Exact Editions 2017 — It’s a Wrap!

First set

With a new year on the horizon, now is the perfect time to kick back, relax and bunker down for winter. But before you do that, it’s worth thinking about how much you’ve achieved this year and what you can do better next year.

Exact Editions can look back at 2017 fondly as a record-breaking number of libraries around the world are now accessing magazines and their archives using the platform. We have been exceptionally busy from January to December; acquiring a plethora of new and diverse titles (which we’re showing off in this post), developing extensive archives, adding useful technical features; and, of course, starting this new blog stream for librarians!

Second set

As you can see, there has been an increased focus on engagement with our users and improving the user experience. For example, check out our blog detailing the best ways to make the most of your Exact Editions subscription: The Holy Grail.

third set

Some of our 2017 highlights:

  • Perpetual Access — Several more magazines are now available to purchase with Perpetual Access. Exact Editions offer a uniquely comprehensive product for libraries, with purchases including the complete archive of the magazine as well as all future issues.
    The full list of participating publishers can be found here: https://institutions.exacteditions.com/showcases/perpetual
  • Library Board — This year, Exact Editions have enlisted the wisdom of several leading librarians and industry experts, who will be consulted on a bi-annual basis to offer thoughts on two or three important topics.
    You can read the introductory blog post here.
  • K-Bart — With improved metadata offerings, Exact Editions are continuously working to ensure that our content is becoming increasingly straightforward to find within library management systems. We’re doing whatever we can to make your lives just that little bit easier!

fourth set

So, what’s in the pipeline for 2018?

  • MARC Records — MARC Records are available for all our titles and can be requested from the start of 2018. This should improve Exact Editions’ catalogue compatibility and discoverability, which in turn should raise usage statistics and content visibility.
  • COUNTER Compliant Usage Statistics — Speaking of usage, another primary goal of 2018 will be to make our stats available on COUNTER. We are aware this is a favoured platform for librarians, and we are keen to migrate our statistics over to COUNTER so that we can offer as much transparency as possible.
  • Library Q&A thread — We will be conducting brief interviews with librarians to talk about periodicals, the growth of digital resources and what they hope for in the future. Would you like to participate? Get in touch with us to give your opinions on the industry.
  • RA21 — Exact Editions very recently attended a conference about the RA21 project, which aims to optimise institutional access to online resources, with a particular focus on remote usage. We will continue to keep updated with potential alternatives to IP-authentication in 2018 and will post any news on our blog.
    Read more about RA21 here: https://ra21.org/index.php/what-is-ra21/
  • Content Acquisition — As always there will be a strong drive for new content on the site across a variety of subjects. If there’s a particular magazine you’d like to see on the platform in 2018, why not recommend it to us via: institutions@exacteditions.com.

We’ll be back in 2018 with regular updates.

From everyone at Exact Editions, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

fifth set

Exact Editions — Library Blog

Welcome to the inaugural blog post in a new library-focused series by Exact Editions. The frequent posts will be covering any Exact Editions news relevant to librarians, including; technical developments, new content releases and thought pieces on issues within the library community.

The Library Advisory Board

Exact Editions are a provider of digital magazine and book subscriptions to academic, public and corporates libraries around the world. Operating within such a dynamic field requires an in-depth knowledge of the industry in order to best serve the library community. At Exact Editions, we figured that the best way to understand the fast moving library landscape both on a technological level and on a business level, was to ask the librarians. So we enlisted the wise counsel of several leading librarians and industry professionals to create the Library Advisory Board. The board is made up of nine members, who will be consulted on a bi-annual basis to provide their thoughts on two of three specific topics.

The Members

Bill Maltarich, Collection Management Librarian at NYU

Ian Robson, Head of Collection Development at University of Waterloo

Liisa Mobley, Electronic Resources Unit Supervisor at Cornell University

Peter Brantley, Director of Online Strategy at University of California, Davis

Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources & Collections at University of Utah

Gary Price, Editor at Infodocket

Hazel Woodward, Director at Information Power

Jill O’Neill, Educational Programs Manager at NISO

Judy Luther, President at Informed Strategies

The Story So Far

Exact Editions share the same objective as libraries and librarians; to preserve and distribute written material with the intention of educating future generations. The aim of the Library Advisory Board is to use the expertise of the members to assist Exact Editions in making informed decisions regarding policy changes. Through this relationship we hope to augment our pre-existing knowledge of the industry, with a particular focus on technology, accessibility, preservation and future challenges. Questions will be asked on a bi-annual basis, and will focus on issues particularly potent for Exact Editions at that period of time. We hope that the process will be mutually beneficial for both parties, as librarians will be able to vocalise their needs and contribute to a service which is ultimately designed for them, and Exact Editions will benefit from the advice offered by individuals working inside the industry.

