Friday, January 20, 2017

Publishing Industry News

Since it's been a while since I've done a Publishing Industry News post, this one covers 12/1/16- 1/19/17, and be focused on the major news.

An independent copyright office may be splitting off from the Library of Congress under the title Register of Copyrights, after the move receives backing (in a proposed policy) from the House Judiciary Committee. The committee is open to written public comments on the policy until 1/31/17.

Pearson prepares to sell its stake in Penguin Random House after Penguin Random House's below-expectation performance in 2016. Bertelsmann CEO expresses tentative interest in the stake.

In Australia, the copyright office of the country (Australian Productivity Commission) reports support for an overhaul of commercial copyright restrictions. This would allow foreign publishers' books to be imported and sold in Australia. Protests are coming from authors, local publishers, and retailers.

Authors United disbands, with AU leader Preston urging authors to join and support the Authors Guild instead. Authors Guild president issues a statement of welcome to all former AU members.

International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) votes to merge with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which would allow the W3C to gain ownership of the EPUB ebook standard; CEO of OverDrive Steve Potash objects and seeks to block the merger on grounds that he does not believe W3C would adequately protect intellectual property rights in book publishing, as it would not have incentive to do so without a standalone organization such as IDPF holding EPUB rights. (IDPF members voted 88% in favor of the merger, so they do not seem swayed by his arguments.)

Publishing news hotspot GalleyCat closes down.

Microsoft will soon join the ranks of ebook retailers, preparing to open an ebookstore, according to a leak on PCWorld.

Amazon and Apple end the deal that made Apple the exclusive other seller of audio books (Amazon still sold directly through Audible, which they had previously purchased in 2008) through Apple's iTunes, and prevented Apple from accepting audio books from any other supplier than Audible. This allays some of the EU pressure from anti-trust regulators.

Romance writers and publishers with books out under the well-known, recently defunct All Romance eBooks bring a class action lawsuit against the company and its owner, following the short download period for customers and pennies-on-the-dollar (ten pennies, to be exact) offer to authors for unpaid royalties accompanying the company's closing down.

Writer Beware notes several other problem companies. Caliburn Press and Month9books are loaded with complaints for unpaid royalties and other problems (Caliburn Press includes Damnation Books and Eternal Press), so writers beware. Torquere Press is closing, after a change in leadership proceeded into unpaid royalties; rights are being reverted to authors, though cover art and ISBNs and formatting are not, and edits to unpublished works are expected to remain unused. Strauss reports on Harry Bingham's inquiry into Austin Macauley; she advises writer beware this company based on his reports.

Meanwhile, Write Beware notes that "assisted self-publishing companies" (many of which are frequently considered vanity publishers) are in decline. Author Solutions shows a continuing trend of fewer and fewer authors publishing with them since 2011.  Tate Publishing, continuously bogged down under a mire of complaints, and having had the BBB revoke its accreditation in 2016, seems to be massively declining.

Nielsen Book Scanning releases a report looking at how metadata affects book sales (hint: a lot).

I'm sure there's plenty that's been going on the past month and a half. What major industry news have you encountered?

No comments:

Post a Comment