Selecting titles for the Digital Media Catalog.

Since title selection is such an important factor in the success of the HCPL Digital Media Catalog, I thought it would be good to talk about the factors I use in determining whether or not to purchase a title.

Ponderign the titles.

Each Monday I look at every title that was added to our vendor for digital titles catalog within the previous 7 days.  Most of the time there are thousands of new titles to look through.  I then pick out the ones I am interested in and add them to my monthly orders. 


If there are any title suggestions I have not looked at, I look through them as well.  When it is time to place the order, I go through my cart and start taking out titles in order to get the final cart to within the budgeted amount I can spend that month.

Even more thinking

Each month I only have the budget to select the titles that are going to have the highest demand on them, so I have to put some hours into cross referencing each title I want to add to our catalog before placing the final order.


I use many factors in selecting a title.  First, I will look at other titles by the author to see how well they are circulating in the Digital Media Catalog.  I will then look to see if that title or any previous title by the author are currently in our branches in hardcopy and look at the circulation there as well.  Next I use bestsellers lists like the New York Times.  Finally I will use sites like Amazon to see how well it is selling there.


happy danceSometimes I am forced to remove titles that will be popular because of the budgetary constraints, but I try to get them the next month or later in the year.  Once the order is within the budgeted amount, I can finally submit it. 

After the final order is placed, the titles are generally available to download the same day!





It must be quite the juggling

It must be quite the juggling act to satisfy so many reader/listener needs! And while I sometimes have to wait a little bit before something I'm looking forward to is available, I've overall been a very heavy user of e-audio (and sometimes e-pub) because I've found the selection comprehensive and have discovered a lot of new authors via this collection. For example, I'm a huge fan of Simon Vance's narration, and through his work I discovered Naomi Novik's excellent Temeraire series, and devoured the first five books. So... is book 6 (Tongues of Serpents) ever likely to be added to the e-audio collection? :) It's really the only time I've been frustrated in my hopes that eventually a title I covet will be added to the collection. Thanks, Melanie

It is quite the juggling

It is quite the juggling act.  I also thank you for your patience in waiting through the sometimes long wait lists. 

Tongues of Serpents is not available as an eAudio right now.  The previous titles in the series were produced by Books on Tape, but book 6 is produced by Tantor media instead.  I was talking with Tantor a month ago about why they did not have titles like this available to download anymore.  He mentioned that their titles go through first, and then after 6 months to a year later they become available for us to download.  I get enough requests for this title that I will be purchasing it whenever it is finally added to our vendor’s catalog. 

While you have described a

While you have described a thoughtful and fair way to select new titles, your methods do result in a certain flaw--only the most "popular" fiction and nonfiction is going to make your cut. Things I enjoyed most about digital downloads during the years when there was funding to allow you to be more adventurous was the appearance of new artists, quality midlist selections, and genre fun. While long wait lists developed for best sellers, there were lots of terrific books available for adventurous listeners. I would never have discovered scifi writers like Jack Campbell and Tanya Huff; horror writers like David Wellington; mysteries and thrillers from I.J. Parker, Thomas Perry and Kate Atkinson; teen writer YS Lee--to mention only a few. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE continue to find just a little space for "wild cards!"

Please be aware that I more

Please be aware that I more than anyone else understand your frustration and realize that there more flaws in the ordering system than the one you mention.  The problem is that it is very hard to justify not purchasing the titles that generate the most holds in order to purchase titles that people might discover and enjoy, but will not be as popular as the high demand titles.  For eAudio, there is absolutely no wiggle room.  For eBooks, there is some wiggle room, but not that much.

Over the last three years, our digital checkouts have increased over 170%.  This has increased the amount of copies we need to purchase in order to meet the demand.  This and the fact that both eBooks and eAudio have increased in price for us means that we are unable to add as many titles as we were able to in the past.

When selecting the digital titles, there are so many titles and authors that I want to add to the collection, but the budget constraints on the system do not allow me to add them at this time. 

If I may ask, do you use the system for eBooks or eAudio?

(BTW the new Jack Campbell title is not available for us to purchase as a digital title. I had to check out the hardcopy from one of our branches in order to continue the series.)

I do understand the funding

I do understand the funding issues, and that every title has to satisfy as many users as possible, but I don't mind waiting a while for a popular title if there are other items that trigger my interest. I've been checking out a few ebooks, but eaudio fits my lifestyle best, and because at times members of our family listen together in the car, we try a wide range of books. Thanks for all the great work! (I did know that the latest Jack Campbell audiobook was unavailable through OverDrive--it's an Audible original, so maybe Brilliance will get it before too long)