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Bertelsmann confirms how bogus anti-Amazon animus is, hits seven-year revenue high
November 14, 2014 | 6:25 pm

Bertelsmann has provided yet more irrefutable evidence of how hollow, fake, and self-serving the whole Hachette/Authors United anti-Amazon spat was, as the post-Penguin/Random House-merger, post-digital disruption Big Five giant delivers its highest year-to-date revenue results for the past seven years. "Revenues at September 30, 2014 were up 4.3 percent year-on-year to €11.82 billion [$14.74 billion] (previous year: €11.33 billion [$14.1 billion]), reaching their highest level in seven years," the Bertelsmann press release stated. "The strategic transactions of the past 18 months contributed significantly to these increases – including the combination of Penguin and Random House, Arvato’s takeover of the financial...

Routledge bonanza of free titles shows value of scholarly open access
November 10, 2014 | 9:46 am

I wouldn't normally share the details of an Amazon free giveaway drive, as these pass by so fast and are better suited to forums or push alerts than articles, but I'm including this one because it showcases the value of the principle of scholarly open access when potentially really useful titles are involved. Useful to the policymaker or the academic, admittedly, but with just enough general interest to be worth putting out there - because Routledge is currently pushing out free offers on some of its humanities titles that can save readers over $200. The Mobileread Forums  - always a good...

MADHOUSE comfortably clears Indiegogo fundraising goals
November 3, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Following TeleRead's coverage of the Indiegogo fundraising campaign by Dark Regions Press to fund its illustrated shared world psychological horror anthology MADHOUSE, I'm glad to report that the project has cleared its base target and several stretch fundraising goals, raising $3962 in just the two days after our article ran. The project is now sitting pretty on $18,572 of funds raised by the cutoff time of 11:59pm PT, November 2nd, 2014, against its original target of $15,000. The extra money secured three out of the four stretch goals for the project, with by artist Aaron Alfrey now due to fully illustrate ten chapters...

Enter the MADHOUSE for a last unhinged funding round
October 31, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Here's an interesting Indiegogo funding project for Halloween: MADHOUSE, "a Shared World Horror Anthology," from Dark Regions Press, publisher of - among many other fine authors - Mercedes M. Yardley and Richard Gavin. The project is targeting to raise $15,000 by November 2nd, and so far claims to be 96 percent towards that goal, with $14,610 raised as of the time of writing. MADHOUSE sets out to be "an illustrated shared world psychological horror anthology"  edited by Brad C. Hodson and Benjamin Kane Ethridge, and comes with an appropriate diverse and visual set of goodies for backers, including a map of the Golden Canyon Behavioral...

Wylie the jackal becomes Hachette’s running dog?
October 31, 2014 | 10:25 am

AndrewWylie.PhotographEamonnMcCabe.jpgNever one to bear a grudge or indulge in overly aggressive, unreflective self-promotion, Andrew Wylie can't seem to forgive Amazon for the failure of his Odyssey JV with them - or in general, for failing to acknowledge that nothing moves until Andrew Wylie says so. And now he's blaming Amazon for depriving writers of a decent living. “Writers will begin to make enough money to live,” he claims, according to his keynote address at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors, if only the Big Five have the cojones like Hachette to stand up to Amazon, who he doesn't hesitate to compare to ISIS. Hold...

Why we need an e-book DRM DMCA exemption
October 30, 2014 | 8:54 pm

It’s that time again. Ars Technica reports that the Copyright Office is accepting petitions on activities to exempt from the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, making it legal to crack DRM for certain restricted purposes. We’ve reported on this procedure a few times over the last few years. The way it goes is that various people or organizations make proposals and the copyright office considers whether to grant them for the next three years. The exemptions then have to be requested again at the next session if they are to continue. Public Knowledge will be submitting requests to legalize...

Hugh Howey corrects just about every assumption you ever had about the book trade
October 29, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Hugh HoweyWhat could change just about every aspect of the current disputes about digital disruption in the book trade? The revelation that the key traditional businesses are not being disrupted at all, right? Well, that may be overstating the case, but not too far - at least according to Hugh Howey. Under the headline "Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong," he's put together an analysis, with a lot of its data drawn, interestingly, from the New Republic, to demonstrate that: "Almost everything being said about publishing today is predicated on two facts that are dead wrong. The first is that publishers...

Atavist Books to close down at the end of 2014
October 21, 2014 | 7:41 pm

sleepdonation I had occasion to mention Atavist Books in March of this year. when it launched with the novella Sleep Donation and proclaimed its intention to “revolutionize book publishing” with interactive multimedia books. At the time, I expressed my doubts that anybody actually wanted the platform it was building. It seems that events have borne out my supposition. Saying that it’s found “the market for highly innovative enhanced full length literary e-books still heavily relies on a print component and has yet to emerge,” Atavist Books has announced it will be closing down its e-book-publishing operation as of...

Simon & Schuster reportedly reaches agency deal with Amazon
October 20, 2014 | 6:50 pm

The interesting times we live in might just have gotten a little more interesting. Right as Hachette is in the middle of a protracted contact negotiation dispute with Hachette comes a rumor, via Publishers Weekly, that its fellow Big Five publisher Simon & Schuster has just finalized a contract deal with Amazon. The deal would supposedly move the pricing model “back toward the original agency plan,” with S&S able to set prices on its e-books, but Amazon retaining some ability to discount. Of course, this is just a rumor based on an anonymous leak. PW pointed out that...

Permuted Press tells authors: No more paper for you, kids
October 15, 2014 | 2:25 pm

"Acclaimed horror author, indie songwriter and artist Gabrielle Faust" - and no I am not being the remotest bit snarky by quoting that - has just posted a pretty remarkable, and quite disconcerting, account of a recent alert that she and other authors had from publisher Permuted Press, the self-proclaimed "leading publisher of zombie and horror fiction," who, according to her, has declined to print their books in future. On paper, that is. Unless they're bestsellers. Bear in mind when reading the following that some have dismissed all this as sour grapes. Others, however, equally authoritative, have not. Some are even...

Big Publishing’s latest author discovery wheeze: YouTube celebrity deals
October 14, 2014 | 4:25 pm

YouTubeThe Next Big Thing in author discovery, according to a Wall Street Journal article anyway, is YouTube. Book promo videos have been a coming thing for a while now, as any fule kno. But now Big Publishing is turning the equation round, by using the power of rich social media to discover rather than to market authors. One of the key titles in the new surge of YouTube celeb signings is - appropriately enough - “The Pointless Book,” by UK video blogger Alfie Deyes. Then there's also "Make Up," by YouTube makeover celeb Michelle Phan. And unsurprisingly, the names of the...

Laura Fredericks on the future of publishing
October 12, 2014 | 3:30 pm

Laura Fredericks, founder and CEO of the writing community Describli, has put up a very interesting guest post on the future of publishing at the Independent Publishing Magazine - the same platform that had the good taste to commend me and Chris Meadows as shakers in the evolution of the industry. And she is not exactly recommending the status quo ante disruption. In fact, her call - and warning - for both publishers and writers is: connect (or be damned). Fredericks's take is that although "the future of publishing remains uncertain," the "even more direct connection between writers, readers, publishers, and publicity"...