Friday, September 7, 2012

Publishing News

Publishing industry news for 8/25-9/7. There's been lots of news these past two weeks, so I included fewer blogs than normal to balance things out (and hopefully avoid the massive overload I had last time!).

Industry News

HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette are to pay $69 million in a settlement with state attorneys. This lawsuit parallels the DOJ vs Apple and Publishers one, but is not the same suit, because it's between the attorney generals and the publishers. Breakdown of who will pay what, for which books, is here. The money will be paid to the customers, not to the state attorneys.

Bob Kohn, music industry attorney who weighed in on the DOJ vs Apple and Publishers lawsuit, was submitted a 25-page amicus brief. The court decided this was too long and required him to resubmit it as a 5-page brief. So Kohn resubmitted it in comic form. The US attorneys were not impressed, responding in 5 paragraphs without addressing all of Kohn's points, and are urging the judge on the case to hurry up and submit a final judgement.

And, on Sept. 6, the judge did formally approve the settlement entered into by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins with the DOJ. That still leaves Apple, Penguin Group, and Macmillan going to trial next summer.

In an EU antitrust lawsuit against Apple and several publishers, Apple may be considering an agreement to settle. This investigation is very similar to the American, including involving many of the same (European branches) of the same publishers.

Marilyn Ducksworth files lawsuit against Penguin for age discrimination. After working at Penguin for 28 years, her suit claims she was marginalized and that she saw the company systematically replacing experienced members with younger ones, resulting in her decision to resign.

No additional delay will be issued in the Author Guild vs Google book-scanning case. Google had requested that the trial be delayed until the ruling that classified the case as class action was reviewed. However, the delay due to the plaintiffs' health concerns will still be upheld.

A book-scanning service, 1DollarScan, digitizes any scanned item and returns it as a PDF. The customer signs a form stating that the PDF will not be shared. Because of the ease of which this service could be abused, especially to aid e-piracy, the Authors Guild is taking note of the company.

The Hugo Awards announces their 2012 winners.

It's no new news that authors have been caught purchasing fake reviews on Amazon. One group of authors unites against the "sock puppets."

Author Solutions was caught with a number of fake social media accounts, all under the name of  fictional employee Jared Silverstone. It's removing them.

E-book retailer Kobo releases several new, upgraded e-readers.

Self-publishing? Kobo is offering an additional 10% royalties on books released through Kobo Writing Life this fall (that's 80% royalty instead of 70% royalty) to drive membership. This deal runs from September 1 through November 30.

And Amazon also releases a new set of upgraded Kindles, dropping prices on older versions (such as marking the Kindle Fire down to $159, even after adding more memory). Guess the Nook can forget about last month's attempt to undercut the Kindle, huh?

Industry Blogs

QueryTracker's Publishing Pulse for 8/31 and 9/7.

GalleyCat offers a collection of Union & Guild resources for writers. Basically it's a list of guilds that writers can join.

At Friday Night at the Question Emporium, a writer asks Janet Reid if she should be heartbroken that her dream agent just signed someone whose manuscript description is exactly like her own. Reid gives a tough-love answer: stop worrying; your dream agent is the who signs you and is enthusiastic about your book. Now go write! Another question asked is what agents are looking for in the 3-5 page sample they have authors send. Reid says there's no checklist: it's just to see whether or not she'd read more, just the same as any reader picking a book up in the bookstore.

Ever worried your husband by reading a book about fixing broken relationships? Jane Lebak explains how reading self-help, do-it-yourself, and how-to books are the path to being a good a writer: because writers need to know everything their characters know, or at least know enough to pretend to. And sometimes that means reading books on relationships. Meanwhile, also on QueryTracker, Ash Krafton suggest we give our villains "flaws" that make them likeable--just a little bit of good to make them interesting. Just like heroes, villains have to be well-characterized.

And Carolyn Kaufman talks about how to write realistic romances. Remember that real romances aren't just physical, and they're usually messy.

Rachelle Gardner offers 6 tips for successful networking. Kristen Lamb expounds upon the points of thinking long-term and not using social media for marketing by explaining the process of "social clear-cutting," or how telemarketers destroyed the usefulness of the landline (so don't be a Twitter telemarketer!)

When an independent bookstore went out of business, they posted on Ask Me Anything on Reddit. It's an interesting look at the economics of the independent bookstore.

What industry news have you encountered in the past two weeks?

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