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Macmillan

Webcomic ‘Help Desk’ takes on e-book DRM
July 23, 2014 | 11:20 am

drm-rollIf you could use a good chuckle, webcomic “Help Desk” has just started a storyline focusing on e-book DRM. (The storyline then continues here.) It seems to have been inspired by the letter that Cory Doctorow received from Hachette about DRM. Since some authors publish with Tor in the USA but Hachette in the UK, and Tor went DRM-free two years ago, this means the US edition of their book would be DRM-free. Hachette didn’t like that, and wanted authors to insist that Tor put DRM on that edition to protect the sales of their UK edition. The letter was actually posted...

Macmillan exec asks what publishers can do for readers, but does she mean it?
June 18, 2014 | 4:46 am

Porter Anderson at FutureBook reports on a presentation given by Sara Lloyd, Pan Macmillan’s digital and communications director, at the “FutureBook Hack” conference. (TeleRead previously carried an open letter to Ms. Lloyd from Brian Ford of Lendle.) Lloyd was gung-ho about wanting publishing to move forward with digital and take things to the next level. She said things like “I think we haven’t done the great things yet and that’s what you guys are here for,” and “Ask what you can do for readers, not what you can do to solve the problems of publishers.” ...

Department of Justice files brief in Apple antitrust appeal, argues for upholding Judge Cote’s verdict
May 29, 2014 | 4:37 am

Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese has a rundown of the latest developments in the Apple anti-trust affair. The Department of Justice has filed its brief in favor of the appeals court upholding Judge Cote’s guilty verdict. (GigaOm has some additional commentary and a Scribd link to the filing itself.) The filing says about what you would expect it to say: the DoJ summarized Cote’s findings and rebutted all of Apple’s attorneys’ arguments. In their brief, the DoJ basically recapped their case, and argued that the prosecution did not need to meet a higher legal standard, as Apple...

Tor looks back on two DRM-free years, launches new Tor.com novella imprint
May 28, 2014 | 5:14 pm

Tor has posted an interesting article on Tor.com covering Tor Books president and publisher Tom Doherty’s presentation at BEA today. First of all, he discussed the aftereffects of removing DRM from Tor books. He said much the same thing Tor said at the one-year-mark. Citing Baen’s example, he noted that “...the lack of DRM in Tor ebooks has not increased the amount of Tor books available online illegally, nor has it visibly hurt sales.” DRM, Doherty held, was a disruptive barrier that got in the way of readers, writers, and communities making connections. Getting rid of it has...

Hugo voter e-book bundle to include only excerpts of Orbit Best Novel nominees
May 15, 2014 | 10:14 am

orbitWell, here’s some disappointing news. You know how, in recent years, the Hugo Voters Packet has included as many of the Hugo-nominated works as it was able to get out of its publishers? Including, this year, almost the entirety of the Wheel of Time series? (It’s lacking the prequel novel which isn’t directly connected to the storyline of the main series.) There’s a fly in the ointment this year, and it’s that, apart from Wheel of Time and Baen author Larry Correia’s book, all the nominees for Best Novel were published by Orbit, the UK publisher and subsidiary of...

Hugo voter e-book bundle to include entire Wheel of Time series
April 21, 2014 | 4:15 pm

hugo_wheel-of-timeThe Hugo nominations have been announced. One of the more interesting things to come out of the nominations this time around has been the inclusion of the entire Wheel of Time series for “Best Novel.” This is something of a first for the Hugos, and would probably be at least mildly controversial in other years. (This year, what with the Jonathan Ross thing and another more recent kerfuffle that I might discuss in another post, it seems to rate as relatively minor on the outrage scale.) But one side-effect of that nomination is to make Supporting Membership in this...

Humble Bundle plans to expand e-book, audiobook offerings
March 3, 2014 | 8:25 pm

humblelogoRemember the Humble E-Book Bundles? Humble’s done a couple of them (not counting the ones by other bundle sites) plus an audiobook bundle, and wants to do more. Calvin Reid has a great article at Publishers Weekly looking at the Humble Bundle e-book program in depth. It has some interesting facts. It turns out that the first two pay-what-you-want Humble E-Book Bundles were actually organized by Cory Doctorow. Not a big surprise given their DRM-free nature. The problem was that DRM-free nature meant Macmillan (whose Tor subsidiary had already gone DRM-free) was the only Big Five publisher willing to...

Is the SFWA losing its relevance?
February 18, 2014 | 3:25 pm

“This is the song that doesn’t end…it just goes on and on my friend…” To mix musical metaphors, I’m getting that whole “second verse, same as the first” feeling as I look at the latest vitriol to come out of the whole Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) sexism affair (which we’ve covered in more detail here, here, and here). A few days ago, an article appeared on The Daily Dot blog citing posts from the public discussion forums on SFF.net pertaining to the latest round of ugliness. SFF.net is the discussion forum website of the SFWA, but has always...

Fate of Girl Genius omnibus at Tor causes friction between the Foglios and Patrick Nielsen Hayden
January 30, 2014 | 12:16 pm

girlgeniusTV Tropes has a trope called “Poor Communication Kills,” in which an otherwise easy-to-prevent problem comes about because of either plot-contrived or real failure to communicate. (I’m pretty sure that’s happened at least once or twice in the Girl Genius comics.) Well, these things happen in real life, too. Last night, Phil Foglio posted to his LJ, Facebook, and blog a story of frustration with Tor, who had opted to try launching a line of graphic novels starting with the first Girl Genius omnibus edition. They came out with a low-priced hardcover, but when the Foglios wondered when the...

Macmillan Speaks…once
January 21, 2014 | 6:16 pm

I was clicking around links from my post about Steven Zacharius earlier today when I happened onto something amusing. Or, at least, amusing to me. Back in April of 2012, when John Sargent made his defiant post declaring Macmillan would not settle with the Department of Justice, he posted it via the Tor.com blog, with a link to a website called “Macmillan Speaks” for people who wanted to leave comments. The funny thing is, when I go to Macmillan Speaks now, all I see is that one, single solidary post from 21 months ago. Even his post surrendering to...

Bob Kohn files appeal of publisher anti-trust settlements
December 23, 2013 | 6:10 pm

Ah, the schadenfreude continues. Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports that Bob Kohn has filed his appeal of the approval of the Macmillan and Penguin e-book settlements. In the hearing a couple of weeks ago, Judge Cote suggested it was unlikely he would be found to have standing to appeal the case, since he’s not a direct party to the case. However, Kohn is clearly going to keep filing appeals until the appeals courts turn him down. Kohn’s stance is that the price-fixing conspiracy entered into by the publishers and Apple was not actually illegal, since it served to...

The Apple e-book decision reaction roundup: Schadenfreude a go-go!
July 12, 2013 | 4:55 am

It’s been pretty fun, not to mention instructive, to read the various reactions to the e-book verdict over the last day or so. Sometimes it feels like I’ve wandered into a production of Rashomon. For example, AllThingsD summarizes the thoughts of anti-trust lawyers it asked for comment: Apple argued that the facts show no conspiracy in restraint of trade. But Cote found that the company’s actions were a per se violation of antitrust law. In other words, they were inherently illegal, so there was no need to prove that they had any anticompetitive effect on the...