The Amazon Problem

Linus van Pelt, the resident intellectual of the Peanuts comic strip, once articulated his philosophy of life as, “No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from.” For many years, one could argue, such was the view of book publishers when it came to Amazon. Yet the Amazon problem […]

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Fall & Frankfurt Mean Global E-Book Report Update

National e-book markets are like snowflakes.  No two are alike.  Emerging markets particularly engage in approaches of their own.  In India, domestic platforms lead the way; while in Brazil, Apple shows a surprising lead in eBook distribution over the usual suspect. First published in 2011, the Global eBook Report follows international market evolution in e-books, […]

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Library Free For All?

“Built by the People and Dedicated to the Advancement of Learning.” So reads an inscription on the Boston Public Library façade that summarizes the aspirations of the American public library. The 19th-century BPL is as nearly a palatial edifice as any in Boston, yet above the central entrance, three words also remind all comers that […]

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Open Access: Who Holds the Power?

Frankfurt is the birthplace of book fairs, and of sturm und drang –  or at least, it is the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, born in Frankfurt in 1749. Goethe embodied German Romanticism, which enobled sturm und drang – storm and stress – as the iron-hard forge of human character. In 2014, sturm und […]

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Frankfurt Book Fair Same But Different

Reliably as ever, the Frankfurt Book Fair for 2014 is overstuffed with new titles from promising and established authors alike. Yet the hopeful, even sometimes buoyant mood belies a fear of the figure lurking around every corner of the business, no matter where you travel. You know who. From the media center of the Frankfurt […]

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Authors As Team Players

There may be no “I” in team, and usually, there isn’t an author either. Authors have long prized their authority, enjoying total control not only over their writings, but also control over the reader’s experience. Novelists and others who have made the trip to Hollywood know too well the challenge – they must accommodate their […]

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Publishing Pink Slips Go Green

When the pink slip comes, often the green follows. Certainly, severance packages are a very welcome way to soften the sting of a layoff. But stockholders of some of the industry’s top publishing houses might want to ask exactly what all the generosity is buying for them. “We have looked at the SEC filings of […]

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The Right Place for Rights

Deal or no deal? That’s always the most common — and the most important — question at the Frankfurt Book Fair. For the hundreds of publishers, agents and organizations who will attend the world’s largest gathering of executives in the book industry, successful deal-making hangs on the fortunes of local markets and the future direction […]

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Antitrust For Amazon?

The federal government has long been in the printing business – think of all those regulations – but until recently, it’s stayed out of the book business. That all changed, of course, when the Dept. of Justice sued Apple and publishers over e-book price-fixing The role of the feds may grow further, though, if some […]

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Knowledge Governance Calls For Information Balance

Across the globe, politicians and pundits trumpet the knowledge economy, but few have ever bothered to examine with any rigor the success-to-failure ratio of national and international intellectual property law and regulations. Arguing that private and public interests are critically out of balance, Leonardo Burlamaqui advocates for a shakeout in the knowledge industries and creation […]

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