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Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John Sargent: Major publishers learning, trying new things with e-books
December 18, 2014 | 6:30 pm

Here are an interesting juxtaposition of posts that just came to light today. In the first, Kristine Kathryn Rusch at last returns to blogging about the publishing industry with an end-of-year post that is both interesting and scary. Last year, I wrote an open letter asking the Big Five publishers if they’d learned anything from the Apple verdict. In her new blog post, Rusch suggests that they have, and it might not be good news for the authors who sign with them. Touching once more on the sales problems inherent in publishers no longer being able to schedule book...

Are there any real costs in open access publishing?
December 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

The UK's JISC (formerly Joint Information Systems Committee), a government-linked think tank for IT leadership in education, has just released a new article purporting to lay bare "the true cost of publishing in open access." The implication of this title, of course, is that open access publishing does involve costs, including unacknowledged ones. But if so, how far? The article quotes Research Libraries UK figures "that the UK’s universities now pay around £192 million [$300 million] per year for access to academic journals and databases: that is nearly a tenth of the total QR budget for research funding." It details article processing...

Appeals court judges ask probing questions in Apple e-book anti-trial case
December 16, 2014 | 7:56 pm

Yesterday, the appeals court heard testimony from Apple and the Department of Justice relating to the e-book anti-trust trial appeal. To my surprise, two of the three judges seemed amenable toward Apple’s point of view. They expressed concern over why the publisher collusion was such a bad thing when it was for the sake of stopping monopolist Amazon, and hinted that Judge Cote might have erred when she ruled that Apple’s behavior constituted a pro se anti-trust violation—a violation so obvious that it doesn’t need the “rule of reason” test applied to it. Apple attorney Theodore Boutros asked for...

Connor Cochran rebuts Internet troll’s allegations over Conlan Press product delays
December 8, 2014 | 10:13 pm

connorUpdate: Cochran has determined the responsible party is not his former employee after all; said employee has contacted Cochran in such a way as to convince Cochran it wasn't him, and apologized for his prior behavior. Cochran reports that more evidence has emerged about who the responsible party actually is, and he has provided that information to his lawyers and instructed them to "go after him to the fullest extent of the law. It’s never easy to have to deal with trolls, and Connor Cochran, publisher of Conlan Press, best known for publishing works of Peter S. Beagle including The Last...

Copyright Office posts DMCA exemption petitions
November 25, 2014 | 6:17 pm

A few weeks ago I discussed the need for a DMCA exemption for e-books, in light of the US Copyright Office requesting petitions for such exemptions. The Copyright Office has now posted all 44 petitions it received as PDFs. There are a number of interesting petitions there—not least of them my own. Now that I read my petition again, I see a few typos and other tweaks I wish I could go back and fix (and they miscategorized it under “Audiovisual Works – Multimedia E-Books,” rather than “Literature Distributed Electronically”), but on the whole I’m satisfied with it....

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...