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HarperCollins

Court finds in favor of HarperCollins over ‘Julie of the Wolves’ backlist e-book rights
March 18, 2014 | 11:47 am

We covered the HarperCollins vs. Open Road case a few months ago, over e-book editions of the late Jean C. George’s novel Julie of the Wolves. George signed a contract with Open Road to publish the e-book editions, arguing that there was no way her original 1971 contract with HC could cover e-books because they hadn’t even been invented yet. However, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that the district judge in the case has ruled in HarperCollins’s favor, finding HC’s interpretation of the contractual language convincing. The case came about when George wanted to publish an e-book edition...

Beware Author Solutions, and never ever pay for publishing
March 9, 2014 | 1:11 pm

Author SolutionsIf this isn’t Rule One of self-publishing, it should be: You should never, ever, ever pay someone to publish your work for you. Full stop. End of sentence. Now, it’s fine to pay for useful services, of course. If you can afford it, it could be a good investment to pay someone to edit your work, or to design your cover art, or even to format your book for you if you don’t feel confident of your own skills in that regard. (Though I’d honestly recommend paying $40 for Scrivener and spending a few days learning...

Hugh Howey’s prescription for fixing the Big Five: Become more like the indies
January 13, 2014 | 1:53 pm

hughhoweyHugh Howey, author of the Kindle Direct-published Wool SF series that was optioned by Ridley Scott, has a very interesting pair of blog posts on how he would “fix” the publishing industry, or at least one particular company in the publishing industry. As a thought experiment, he lays down what he would do in his first and second months if he were picked as HarperCollins’s new Chief Executive Officer. (He chose the publisher at random; it could as easily have been any of the others of the Big Five.) And while he does tend to overlook that these changes would...

Most popular sponsored content in 2013 about books
December 24, 2013 | 3:57 pm

Native advertising was one of the buzzwords in 2013. As digital outlets such as news sites looked for ways to make money, many turned to sponsored content. A native advertising distribution firm, Sharethrough, ranked the most popular sponsored stories in 2013, according to Adweek. Most of the data was based on shares through social media platforms. The top sponsored content was actually about books. HarperCollins sponsored a post on BuzzFeed “17 Problems Only a Book Lover Will Understand.” It had more than 700,000 social actions. The story on BuzzFeed generated nearly 1.5 million pageviews. But how does this translate into leads? The post was amazingly...

Apple calls shenanigans on anti-trust monitor; Bob Kohn gets his day in court
December 7, 2013 | 11:45 pm

The Apple trial over the last few days has taken an interesting turn. Essentially, Apple complained to the court that the special anti-trust monitor Judge Cote assigned, Michael Bromwich, has been getting too big for his britches, seeing to investigate all sorts of things outside of his usual purview, and charging Apple a whopping $1,100 an hour for it. (Bear in mind, Apple’s own lawyers get as much as $1,800 an hour.) Apple was also upset that the judge recently amended Bromwich’s brief to include making reports to her without any Apple representatives present. (The Wall Street Journal, owned...

HarperCollins UK boss wants to take back publishing from smaller digital rivals
November 25, 2013 | 12:15 pm

publishingLast week’s The Bookseller’s FutureBook conference sparked some interesting publishing comments from HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne. The comments show some publishers still don’t get it. The story begins with an interview in The Guardian, previewing Redmayne’s remarks and it started strong. In essence, Redmayne looked to empower publishes to do more rather than rest on what’s in the digital publishing world now. But the first sentence in his quote took aback many readers, authors and others. "Publishers have historically been the most innovative and creative of organizations," he said. "But I think that when it came to the digital revolution we came to...

HarperCollins’s comments on C.S. Lewis, Narnia portals
October 31, 2013 | 4:04 pm

harpercollinsFollowing my earlier report on the launch of  HarperCollins's two portals specific to C.S. Lewis and the Narnia franchise, offering direct book and ebook sales to the public in conjunction with Accenture technology, a HarperCollins spokesperson contacted me with further comment and clarification. Here are the replies provided to my questions: TeleRead: What is HarperCollins's intention in this project? What plans do you have to expand it in future? HarperCollins: This is something we did in partnership with the estate. It was something they asked for and is a service we can provide to authors. TeleRead: How can selling direct to customers through...

HarperCollins attempts alternative to Amazon, allies with Accenture
October 30, 2013 | 12:30 pm

harpercollinsHarperCollins is planning to sell its ebooks directly to customers through its own "end-to-end e-commerce and direct to consumer distribution solution," according to a press release just issued by Accenture, the "global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company" which will operate the new platform for them. Yes, it's a Big Five publisher's attempt to create an own-brand own-list alternative to Amazon's Kindle Story, the Kobo Store, the Nook Book Store, etc, etc. And "the project will commence with the launch of HarperCollins’ www.CSLewis.com and www.Narnia.com today." At present, I don't see any release or announcement from HarperCollins themselves to back...

Victoria Barnsley’s HarperCollins exit and the content conundrum
July 6, 2013 | 2:05 pm

HarperCollinsVictoria Barnsley, Chief Executive and Publisher at HarperCollins UK since 2000, announced her unexpected exit earlier this week. According to the report in the UK's The Bookseller, expanded on the circumstances and on her own view of her profession in a valedictory speech at the annual HarperCollins author party, held this year in the Orangery of  Kensington Palace. (My thanks to author and illustrator David O'Connell for his picture of the party.) In this, she called for her peers to keep their focus on publishing as a content business, not a media business. As quoted by The Bookseller, Barnsley said: "My advice to publishers,...

Charlie Redmayne steps down as Pottermore CEO to become HarperCollins CEO
July 2, 2013 | 7:53 pm

On paidContent, Laura Hazard Owen reports that Charlie Redmayne has just boarded the Hogwarts Express to take him back to the land of the muggles. He’s stepping down as CEO of Pottermore and taking the CEO helm of HarperCollins. Prior to helping found Pottermore in 2011, Redmayne was EVP and chief digital officer for HarperCollins. One reason for the change is that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp just spun its publishing arm, including HC, off into a separate company, and the previous CEO, Victoria Barnsley, felt it was a good time to leave. Pottermore’s CTO Julian Thomas will serve as...

HarperCollins announces BookSmash app contest as Big Book tries to take back the tech
June 10, 2013 | 11:22 am

BookSmashIn the latest push by Big Publishing to win back ground lost to digital disruption, Big Six house HarperCollins has announced a competition, BookSmash, for developers "to create excellent, functioning software and proof of concept apps utilizing the HarperCollins OpenBook API." The competition comes with a first prize of $15,000. "It is an incredibly exciting time to be a reader, an author, and a publisher," declares the HarperCollins intro to the competition. "Opportunities to engage audiences are endless—new devices now support numerous ways of reading, publishing, and reaching readers." Perhaps HarperCollins has had a hard time capturing a share of that excitement...

Pay to play: Would you pay to browse for books?
February 12, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Would you pay to browse a bookstore's shelves? Victoria Barnsley, CEO of HarperCollins UK & International, discussed that concept during a recent interview on BBC's The Bottom Line with Evan Davis. "In America, certain shoe shops are charging to try on shoes. These people just go in, try them on and go and order them online,” Barnsley said. “I think the idea of a bookshop becoming a book club is not that insane, actually. You actually pay for the privilege of browsing.” Pay to browse. In a bookshop. [caption id="attachment_78843" align="alignright" width="161"] Victoria Barnsley, HarperCollins UK and Int'l CEO[/caption] The idea seemed crazy coming out of...