Friday News: RIP Prince, proposed Harlequin settlement, Amazon goes to school, and cutting back on books
Prince | 1958 – 2016 – The Los Angeles Times has a good collection of features about Prince’s death yesterday. Apparently he collapsed in an elevator on his Minnesota compound, Paisley Park, and could not be revived. The music legend was only 57, but had been briefly hospitalized last week for what TMZ is reporting as a drug overdose. The day before he sought emergency treatment for what his representatives insisted was the flu, Prince held one more (two-set) concert in Atlanta, which turned out to be his last performance. A devout Jehovah’s Witness, Prince refused to have surgery on his painful hips because it might involve a blood transfusion (thus his ubiquitous cane). As with many other challenges, he was able to turn something like a cane into a characteristic of coolness. His talents were myriad and unique. There are some wonderful tributes from other artists here, and the Broadway cast of The Color Purple performed a moving rendition of Purple Rain on stage last night, as well. As this obituary from The Washington Post notes:
The Minnesota native was inducted in 2004 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which noted that when Prince first arrived on the scene in the 1970s, “it didn’t take long for him to upend the music world with his startling music and arresting demeanor. He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the Eighties.”
“Prince made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative. His colorful image and revolutionary music made Prince a figure comparable in paradigm-shifting impact to Little Richard, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and George Clinton.” – The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Radio.com, TMZ, E! online, and YouTube
Harlequin Class Action Settlement – A proposed settlement between Harlequin (now owned by Harper Collins) and the “class” represented by plaintiff authors is now in process. If you are an author who is part of the class, you should have received notice of the proposed settlement and should note the upcoming deadline for objection and exclusion (June 6th). Plaintiffs characterize the settlement as “in the best interests of all class members,” and defendant acknowledges no wrongdoing or liability. The website allows you to download court documents related to the case and provides contact information for the claims administrator. A fairness hearing on the settlement will be held on June 30th. This does not mean the settlement is a done deal, but it’s a good sign for imminent resolution of the case.
A proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit has been reached between Plaintiffs Barbara Keiler, Mona Gay Thomas, and Linda Barrett (“Plaintiffs”) and Defendants Harlequin Enterprises Limited, Harlequin Books S.A., and Harlequin Enterprises B.V. (“Defendants” or “Harlequin”). Your legal rights may be affected whether you act or do not act. Read the Notice you received carefully.
Under the Settlement, Harlequin has agreed to pay a total amount of $4.1 million, which will be distributed to qualified Harlequin novelists, after payment for the costs of settlement administration, Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs, and service awards to the three Plaintiffs, all as described in the Notice. – Harlequin Settlement website
Amazon Lands Major Account: New York City Public Schools – Well, it’s taken a number of years, but Amazon finally seems to be making serious inroads into the education market, with an enormous deal to provide digital books to the more than one million students in the New York City public school system. Is Los Angeles next?
Amazon has struck a major deal with the New York City public school district, the country’s largest, to provide e-books to its students. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal the deal, worth $30 million, will see the e-tailer selling titles through an internal marketplace. The agreement will not see students using Amazon’s hardware, such as its suite of Kindle devices. . . .
For the e-book purchases from the New York City schools, Amazon will earn a commission between 10%-15%. The school system estimated that it plans to make $4.3 million in e-book purchases during the first year of the agreement, which takes effect in the forthcoming school year, and ramp up to $17.2 million in the third year. – Publishers Weekly
Taking the knife to the budget – one book at a time – This is every author and publisher’s nightmare – a power reader decides to stop buying books for a whole year. Why? Because “[t]aking the knife to some of your spending can be satisfying,” especially when you realize that it doesn’t compromise your happiness. How many of us have TBR mountains we ignore while purchasing shiny new books? How many of us could stop buying books, even if we (think we) have the extra money to spend on them? I know I should do this, but even the thought of it makes me want to buy a book!
I’ve decided not to buy another book for myself this year.
I’m going to read through the book mountain I already own, but have never cracked the spine of.
So far this year I have survived on books that came my way at Christmas (including the excellent Speeches that Shaped New Zealand 1814-1956) and books off the shelves. I’ve been choosing the fattest ones as a means of slowing myself down. I’m currently engaged in trying to keep up momentum in George Elliot’s Middlemarch. Only another 450 pages to go. – stuff.co.nz