While having an entire novel on your resume isn’t necessary for college applications, having published a couple articles can elevate your application. As Academical (Links to an external site.) states: 

Publishing papers at the undergrad level is in many ways a bonus, a way of showing that you were able to squeeze out one more accomplishment in addition to your solid grades and extracurriculars. Having published can, however, tilt the balance in your favor when committees have to choose between two equally deserving candidates. 

Academical goes on to include a few other things that can boost your resume such as working in a job in your industry, working a job in general, or volunteering with an organization that interests you. 

For students who are looking to add published works to their resumes, TopTier Admissions (Links to an external site.) provides a relevant list of tips: 

  • “Check out your competition and see how others do it” by visiting undergraduate research conferences at nearby universities. 
  • “Review the types of journals that typically accept submissions from undergraduates or working professionals pre-grad school.” Bernard Becker Medical Library (Links to an external site.) provides a list of websites that are great tools for finding the perfect journal for your paper. 
  • “Google ‘Call for Submissions’ and then type a keyword that links to your preferred field.” 
  • “Peruse UPenn’s massive list of conferences (Links to an external site.) seeking abstract submissions for presentations (a great place to start) AND journals seeking paper submissions, AND books seeking chapter submissions.” 

While it’s not necessary to publish your work to get into your college of choice, it can be a major booster to committees looking over applications. So, how does one actually get published? 

Literary Magazines 

Literary magazines, which commonly publish short fiction or poetry, are a great place for creative writers to start sending their works. Each magazine has a unique voice and viewpoint. Some publish online only while others offer print and online publications, so it’s important to look into a magazine before submitting a work. 

Reedsy (Links to an external site.) offers readers a list of the 100+ best literary magazines of 2019, listing both the magazines name, submission fee, publication frequency, and submission guidelines. 

For example, n+1 (Links to an external site.) is a “print & online magazine” that publishes new fiction, essays, criticism, and translations. The submission fee is $0 and students looking to submit have three chances a year to be published in the magazine. According to the publication’s general statement: 

Our editorial mission is to encourage writers, new and established, to take themselves as seriously as possible — to write with as much energy and daring as possible, and to connect their own deepest concerns with the broader social and political environment; that is, to write, while it happens, a history of the present day. We welcome submissions from all writers. 

If n+1 isn’t the magazine for you, Reedsy has compiled 102 other literary magazines. Options include magazines that publish “works that highlight cracks in society’s masonry” like frak\ture, to the Tampa Review that publishes “current art and writing from Florida and the world.” 

Non-Literary Magazine/Website Publishing 

The Write Life’s list of “19 Websites and Magazines That Want to Publish Your Personal Essays (Links to an external site.)” helps students looking to publish more non-fiction or non-literary works. 

Some of the websites and magazines showcased are the following: 

  • The Boston Globe, whose Connections section “seeks 650-word first-person essays on relationships of any kind.” Submissions should be sent to magazine@globe.com “with ‘query’ in the subject line.” 
  • ExtraCrispy, which offers writers interested in “breakfast, brunch, or the culture of mornings” the opportunity to send their works to submissions@extracrispy.com
  • Kveller is a “Jewish parenting site” which publishes articles such as B.J. Epstein’s piece “How I’m Trying to Teach Charity to My Toddler (Links to an external site.).” Those looking to submit should send “a brief bio, contact information, and your complete original blog post” to submissions@kveller.com “with ‘submission’ somewhere in the subject line.” 
  • Skirt Magazine, a publication that is “all about women – their work, their play, families, creativity, style, health and wealth, bodies and souls” says to “email your pitch, a resume, links to published works to submissions@skirt.com.” 
  • The Penny Hoarder, a “personal-finance website welcomes submissions that discuss ways to make or save money,” offers payment for articles between 700 and 900 words. For those looking to submit, the publication’s guidelines are simple and easy to follow. 


For students who have been working on a novel or other large body of work, self-publication is a viable option. While traditional publication relies on a publisher and a contract, self-publication has a variety of different publishing models (Links to an external site.) that range from “print-on-demand” publishing (where writers “use your own money to produce books one at a time through a company”) to “self-publishing” (where “you pay to produce, market, distribute and warehouse the book”). 

Self-publishing creates a lot of work for the writer as the expenses (and at times the marketing and distribution) rely almost entirely on the writer. However, it also allows for more control over the published work and the ability to keep all the rights and profit. For an example of a student-written, self-published piece, read Hero by Slay James (Links to an external site.)

