Thursday Midday Links: This kind of fake review is harmful rather than helpful.
No deals today. What, you didn’t gorge yourself yesterday? Get to it!
- In the case of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, 24% of customers who borrowed “The Hunger Games” bought “Catching Fire” and 24% bought “Mockingjay,” despite the entire series being available to borrow for free in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
- Debora Geary was one of the top 10 KDP Select authors in February, and 51% of customers who borrowed one of her books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library went on to buy one of her titles.
- L.J. Sellers, author of the Detective Jackson Mystery/Thriller series, saw that 25% of customers who borrowed one of her books also bought one of her books, all of which are also available in the lending library.
Since the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in November 2011, the paid retail sales of backlist trade titles in the library have seen 229% higher growth than corresponding titles that are not enrolled.” Amazon Press Release
So we’re sympathetic to the position of brick-and-mortar booksellers, even the largest of them: this isn’t a fair fight, by any stretch. Still, it’s essential that authors and readers not become collateral damage. The authors and illustrators who signed contracts with Marshall Cavendish had no way of anticipating that the publisher would assign their contracts to Amazon. For these authors to lose their vital showroom presence in Barnes & Noble stores was clearly unfair and harmful. Children’s books, especially picture books, need to be seen to be appreciated by readers.
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble isn’t backing down. Its executives made clear to us that it is making this exception because it announced the policy after Amazon announced its purchase of the Marshall Cavendish titles. For any new Amazon acquisitions, Barnes & Noble’s policy is to ban the books from their shelves.
Digital Book World
The majority of book readers prefer to buy rather than borrow. A majority of print readers (54%) and readers of e-books (61%) prefer to purchase their own copies of these books. Meanwhile, most audiobook listeners prefer to borrow their audiobooks; just one in three audiobook listeners (32%) prefer to purchase audiobooks they want to listen to, while 61% prefer to borrow them.
This is because audiobooks are mothereffing expensive. Anyway, click away for more interesting details. Info Docket
In talks with the Justice Department, some publishers have proposed keeping keep the agency pricing adopted with Apple but scrapping the provision—known a “most favored nation” clause—that prevented them from giving other book sellers such as Amazon a better deal. The Justice Department has said publishers must go further, according to people familiar with the talks. The government believes that publishers were able to impose the agency model on the industry only through an illegal conspiracy between rivals, those people said. According to the people with knowledge of the case, the Justice Department has insisted on a “cooling-off” period before publishers would be allowed to resume the arrangement. It has argued that the waiting period would allow publishers and booksellers to resume a one-to-one relationship, free of the taint of collusion. The length of such a cooling-off period is one subject of the talks.
Okay, deep breaths. First, I believe any settlement has to be approved by a D.C. Circuit judge. Second, I am speculating that the cooling off period arises from a push for publishers to set up a true agency system wherein they source the books, DRM, collect and report the taxes, and, in essence, act like a true principal much like the Pottermore set up.
Penguin and Macmillan aren’t a party to this settlement says the article. I speculated here that Penguin wasn’t part of the settlement because it was arguing that it was already in a true agency/principal relationship with Amazon. Thus a cooling off period in which publishers are forced to set up an actual agent/principal relationship makes sense as it does that Penguin doesn’t want to settle. This is all speculative on my part, but seriously, why even bring an investigation and come away with this nonsense?
It is possible that these authors are buying their way to success using places like Fiverr wherein people with REAL NAME accounts offer up a review for $5.00. Sometimes the purchase of the book is included in the $5.00 offer.
I will write and post 4 Amazon reviews on anything or any one product . This gig is only to write 4 brief reviews and posting them. For likes please buy our other gigs. Our reviewers are real people and have real names. Our profiles are clean USA IP’s and we give genuine reviews daily. Buy 2 gigs and get 8 written reviews.
Your Amazon success relies heavily on user reviews. For just $5, I will post 3 reviews that YOU write, from different accounts. The reviews can be for one product or across 3. I will also LIKE your product! ?Satisfaction Guaranteed?”””
