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Pearson, parent company of Big Six publishing company Penguin, acquired self-publishing company Author Solutions Inc. (ASI) from private equity firm Bertram Capital for $116 million in cash. The five year old company is better known by its brand names iUniverse and Xlibris, under which it has published about 190,000 print and electronic books so far by about 150,000 authors. The company has grown at approximately 12 percent for the past three years; in 2011, it made about $100 million in revenues.
We’ve seen a few innovations that have offered a twist on traditional reading habits, from offering short works by new authors based on the duration of train delays to a temporary edible book made of pasta and a smokeable book with pages made from rolling papers, printed with the lyrics of rapper Snoop Dogg. Taking elements of both of these ideas, Buenos Aires-based bookshop and publisher Eterna Cadencia has released El Libro que No Puede Esperar – which translates as ‘The Book that Cannot Wait’ – an anthology of new fiction from Latin American authors printed in ink that disappears after two months of opening the book.
This is reminiscent of William Gibson's book Agrippa
There was an article about Agrippa just a couple days ago: Picking Up the Pieces of William Gibson's Self-Destructing Poem
Free access to British scientific research within two yearsRadical shakeup of academic publishing will allow papers to be put online and be accessed by universities, firms and individuals
The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.
Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.
In an interview with the Guardian before Monday's announcement David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said he expected a full transformation to the open approach over the next two years.
Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin is skeptical there will be a Netflix, Audible, or Spotify for books.
Two post at Teleread.com
An interesting article reporting on a recent session at the meeting of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP), relating a discussion about patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) and its impact on library collection development.
"Libraries...are beginning to flip the process of collection-building on its head by striking deals that let their patrons’ reading habits determine which works they purchase."
Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin argues that publishers will need to be able to sell direct to consumers in the future. Interesting question is that if this happens what will be the effect on libraries?
Some authors, like the novelist James Patterson, are producing 12 or more books a year to satisfy readers who are increasingly used to on-demand entertainment.
"They are behaving much as one would expect: offering minimal concessions that will look as good as possible while keeping their profits intact. I realize that asking them to deal with the objections to bundling and exposing their journals to genuine competition is making a demand they are most unlikely to accede to, since their huge profits are based on stifling this competition. So instead, we must press on with the more positive step of developing alternative models, something I shall report on in the near future. "
High Court judge quashes Surrey 'volunteers' library decision
A High Court judge has quashed a decision by Surrey County Council to hand over the running of 10 libraries to volunteers.
Mr Justice Wilkie made a court order stopping paid workers from being taken out of the library.
The council said it will make a fresh decision on the plans on 19 June.