Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Monday Midday Links: It Is All Gloom and Doom (today at...

emoticon_tongueDisney bought Marvel Comics for $4 billion. Disney will now own the rights to over 5,000 Marvel characters including Spider Man, X-men, Ironman, and the like. One key element of copyright law that people tend to forgot is that the longer copyrights benefit corporations like Disney more than any one else, even the individual copyright holder.

eyeBarnes & Noble will be distributing Smashword books via the BN ebook store. Authors who publish through Smashword receive 85% off the net. The partnership allows for greater visibility of Smashword books. I’m not sure if BN is accepting all the Smashword books or some selection as the press release mentions a “Premium Catalog.” Given that Smashwords is a self publishing tool, I would think that either BN or Smashwords would have to curate the content to some extent or risk degrading the useability of the BN ebook reading store.

emoticon_smileSF Guy has a spectacular list of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and SFF book releases for the month of September. You know, in case you were looking around for something to read.

emoticon_smileApple announced that the theme for its September news conference is “Rock and Roll” which seems to given credence the rumors that the Tablet will not be released this fall. It, instead, will be all about the new iTouches and Apple’s new music container.

eyeHachette’s CEO talks about how publishers will have to stand “big” against retailers in the downward pricing of ebooks. Further, Hachette is looking at acquiring other houses. The article suggested that Hachette is in a good position to acquire Simon & Schuster should CBS need to sell it. S&S quietly laid off one book editor last week and this article suggests that there are more “workforce reductions” coming.

emoticon_tongueCleantech Group suggests that if you are reading and buying more than 23 books over a five year period that it is greener to go digital.

emoticon_tongueLori Drew’s conviction for cyberbullying was nullified by judicial dismissal of the suit. While Drew’s harangue of a teen that led to the teen’s suicide was awful, the use of the terms of service to provide grounds for criminal charges would have led to much abuse.

emoticon_smileRandom House, despite laying off people and reorganizing its business divisions, still managed to lose money for the entire first half of 2009. Profits were down the first half of 2009 by 35.5% worldwide. RH did see an upturn in sales over the summer and have high hopes for the Dan Brown book.

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

emoticon_smileSandra Guy of the Sun Times writes about a recent study projecting the closure of over 10,000 retail stores in 2009 including about 400 bookstores. The downturn in the economy is affecting the decisions people make about non necessary goods and apparently books are in that category.

eyeWal-Mart is looking to be a one stop online shopping portal akin to Amazon. Friends of mine admit that they could buy books places other than Amazon but that they order so many non book related items that they can’t leave Amazon. Wal-Mart wants to have customers like those. Wal-Mart has dabbled in music downloads and I have to believe that if they want to be a one stop shopping portal that digital books will be available at some point through Wal-Mart.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. FD
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 12:32:17

    Hey, speaking of Murdochs, did you see that James Murdoch is of the opinion that the BBC is a ‘threat to the plurality and independence of news provision’ ? I laughed until I cried.
    Link to Independent article

  2. Moriah Jovan
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 12:35:19

    that digital books will be available at some point through Wal-Mart.

    Screened for objectionable content, I’m sure.

  3. joanne
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 13:06:15

    Lori Drew's conviction for cyberbullying was nullified by judicial dismissal of the suit.

    Not a very satisfying conclusion but probably the only viable one. There is no law in this land that can stop some people from being inhumane. Just a sad, sad story.

  4. jmc
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 13:24:29

    I appreciate the Clean Tech link. But I also have to laugh because the idea of buying 23 books or fewer over a five year period is…inconceivable. I probably buy that many paper and ebooks over the course of 3 or 4 months.

  5. RStewie
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 15:16:21

    Disney/Marvel: full of FAIL and SUCK. I’m SO not happy about that. I hate how Disney craps all over things when they get involved. I hope Marvel can continue somewhat (or completely!!!1!) autonomously.


    Apple's new music container

    I don’t know if that’s an “official” term for it, or something, but I’m LOLing.

    And WalMart is welcome to try to make my life easier by selling and shipping my essentials to me for cheaper. Especially since the closest is a 20 min drive into the ghetto for me.

  6. SandyW
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 15:28:51

    Disney bought Marvel Comics for $4 billion.

    Sigh. No good can come of this.

  7. Doug Knipe [SciFiGuy]
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 19:06:59

    I guess it won’t be long until we have a Marvel Theme Park. Thanks for the link.

  8. Mark Coker
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 19:17:52

    Hi Jane, thanks for the mention of our relationship with B&N. To support B&N, as well as other retail partners, we’re creating the Premium Catalog you mention, which represents a subset of books that match the mechanical requirements of retailers. More info here, where we list our filtering criteria. I’m sure our criteria will evolve over time.

  9. Edie
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 20:22:23

    The marvel news brings me close to tears.
    buh humbug

  10. Kristina Cook
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 22:36:11

    @Doug Knipe [SciFiGuy]:

    We kinda already do–there’s a Marvel-themed ‘land’ at Universal Studios Orlando/Islands of Adventure theme park (there are rides based on Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic 4, etc.). I wonder how that will work now that Disney owns them??

  11. Amy
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 23:34:55

    Where was the superhero to prevent that deal? Goodbye Marvel, t’was nice knowing you.

  12. NKKingston
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 04:09:29

    Honestly? I’m not all doom and gloom about Disney/Marvel, though the extent of Disney’s power is a little worrying. But Marvel comics that, maybe, possibly, don’t consist entirely of gore, angst and heavily sexualised women? Or am I the only one who misses family friendly sequential art?

    re: 23 books. That’s just over four books a year. I do know people who buy less than that, but not many. However, a bit of mental maths, and I suspect that I probably only buy that many new books a year. Secondhand I hoard like crazy, because I’m a sucker for out-of-print books. So I guess I’m actually on the enviromentally friendly side of the equation, even though I try and get through at least one book a week, and most of what I want isn’t even available for eReaders.

    re: Amazon/Wal-mart. Considering Amazon’s share of the web these days, I’m actually kinda glad doesn’t offer everything .com appears to. It’s weird enough when it’s supermarkets branching out into clothes and DVDs and so on, but the idea of buying nappies from a bookseller baffles me.

  13. Ann Bruce
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 07:30:20

    @NKKingston: Disney wants to bring in the male fan base, which is a very lucrative market (e.g. have you seen the box office take for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen?). Frankly, Disney sucks in that area. I fall in line somewhat with this market more than any other and if Disney didn’t have Pixar and the occasional Bruckheimer flick, I wouldn’t be watching anything from them. Anyway, they already own the family and tween girl markets. For Disney, this is an excellent business move.

    Personally, I’m less than thrilled with the buyout because Disney might go the way of FOX and force all Marvel movies to be under 110 minutes (gotta increase the number of showings and give people less time to realize the movie sucks! *cough*Wolverine*cough*) and to fall under the PG rating…and Disney doesn’t sell their movies through Columbia House.

  14. XandraG
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 13:09:19

    Of course, Disney could always try attracting those male fans by not making just about every live-action movie be a 110-minute long “man-gets-nailed-in-crotch-by-smartass-kid” event. You tend to lose your audience when they’re occupied with sympathetic flinching.

  15. Wednesday Links Round Up: S&S Layoffs | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 08:36:20

    […] Misc Confirmation of the layoffs of three Simon & Schuster editors has been made. (We had some concerns about layoffs on Monday). News of the Star Trek editor had leaked out last week with a suggestion that there were others in […]

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