Aspiring writers and grad-school applicants have no reason not to take the chance to expand your resume with published works. So, take a seat, pick a topic, and start writing. 

Audiobooks Continue to Increase in Popularity

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Instant, downloadable media has had a prolific effect on the preference of book consumption. Despite print books remaining the primary form of reading, audiobook sales have seen a continuous climb over the last few years; meanwhile, e-book sales have experienced a steady decrease in sales. In a rapidly moving society, the need to listen to books while on the go showcases the importance of easy accessibility – hence, the rise of audiobooks.

The Growth of Audiobooks

Good E-reader  reports that audiobook sales have been growing rapidly in recent years, becoming the “fastest growing segment in digital publishing.” Research completed by the Audiobook Publishers Association and Edison Research discovered that “audiobook listeners read or listened to an average of 15 books in the last year, and 57% of listeners agreed or strongly agreed that audiobooks help you finish more books.”

With the ease and simplicity through which audiobooks can be acquired and listened to, it’s no surprise that readers in an ever-busy generation at times feel more inclined to check out audiobooks over e-books. According to Audiobook Publishers Association’s 2018 report on consumer book publishers’ revenue stats (Links to an external site.)

The most noticeable increase was in audiobook sales, jumping by 37.1%, an additional $127.1 million since 2017. The AAP notes that downloaded audio (as opposed to physical audiobook formats) has been the format with the most growth since 2013. “This is the third consecutive year that audiobooks saw double-digit growth (+37.1%) and eBook revenue declined (-3.6%),” the AAP report says.

The report states that e-book sales have experienced a steady decline since 2017, with an even more drastic decline occurring in 2015 when “e-book units fell 13%.”

The target audience for audiobooks are listeners under the age of 45, who constitute 54% of audiobook listeners. However, the Publisher’s Weekly article “Audiobook Revenue Jumped 22.7% in 2018 ” states that consumers who primarily read via audiobooks also constitute a large portion of the e-book consumers as “83% of frequent listeners also read a hardcover or paperback over the last 12 months, and 79% also read an e-book,” with print books still remaining the most popular form of reading.

Audiobook listeners primarily utilize smartphones as a way of listening to their audiobooks as “73% of listeners used a smartphone to listen to audiobooks at some point in the year, and 47% of listeners chose a smartphone as their listening device on a regular basis.” Since 74% of audiobook consumers  listen to audiobooks while in the car, smartphones provide a simple way of easily accessing multiple audiobook platforms and extensive libraries of titles.

Audiobook Platforms

With the rise in audiobook sales, digital publishing has also seen a rise in audiobook listening platforms. According to TechRadar (Links to an external site.), the best sites for audiobooks are Audible, Google Audiobooks, Kobo Audiobooks, Librivox, and Downpour.

Audible is Amazon’s audiobook site, the “biggest name in the world of audiobooks” with a wide selection of titles. It has two subscription plans: for $14.95 or £7.99 a month, subscribers “can download one audiobook per month.” For $22.95 or £14.99 a month, readers can download two. Audible also offers a 30 – day free trial (one book free of charge).

Google Audiobooks is the most recent option in the Google Play store. Techradar writer Cat Ellis states that “The newly minted service is clearly designed as a rival to Audible, with Google making a virtue of the fact that books are sold individually, with no subscription.

Kobo Audiobooks, launched in 2017 by e-reader producer Kobo, is less extensive than Amazon’s Audible, but boasts a cheaper subscription price at “$9.99/£6.99/AU$12.99.” Like Audible, Kobo offers the option of purchasing audiobooks separately, without a subscription.

LibriVox is unlike the other sites which offer newly released titles for purchase. LibriVox is a free-to-listen audiobook site that holds titles available in the public domain. Interesting to note, while Audible and other sites utilize celebrities and authors as their readers, LibriVox is volunteer based, allowing users to participate in the audiobook reading.

 Downpour, another subscription-based site, is similar to audiobook as users buy one credit (enough for one audiobook) for $12.99 a month. If users decide to end the subscription, they are allowed to retain their purchases.

The Future of Audiobooks

Non-book publishers are beginning to notice the rise in audiobook sales, and have subsequently began to publish columns and reviews on audiobook bestsellers. The New York Times has started releasing an audiobook bestsellers list published monthly.

