The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. CSIRO PUBLISHING is a business unit within CSIRO, publishing books and journals in a wide range of scientific disciples including environmental management, plants and animals.
“Working with Ebooks Services has allowed us to explore the ebooks market and learn some valuable lessons using existing technology and expertise. Their systems are simple and intuitive for administrators and end users. Partnering in this rapidly changing market minimised our risk and so far the results have been positive for all involved.”
— Jennifer Griggs, CSIRO PUBLISHING
CSIRO Publishing uses Ebook Collections as the platform for its library product. The publisher creates annual collections by collating frontlist and backlist titles, which are then sold to libraries on a perpetual access basis.
Initially CSIRO Publishing saw the need for an electronic book product to complement existing relationships with libraries that purchase its journals.
Building a bespoke platform is costly and time-consuming. CSIRO Publishing identified Ebook Services’ Ebook Collections as a means of launching a product quickly with no investment in infrastructure required. The implementation process was simple; CSIRO Publishing titles were already on Ebooks Corporations’ system so all CSIRO Publishing had to do was set up their collections through Ebook Services and start offering them to libraries. This allowed CSIRO Publishng to focus on promoting collections rather than the back end development and administration of a new system.
The initial ease of implementation has been maintained with the system proving to be flexible, straightforward, intuitive and easy to use. Staff training is minimal and Ebook Services is always on hand to assist with issues. Ebook Services is willing to adapt the system to the needs of the publisher as well as librarians, taking feedback on board, trouble-shooting and implementing developments to the system in a seamless manner.
Moreover there were no major changes to CSIRO Publishing’s internal systems and processes in order to accommodate the platform. The system is now very much part of the process, a tool of the business. Most of CSIRO Publishing staff’s time is spent creating new collections at the beginning of the year followed by time spent setting up new customers and administering trials.
Creating ebook collections has established a new product line and a brand new revenue stream that is growing year on year. Because it required only a small investment of time to set up, and no up front financial investment, the profitability is maximised for each sale. The system has allowed exploration and learning in the field of selling ebooks without the resource drain. The ebook market is still shaking out but CSIRO Publishing is at the forefront of experimentation in the field.
There has been no negative feedback from customers. Overall, customers convey a very positive experience and they are especially happy with the availability of COUNTER compliant usage statistics coming from CSIRO Publishing collections.
CSIRO Publishing is supported by the staff of Ebook Services and the publisher has learned a lot by having a platform that allowed experimentation in the ebooks space without tying up internal resources. Management is very happy with the platform and plans to use it to develop pre-purchase frontlist collection products in future. CSIRO Publishing particularly likes that the system is constantly being developed to suit its customers’ changing needs. The relationship between CSIRO Publishing and Ebooks Services has developed into a partnership, directly advancing the functionality of the system for CSIRO Publishing.