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Posts tagged publishing

Does publishing have a coolness problem?
July 3, 2014 | 10:25 am

Over six months after the International Publishers Association concluded that publishing has an image problem, UK peers at the London Book Fair have been wondering "Is publishing cool anymore?" and bemoaning the tendency of the tech companies to steal all the brightest people. For the British publishing industry overall, with its somewhat fusty and cozy reputation as a bastion of the Old Rectory Syndrome, I'm surprised that this is even a discussion, but clearly some insiders feel differently. "Will the bright, imaginative, tech savvy, book reading (or content devouring) twentysomething choose Gollancz or Google, Faber or Facebook, Orion or O2?" asks...

Morning Roundup: Txtr to launch subscription service. eBooks vs paper and more
July 1, 2014 | 9:00 am

txtrTxtr to Launch a Million Title eBook Subscription Service This Summer (The Digital Reader) Late last week txtr, the Berlin-based ebook subsidiary of 3M, pulled the covers off of Blloon, their newest service. When it launches into beta this summer, Blloon will offer readers in the US and UK a completely free reading option. *** eBooks vs paper (The Financial Times) Choosing books to take on holiday has got more difficult in recent years. Now it is a question not just of what to read but how – on paper, tablet, e-reader, or perhaps even a phone – and people have strong opinions on...

Title mix-up helps writer sell book entitled Joyland
June 29, 2014 | 10:25 am

joyland times 2!I just love quirky little stories like this one---as GalleyCat reports an author named Emily Schultz is was bemused to see a sudden spike in sales of her eight-year-old novel, Joyland, after Stephen King released a book with the same title. At first, she was someone put out by the whole thing, as a spate of confused King fans bought hers by mistake and then left one-star reviews complaining that they had the wrong book. But then, the first larger-than-average royalty check came in, and Schultz is fine with it now. She's even started a blog chronicling how she is spending...

The Guardian: Big Publishing’s most useful idiot
June 26, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Save Big MediaIn line with its past inflammatory anti-Amazon screeds, UK daily The Guardian has been weighing into the Hachette vs. Amazon spat with histrionic variations of its own. The latest, sublimely, stating that: "New Amazon terms amount to 'assisted suicide' for book industry, experts claim." The "experts" quoted in this instance are primarily anonymous publishers speaking to The Bookseller. Yes, The Guardian's Alison Flood quotes members of the publishers' club speaking in their favorite house organ as impartial, objective "experts." The "assisted suicide" quote actually comes from The Bookseller editor Philip Jones, who states that Amazon's push towards print-on-demand when publishers can't...

There are no good guys in the Amazon/Big Publisher battle
June 26, 2014 | 12:14 pm

amazon is not a white knightIt's human nature to want to find good guys in just about any conflict, and most of the coverage about Amazon and Hachette just reinforces that. Hachette authors have been yelling that Amazon is the bad guy, and their assumption is that Hachette has been looking out for their best interests. As a recent comment from David Gaughran on a post on The Digital Reader demonstrates, that's not necessarily the case. He posits several scenarios stemming from recent Hachette leaks and shows how they might be interpreted, and not in Hachette's favor. The flip side, of course, is people calling Amazon the...

Publishers go directly to jail – and no, not for price fixing
June 22, 2014 | 2:25 pm

This may sound like wish-fulfillment to some of the more militantly anti-Big Media types among us, but six UK publishers and book world figures have gone to jail in London. No, it's not for price fixing, nor for defrauding would-be authors through Author Solutions-style vanity press gouging. Instead, they did it voluntarily - and in a good cause. Pavilion Books' "A Night in the Cells" was staged in support of the campaign by Britain's Howard League for Penal Reform against the British government's widely condemned ban on sending books to prisoners. The cells were actually in a disused London police lockup...

Dumping DRM is not a panacea
June 20, 2014 | 12:23 pm

As I’ve watched the e-book market develop, I’ve gradually lost a good deal of patience with the argument that DRM is the thing keeping people locked into the Amazon Kindle ecosystem. The latest example to pop up comes via Cory Doctorow’s latest column in The Guardian (found via BoingBoing). Doctorow feels Hachette is hoist by its own petard because of the DRM it insists Amazon (and the other e-book stores) use. It’s an old, old argument. And make no mistake, I don’t like DRM myself and would be just as glad if it all went away tomorrow. But Doctorow...

Authors lost the book war long before Amazon vs. Hachette
June 19, 2014 | 12:28 pm

publishersI meant to cover this piece from The Weeklings when it popped up on The Passive Voice the other day. To my surprise, it’s reprinted on the normally rabid pro-publisher/anti-Amazon Salon Magazine this morning, so I guess I have no excuse now. In this article, J.E. Fishman traces authorial woes all the way back to the 1930s when Penguin began to flood the market with cheap paperbacks. This kicked off a paperback revolution among US publishers. Through all of this disruption no one asked authors what they thought. When it came to business, authors were...

Hast ‘t wooking class bin writ oot ‘o literature?
June 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

... and for those of you unfamiliar with Yorkshire dialect (unlike my Bridlingtonian maternal grandparents), that means "Has the working class been written out of literature?" and was composed with the aid of the Chicken Run Yorkshire Translator - for those whose familiarity with Yorkshire goes no further than Chicken Run. What started this particular chicken run was another silly post in The Guardian - home of silly post after other silly post - from Kevin Duffy, founder of the otherwise excellent Yorkshire independent Bluemoose Books, based in Hebden Bridge. Duffy complains that "Working-class fiction has been written out of publishing,"...

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.” ...

Neil Gaiman ‘pissed at Amazon’ but not so sure about Hachette either
June 16, 2014 | 1:04 pm

GaimanWell, here’s another Salon Amazon hit piece, at least sort of. Salon chose to headline it, “Neil Gaiman: ‘I’m obviously pissed at Amazon’” but if you read the actual article, you find the quote was taken out of context. Gaiman feels that the anti-trust prosecution against the five major publishers and Apple was a bad move, but on the matter of Amazon versus Hachette, he is actually ambivalent: I’m a weird mixture right now, because on the one hand, I’m obviously pissed at Amazon. I’m a Hachette author in the U.K., my wife is a Hachette author now, and I’m very...

Morning Roundup: 60% Hachette revenue from Amazon. New Smart Cover patent from Apple?
June 13, 2014 | 9:00 am

Hachette logoFive Tips for Publishers Navigating Common Core Headwinds (Digital Book World) The push-back against the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that’s been mounted in recent weeks is complicating the way forward for trade and school publishers working to align their content to new guidelines taking effect across the U.S. *** Hachette Derives 60% of Book Revenue from Amazon (GoodeReader) A recently leaked investor slideshow sheds light on how reliant Hachette is on Amazon for their worldwide eBook sales. ** Apple Requests Patent for iPad Smartcover with Notification Screens (GigaOM) Could the iPad Smart Cover get even smarter? Yes, based on an Apple patent filing that shows notification...