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.

The Wrong War Over eBooks: Publishers Vs. Libraries

In the first of two parts about the new realities of publishing and public libraries, Forbes contributor David Vinjamuri discusses whether the right battle is being fought:

"The solution to the current pricing problem lies in understanding that the argument publishers and libraries are having is the wrong argument. It is based on the paradigm of the printed book and as such presents a series of intractable challenges for both publishers and libraries. By changing the model for pricing an eBook, both parties could find a clear and equitable resolution to the current impasse."

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.

TV blogger Alan Sepinwall's self-published book, The Revolution Was Televised, came out just before Thanksgiving. Within two weeks he had a review in The New York Times — a positive review — by the widely read and often critical Michiko Kakutani, who also named it one her favorite books of the year. This is what book publicists and their writers dream of, and Sepinwall didn't even see it coming.

Full piece on NPR


Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers 2013

Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers 2013
The gold open-access model has given rise to a great many new online publishers. Many of these publishers are corrupt and exist only to make money off the author processing charges that are billed to authors upon acceptance of their scientific manuscripts.


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