Friday, April 1, 2016

Publishing News

Publishing news and industry blogs will just be publishing news, as I've missed a few publishing news posts and there on limits both on what I can type and you can read. This week I'll just be focusing on the major news from February 19-March 30.

Amazon's Giveaway, which allows sellers to run promo giveaways, now supports ebooks.

The Apple price-fixing case appeal, a bid to have the Supreme Court review the case, has been rejected. The previous rulings stand, and therefore Judge Denise Cote's ruling is once and for all final. Apple will refund $400 million to consumers and pay another $50 million in legal costs.

The Association of American Publishers continues prioritizing protecting intellectual property in its statement of agenda for 2016, continuing the efforts put forth in 2015. It also pushes for increasing diversity in the publishing business.

Barnes & Noble cuts the Nook app, redesigns its website, and makes various other overhauls. B&N is also testing a new prototype brick and mortar store that emphasizes online purchasing.

The Google book-scanning case (first filed in 2005!) is now in the hands of the Supreme Court, with the case set to begin review April 1. This case is expected to address how the Copyright Act applies in the digital age, especially the "Fair use" doctrine as it's applied in the digital age.

A novel written by an artificial intelligence has made it through the first round of judging in Japan's Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award.

Kindles older than 2012 will need an update to keep working (as of March 22).

Publishers Weekly looks at the results of its survey on diversity in the publishing industry and analyzes what steps will be needed to taken, difficulties faced in taking those steps, how the inequality came to exist, how the industry compares to other industries, and more.

PW also looks at what the final conclusion of the Apple price-fixing case means for publishers and consumers, now that Apple's bid to have the Supreme Court review the case has been rejected.

Samhain Publishing, a digital romance publisher, will be shutting down its publishing operations. Authors whose titles are ready will continue to be published on schedule, while those not yet completed will have the rights reverted to authors; the company plans to eventually revert all rights back to authors, but it will not happen immediately or all at once. The company is still solvent, and this slow return schedule is planned to help it stay that way (and therefore avoid the woes of publisher bankruptcy).

Scribd has changed its business model, and has added 6000 new titles to its subscription service.

In the UK, 22% of the books sold in 2015 were self-published, according to Nielsen Books & Consumers UK survey.

Writer Beware offers a small host of new warnings: Bookfuel, a subscription-based self-publishing service with high fees, a publisher called Encircle mysteriously gets hold of Five Star's now-defunct line's mystery writer e-mails, and Book Excellence Awards has all the markers of an awards profiteer (all addressed in this post).

Also on Writer Beware, A&M publishing makes the pay to play list, now with a new webpage that does not mention its substantial fees. Indie publisher Morgan James Publishing also requires an abnormally high investment to publish with them, this time in the form of requiring authors to purchase a large number of their own books.

Victoria Strauss also acknowledges a lawsuit from Publish America about her coverage on the class action lawsuit against PublishAmerica and the company's change of name to America Star Books, which has reached a settlement in which the company will release all claims against Strauss and the other parties associated with Writer Beware.

What other major industry news has occurred in the last month and half?

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