Feedback from our first round of questions has been incredibly useful, and we are already working on implementing suggestions concerning discovery and visibility of resources. Exact Editions titles are now mostly integrated into the major discovery tools commonly used by librarians, making us easier to find. In an effort to assist the decision making process regarding new purchases, we are offering 30-day trial subscriptions for all of the titles on our website, to allow librarians to explore the platform and magazine content before committing resources.

You can expect blog posts in the near future about our progress regarding MARC Records, Perpetual Access and Exact Editions usage statistics becoming Counter compliant. Furthermore, we have a wave of new content across a vast range of specialised subject areas in the pipeline, which will be of interest to libraries looking to improve their online resource offerings.

Finally, Exact Editions would like to say that we are very grateful for the contribution of time and effort by the Library Advisory Board members. We are always searching for ways to improve our services and to have direct contact with professionals in the library community is extremely helpful.

 

Introducing… White Lines

Exact Editions are pleased to welcome a new football magazine, White Lines, to the webstore and the Apple Newsstand.

WL-front-cover

White Lines features the work of new writers and storytellers centred around football, and created specially for the magazine. From the producers of These Football Times, part of Guardian Sport, this lot already have a following of over 1 million readers from all around the world.

WL-portrait     WL-landscape

The title joins our ever growing collection of football magazines, which you can check out here. To download the app and start reading, search ‘White Lines by These Football Times’ in the App Store, or click here.

App-Store-Badge

True fan? true faith!

They’ve been with us for a while online, so it’s great to finally welcome true faith to the Apple Newsstand this week.

 TFVertTFHztl

Not for the faint-hearted (and definitely not for Sunderland fans) true faith is written by the fans, for the fans. With all the latest news from St James’ Park, along with match analysis and a healthy dose of humour, you can see why real fans read true faith!

Download the app here, or visit our website for more info.

Available on the App Store

Osprey Publishing’s new Digital Magazine

Osprey are one of British publishings steady success stories. They are a middle-sized publisher with a world-wide reputation for publishing illustrated military history books. Osprey has spread its wings and now does other things, but it is the military history books for which they are most famous. They also steadily win awards for innovation and digital publishing initiatives.

In the early days of the iOS app store, Exact Editions worked with Osprey to bring a handful of their titles to iTunes as apps, with all the illustrations, maps and diagrams in place. It was a small experiment with half a dozen titles, which did well and were remarkably trouble free in the sense that they kept on selling, steadily. Then Apple changed their rules and decreed that digital books could only be published in the iBooks store.

Osprey have now come up with an interesting magazine concept which will showcase their illustrated titles in a new way. The World War II Military History Magazine is initially available only in iTunes and will bring its subscribers a battle, campaign or weapon from the war, each month. The very first issue features the Battle of the Bulge.

Battle for the Twin Villages

Battle for the Twin Villages

Publishers used to issue big books in serial form, before they were released in volume form. This was done with fiction, notably Dickens in the 19th century. More recently, throughout the 20th century, reference publishers would often publish major reference works in part-work form, through newsagents before releasing a complete book: a children’s encyclopedia or a do-it-yourself manual.

The contemporary reasons for considering serial publication of book-type material have nothing to do with these 19th century constraints. The Osprey innovation is notable because it may be a responsible and attractive way of aggregating content in a way which creates value for consumers and for the publisher. For it is a striking feature of most our current digital distribution channels that they provide book publishers with zero potential to creatively aggregate content. Apple and Amazon, neither allow publishers to deploy subscription book collections not provide any interesting ways for publishers to group books in the distribution channels. The cynic would suspect that the app-store rules are so tight, and needlessly restrictive in these ways, because these two meta-publishing titans want to maintain close control of the way in which books, and indeed magazines can be sold.

Why might a book publisher wish to establish an aggregated audience for a specific series of book-like products?

  • Selling a subscription service is a way of selling a relatively high-priced offering at relatively low-priced slices. This works for magazines as apps, which are both cheaper than most e-books on a month at a time basis and more costly/valuable than most e-books on an annual basis, and so it should work for a series of book-derived magazine issues
  • Selling a subscription service which customers tend to auto-renew through the iTunes subscription mechanism is a way of building a large audience which can grow, and grow. Strong digital magazines are on a steady escalator to higher subscription numbers.
  • The content aggregation can re-inforce the attractiveness of the subscription offering. When this World War II Military Magazine has 2 years of back issues, it will be a real mine of information from 24 books, and highly attractive to anyone with an interest in that period
  • Apple and Amazon tend to ‘disintermediate’ a publisher from her audience. Publishers have got used to this (big chain booksellers and supermarkets also do it) but establishing an audience that is strongly focussed on the publisher brand because the content is delivered serially, and to a degree exclusively is a way for publishers to reclaim their direct audience and emphasise the quality of their brand.

We have no privileged insight into Osprey’s publishing plans, but it will be really interesting if they can find ways in which their periodical venture starts to tell a story in its own distinct style. Through the sequence and order in which the books appear. This first issue already has a ‘taster’ for what I take to be a forthcoming issue on the Battle for Dieppe.