Publishing

Scott Turow: The Slow Death of the American Author

New York Times Op-Ed on how new legislation on imported copies of American authors works affects issues of copyright.

LAST month, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions. Until now, courts have forbidden such activity as a violation of copyright. Not only does this ruling open the gates to a surge in cheap imports, but since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won’t get royalties.

This may sound like a minor problem; authors already contend with an enormous domestic market for secondhand books. But it is the latest example of how the global electronic marketplace is rapidly depleting authors’ income streams. It seems almost every player — publishers, search engines, libraries, pirates and even some scholars — is vying for position at authors’ expense.

Macmillan Afraid Anyone With A Library Card "never have to buy a book again"

Worries about the effect of libraries on the book trade are not new. But digital devices, which allow books to reach readers with ease and speed, intensify them. As Brian Napack, president of Macmillan, a big publisher, put it in 2011, the fear is that someone who gets a library card will “never have to buy a book again”.

Sci-Fi's Underground Hit

Authors are snubbing publishers and insisting on keeping e-book rights. How one novelist made more than $1 million before his book hit stores.

Excerpt from article: In a highly unusual deal, Simon & Schuster acquired print publication rights to "Wool" while allowing Mr. Howey to keep the e-book rights himself. Mr. Howey self-published "Wool" as a serial novel in 2011, and took a rare stand by refusing to sell the digital rights. Last year, he turned down multiple seven-figure offers from publishers before reaching a mid-six-figure, print-only deal with Simon & Schuster.

"I had made seven figures on my own, so it was easy to walk away," says Mr. Howey, 37, a college dropout who worked as a yacht captain, a roofer and a bookseller before he started self-publishing. "I thought, 'How are you guys going to sell six times what I'm selling now?' "

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U.S. ISBN Monopoly Denies Threat From Digital Self-Publishing

LOOK inside any book published since 1970 and you will find a number. But perhaps not for much longer. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN), invented in Britain in 1965, took off rapidly as an international system for classifying books, with 150 agencies (one per country, with two for bilingual Canada) now issuing the codes. Set up by retailers to ease their distribution and sales, it increasingly hampers new, small and individual publishers. Yet digital publishing is weakening its monopoly.

Edwin Mellen Press To Drop Suit Against Librarian

A U.S.-based publishing company says it is dropping at least one of its lawsuits against a McMaster librarian after scholars across North America came to his defense.

Edwin Mellen Press (EMP) had filed two lawsuits against Dale Askey and McMaster University, claiming a total of $4.5 million in damages.
Edwin Mellen PressIn the first filing, submitted in June of last year, the company alleged that statements Askey made in a Sept. 2010 blog post, while he was working at a Kansas university, were both “false” and “defamatory in its tone and context.”

With hindsight, closing library was still wrong decision

The local grass roots group “Escondido’s Future” partnered with CSUSM Community Service Learning Office to conduct a survey of the impact of the library closure on the community. We discovered that most of students actually went to the library for books and media and not mainly for the computers as some city leaders had presupposed. A quarter of the students went to the branch library for a safe place to be and more than a third said that with the branch library closed they didn’t have a proper place to study or do homework.

DRM Lawsuit Filed By Independent Bookstores Against Amazon, 'Big Six' Publishers

Three independent bookstores are taking Amazon and the so-called Big Six publishers (Random House, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) to court in an attempt to level the playing field for book retailers. If successful, the lawsuit could completely change how ebooks are sold.

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Publishing is tough these days – unless you're in nautical almanacs, apparently

Glasgow maritime publisher Brown, Son and Ferguson is 163 years old, and still in the hands of its original owners. This is something of a record – not that they would ever boast about it

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House of Cards

Proposal for libraries to publish unique library owned content.

How will shrinking shelf space impact libraries?

Interesting question on shrinking shelf space at book stores... how will that impact us? How will shrinking shelf space impact publishing?

However, the shelf space is shrinking.
It is hard to see these lost shelves being replaced by others and therefore the volume of print itself may have to shrink further. Some believe that a direct marketing approach will replace the High Street and to a degree it is true, but unfortunately the biggest direct marketer today is Amazon. The one that knows more about your book buying habits, tastes, dislikes and your disposable income is only one click away. Many direct marketers merely only handle the marketing and throw the fulfilment over to – yes, Amazon.

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