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Friday News: More on the Apple-Beats deal, Amazon Germany delays shipments, BEA 2014, and eBay’s new fashion research

Friday News: More on the Apple-Beats deal, Amazon Germany delays shipments,...

Apple’s Beats deal is bad news for these two companies - So now that the Apple – Beats deal is officially confirmed, the predictions shift into full gear. Will Beats bring Apple back to its glory days? Will it end up being an expensive flop? And what about other online services?

Yahoo Tech Reporter Aaron Pressman says this deal is not welcome news for Pandora and Spotify. “If you’re Pandora or Spotify – which maybe was heading towards an IPO – if you’re an investor in those companies, you’re pretty bummed out,” said Pressman. “This is not good for you.” — Yahoo News

Amazon Strategy Raises Hackles in Germany - Perhaps on the strength of Amazon’s share of the ebook market in Germany — which is substantial — the company is now delaying shipments for books from German publisher Bonnier Media Group. Similar to the early stages of Amazon’s US battle with Hachette, the situation in Germany has emerged from negotiations between Amazon and one of Germany’s largest publishers over the sharing of ebook profits.

Yet in a country where shopping hours are also tightly controlled by the government, Germans are becoming increasingly accustomed to the ease and independence of ordering books at all hours and having them delivered to their front doors.

Germany’s book-order business, including online sales, grew by 4 percent last year to 2.7 billion euros, or $3.7 billion, according to the Federation of Mail-Order Booksellers. Amazon towered above its competitors, controlling more than half of the German market, with sales of €1.9 billion. — New York Times

BEA 2014: Strong Traffic, Talk of Amazon-Hachette - Even BEA, which is currently underway in New York City, is preoccupied with talk of the Amazon-Hachette conflict. Along with flourishing attendance, a tribute to Maya Angelou, and presentation of the Indie Champion Award to James Patterson, people were talking about the battle. Patterson, especially, was outspoken, insisting that publishers must remain afloat to “support good literature,” and noting that profit margins in publishing are not enormous:

As Patterson sees it, readers and the bookselling community must step up in order to safeguard the future of our literature. He spoke about how this “economic war” will affect grocery stores, libraries, and bookstores. “Ultimately it will put thousands of mom-and-pops out of business. If Amazon’s not a monopoly, it’s the beginning of one. If this is to be the new American way, this has to be changed, by law if necessary.” He wanted the media and authors groups to take up this topic. “It’s a worthy subject of this BEA.”

Patrick Hughes, Fulcrum’s marketing and sales director, was also vocal on the subject of Amazon, and completely unsympathetic toward Hachette. “I can’t complain, there’s nothing better out there,” he said. “Amazon is our largest customer.” He continued: “One international corporate behemoth complaining about another international corporate behemoth—I have absolutely no sympathy.” — Publishers Weekly

In order to chase down fashion recommendations, eBay turns to neurological data - The use of algorithms to try to predict consumer choices and recommend merchandise is not a new concept, but eBay is taking the process a step further, it seems, by using neurological research to attempt to figure out what consumers want to wear, and thus, buy. Creepy or cool? Or maybe both?

Fashion taste is a fickle thing, but scientists have long pursued the neurological causes behind our aesthetic choices. We are still far from understanding the motives, but MIT Technology Review reports that a team at eBay Research Labs in San Jose is using neurology research and in-person opinions to help craft an algorithm that determines fashion combinations — ideally to be used to recommend clothing during shopping experiences. — Gigaom

Friday News: James Patterson funds indie bookstores, BEA adds more self-publishing content, Archie and Betty enter the YA market, and Nintendo takes aim at piracy

Friday News: James Patterson funds indie bookstores, BEA adds more self-publishing...

Author James Patterson To Give $1 Million To Bookstores – In that fine tradition of putting your money where your mouth is, James Patterson is giving grants of up to $15,000 to independent bookstores, likening his effort to the US government’s bailout of banks and automobile manufacturers. The money is not earmarked for any specific purpose, and Patterson just announced the first group of bookstores who have received grants. You can sign up to receive more information on Patterson’s website (where he publicizes a number of different initiatives).

“We’re in a juncture right now where bookstores as we have known them are at risk,” Patterson tells NPR’s Renee Montagne. “Libraries as we’ve known them are at risk, publishers are at risk, American literature is at risk, as we’ve known it, and getting kids reading is at risk.” –NPR

BEA Adds Programming for Indie Authors – BEA has announced the creation of Author Hub for its 2014 event, which will host a number of self-published authors including Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy. Author Hub will run in tandem with BEA’s uPublishU conference, which will be serving both authors working on publication of their first books, and previously self-published authors.

Speaking to the effort, BEA said its goal with Author Hub is “to further integrate the self-publishing community into the publishing mainstream by providing platforms where entrepreneurial authors may interact and share the spotlight at North America’s leading book industry event.” –Publishers Weekly

Archie Comics Adapted into YA NovelsArchie: A Rock & Roll Romance and Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty are being released by Archie Comics, the first tomorrow and the second in July. I read this story thinking, ‘wow, how come it took so long for this to happen.’ And even though part of me feels like there’s too much emphasis on adaptations and re-workings of previous stories, I’m also kind of looking forward to seeing how Archie, Betty, Veronica, and crew hit with book readers. Also, when you read the book description for Betty’s book, it definitely seems to fit within the YA/Rom fantasy paradigm:

”Betty Cooper has few of the luxuries that her privileged best friend Veronica Lodge enjoys, but she’s got something else that drives her wealthy friend crazy with jealousy,” explains the book’s description. “In a story full of heart and humor, find out how a normal, awkward teenage girl comes out feeling on top of the world in this hilarious new Diary series.” –GalleyCat

Nintendo: Broader, Awful Anti-Piracy Measures Are Sure To Turn Our Fortunes Around! – So apparently the Wii-U console is not selling so well, and instead of working to beat the competition (Sony, Microsoft) by building better hardware and software, they’re throwing their corporate weight behind extreme anti-piracy lobbying, which, as Techdirt points out, is complicated by the fact that United States hosts many of the sites associated with the Spanish content Nintendo identifies as a problem.

A large portion of Nintendo calories that could be directed to those pursuits are instead being directed at convincing the U.S government to pressure Brazil, China, Mexico and Spain into imposing tougher anti-piracy countermeasures. Nintendo informs the U.S. government they’ve suffered “heavy losses” in those countries, which should be encouraged to embrace blocking websites and turning ISPs into liable Internet content nannies (both things that have clearly worked so well up until now). –Techdirt