“The vibrant growth of audiobooks in the industry has created a need for an impartial, reliable source for tracking and reporting the top-selling audiobooks across the country,” said Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review. “The Times recognizes the increased reader and listener interest in audiobooks, as well as in the Book Review’s increasing depth of coverage of audiobooks, and we’re thrilled we’ll be able to provide them independent data they can rely on.”

The bestseller for October (Links to an external site.) (as of right now) is “The Institute” by Stephen King.

Good E-reader reports that “major publishers have confirmed to Good e-Reader that 1 out of every 10 books sold is in the audio format, a percentage far higher than just a few years ago.” The article also quotes David Shelley, the CEO of Hachette UK (the second-biggest publishing company in Britain) as saying

Audio is not a blip…Audiobooks could be one of the biggest parts of our business. It has doubled in the last two years. It is a completely different way of transmitting our books to people. I would put some money on it that audio is going to continue being a central piece of our business going forward.

Audiobooks have even started being sold (again) in record format, branching back out from the digital sphere back into physical copies. For example, HarperCollins has recently released a vinyl version of the popular children’s books A Series of Unfortunate EventsThe Bad Beginning, the first book in the series is now available for $24.98 on HarperCollins website, featuring “a transparent sea foam green record and full-length digital download of theaudiobook narrated by Tim Curry.

With 2019 audiobook consumer reports showing that audiobook sales are continuing to rise and publishers defending this research with affirmative statements surrounding the position of audiobooks in their companies, the future of audiobooks has never looked so bright.

The Reality of Royalties

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Royalty Fees and Writers

As an aspiring writer in the world of digital publishing, you may be wondering how royalty fees relate to your livelihood. Simple: royalties are how you get paid. According to The Bindery article “Royalties: How Do Publishers Pay Authors (Links to an external site.),” there are different types of royalties, the primary type being royalties known as a “list royalty” or a “retail royalty.”

Most publishers in general categories, especially New York publishers, pay authors royalties as a percentage of the retail price of the book, which is an example of list and retail royalties. However, there are many publishers who pay authors “royalties on net sales,” which means that they pay authors their royalty percentage after the discounts the publishers give to retail stores are figured in.

Side note: publishers sell books to bookstores for a range of discounts, sometimes up to half off the cover price or more.

What is a “Royalty”?

A royalty is defined by Investopedia as (Links to an external site.) “a legally-binding payment made to an individual, for the ongoing use of his or her originally-created assets, including copyrighted works, franchises, and natural resources.”

Royalties are written into contracts for musicians, artists, writers, and any other creator whose work is used by another source as a way of compensating the artist for their work.

Royalty payments comprise “a percentage of the gross or net revenues obtained from using the owner’s property.” In order to decide on these payments, a third party and a creator will lay out a “license agreement,” along with the limitations of the royalty, “such as its geographic limitations, the duration of the agreement, and the type of products with particular royalty cuts.”

According to The Balance Small Business (Links to an external site.),

There are a number of ways that franchisors establish what their ongoing royalty fee will be. The most common is a percentage of the Gross Sales that the franchisee earns. Typically this ranges from between five and nine percent. So, essentially, the franchisee is taking in 91-95% of their gross sales with the rest going to the franchisor.

This means that royalty fees are completely up to the franchisor’s discretion, depending on how high or low they wish to make it (although, typically, it’s less than 10%). To summarize, whenever a creator’s work is being used by the franchisors, like a song playing in the background of a commercial, the creator will be paid a set percentage of the income the franchisor makes from said advertisement (decided upon in a license agreement).

The payment of a royalty comes in the form of a “royalty check” – a check a creator gets for the use of their work. As RSG Media (Links to an external site.) states,

When you write a book, royalty check is the royalties earned from sale of every copy. When you compose a song, royalty is when someone performs it professionally or purchases your CD. You can also earn royalty from your land or property, if someone purchases your mineral rights. The amount of gas or oil produced will provide you a royalty. You can earn royalty checks annually, half-yearly or quarterly, depending upon the royalty agreement.

Royalty vs. License

Here’s where the importance of reading your contract comes into play as some confusion can occur concerning the difference between royalties and licenses. A license is defined by RSG Media (Links to an external site.) as “an agreement between two parties for using someone’s property without paying any money for it.” Whereas a royalty insinuates a payment for the use of the creator’s work, a license allows the third party to use the work without having to actually pay anything for it.

Licenses have what’s known as a licensing fee, which is “an amount of money paid by an individual or business to the licensor, which is mostly government, for enjoying the privilege of being licensed to use someone else property” for a set period of time.

