Thursday News: Amazon weighs in on ebook pricing, sale of Harlequin nearly complete, OkCupid lies to daters, and Turkish women are defiantly laughing

Thursday News: Amazon weighs in on ebook pricing, sale of Harlequin...

Keep in mind that books don’t just compete against books. Books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

So, at $9.99, the total pie is bigger – how does Amazon propose to share that revenue pie? We believe 35% should go to the author, 35% to the publisher and 30% to Amazon. Is 30% reasonable? Yes. In fact, the 30% share of total revenue is what Hachette forced us to take in 2010 when they illegally colluded with their competitors to raise e-book prices. We had no problem with the 30% — we did have a big problem with the price increases. –The Digital Reader and Amazon

With Harlequin’s sale to HarperCollins expected to be completed before the end of the week, the publisher’s parent company, Torstar, reported that sales for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014 fell C$6.4 million to C$96.4 million and net income dropped to C$1.6 million from C$5.6 million in last year’s second quarter. The revenue decline was attributed primarily to lower sales in North America. –Publishers Weekly

On Monday, President Christian Rudder disclosed in a blog post that OkCupid had conducted experiments on its users, including a test to see whether its assessment of their matchability led to successful dating.

“To test this, we took pairs of bad matches … and told them they were exceptionally good for each other,” Rudder wrote. “When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are. Even when they should be wrong for each other.” 

OkCupid’s actions, at least four legal experts said, appear to be in violation of a provision in the FTC act that prohibits “unfair and deceptive” practices by a company that result in misleading or harming consumers. –Huffington Post and Reuters

Bülent Ar?nç said during an end of Ramadan speech that women should not laugh in public or talk about “unnecessary” things on the phone. He made these oddly specific demands as he seemed to yearn for a simpler time when Turkish women were more repressed.

“Where are our girls, who slightly blush, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their face, becoming the symbol of chastity?” he asked, complaining of what he saw as the moral decline of Turkish society. –Global Post