The Classroom in 2005

Posted on 7/8/1998 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



JULY 8, 1998

Where will educational publishing be in 2005? This was the theme of a recent American

Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP) meeting in Chicago.

Encyclopedias will certainly be on-line, but the dilemma is that as yet the publishers

haven't figured a way to charge for that information.

Sandra Dyrlund, Senior Photographs Editor, World Book Encyclopedia said WB would be on

line, free of charge, for schools and libraries later this year. "Everyone on the

internet expects the information to be free," she said. "But, the competition is so

fierce that we have to get out there now, even if we can't charge. If we wait until we

can learn how to get paid for what we supply, we will be dead in the water. The risk of

not being there now is greater than the risk of giving the information away for free for

a while."

Fortunately, sales of the print editions to schools and libraries are still strong, but

family sales of encyclopedias are dead. The home market is going to CD-ROM.

Will the movement to CD-ROM from printed books mean a greater use of pictures? Overall,


Currently the print set of WB has about 27,000 images and the CD-ROM version has about

8,000. They hope to get the numbers up to 10,000 to 12,000 for the CD-ROM because, in

the retail

environment, shoppers are buying based on the numbers printed on the box. If one CD

encyclopedia has 12,000 images and the other less, shoppers will go with the one that

has more.

Currently, Encarta is leading the market with 38% of the sales. Encyclopedia Britannica

has about 24% and WB has 8%. This year WB will buy about 200 to 275 images to update

the printed versions of their book. This is way down over what it has been in previous


World Book will purchase rights to about 2000 images for the CD-ROM, but they are trying

to get more rights for less money. They are currently getting unlimited electronic use,

forever, for $200 to $225. Sometimes they will negotiate down to 20 years or 10 years

use, but still with no limitations on the number of pressings or the amount of use


World Book gets a majority of their pictures from agencies with large files who are

willing to do bulk deals for a fixed price per image. These prices are often

substantially lower than the $200 to $225 price listed above.

World Book has tried putting out two-disc sets of CD-ROMs as a way of showing more visual

material, but that doesn't seem to be working. The customer doesn't seem to want to

switch discs. This situation may improve when DVD's become common in the home. A

DVD disc holds up to seven times the amount of information on a CD-ROM. However, by the

time DVD comes into popular use, on-line will probably be a major source for Encyclopedia


National Geographic Society is planning to put their 30 disc set of "108 Years of

National Geographic Magazine" on DVD. They believe this will require about 4 discs.

The situation with the elementary, high school and the college markets may be a little

more hopeful. According to Keri Johnson, Senior Photo Research Coordinator for

McGraw-Hill Higher Education, the textbook market is moving toward on-line at a slower pace.

A major growth area in this market is "on-demand" publishing. This is a growth area

within McGraw Hill although it is unclear what portion of total revenues it represents.

With "on-demand" publishing, teachers may select various chapters, or articles, from

several books to be included in a course pack for a class - 50 students more or less.

These "course packs" often have little or no relation to the books as originally

published. Rights are licensed on a per article or per chapter basis.

Rights are normally negotiated for a certain number of copies of a printed work, and an

additional percentage (25% or 50%) for use of the material in a certain amount of

"on-demand" publishing. For any given book, one chapter might be heavily used and

another chapter might be seldom used. On the heavily used chapter they may have to go

back and re-negotiate rights for more usage.

A story in the Washington Post recently pointed to the declining use of textbooks at the

high school level with the following anecdote. "Sherry Singer distributed a 1,206-page

textbook last fall to all the students in here senior science class at Fairfax's J.E.B.

Stuart High School. Then she taught the course as though the book didn't exist. Singer

has never asked her students to bring the textbook to school or discussed it in class.

She said that she likes to use a variety of techniques to engage the teenagers - lab

work, lectures, and student presentations - and that following a text would be boring.

'I never say turn to Page 341' Singer said. "Textbooks are less important these days."

On-Line links

If this attitude is prevalent among teachers, on-line offers some unique advantages. At

the college text level, many authors of these books are now referring their students

to various web sites.

They might talk about a manufacturing process or a business strategy of a particular

company and then refer the reader to the site of a particular company like Campbell's

Soups. When these college texts are put on-line there will be direct links to the

site so all the

student has to do is click in order to read the related information. In the printed

book, the publishers often print a screen grab of the home page.

One of McGraw-Hill's textbooks coming out this fall will have a chapter on-line with

links to other web sites.

This technique, while supplying the reader - the student - some very useful information

relative to what a printed book can offer, raises some questions that both photographers

and picture researchers need to consider.

When a photographer licenses rights for usage of an image on the front page of a

company's web site is he also licensing the right for that picture to be printed in a

book? This may need to be spelled out in license agreements.

Interestingly, an employee of PhotoDisc who attended the ASPP meeting pointed out that

they had licensed an additional sale recently in just such a situation. A company had

used a PhotoDisc picture on their home page. The company was willing to allow the

publisher to publish a screen grab of their home page, but they would not grant approval

until the publisher had cleared rights for the photo with PhotoDisc. (Even

though PhotoDisc is royalty free, it is only free to the original purchaser of the disc

and that purchaser is not allowed to give the disc, or any of the images on the disc, to

other organizations, according to the license agreement.)

Another thing photographers or stock agencies could do is request that their DOI number

be placed under their image whenever they license rights for use on any site. (See

Article 145 on Selling Stock's online site.) This way the picture researcher can easily

find the image owner when clearing rights.

Reseachers recognize that they need to clear rights for such usages, but often they have

difficulty tracking down the photographer.

Reseachers also need to be able to do screen grabs of web sites in order to supply

digital files to their clients. Keri Johnson pointed out that screen grabs produce much

better quality reproduction than trying to photograph the screen and they are simpler if

the researcher knows what he or she is doing.

Picture Research

Mary Goljenboom, President of Ferret Photo Research also outlined some of the changes

taking place in this industry. She estimated that 50% of the images she licenses are

now found on either CD-ROM or on-line. She uses every digital resource she can get her

hands on in her search for images.

She also pointed out the advantage of being able to show her client a download of a

digital file as they work to refine the concepts for a project. In this way they can

talk about specifics. The client can define specifically what he or she does or does

not like about a particular image and it can move the research process along at a more

efficient pace.

In some cases, Mary scans transparencies for her clients and sends them digital files

rather than letting them handle the film. This reduces the liability of allowing these

valuable transparencies to be handled by many different people. She particularly likes

to use this technique when previous experience with a particular client has demonstrated

that the client is not particularly good at caring for images.

Many clients are beginning to prefer to have the researcher supply them with digital

files rather than incur the digitizing costs themselves. Mary believes the industry

will move much more in this direction by 2005.

Copyright © 1998 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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