The Licensor receives a perpetual/time bound payment as a percentage of sales in regards for using the intellectual property. You can take for example – an earning from copyright, patent on new products, and consumer product licensing more.

Royalties and licenses are members of same family; these terms are just two faces of same coin.

Know Your Contract

With any kind of contract, there is room for suspicious activity. When one party ignores the contract and goes outside the bounds of the licensing agreement, it’s up to the other party to decide whether to stay with the agreement and risk another breach of contract or terminate the license agreement altogether.

One such case involving a breach of a license agreement involves a toy creator and a line of baby toys. According to Markowitz Herbold PC (Links to an external site.),

A toy inventor sold his entire line of baby toy products to a large toy company in exchange for royalties on the future sales of his products.  The royalty agreement, which spanned many years, contained separate royalty rates for different categories of toys, including a rate for toys that had already been commercialized by the inventor (“original toys”), and another rate for toys that were “derived from” these original toys.   

Though the company paid royalty fees for the sales of a multitude of toys, the toy maker stated that it “misclassified toys” to keep from paying more fees. The toy maker then had to decide whether to sue for the previous grievances or terminate the contract entirely and try to get payment for the remainder of the agreement.

In the end, the toy maker ended the license agreement and “sued to recover the future royalties that he would have earned under the royalty agreement if the toy company had not breached the agreement.”

It is always important to understand the terms of ending a licensing agreement.

If the terminating party revokes the licensee’s right to use its intellectual property, the licensee may have to pull products off shelves.  If the licensor’s initial termination was not justified, the licensor may be held responsible for the licensee’s damages. In the inventor’s case, the toy company counter-sued for breach of contract, in part based on what it claimed was the inventor’s improper termination of the contract.

The result of early termination is usually laid out in the license agreement as a “royalty agreement’s termination provision standards.”

As a new writer, it can be intimidating trying to understand contracts saturated in unfamiliar legal jargon, especially when your focus is sharing your work with the world. However, understanding the contract is of the highest importance when making sure you are getting your full rights as a creator.

The biggest lesson a writer can gain from this article is to find a good editor/manager to help and ALWAYS READ YOUR CONTRACT. Then, maybe you can one day watch Jon Snow quote your poem in a car commercial or hear your song playing in the aisles of Target as you buy caramel popcorn.

With a proper understanding of your contract and the ability to write something worth selling, the world is at your fingertips and the royalties will be in your pocket.

The Fall of the Facebook Empire

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In the 15 years since its inception in a Harvard dorm room, Facebook simultaneously became the leading social networking site and one of the largest platforms that users no longer trust.

Why the Distrust?

According to the Ezoic article “2019 Digital Publishing Trends that Publishers Care About ,” 55.5% of publishers voted that Facebook was the platform they trusted the least. The article states that, “Facebook has earned their tough reputation with publishers. A non-transparent change in the newsfeed and the reduction of reach for publisher pages has earned Facebook a tarnished image with publishers.”

Facebook also garnered a disreputable image with publishers due to the biased decision making toward their featured news articles. While a certain amount of bias should be anticipated when dealing with large business corporations – and yes, Facebook is a corporation – copious amounts of bias, such as the information presented during the 2016 election is a red flag for publishers looking for a platform to present their work.  

In the Wired article “Of Course Facebook Is Biased. That’s How Tech Works Today,” Izzie Lapowski remarks that during the 2016 election, Facebook was asked by the US Senate Commerce Committee about the allegation that “the company’s news curators have been deliberately suppressing conservative news from surfacing in its Trending Topics.”

This suppression of news comes as no surprise considering that people chose and filtered Facebook’s Trending Topics rather than AI algorithms. Personal bias is impossible to avoid in newsroom situations, and the Gizmodo article that revealed this controversy  quoted one former curator who said, “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”

This bias poses problems for consumers and publishers alike while posing the question: what is the benefit of using a specific platform if your content could be ignored or pushed aside based on one curator’s personal opinion?

“The problem is that the people who use Facebook and Google, LinkedIn and Amazon, expect that these services are making decisions independent of human judgment—that the machines can rise above the differences that divide us,” Lapowski said. “When that turns out not to be the case, people feel betrayed.”

Another point of contention between digital publishers and Facebook is Facebook’s constant revisions to the formatting of their platform. According to the What’s New in Publishing article “How Would it Impact Publishers if Facebook Ditches the Like Count?”, Facebook is considering following the lead of Instagram – a social media network owned BY Facebook – to ditch the Like count in order to “bring back the focus on the quality of content shared, rather than only on posting content designed to increase the Like count.”