I used to trust these high number of reviews, but clearly that is tragically mistaken of me. In the comments/feedback to one “fivver” a disgruntled author writes:
The ‘reviewer’ didn’t look at the book, not even at the book’s description, not even at the title! Two reviews had no content, the third was blatantly wrong for this kind of book. This kind of fake review is harmful rather than helpful. I complained, got the reviews changed, but am far from happy.
Thursday Midday Links
Just to keep you updated on my tooth situation, apparently I will have to have a root canal. I said to my dentist “with all the advanced technology, this procedure will be totally painless, right?” He looked at me seriously and nodded his head in agreement. While I laughed semi hysterically, he tried to tell me that root canals have gotten a bad rap. That’s news, right? That root canals are totally painless and have gotten a bad rap?
Dear Author has a new feed address:
The reason I did this was because I wanted to remove the Google Adsense Ads but I could not find ANY place to remove them. It was bizarre, like once you had signed up for the deal with the devil, there was no backing out. Finally, I deleted the feed and “reburned” it. So there you have it. Please update your feed settings.
Google is claiming that it’s gotten a bad rap and it’s CEO is complaining that all the critics just want to preserve the status quo. No, I think the critics don’t want private companies to engage in a complete revision of the copyright law that would affect millions known and unknown, but maybe beleaguered plays better in the press. EMI told Google that it wasn’t going to supply Google with a list of over a million copyright owners. Dennis Chin has told both parties that they need to address some of the concerns. Maybe the Plaintiffs should do so as well. Petit has some question as to why Author’s Guild is speaking for the Plaintiffs of the Google Book Settlement when it isn’t even a named Plaintiff. It’s important to remember that the Google Book Settlement isn’t all about Google at all, but about the power that the Authors’ Guild is trying to coopt for itself in the name of those it purports to represent.
That, however, is no excuse for the Authors’ Guild’s prominent position in this litigation. Although the Authors’ Guild’s name remains in the caption, as a procedural matter it should not: The AG is not a named representative. Similarly, the Executive Director of the AG is not a named representative. Neither is the AG the counsel to the class. Thus, the AG should not be making public advocacy statements concerning the merits of this specific piece of litigation… and certainly should not be doing so “on behalf of” either the named plaintiffs or the absent class members.
There’s some interesting trademark claims going around. The first is that Ambercrombie & Fitch is claiming that Beyonce’s new line of fragrances will be infringing on their male cologne branded “Fierce.” Beyonce’s alter ego is Sasha Fierce. I don’t know what I think about a guy wearing cologne named “Fierce” unless it’s Christian Siriano.
In other trademark news claims is a link brought to my attention by Elise Logan and it hits closer to home. A blogger who doesn’t like a company made a couple of posts about it. The metadata for that post includes the company’s name, Monavie. The company then sent a Cease and Desist letter to the blogger demanding that he remove the company’s name from the source code. The blogger points out that the meta data is generated automatically by a search engine optimization plugin (I use that plugin here at Dear Author). Basically, the plugin scours the page for keywords and then inserts those keywords into the source code of the page. It helps search engines like Google to present the link as a search result. Personally, Monavie appears to be representing an inaccurate knowledge of trademark law. Just because the search term appears in the source code doesn’t necessarily mean that it is confusing to the consumer as to who Monavie is.
Barnes and Noble is bulking up its digital offerings. SparkNotes.com, a division of BN, has relaunched and BN is offering the over 700 study guides in the BN ebookstore.
Dan Brown’s book, The Lost Symbol, was pirated within minutes of its release but still managed to sell more than a million copies in one day. Amazon’s Kindle version of The Lost Symbol was outselling the print version if Amazon’s bestseller lists are to be believed. Over time, obviously, the digital version cannot outsell the print version because of the limited number of digital readers (even assuming 50% of the digital consumers read on their laptops). What it does show, however, is that digital readers are important consumers.
Simon & Schuster has set up a site where anyone can send in links to suspected piracy sites. I wish more publishers would do this because I think it would be a) more effective and b) lessen the advertisement of these sites on various blogs.