The Lived Places Publishing Library Collection Model

How Publishing Can Serve Libraries

I remember well my first meeting with librarians concerning how they would prefer to purchase, and access content, and deliver that content to university patrons. I was introduced to a variety of access and purchase models that were based either on a subscription format or on a perpetual ownership format. Over the preceding 10 years I had worked in college textbooks, both sales and editorial, and there had been only one route to the student consumer: faculty adoption with student purchase through the college bookstore. The year was 2009, and the juxtaposition of the textbook industry sales model against the preferred purchase model of the library could not have been more striking. Come forward 13 years to the present, and while there has been significant change in digital textbook and courseware access models, the chasm between the purchase models available to the college bookstore and the college library remains immeasurably wide.

At Lived Places Publishing, we have an existential commitment to affordable access and to giving wide, unfettered access to a global and diverse author community. We believe in the need for whole ebook interlibrary loan and an open access policy that treats all authors and all institutions as equal stakeholders. We believe the best way for Lived Places Publishing to support our collected ambition is through our library collection model.

There are three key elements to the Lived Places Collection Model: sensitive pricing, unlimited access with DRM-free usage, and interlibrary loan.

Sensitive Pricing

Affordability is a foundational premise in the design of our library collection. We begin by making sure individual titles are priced at the lower range of similarly focused course reading materials, and then we discount 25% for the complete collection. But this is only a starting point: this pricing model is based on an understanding of affordability rooted in the university contexts of North America, Europe, and other similarly economically strong countries. We recognise that not every university will have the same economic conditions, and so our collection model will be available at regionally adjusted price points, meaning that no university will be “priced out” of accessing our complete collection.

Unlimited Access with DRM-Free Usage

Lived Places Publishing is committed to making our ebooks available through all known and emerging distribution channels. We understand that readers have different and sometimes overlapping preferences about when, where, and how they purchase and read ebooks. Therefore, we are committed to delivering our titles through all ebook vendors, aggregators, consumer platforms, library platforms, specialty use platforms (for example, custom book creation platforms utilized by professors to design bespoke solutions for students), and more. Yet our highest aim is to provide our collection direct to universities for a market-sensitive price (as described above) with perpetual ownership, unlimited user access, and without digital rights management (DRM) restrictions on printing, copying and pasting, and downloading. We believe in and trust in each university customer’s commitment to restrict usage to its patrons and support, in this context, the highest expression of unfettered usage.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan of printed books has been in place for nearly as long as libraries have served higher education. While ebooks can carry a variety of usage rights and restrictions, the fact remains that those rights should be temporarily transferable, as with print books, if we are to maintain the spirit and intent of a program that has benefited countless readers over the decades. A print book is, de facto, one user right. Ebooks can carry a one user, three user, or unlimited user right, which is reflected in the pricing. As the Lived Places Publishing ebook pricing is based on unlimited access, we intend to allow libraries to transfer this unlimited usage right to another institution through interlibrary loan. Of course, this means the lending library loses access while the ebook is on loan; just as would be the case with an interlibrary loan of a printed book.

Fairness in Pricing, Usage, and Interlibrary Loan

Our publishing mission is rooted in a strongly held belief that students need to understand the global constellation of social identities at work and play in the physical, organizational, metaphorical, and temporal places in which we come together. By increasing access to these limitless stories, we build a better world. This mission can only be recognized through ensuring our titles are maximally available to global institutions. And, once our ebooks are acquired, these institutions can ensure easy access with unrestricted usage and fair institutional lending.


To submit a proposal and pitch to become a Lived Places author, please see our Call for Authors.

To stay connected with Lived Places Publishing, you can subscribe to our email list, to our channel on Medium, or to our Substack list.


IMAGE CREDIT: Gabriel Sollam, used under the Unsplash Licence

Written by:
David parker
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