Tuesday News: Simon & Schuster re-contracts with Amazon, the secrets to Half Price Books’ success, Designers sue ISPs over knock-offs, and Toni Morrison’s papers go to Princeton
Amazon strikes new e-book deal with Simon & Schuster – So in the midst of the ongoing battle between Hachette and Amazon, Simon and Schuster has apparently managed to extend its own contract with the retailer, and both sides seem to be satisfied with the agreement. It will be interesting to see if this deal has any effect on the Hachette negotiations.
The agreement, which was revealed in a letter to the publisher’s writers, gives Simon & Schuster control over e-book pricing “with some limited exceptions,” according to the letter, which was signed by Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy and obtained by the New York Times. The existing contract between Amazon and Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CNET parent CBS, was due to expire in two months. –CNET
Thriving in an Amazon world – A great article in which Half Price Books CEO Sharon Anderson Wright talks about how she has managed to keep her business in the black, despite all of the retail competition. Anderson Wright’s mother started the business with her partner in 1972, and Anderson Wright offers a lot of the wisdom — both practical and philosophical — she has implemented in maintaining the business, some 42 years later.
Today we have our own publishing arm, and we produce our own stationery, calendars, and CD wallets to sell. Our wholesale division sells to museums, independent bookstores, and Barnes & Noble. We have five to six buyers traveling the country, buying remainders that we can sell at half price. If we buy too much, we sell the extras to Barnes & Noble or others. All of us in the book world feed off each other. There’s competition, but it’s all with great people.
The book industry has changed dramatically because of Amazon, e-readers, and tablets. Stores can’t ignore the fact that you can get just about any book you want while you’re in your pajamas, and it has had an effect on everyone. But there are still a lot of people who like to browse bookstores and be surprised by what they find. People like to handle paper. It’s the permanency of it. We did a survey, and our customers buy 37 books a year. With the recession, we closed three stores, but we’re still profitable. –Fortune
CAN INTERNET PROVIDERS STOP THE SALES OF COUNTERFEITS ONLINE? – We talk a lot about book piracy, but how many women own counterfeit designer bags? Although for many it’s perceived as no big deal, designers like Louis Vuitton have spent a lot of money trying to shut down both producers and sellers of counterfeit designer goods. Some of these items are so well-made, it’s difficult to tell if they’re authentic, even by experts. So here’s a new case from the UK, where RIchemont (which owns many brands, including Montblanc, Cartier, and Piaget) has won a legal victory against a collection of ISP’s, which they hope will pressure these providers to step up their efforts to keep counterfeiters from using their networks.
The defendants included British Sky Broadcasting Limited, British Telecommunications PLC, EE Limited, TalkTalk Telecom Limited and Virgin Media Limited, giving Richemont a broad swath of security against these particular vendors, at least in the UK.
According to Justice Richard Arnold’s ruling, “The ISPs have an essential role in these infringements, since it is via the ISPs’ services that the advertisements and offers for sale are communicated to 95 percent of broadband users in the UK.” –Fashionista
Toni Morrison papers to reside at Princeton – Princeton University has acquired the papers of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, and they will be exhibiting some of them during the Month of October, in the campus’s Firestone Library. Morrison taught at Princeton from 1989 through 2006, and she founded the interdisciplinary collaborative, Princeton Atelier, in 1994.
Before joining the Princeton faculty, Morrison held the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at the State University of New York-Albany. Previously, she was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. She also has taught at Howard University, Yale University, Bard College and Rutgers University. . . .
The papers of Toni Morrison contain about 180 linear feet of research materials documenting the author’s life, work and writing methods, according to Don Skemer, curator of manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in the Princeton University Library. The papers will be among the most important holdings of the Manuscripts Division, housed in Firestone Library, with its renowned collection of major literary and publishing archives. –Princeton University
Amazing that S&S settled so quickly. Speaking as a Hachette author whose career has been submarined by Amazon’s attempt to force Hachette into an agreement, I hope that this means Amazon will settle that dispute soon as well! I also hope that Amazon realizes the disservice they’ve done to Hachette authors and help bring us back to the sales status we enjoyed before the feud. :(
Is the S&S deal being correctly characterized as a return to Agency Pricing? http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/simon-schuster-strikes-amazon-deal-reviving-agency-ebook-pricing/
Amazing that S&S can successfully negotiate with Amazon. Perhaps Hachette should hire some of their people to negotiate for them since they’ve failed so abysmally to negotiate anything for the last eight months.
@Ros: If the S&S people want a break, Hachette could also consider hiring people from Disney, Warner, Bonnier, etc., all of whom were able to reach recent agreements with Amazon.
When I lived in Seattle I practically lived in Half Price Books. It is a great place…..I found so many mmpb’s of out of print romances, first editions (US and UK). And….it’s where I was first introduced to Carla Kelly and Loretta Chase. I miss it terribly!
As a kind of weird comment, the counterfeit bags thing is a very slick move. I used to work for Ebay doing designer purse verification (don’t ask me how I got into that, as I can’t afford a Fouis, nevermind a real Louis) and I learned a LOT about what goes into counterfeit designer goods, where they’re made, and just how scary the things are that is done with that money. Not just sweat shops, but child slavery, drug cartels and severe government corruption.
I don’t give a hoot about designer labels or worrying about “brand saturation or devaluation”, but I do think that the topic needs to come up now and then to remind people where that $20 purse on ebay (or worse, the $2k they spent on a fake Chanel bag) came from and where their money has gone — just so they can look like they have money. Nothing wrong with a $20 purse if it holds your stuff from a legit business, all the things wrong with big red flags when it is being sold as designer or a clear counterfeit on Canal Street.