Wednesday News: Print sales grow, Yelp case kicked out of Virginia, Black historical Romance roundtable, and Iceman revealed as gay
Unit sales of print books rose 3% in the quarter ended April 5, 2015, compared to the first quarter of 2014, at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan. All four of the major categories had an increase in the period, including adult fiction. Print unit sales of adult fiction have been the most negatively affected by the rise of e-books, and units for all of 2014 fell 8% from the prior year. In the first quarter of 2015, graphic novels and classics had gains of 18% and 10%, respectively, which helped offset declines in some key adult fiction genres such as fantasy, mystery/detective, and romance—all of which continued to see print sales erode. –Publishers Weekly
Two lower courts chose to apply Virginia state law rather than the Dendrite Rules, and ordered Yelp to turn over identifying information. That decision was appealed by Yelp, and the state’s Supreme Court has responded by rejecting Hadeed’s unmasking request… but not for First Amendment reasons. Instead, its decision is based on a technicality — one that does little to ensure the future protection of anonymous speech. . . .
While it is helpful that the court has made it clear that Virginia entities don’t possess subpoena power over non-residents, that’s pretty much the extent of the good news for Virginia residents. The other silver lining is that if Hadeed continues to pursue these reviewers, he’ll have to do it in California, where he’ll need to meet a higher standard if he hopes to obtain any identifying information. –Techdirt
Alyssa Cole: For me it’s the “believability” issue. I think that because people of color, and African Americans in particular, have been presented as non-actors in American History for so long, it can be hard for even open-minded people to wrap their minds around certain ideas. Why would a slave want to fight for the country that enslaved him? (African Americans have participated in every military engagement in U.S. history.) Would people really make time for romance while doing backbreaking work? (Enslaved Africans maintained relationships, marriages, and had social lives—like most humans do even in hard circumstances.) I know that slavery existed after the period your story is set in, so how can I believe they have a happily ever after? (Meanwhile, no one questions whether the couples in Western-set historical romances die of diphtheria after the last chapter, or if Regency romance Lady So-and-So dies in childbirth, as so many women did.) –The Toast
In a statement to ABC News, Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of the book, said, “There are thousands if not millions of stories of people who, for many different reasons, felt the need to hide their sexuality. The X-Men, with the conceit of time travel, give us a fascinating platform in which to examine such personal journeys. This is just the first little chapter of a much larger story that will be told.” –ABC News