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Thursday Midday Links: Three Pubs to Provide Up to Date Sales...

NPR explores the psychological fraud of the 70s – that Sybil was a fake – with the author of “Sybil Exposed.”

Reading through Schreiber’s papers, Nathan says it becomes obvious that the writer knew that Mason’s story was not entirely true. Memories of a traumatic tonsillectomy, for instance, morphed into a lurid story of abuse. And Schreiber seemed eager to pump up or even create drama where none existed. But if Schreiber had doubts, she suppressed them.

“She already had a contract and she already had a deadline,” Nathan says. “She was in the middle of writing the book. So she had the dilemma all journalists have nightmares about — what if my thesis turns out to be wrong as I do my research but it’s too late?”


Mashable has a very good article on what to do if your ereader is lost or stolen.  It gives the telephone numbers of the customer service for Kindle, nook, and Sony.  Until you call and report your ereader is stolen, you can be responsible for those charges.  You can also deauthorize your devices. On Kindle, you can deauthorize the device from the Manage Your Kindle page and from Sony, you can turn off the “buy now” feature.

Only with the nook can sideloaded content be protected, although I am not certain how that occurs.


Lynn D gave me the heads up about this Supreme Court of Canada ruling on linking to libelous material.

N owns and operates a website in British Columbia containing commentary about various issues, including free speech and the Internet.  One of the articles he posted on it contained shallow and deep hyperlinks to other websites, which in turn contained information about C.  C sued N on the basis that two of the hyperlinks he created connected to defamatory material, and that by using those hyperlinks, N was publishing the defamatory information.

The Court found that hyperlinking is not republication of libelous material:

  As previously noted, when a hyperlinker creates a link, he or she gains no control over the content linked to.  If a plaintiff wishes to prevent further publications of the defamatory content, his or her most effective remedy lies with the person who actually created and controls the content.  Making reference to the existence and/or location of content by hyperlink or otherwise, without more, is not publication of that content.


Amazon is sued by an actress for publication of her age on Internet Movie Database.  She claims that the only way they could have discovered her age is by scouring public records using information from her credit card.  Source: INFOdocket.


Simon & Schuster and two others (Hachette and Random House) are going to be providing actual sales data to their authors.  S&S calls it their Author Portal and will provide authors the last six weeks of book sales, divided by format and by type of retailer.

The sales information that authors can see includes the last six weeks of book sales from a variety of sources, divided by format. There are separate screens for e-book sales, hardcover sales, paperbacks and audiobooks. Those figures come from a number of different kinds of booksellers.

The data come from different sales channels, including mass market stores, national acocunts and warehouse clubs. These data are aggregated: Authors won’t be able to see how many of their books sold at, say, Target versus Barnes & Noble, but they will be able to review those numbers overall.

Electricbook said on Twitter:

Thanking publishers for sharing live sales data with authors is like thanking the football stadium for showing the score.

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. Jackie Barbosa
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 14:15:12

    I just followed Electricbook on Twitter. Because seriously…nailed it!

  2. library addict
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 15:20:44

    Aren’t authors already provided with this sales data on their royalty statements?

    The Canadian ruling seems logical to me.

  3. LG
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 15:31:08

    I think you can password protect your Nook, but I haven’t done it, so I don’t know at what point you’d be required to enter a password. That may be how sideloaded content is protected.

    I admit I’d love to know the name of the actress suing Amazon. Maybe it’s a sign I spend too much time at work, but the first thing I thought was “Ooh, I should see if her age is available in library records.” I know that there are people who will request to have age-related information removed from those records, or who will refuse to provide it if asked. Then there are the people who lie about there age. I once found a record for a woman who had given three separate birthdates, one of which made her approximately 10 years younger than she actually was. Her daughter provided the real birthdate after her death.

  4. Courtney Milan
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 15:53:52

    @library addict: No, not really. There are two major differences.

    (1) The information authors get on royalty statements are about sales that happened 9-12 months before. So, for instance, Unveiled came out at the end of January of this year, and I won’t get a royalty statement for it until sometime in November.

    (2) Except for e-book sales, royalty statements only provide indirect sales data. They are about books shipped and books returned. In the theoretical long run, books sold = books shipped – books returned. But, for instance, in my first royalty statement for UNVEILED I’ll get a credit for some books having sold, but (if this royalty statement looks like most of the others), the vast majority of the copies will be held as “reserves against return.”

    About 2.5 years after release or so, the credit on my royalty statement should be approximately the same as copies sold, but it takes about that long.

  5. DS
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 15:59:02

    Knocking a few years off your age used to seem so appealing to women in my mother’s generation– until it came time to retire. The process of proving age before births were routinely registered involved producing three pieces of identification (and they were often affidavits from older family members).

    Techdirt has the Complaint embedded. Her theory is that Amazon took her credit card information and went looking for her age. Someone else pulled up a similar suit from 2007

  6. Avery Flynn
    Oct 20, 2011 @ 16:38:10

    “Thanking publishers for sharing live sales data with authors is like thanking the football stadium for showing the score.” God, I love a good quip. Add in an uncomfortable truth and I’m in love.

  7. SAO
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 02:32:28

    I’ve noticed that some actresses who were older than me when I was in my teens are now younger than me. Why should any database publish data they know to be untrue? Among other things, someone is bound to notice that the “9 year old” in that old film looks remarkably mature and is successfully playing a 20-something. The users are bound to blame the database, not the actress.

  8. Nadia Lee
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 06:31:07

    @library addict: What Courtney said.

    The super-delayed reporting and lack of data were two of the reasons why authors found it hard to figure out what kind of marketing / promo effort on their part worked or not.

  9. Lisa Hendrix
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 22:04:43

    Have to laugh about the actress lawsuit. Apparently she assumes that none of the people she went to high school, college, or church with can still recognize her and might voluntarily “correct” the info on IMDB.

  10. Shannon Stacey
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 20:37:01

    I wonder if other publishers are grumbling about these three around the water cooler because, if these three can offer that info, so can they. And authors will wonder why they don’t/won’t.

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