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Tuesday Midday Links: Amazon’s Charm Offensive

The new draft of the Google Book Settlement was due yesterday but the parties asked (and was granted) until Friday to present a new settlement agreement. Given that the biggest part of the GBKS were orphan works and that was what drew the biggest complaints, I wonder how any new settlement could address this.


Amazon engaged in a “charm offensive” by flying out a number of top flight agents to its Seattle headquarters last week, as reported by Crains.   This wooing of the agents seemed quite odd (has it ever been done in the past).   One nugget was that agents and Amazon seem to be in agreement that publishers can make more money selling ebooks than hardcovers.   I don’t know if that is true but it seems like publishers may be headed that route regardless.   Certainly Harlequin has been able to be profitable without a hardcover division.   But what to make of Amazon wooing agents? It means something.


Speaking of Harlequin, Quill & Quire wrote up a piece about Carina Press.   It notes that authors for Carina Press will need to play an active role in promoting their books and included this line about DRM.   Q&Q, DRM doesn’t prevent authors’ works from being copied or downloaded illegally either.

And Carina does not offer digital rights management to prevent authors’ work being copied or downloaded illegally.


The nook is so popular that Barnes & Noble doesn’t have enough stock to meet demand. Therefore, if you order one now, it won’t come until December 11.   Of course, this presumes that the Spring Design suit doesn’t result in some injunction.


Richard Nash asks why the sponsors for BEA don’t want to include the public. You know, the people the sponsors sell books to.


Blogcritics makes the case why you should read debut novels. I thought this was a great blog topic and we’ll have a “best debut novel” recommendation thread later this week.


A visually impaired gamer sues Sony for not making its games more accessible.   The gamer had sent several emails to Sony requesting “reasonable accommodations” (that’s the legal language of the law) for people with similar disabilities.   I can’t help but think that ebook readers will be subject to this type of legal scrutiny as well.    Of course, the suit would have to be directed at the publishers. If the suit is directed toward Amazon or the nook, they would open up access but the suit cannot impact those not a party, i.e., the publishers who are requiring Amazon to turn off Text to Speech.

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. Diana
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 11:35:06

    Thanks for the link about debut novels! I work with a librarian who refuses to order debut novels because “the author hasn’t proven himself/herself” and “may never write anything else again.”

    Good thing she wasn’t around when To Kill A Mockingbird came out. *sigh*

  2. Erastes
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 11:47:48

    I would imagine that there isn’t a publisher on this earth that doesn’t expect authors to take an active role in promoting their books these days. Gone are the days when you’d hand a book in, and wait for the free tickets for the book tour.

    Damn it. I always miss the best times.

  3. Caligi
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 12:56:58

    I love debut novels. There’s something fun about reading someone’s first novel, knowing how excited the author was when it sold and how its writing was something of an impossible dream.

    The $3.99 price point for a lot of them helps too!

  4. Cathy
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 13:22:01

    I also love debut novels – it’s so much fun to introduce friends and family to a brand-new author.

  5. SonomaLass
    Nov 10, 2009 @ 22:45:43

    I’m looking forward to the post on debut novels. I have read quite a few recently, almost all of them good.

    I groaned when I read the Q&Q piece. Perpetuating the misconception. I hope that another successful digital press that eschews DRM will help open some eyes on this issue.

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