Monday News: This is no superhero lawsuit, Audible TOS, winning blurbs, and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad
The Marvel Chairman, a Hate-Mail Feud and Claims of Stolen DNA – This case is almost impossible to summarize, but it basically boils down to a feud between Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter and Toronto’s Mandrake Management founder Harold Peerenboom over the contract to maintain a Florida neighborhood’s tennis courts. And that feud has led to Perlmutter allegedly using Marvel employees to dig up dirt on Peerenboom, who in turn swiped Perlmutter’s DNA so he could test it and possibly match it to anonymous hate letters circulating about him. Beyond the interesting legal questions about the rights you have to your own DNA in the U.S. (which vary by state), you have to wonder how a suit like this does or does not affect actual corporate governance and business.
Harold Peerenboom is sued for defamation over comments made about the operation of tennis courts at Florida-based Sloan’s Curve. Ike Perlmutter secretly helps fund the lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, anonymous letters begin circulating targeting Peerenboom’s personal and professional life.
Perlmutter gives testimony in the tennis lawsuit at a deposition, where his DNA is surreptitiously collected by Peerenboom for the purpose of proving the Marvel chief is behind the hate mailings. . . .
The New York Times reports the results of the DNA test indicate a direct match on the hate mail to Laura Perlmutter, Ike’s wife.
A judge rules that Peerenboom’s ex-lawyer must testify thanks to the illicit collection of Perlmutter’s DNA. Perlmutter files counterclaims against Peerenboom over the snatching of DNA and the allegedly false dissemination of the results. – The Hollywood Reporter
Did You Know Audible Will Steal Away Your Credits If You Cancel Your Membership? – Without question, Audible has myriad ways of keeping its members hooked on the system, including the loss of unused credits if you cancel your subscription before spending all of them (and don’t put your account on hold or pay $10/year to keep your credits). Although I don’t find this particularly unfair, since I used to have a ton of Southwest flight vouchers that would eventually expire, unless I paid like $50 to maintain for another year. In many states gift certificates expire at some point, too, even though someone paid for them. Still good to know, though.
You see, Audible will sell you audiobooks with or without a membership, and you can keep them whether you have an active membership or not.The same does not apply to the credits.
Audible sells credits under a monthly membership plan (also in bulk). The credits roll over from one month to the next, but if you try to cancel your membership Audible will take away the unused credits. – The Digital Reader
How A Great Amazon Book Description Can Help Authors Sell More Books – There’s actually some pretty good advice in this marketing post, especially around “market[ing] your ego” (don’t do it), providing context for reader quotes, and proofreading/spellchecking your work. Beyond all of the tips on how to present the descriptive text (e.g. avoid huge blocks of text, etc.), as a reader I find most important the emphasis on writing a specific, clear, compelling description of the book in question. If the author can’t communicate the significance of her book, how am I to have any confidence in the book itself?
Answering Readers’ Biggest Question “What’s In It For Me?” – Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
The biggest challenge authors face is writing a book description that really highlights its benefits for readers. This matters whether it’s fiction or non-fiction and it’s a critical part of any book description. Remember with 4,500 books published every day in this country, you can’t afford to have some vague book description, you must state clearly why this book is the best one they can buy. – Huffington Post
We Talked to Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad About Dealing with Islamaphobia – The title of this interview is much more narrow than the interview itself, which is also a wonderful discussion with Muhammad about how she got started in fencing and how it became her competitive passion. – VICE