80,000 books added to print on demand at Amazon by Cornell

Picture 2.pngFrom the press release:

Expanding an ongoing partnership with Amazon.com, Cornell University Library is increasing its print-on-demand offerings to more than 80,000 titles.

By the end of 2009, tens of thousands of new books will be added to the approximately 6,000 items in Cornell

4 Comments on 80,000 books added to print on demand at Amazon by Cornell

  1. Academic editor // February 5, 2009 at 12:22 pm //

    1. Is it really publishing to release books only through Amazon, ignoring the rest of the industry?

    2. Is Cornell’s behavior responsible, given Amazon’s all too obvious attempts to dominate the industry?

    One academic publisher, I believe it was the University of Pennsylvania, was recently told by Amazon that in the future Amazon plans to only distribute their titles if they are printed by Amazon’s affiliate BookSurge. Is that behavior Cornell wants to encourage by having BookSurge as their exclusive printer?

    3. Is there anything “academic” about releasing mere facsimiles created by clerical staff who were probably paid little more than the minimum wage?

    The very size of this release, 80,000 titles, and the controlling factor for release, the fact that the titles are gathering dust on Cornell’s library shelves, suggests that the university is merely dumping pre-1923 titles on the market through one outlet in order to generate as much income as possible.

    No intellectual labor is required. No judgement and no intelligence are necessary. Trash or quality, it makes no difference to Cornell. At Cornell, their bottom line matters more than ensuring the continuing good health of academic publishing.

    That sad. That’s depressing. That’s pitiful.

  2. Is there a complete list of what Cornell is releasing? I have to wonder if any of these titles are already on Gutenberg, Google, etc.

    Are the PD books simply being scanned and reprinted as images, or is someone OCRing, proofing and correcting, so as to remaster the book?

    I have to agree that getting in bed with Amazon is a good way to get f***ed, given their draconian POD policies.

  3. Looking at the Cornell “store”, I don’t find an easily accessable listing. I did pick a random title “Up the Amazon and Madeira rivers, through Bolivia and Peru” and found it on Google Books. So, it seems that at least some titles are already available without having to pay the Amazon monster.

  4. I’d like to respond to one of your question, Joseph:

    Is it really publishing to release books only through Amazon, ignoring the rest of the industry?

    Cornell has a non-exclusive arrangement in place with Amazon and intends to add different options/venues for discovering and accessing these books.

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