The Like count will essentially become private to everyone except the publisher, allowing them to concentrate on the content they are producing and not the likes it will receive. While this is positive for consumers who are attempting to discover legitimate, interesting news, this could be detrimental to publishers who acquire new readers based on the popularity of their content.

The reasons behind taking away the Like count are also more self-serving to Facebook’s interests than they would lead consumers to believe. “It could also obscure Facebook’s own potential decline in popularity as users switch to other apps,” said TechCrunch’s Josh Constine in the WNP article.

It’s not just about the Likes themselves, though – it’s frustrating for publishers to believe the platform they are using is set up one way and then find themselves lying on their backs when the rug is ripped out from under them. According to the Ezoic article:   

Facebook does seem to bounce back and forth with publishers. They often offer lifelines with new things like Facebook Watch, but then wipe away all goodwill with major changes to things like the way publishers reach their followers on Facebook’s platform.

And while Facebook seems to create a negative reputation with publishers for the benefit of their consumers, Facebook simply makes the best decisions for their company. However, considering the data-selling scandal of 2018, Facebook’s attempts to help consumers regulate their news has been subpar at best.

In order to change their News Feed to incorporate trustworthy news in their rankings, Facebook created a two-question survey. These two questions were, “Do you recognize the following website?” and “How much do you trust each of these domains?” Though Facebook provided simple questions, consumers complained that this survey was completely unreliable.

“I’ve filled out more robust surveys at fast food restaurants,” said Rani Molla, a journalist for Recode who criticized the survey on her personal Twitter.

The Verge’s article “Why Facebook’s Survey About Trust Won’t Make or Break the Media (Something Else Might Break it First)” expands on the issues surrounding the new survey:

The anxiety here is that survey results could be inaccurate, leading to a mis-ranking of publishers that favors the most partisan sites and exacerbates Facebook’s negative effects on democracy. For journalists, there is a secondary, existential fear: that publishers who fare poorly in the survey will see their traffic collapse, leading to declining revenues and eventually layoffs.

Ultimately, Facebook’s attempts prove ineffective and reveal its desire for self-preservation above content integrity for the consumer.

How Publishers Can Cash in on Facebook’s Failings

Between the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the sudden algorithm changes that have drastically reduced publishers’ outreach to followers, Facebook’s popularity is at an all-time low. In the opinion of Digital Content Next, now is the time for publishers and other companies to capitalize on Facebook’s free fall.

Jesse Moeinifar, the writer of the DCN article, urges publishers to take this opportunity to create their own platform, where “instead of struggling to build your brand on Facebook,” publishers will gain control over their published content on a personalized domain.  

On this new platform, publishers are encouraged by Moeinifar to “give the people what they want” by providing a safe, easily accessible opportunity for consumers to engage in social interactions with fellow users.

Consider integrating tools directly on your platform that allow your users to discuss your content and chat with one another. By generating engagement on your domains, your visitors will be more inclined to interact on a consistent basis and subscribe.

Thus, publishers who create their own platform can excel by being a legitimate, reliable source with relevant content targeted towards the consumers’ interests.

“If you create valuable content that maintains a consistent tone and is highly relevant to your readers, they will view your brand as a reputable source for trusted media,” said Moeinifar.

Publishers need to produce relevant, reliable content that builds trust with their consumers. In a time where Facebook is less trusted than ever by consumers and publishers alike, it’s time for new platforms to arise from the ashes of a Harvard student’s once great media conglomerate.

Libraries Enter the Digital Age with Overdrive

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Libraries are moving into the modern age with Overdrive, a “a free service offered by your library or school that lets you borrow digital content (like e-books and audiobooks) anytime, anywhere.” Through Overdrive, libraries have their own digital collection based on their personal needs, making each an individual unit with a specialized collection.

The Process of Creating Digital Collections

According to Amanda Jackson, director of the Chesapeake Public Library, in order to join Overdrive libraries must provide a “SIPII (Standard Interchange Protocol, Version 2) connection to allow Overdrive, or any other third party vendor, to access their ILS (Integrated Library System- the system that checks out books and keeps up with library cards) to access their data and patron records.” Libraries then enter into an annual contract to continue providing the digital collection services.

Overdrive’s system is also simple to use for consumers – sign up with your library card or student ID, find your library’s digital collection, and borrow as many titles as you want. The e-books can be read online or downloaded, making it easy for the consumer to read at home or listen to their loans while on the go. Some libraries even have the option to offer video streaming services that are available via the mobile app.

