Tuesday Midday Links: Sad news in Romancelandia
Jennifer Haymore announced some terribly sad news. She has been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. We all wish you the very very best recovery, Jennifer.
Bantam Dell and Ballantine have been merged into one division under Libby McGuire. She will handle the hardcover (Linda Howard) and mass market (Tessa Dare, Mary Balogh, Stephanie Tyler).
The Ballantine, Del Rey and Bantam editors will report to [Jennifer Hershey] while Ballantine editorial director Linda Marrow and Bantam editorial director Kate Miciak will report to [Libby] McGuire.
1. Nook is going to be sold at Best Buy beginning on the 18th of April. (Best Buy is an electronics store for our international readers)
2. Best Buy is installing BN’s ereading software on select laptops, computers, and smartphones (I actually think this is bigger news than #1)
3. Barnes and Noble is offering Nook owners more exclusive content from writers such as Mitch Albom and Jim Cramer. It looks like these are shorts written just for BN. You can only get this content by going to a BN store.
4. The BN app has still not been approved by Apple while the Kindle and Kobo book app (not to mention Wattpad) has. My speculation is that BN coded in app book purchasing and learned that either Apple wasn’t going to allow it or that it wasn’t going to make any money on book sales that way. (In app purchases are entitled to the same commission fee structure which would mean that BN would have to pay Apple 30% out of BN’s own 30%).
In app purchasing is where you buy from within the application. Kobo and Amazon make you leave the application and open safari, the web browser.
Canada has given the green light to Amazon to open a distribution center. In exchange for the right to build a warehouse in Canada, Amazon has promised to”invest more than $20-million, including $1.5-million for cultural events and awards and for promoting Canadian-authored books abroad.”
2. Jane Dystel blogged about an article in New York magazine about an editor who lost the right to publish a recent work by J.D. Salinger. My take away? Salinger is a bit nutty.
1. Apple had a press conference last week to announce its iPhone 4.0 Operating System to be released into the wild this summer. The iPhone OS full upgrade will only work with 3G and 3Gs phones and the third generation iTouches. The rest of the iThings will either get no upgrade (first gen iPhones) or crippled upgrades. What’s so great about the update? It brings things like modified multitasking and ability to attach a bluetooth keyboard. An iPad software upgrade won’t be available until the fall. The takeaways I had from the press conference was that the iPad had sold 450,000 units by last Thursday and 85 million iPhones and iTouches have been sold. I wish more authors would get mobile enabled sites.
2. Another thing that iPhone 4.0 OS is bringing is Apple’s own Ad platform and Teleread.org speculates about how that will affect books. Yes, ads are coming to books. But guess what, publishers? You put ads in there and I’m not paying one penny for them.
3. Cody Brown guest blogged at TechCrunch that an author’s next book should be an app not an iBook. I guess Cody is thinking of this sort of thing? Honestly as I watched the Alice on the iPad video, I kept thinking about where all the words were for the Lewis Carroll book. I think that there is a place for transmedia storytelling which is what I think the Alice on the iPad and The Death of Bunny Munro, but I think its a companion piece to books and not a replacement for long form narrative fiction.
4. Simon Owens of bloggasm asked a couple of publicists how they thought the iPad would change book publicity. It’s even more important than ever to have a big web presence.
5. Andrew Savikas of Tools of Change urged publishers to reimagine digital publishing and learn from the mistakes that they made when they produced CD books.
have an informal filter on how interesting and innovative a new content-related development or device is — if a large number of people from incumbent companies (especially big ones) are excited about it, then it’s not actually interesting or innovative enough to matter much, because that means it’s too similar to the current way of doing things. That’s why the industry loves “enhanced ebooks” at the same time they’re totally missing opportunities to re-imagine the “job” their product does for the customer. (In all fairness, we struggle with this a lot at O’Reilly too!)
Kristin Nelson was told that Apple was going to allow the returns of digital books. This surprises me a bit because you can’t return digital movies or music that you purchased at Apple (I have gotten a refund when I accidentally pushed the Buy Button one too many times).
Deisel eBook store blog expounded on the tax issue. Apparently at least one publisher thinks that tax needs to be collected in every state because they have a sales person “everywhere”.
With Agency, the publisher – not the retailer – now becomes the seller of record. Since we are an agent in the transaction, that means we have to do the collection. (Interestingly, one of the A5 publishers we talked to today said that they think they are required to pay sales tax because they have a very large sales team, and therefore "sell" everywhere.) At this moment, we have not received confirmation from all of the A5 publishers as to whether they will be charging sales tax in each US locality.
Get your act together folks.
Editor Ann Patty suggests that perhaps editors should get royalties. Welcome to the world of digital publishers, Ann. Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, and several other smaller epublishers already have this model in place.
AAR Rachel has resigned from AAR. Whether this is a mutual parting or whether she was asked to leave is something we may never know. How it came about is a matter of public record. Jane O posted a piece on the AAR blog. In the comments, AAR Rachel gave her perspective. It was a perspective that offended a great deal of people. Her viewpoints are one’s that I find personally offensive but I didn’t feel so much anger reading them as sadness. AAR had been my go to place in the late 90s and early 2000s and Rachel’s reviews were some of the best on the site. I looked forward to her reviews and followed her recommendations. When I read her comments on the AAR blog and her subsequent postings on her blog, I felt like I had lost a friend.
(As an aside, if you choose to read her blog posts, please don’t leave a bunch of personally attacking comments and please don’t leave them here. They won’t change Rachel’s mind but would serve to cement a belief about how women exist just to tear down other women).