SHRM Introduces Electronic Books

By Kathy Gurchiek Nov 19, 2009

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has jumped into the electronic book—or e-book— market, rolling out its first five titles in fall 2009, according to Christopher A. Anzalone, manager of book publishing for SHRM.

“The e-book is the upcoming trend in how to read books. It may not replace the physical version of the book anytime soon, but it’s another option for those people who don’t want to lug all those books around. You don’t have to be particularly tech savvy to use it anymore. The systems are so easy to use, and the hardware of the e-book readers themselves has come a long way” in recent years, Anzalone said.

The titles SHRM rolled out in 2009 are:

Several SHRM book titles per year will be added to the e-book publishing program in coming years, representing about one-third of the 12 to 15 books SHRM publishes annually, according to Anzalone. To date, all SHRM e-books are also available in print form.


Ed McCoy, executive director, Digital, Environmental & Accessibility Affairs, for ​the Association of American Publishers, notes the burgeoning interest in e-books.

“Publishers are embracing the digital world, using the Internet's unprecedented reach to market, distribute, package and enhance the discoverability of their products and to help their authors build relationships with existing audiences and attract new readers,” he states on AAP’s web site.

E-books can be read on PCs or Macs using special software, or by downloading the book onto portable electronic reading devices known as e-readers. Publisher’s Weekly reported Aug. 31, 2009, that “desktop and laptop computers were the preferred way for the public to read e-books through the first seven months of 2009.”

Depending on the e-reader model, e-books might include special features such as adjustable font size and back lighting and might allow readers to bookmark pages, gain extra information through embedded links and highlight and/or take notes within the text. Using additional software, some models can convert text to audio.

‘It’s another option for people who
don’t want to lug all those books around.’

Christopher A. Anzalone, SHRM manager of book publishing

SHRM’s e-book titles are compatible with the current platforms such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader. They will be available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, which was expected to be rolled out in late 2009, Anzalone said.

Amazon’s Kindle has the largest market share in the United States for e-readers (45 percent), followed by Sony (30 percent), according to the Cleantech Group, which looked at the devices’ environmental impact.

Those looking for SHRM e-books may access libraries, e-book vendors such as Amazon and Sony, and other booksellers, Anzalone said. Meanwhile, SHRM is “actively looking into how to make them available through the SHRMStore.”

SHRM members should be able to order the e-book titles online from the SHRMStore by late 2009, according to Andrea Cale, SHRM’s manager of books and e-commerce operations. Through 2010, the store will continue to expand its e-book offerings to include HR and business management topics.`

“In keeping with the move toward a more electronic reading environment, the SHRMStore is continuing to find new ways to offer HR products and services to our members,” Cale said.

Noted Anzalone, “This is just another extension of providing informative content to HR professionals,” along with web-based SHRM Online content and print content such as HR Magazine and SHRM book titles.

“It’s a recognition of the market and member needs,” he said. “Where else can you carry 200 books in little readers and not get bogged down and not have to pay for an extra seat on the airplane?”

Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News. She can be reached at


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