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

Tuesday News: 2014 publishing mergers, Tom Kabinet survives first ruling, iWatch...

The combination of the economic downturn of 2008–2009 and the uncertainty about where the book business was headed as e-books began to take hold at the beginning of the current decade made it difficult to place a dollar valuation on companies, which, in turn, made the heads of both large and small publishers reluctant to get involved in the acquisition field as either buyers or sellers. That attitude began to change with the announcement of the Penguin–Random House merger. With the economy gradually improving and the slowdown in e-book growth providing a bit more clarity about the future of the book market, more executives have been willing to take the acquisition plunge. Indeed, in the view of some industry observers, consolidation is key to survival for companies that want to remain in the trade book business. –Publishers Weekly

Even though Tom Kabinet won today, the odds are still stacked against it. The site is going to have to win the lawsuit in both local and EU courts, a process which will likely take years. What’s more, the Dutch courts have a history of supporting industry trade groups whenever the topic of piracy comes up, including repeatedly ordering ISPs to block The Pirate Bay. That blockade was only lifted in January of this year when EU courts overruled Dutch courts, saying that the blocks were disproportionate and ineffective. –The Digital Reader

How do you convince the mass of consumers to consider an iWatch to be a necessary accessory for 21st century life? Make it a fashion-forward, celebrity-endorsed object of desire. Make it aspirational (to use the technical marketing term.) And then, once its value and exclusivity is established, transform it into an “attainable luxury,” much like the iPhone has become. From this perspective, Apple’s fashion executives have a lot to do. To start with Pruniaux, perhaps Apple now intends to sell the iWatch through the same retail channels as luxury watches like TAG Heuer—Tourneau and high-end department stores. Why limit exposure to Apple stores? Plus the carriers don’t have the same motivation to sell the iWatch as they do the iPhone. It represents an accessory, not a new data plan. –Forbes

The prime candidate being syphilis, which was rampant in Europe at the time. “The treatment of the disease was for the most part empirical with multiple agents applied locally, which along with the bulky dressings would give large frontal bulges, impossible to hide. The problem would present the tailors with a challenge that appears to have been met by them featuring the mass with the codpiece, while also appearing to advertise the wearer’s virility.” –Improbable Research

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

5 Comments

  1. Kimship
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 08:40:05

    I don’t understand this trend towards “smartwatches”. Thanks to phones, I finally don’t have to wear a watch to know the time. Why would I want to go back to that for other things, and on a much smaller screen?

  2. MrsJoseph
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 08:54:18

    @Kimship: I love watches – I wear one daily and feel naked if I’m out and about without one…

  3. Darlynne
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:28:21

    “Make it a fashion-forward, celebrity-endorsed object of desire. ” I am so not the target audience for this newest iThing. It would be impossible for me to care less about which celebrity endorses what brand or device. Apple wants us to buy their products? If they hadn’t overcharged readers for those digital books there might have been some discretionary funds left at the end of the day.

  4. Isobel Carr
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 12:31:54

    The problem with the codpiece theory is that the first outbreak of syphilis in Europe was at the very end of the 15thC, and codpieces predate that by a good bit (also, codpieces go away but syphilis certainly doesn’t). Short coats come in in the early to mid 1300s and that required chausses to develop into joined hose (aka pants!). The butt is sewn in, and the front is made with a codpiece to cover “the bits”.

    And yes, this theory has been discussed extensively among the re-enactors I know, esp among the guys who are interested in medical history, like my friend Scotty who does barber surgeon re-enactments.

  5. Nate
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 14:22:27

    @Darlynne: That’s okay. The iWatch doesn’t exist yet, and the odds are good we won’t see it this year.

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