Once the checkout time is up, the book is returned to the library’s digital catalog, available for other customers to checkout or for the previous reader to renew. Unfortunately, there are limited copies per e-book or audiobook, so readers may have to wait for the book they want – a difficult task in the age of instant streaming.

On how libraries add books to their digital collection, Jackson stated “in the contract and payment, libraries are given a budget for materials. They can add additional funds to this budget if necessary. From here, they access a catalog, similar to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, which would list available titles and costs. They put them in an online cart and order books to be placed on their Overdrive website.”

If consumers are looking for a specific book that is not in their library’s digital catalog, they can suggest to their library the book they want added. However, some books can cost as much as $100, so Jackson states whether the book is ordered depends primarily on how many people are requesting it.

“If multiple people suggest it or it’s part of series that the library didn’t realize was missing a volume, we may order it,” Jackson said. “Each library has its own collection development policy on ordering.”

Once a book is in the digital catalog, the amount of times that book can be checked out depends on the contract between the book distributor/publisher and the vendor.

“Some allow unlimited check outs,” Jackson said. “Some allow as few as 20, using the assumption that a physical book would have to be replaced after about 20 check outs due to wear and tear, thus keeping their revenues the same.”

However, book distributors can cause issues for libraries attempting to add certain books to their databases. According to Jenny McGrath in her article “Why You May Have to Wait Longer to Check Out an E-book from Your Local Library,” when Nora Roberts published the long-awaited third book in her Chronicles of The One series, fans were forced to wait in long e-lines for the book due to Macmillan’s restrictions on how many copies libraries could purchase.

The articles state that “Macmillan, which publishes the series, is only allowing library systems around the country to purchase a single e-book of newly published titles for all their branches. Eight weeks after new books launch, libraries will be able to buy more.”

The article then expands on the Macmillan decision, stating:

CEO John Sargent outlined the changes in response to “growing fears that library lending was cannibalizing sales.” On September 11 (2019), the American Library Association (ALA) started circulating a petition in hopes of pressuring Macmillan to not go through with its plan, which is scheduled to go into effect in November. “To treat libraries as an inferior consumer to the general population, it’s the wrong thing to do,” said Alan Inouye, director of the Office for Information Technology Policy at the ALA. “Libraries are generally held as amongst the highest esteemed institutions in the community.”

These disputes over book lending seem redundant as library’s would be able to purchase as many physical copies of the books as they like, so the decision to refuse selling more digital copies appears inconsistent as physical libraries still retain precedence. And, despite the growing use of Overdrive and its immediate checkout and download availability, Jackson stated that the number of patrons still going to physical libraries to find their books has not been surpassed by online users.

“There are still more books via in-person visits,” Jackson said. “I think that’s because so many people don’t realize libraries offer that service or they are used to getting their e-books from a different method, i.e. Amazon.

“But the number continues to grow as libraries do more marketing to that audience. Our (The Chesapeake Public Library) e-book check outs doubled in the first six months of this year from their numbers in 2018.”

The Future of Digital Collections

Overdrive has moved even further in its efforts to offer free digital media to consumers through the creation of its new app, Libby. According to the Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Libby “has the same collection of titles as the OverDrive app – it’s just a different way to access the same digital library collection. Libby is a fast and attractive digital browsing experience.”

For those unsure of which app to use, the WCCLS answers that question as well.

“If you use one iOS or Android device to browse, download, and read or listen to digital books, we recommend trying Libby. It’s a great one-device experience. If you like to read books on many devices, or prefer to browse for new titles on your computer, stick with the OverDrive app for now. Also, if you make use of accessibility features in the OverDrive app, you’ll need to stick with that until more accessibility features get added to Libby.”

According to Jackson, libraries use the same system for adding books to both the Overdrive and Libby collections.

“All database vendors pretty much work the same,” Jackson said. “It’s very similar to online shopping through other stores. The look may be a little different but the process is mostly the same.”

Libraries are taking progressive steps into the digital age using Overdrive’s digital collections, creating a more immediate and efficient way for patrons to check out and download their books on the go. While this service has not surpassed visits to physical libraries, establishments such as the Chesapeake Public Library have experienced a growth in online visitors as marketing for Overdrive increases.

Overall, busy patrons looking to have a more immediate access to e-books and audiobooks should be overjoyed about Overdrive.