Re: [Videolib] More Midwest Tapes Fun--Slightly OT

From: Cartford, Peter, JCL <CartfordP@jocolibrary.org>
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 08:45:14 PDT

What Recorded Books doesn't get is that it's the ones and zeros on those discs that count for libraries, not the stuff (high-tone packaging/artwork, replacement copies and sales reps) that surrounds them. They haven't figured out (or refuse to) that the audiobook biz model long ago switched from high margin to high volume. That's what companies like Tantor do get with their model (just in time production, choice of library or retail editions at differing price points) that gives libraries much more flexibility in how they purchase/deploy their audiobook collections. Recorded Books will continue to have us in a headlock with their exclusives, but the best way to make them change, or go away, is to buy only what we must from them and nothing more. That goes as well for the other outfits-Books on Tape, BBC Audio, et. al.-that continue to sell audiobooks as if it's the still the 1980's.

As for audios from Midwest Tape, you're still trading convenience (their packaging is great and the web site is a marvelous collection development and ordering tool) for a higher price. Midwest offers no discount; the same titles can be had for 30-40% less from Baker and Taylor. If you buy from B&T you have to package/catalog in-house or out-source it, but we've found that it costs us about $10 less per item to do it in-house than go through Midwest. And that savings buys us hundreds more a year. I realize that price isn't the be-all end-all, but so far given the ever-increasing demand for audiobooks I've tried to buy the highest number of items possible per dollar spent, and that means price vigilance.

Uh oh, does that make me a . . . price vigilante?

Peter Cartford
AV Librarian
Johnson County Library
9875 W. 87th St.
Overland Park, KS 66212
913-495-2496
cartfordp@jocolibrary.org<mailto:cartfordp@jocolibrary.org>

From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Mercure, Jeanette
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 8:37 AM
To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] More Midwest Tapes Fun--Slightly OT

First off, I must say I am a huge fan of audiobooks and think Recorded Books makes a quality product, their reps are fantastic and I do have a standing order plan with them but, my AV budget at this small/med public library is dismal and I must stretch it anyway I can, that means I will buy retail priced audiobooks from other vendors. Recorded Books will only replace discs for 1 year from purchase for free, after that it is about $8.00 per disc.

The bad thing is I have no say on which audiobooks I would like - Recorded sends what they produce each quarter and that's that. (I don't know why they cannot let us have a choice and produce to customer demand as the other big companies do.) I use Recorded because of the exclusives but hate paying the ridiculous prices.

Jeanette Francini
Head of Collection Management
Lucy Robbins Welles Library
95 Cedar Street
Newington, CT 06111
860-665-8714

We must be the change we wish to see in the world. Gandhi

________________________________
From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Danielle Phillips
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 4:29 PM
To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] More Midwest Tapes Fun--Slightly OT

As an FYI about the retail vs. rental DVD discussion, I talked to my B&T rep. and according to him, Fox will not allow libraries to buy retail editions. Paramount, however, will.

Recorded Books prices are ridiculous! We have a pretty good relationship with them and their reps. are fantastic, but the prices are out of control expensive. Their line is that the replacement policy is so good, the library eds. are worth it. Not so to me, but some librarians do fall for this.
On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 1:20 PM, Jessica Rosner <maddux2014@gmail.com<mailto:maddux2014@gmail.com>> wrote:
As pointed out long ago here putting "not for sale to libraries" or something like that on boxing is about as valid as saying
"not available to St. Louis Cardinal fans " ( even if I would be in favor of that) or "not available to people with blue eyes".
For the uninitiated are RB sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc ?

FYI a semi related article

http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch?query=library+audio+books&srchst=cse
On Mon, Oct 19, 2009 at 2:33 PM, Jaeschke, Myles <mjaesch@tulsalibrary.org<mailto:mjaesch@tulsalibrary.org>> wrote:
So those of you that have been following the retail v. rental dilemma may find this latest issue interesting as well. As many of you probably know Midwest Tapes has been selling books on CD from most of the major distributors for about a year or two now. They provide retail editions of many books on CD that are made available from Recorded Books. Recorded books will not sell their retail editions to public libraries and insist that we purchase a library edition (at a much more expensive cost). Meanwhile Midwest Tapes has made it easy for a PL to purchase these retail editions.

Apparently this has upset RB to the point that they have started to silkscreen the CDs for their retail editions with the words "Not for Sale to Libraries". REALLY?! Not for sale to libraries? Get real. Sounds like scare tactics to me. Sad thing is that this has the potential to upset public library customers. They may wonder why a library is circulating a CD that specifically says it's not for sale to us. It most likely will scare some systems into continuing to purchase the overpriced library edition. Keep in mind these are the EXACT same recordings-just packaged differently. Library editions may offer replacement discs at no charge or a reduced charge while a retail edition obviously would not. That is not really an incentive enough for me to want a library edition.

Midwest Tapes seems to be upset as well-they have filed a lawsuit against Recorded Books because of this practice. I have a copy of the brief if you are interested in the suit in further detail but it is a bit too big to send over the listserv (4MB). Now it may turn out that RB can print whatever they please on their discs, but I for one do not like the tactic. My thoughts are if you offer a product in the marketplace at a "retail" price you have got to expect that libraries will want to make their purchase at this price point. Don't scare us into thinking that we are doing something illegal by purchasing a consumer edition.

End of Rant...

Best regards,
Myles Jaeschke
Tulsa City-County Library System
Media Collection

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.

--
Danielle Phillips
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VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Tue Oct 20 08:46:12 2009

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