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Thursday News: Macmillan plays chicken with DOJ; Project Gutenberg adds dropbox;...

1) Macmillan did nothing wrong.

2) Macmillan did this to protect retailers against across the board discounts that Amazon would undertake even though there is no evidence that Amazon is doing that now. “There is some discounting, but because it is not across the board the impact appears to be limited.”

3) Macmillan has already canceled its contracts and renegotiated new ones without MFN clauses and no price restraints except for books priced above $13.99 which are limited to a 10% discount.

4) Because it is in compliance with the DOJ’s desires, the lawsuit is now “pointless and destructive.”

5) Oh, by the way, we settled with the EU because “because of many differences in their system and because the discounting change will not materially affect the market there for us.”

Let’s recap this. Macmillan has complied with the DOJ, there has been no adverse affect in the market to the removal of agency, and Macmillan has settled in the EU but because of both business reasons and based on the principle of the matter, Macmillan will continue to expend “50 Shades” like money to defend a suit that it deems “pointless and destructive.”

If this was a publicly traded company, stock would be plummeting and shareholders would be filing lawsuits.

He ends with “Our e-book business has been softer of late, particularly for the last few weeks, even as the number of reading devices continues to grow. Interesting.” Hmm, what things have been occurring in the past few weeks?

Oh yes, I know. HarperCollins and Hachette have been discounting the shit out of top titles for gifting and personal reading and other retailers have been offering discounts as well. Maybe Macmillan’s sales have been soft because readers are finding adequate substitutes outside of the Macmillan catalog.

I’m flummoxed. Truly. Happy Holidays.

I’ve decided to stop apologizing, though, and I’m no longer ashamed. And women, even if you don’t read romances, there’s a lot to be proud of in a successful industry that is so dominated and influenced by women. In romance, we are the creators, the intended audience and the receptive consumer, showing our appreciation through astronomical sales. Female writers writing for female readers about traditionally female interests. NPR

London, A City Through Time

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. Brian
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 08:50:04

    The best news as we enter this holiday season is that independent booksellers have had a good year, booksellers in general have had the time to adjust their product mix and store counts, and consumers continue to value and buy real books.

    When he says things like this it always makes me feel like he doesn’t see me, an ebook reader, as a “Real” customer. Since the books I buy aren’t “Real” and all. They may not have a physical component, but they sure as hell cost me “Real” money and have the same contents as a paper book.

    Needless to say, we continue to see the lawsuit as pointless and destructive.

    But yet instead of settling and having things done with they continue to add to the “legal bills look like the unit sales numbers for 50 Shades of Grey”.

  2. Nadia Lee
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 08:56:33

    …consumers continue to value and buy real books

    Why does Macmillan publish “fake” books? I see their ebooks all the time.

  3. Lisa Hendrix
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 10:22:26

    Another great app for both travelers and writers is Streetmuseum, from the Museum of London, which ties paintings and photographs from the museum’s collection to their actual locations for real or virtual walkabouts. More info at:

  4. Lynnd
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 12:02:32

    Re John Sargent and MacMillan – way to bankrupt your company and alienate your potential readers all at the same time. If I was a MacMillan author, I might consider shopping around for a new publisher since I suspect that if Sargent is actually serious about pursuing the litigation, the company will be bankrupt by this time next year.

    Thanks for sharing those London Apps.

  5. txvoodoo
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 16:47:21

    @Lisa Hendrix:

    Ooh, thanks for this link.

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