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Amazon dropped a shoe last week when they announced their new mystery imprint, Thomas & Mercer Books, and started signing authors, including self-publishing evangelist, Joe Konrath.
Last night they dropped the other shoe, which turned out to be a very heavy boot. They signed former Time Warner Publishing (the company that is now Hachette Book Group) CEO Larry Kirshbaum to head up a new general trade imprint for them.
Are Books An Endangered Species?
Michael Levin is an eight-time best-selling author, a former member of the Authors Guild Council and a business writer. In the following piece, he writes that the disappearance of books is not because of Amazon or the Web, but because of book publishers themselves.
A program, which makes books affordable for poor children, helps in ways that libraries and book bins can’t.
This is a follow-up piece to: A Book in Every Home, and Then Some
Which was posted on LISNEWS here.
McGraw-Hill has launched a platform for accessing its wide breadth of content online at www.MHeBookLibrary.com. The site will deliver content to institutions globally and contains over 1,000 titles. The publisher said the library was created to serve the growing digital demands of library patrons and give easier and quicker access to its content.
Academic Peer-Review…Crowd Sourced
Sympoze: a network of high-quality academic publications that utilizes crowd sourcing for the peer-review process. Crowd sourcing the peer-review process improves a number of problems with the current academic publishing model.
Reduced referee burden
Reduced review time
Speed up finding qualified referees
Eliminate the bad luck of being assigned to a biased or overworked referee
More diverse feedback
Decisions better reflect opinion of the field
Sympoze will also offer…
High-quality peer-reviewed scholarship by experts in the field
Immediate open-access publication (for pieces that pass the review process)
Yearly print volumes for each discipline in traditional book and e-book formats
Open Road Media is banking its future on digital publishing — and it's starting with old books first. The company is digitizing "back list" books — titles written long before e-books, or e-rights, even existed — and selling old classics with aggressive multi-platform marketing campaigns.
Full story on NPR
Who Will Referee the Referee? — The ACS As Publisher and “Approver”
"How big a deal is this? The conflict of interest is blatant in the case of Chemical Abstracts and Journal of Chemical Education, and it is somewhat subtler in regard to the “Highly Recommended” journal list, 63% of which is comprised of ACS titles. But in both cases the conflict is real, and seems to have gone largely (though not entirely) without public comment up until now. It may be that ACS is handling these conflicts honorably, but how can we know for certain? At the very least, this issue seems to bear more and wider discussion."
From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
By Jennifer Howard
Open peer review—which gives anyone who’s interested a chance to weigh in on scholarly content before it’s published—just got an institutional boost. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given New York University Press and MediaCommons a $50,000 grant to take a closer look at open, or peer-to-peer (P2P), review, the press announced today. MediaCommons is a digital scholarly network hosted by the NYU Libraries and affiliated with the Institute for the Future of the Book.....Read the rest here.
On editing & updating standards
"What is important about these excerpts (and in my opinion, I don’t believe these systems or approaches to be unique to West) is that they get to an underlying issue not being asked of lawyers and legal researchers generally, that is, what do you, the consumer, consider to be a quality update to a legal treatise? It’s rare to find lawyers talking about such things, and law librarians had a perfect opportunity to do so at the recent AALL Vendor Colloquium, but instead limited their focus to pricing and subscription models, vendor communications, digital v. print, etc. Honestly, what difference does all of that make if you don't know what standards vendors use to measure the underlying quality of the product?"