Friday, July 3, 2015

Publishing Industry News

Publishing news and industry blogs, part one, covers 6/5-7/3 (the news portion, and a couple of cool features I came across). Part 2 will be next Friday, as I have been not-quite-staying-awake all week as I try to un-jetlag, and most of my American readers will be out spending time with families, getting sunburns, eating apple pie, and watching the fireworks tomorrow.

Publishing News

Zuckerberg's Year of Books aims to get readers to join him in reading different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies. A look at how it has impacted the sales of each book chosen so far.

The expiration of the Internet Tax Freedom Act is leading to a rewriting of legislation, which should allow the legislation to be updated to current economic realities. New acts that may replace the legislation--the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015--will hopefully accomplish this rebalancing, and currently enjoy bipartisan support.

In the EU, the European Commission opens an investigation into the business practices of Amazon's e-book branch, specifically looking at Amazon's clause that publishers must inform Amazon if a better price will be offered elsewhere, or other retailers are getting better deals.

Amazon and Penguin Random House successfully reach a new long-term sales agreement.

Amazon also changes its royalty terms for authors participating in its Kindled Unlimited e-book subscription service and Kindle Owners Lending Library, based on complains from authors on how much their earnings dropped. The new royalty system intends to address this to pay authors more fairly. However, some are seeing the change as being unfavorable to authors.

Romance readers read a lot of books. Which Mark Coker theorizes is why Scribd is cutting back on the number of romance and erotica books offered: romance readers read too much! In any case, the number of romance and erotica books on the subscription service is being reduced, but there are still plenty of these titles available.

Most organizations agree that the U.S. Copyright Office needs a bit of an overhaul, but the plan to make the U.S. Copyright Office independent of the Library of Congress is meeting criticism, in part because many parties aren't sure that the separation would actually address the problems. The American Library Association makes a case in more detail as to why the separation may not be the best move.

Apple's appeal has been rejected once again in the price-fixing DOJ lawsuit, putting Apple on track to pay its $400 million fine to consumers.

Smashwords released a new feature allowing titles to be listed as preorders without a cover or even a completed manuscript.

Cool Features

It's well-known that backlit e-reading devices can add to eye strain and disrupt sleep. Oyster introduces Lumin to address this, a product that aims to automatically adjust the device's light to its surroundings and time.

The Guardian puts together a set of infographics about the Sherlock Holmes series.

Amazon has made it easier to share passages from Kindle books.

Bath reading will be ever so much safer for the books if these waterproof books get made.

Did you know Queen Victoria wrote a book when she was ten years old? And now it's finally been published.

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