Friday, January 14, 2011

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

I'm baffled by publishers' arrogance these days. Two recent events made me whack my head with the palm of my hand….

Law Journal Seminars Press is now rolling out a "fantastic" new program for their books. Instead of merely paying for the looseleaf supplements for their books (for the most part reasonably priced, by the way), we can now either opt to receive them in print and online, or online only. Print and online, of course, costs more than the print supplements alone. Online only costs about the same.

I'm in an academic law library and online has absolutely no interest for me - or my patrons. Apparently, each title would have to have a separate login. So, if I did opt for either option, I'd need to keep track of the various passwords for each title. Good grief. I can't imagine a more inconvenient process.

We're canceling all Law Journal Seminars Press titles.

The other situation is even more annoying. And it always has been. We subscribe to the Economist ($138/year) and route it among the faculty and put the routed one in the faculty lounge. They've got a pretty nice online service with email alerts, etc., and we looked into getting an online subscription. After six months, they finally got back to us with a "fantastic" deal: $1500 per year for online access for our library. Are they mad? Do they really think that only one person reads our single subscription to the print version?

Come to think of it, I wonder why they don't charge volume rates for the print version any way?

Actually, I'm pretty sure that that's coming….

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