Friday News: Audio on the rise, Perseus + Ingram, and “toward a radical politics of pleasure”
Book sales are in decline but audio books are thriving – More on the rise of print, not just in the US, but in the UK, too, with a side of ‘print is more expensive = good’, and ‘ebooks are “cheaper” = bad’ for publishing. *sigh* Anyway, we know that audio has been on the rise, but here are some interesting statistics:
However, one area that is experiencing strong growth is audio books. The APP said audio book downloads increased by 38.1 percent in 2015 and services such as Audible, where users pay a monthly subscription to access a library of audio books, are growing.
“Audible membership growth is consistent at 40 per cent year on year, as more consumers realise how well audiobooks can fit into their busy lives,” explained Tracey Markham, country manager for Audible, to CNBC via email. “Audible members globally listened to 1.6 billion hours of audio content in 2015 (up from 1.2 billion in 2014).” – CNBC
Perseus inks deal to sell book distribution arm to Ingram – On the heels of the deal between Perseus and Hachette a few days ago comes news that Perseus has been able to sell its distribution business to Ingram. Perseus had initially tried to sell both parts of the company to Hachette, and Hachette was going to sell the distribution to Ingram, but that deal did not happen (for undisclosed reasons). Not sure why they just didn’t try this the first time around, but everyone seems to be satisfied with the terms. The Ingram deal is actually larger than the Hachette deal ($300 million a year to $100 million a year), so that’s kind of interesting.
Although not as sexy as its book imprints, Perseus’s distribution business handles about 600 small and educational publishers including Grove Atlantic, Harvard Business Review Press, Princeton University Press and New World Library. . . .
“We expect there will be only minimal layoffs,” said Ingram.
The distribution arm has about 400 employees and the company plans to keep the Jackson, Tenn., warehouse operation where most of the employees are based, according to Ingram. – New York Post
PLEASURE IN THE TIME OF NATIONALISM – I haven’t even had time to digest this piece, but it is a version of a talk Reina Gattuso gave at the St. Stephen’s College Gender Studies Cell in Delhi University North Campus, India and concerns the relationship between consent and female pleasure to nationalism, capitalism, and other political, social, and economic ideologies. She wants to move toward a “radical politics of pleasure,” is critical of its potential co-optation by neoliberal regimes, and also discusses its threat to right wing power structures.
Consent also comes with a whole set of propositions about power and sex, and the ethics of sex. Most radical among these is the idea that sex is not something that one must simply accept or decline based on who one is — just because one is a woman doesn’t mean that one must be sexually available to men, or just because one is a woman does not mean that one must not be sexually available to men.
This is really important, but I don’t think it goes far enough.
Because first, we need to think about consent as something that is structural. We need to understand sexual consent not as a simple yes/no answer — even an enthusiastic yes — but as a power relation structured by other power relations in society.
We need to understand that power is complicated; that one must look at an entire social system to understand coercion; that women often have limited choices within diverse patriarchies and that we also need to look at social pressures that coerce.
At the same time, we can’t deny people dignity. So we can understand, for example, a married woman having sex even if she doesn’t want to with a husband she financially depends on not as “oh that poor woman it must necessarily be rape” and not as “well it’s okay because she said yes to it” but as a complex and above all else structural power relation that is produced by a fundamental unfreedom that permeates society on a number of different levels. – Feministing