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Tuesday News: Simon & Schuster re-contracts with Amazon, the secrets to Half Price Books’ success, Designers sue ISPs over knock-offs, and Toni Morrison’s papers go to Princeton

Tuesday News: Simon & Schuster re-contracts with Amazon, the secrets to...

The agreement, which was revealed in a letter to the publisher’s writers, gives Simon & Schuster control over e-book pricing “with some limited exceptions,” according to the letter, which was signed by Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy and obtained by the New York Times. The existing contract between Amazon and Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CNET parent CBS, was due to expire in two months. –CNET

Today we have our own publishing arm, and we produce our own stationery, calendars, and CD wallets to sell. Our wholesale division sells to museums, independent bookstores, and Barnes & Noble. We have five to six buyers traveling the country, buying remainders that we can sell at half price. If we buy too much, we sell the extras to Barnes & Noble or others. All of us in the book world feed off each other. There’s competition, but it’s all with great people.

The book industry has changed dramatically because of Amazon, e-readers, and tablets. Stores can’t ignore the fact that you can get just about any book you want while you’re in your pajamas, and it has had an effect on everyone. But there are still a lot of people who like to browse bookstores and be surprised by what they find. People like to handle paper. It’s the permanency of it. We did a survey, and our customers buy 37 books a year. With the recession, we closed three stores, but we’re still profitable. –Fortune

The defendants included British Sky Broadcasting Limited, British Telecommunications PLC, EE Limited, TalkTalk Telecom Limited and Virgin Media Limited, giving Richemont a broad swath of security against these particular vendors, at least in the UK.

According to Justice Richard Arnold’s ruling, “The ISPs have an essential role in these infringements, since it is via the ISPs’ services that the advertisements and offers for sale are communicated to 95 percent of broadband users in the UK.” –Fashionista

Before joining the Princeton faculty, Morrison held the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at the State University of New York-Albany. Previously, she was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. She also has taught at Howard University, Yale University, Bard College and Rutgers University. . . .

The papers of Toni Morrison contain about 180 linear feet of research materials documenting the author’s life, work and writing methods, according to Don Skemer, curator of manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in the Princeton University Library. The papers will be among the most important holdings of the Manuscripts Division, housed in Firestone Library, with its renowned collection of major literary and publishing archives. –Princeton University

Tuesday News: BISG focuses on collaboration, Alibaba’s massive IPO, the New York Times flubs race again, and the years top banned books

Tuesday News: BISG focuses on collaboration, Alibaba’s massive IPO, the New...

Echoing Michael’s video message the panel also urged more industry collaboration. Indeed the growing emphasis on collaboration between separate players in the supply chain and the emphasis on publisher/customer outreach can produce friction in an industry used to clear demarcations between manufacturer, retailer and consumer. But Catogge said publishers and retailers have to reassess the notion of “owning the customer,” and Toolian called earlier models of channel ownership, “outdated notions of customer relations. We need to share our understanding of customers though not necessarily their email addresses.” –Publishers Weekly

Alibaba is a holding company. It owns Taobao.com, China’s version of eBay, and Tmall.com, another popular shopping destination where major international brands like Nike and Samsung have online stores. It also owns a business-to-business commerce site, and it developed a fast-growing cashless-payments system, Alipay, which is a Chinese version of Pay-pal. (As Vauhini Vara notes, the company has also been compared to Walmart.) In short, Alibaba has done a better job than its Chinese competitors in mimicking the American pacesetters that first demonstrated the power of these network effects. –New Yorker

There are some big questions here – about diversity, about editing procedures and about how The Times deals with stories about women and race. They are worth exploring in depth. . . .

“This is a signal to me that we have to constantly remind ourselves as editors of our blind spots, what we don’t know, and of how readers may react.”  –New York Times