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Authors Reject “Forever” Contracts

True love, if you’re lucky enough to find it, lasts forever. So do diamonds, and even some tattoos. And for trade book authors, there are the contracts they sign with publishers. Earlier this week, the Authors Guild released the fourth installment of its Fair Contract Initiative, “A Publishing Contract Should Not Be Forever.” Typical book […]

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More Books From Harper Lee, Please

In a week when Go Set A Watchman broke sales records, the book business might want to celebrate. Then again, it might not. Harper Lee’s second novel lay unpublished for more than 50 years. When it finally appeared, readers swooped upon the tale of Scout and Atticus Finch in print and digital forms. “Watchman sold […]

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Watchman Heats Up Summer Sales

Many bestsellers are surprise hits, appearing almost out of nowhere to dominate and saturate. The latest blockbuster, though, was a guaranteed smash from the day this past winter when its publisher announced the title. Go Set a Watchman is only the second novel from author Harper Lee; its predecessor, To Kill A Mockingbird, has sold […]

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Appealing Apple Loses Again

Courtrooms figure prominently yet again in the latest book world news, while one innovative online service struggles to balance costs and customer demand. In New York City, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, by a 2–1 margin, affirmed Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 finding that Apple had orchestrated a 2010 conspiracy with five major publishers to […]

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Librarians And Copyright

The annual conference of the American Library Association opened this week in San Francisco, and many attendees may have their eyes on the job board. Earlier this month, James Billington, the 86-year-old librarian of Congress, announced he would retire after 28 years. The ALA has called for his replacement to come from the ranks of […]

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Altmetrics Under The Microscope

Scientific research seeks answers to questions large and small – from the composition of atoms to the age of the universe. While scientists, funders and institutions may value research for its own sake, they are practical, too. The answers that research yields can lead to professional advancement, and sometimes, to commercial success. In addition, scholarly […]

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Royalties For Pages Not Books

Change is a constant in life, and with Amazon and e-books, especially so. The e-retailer’s business terms for publishers and authors lurch from point to point like pinballs. Last summer, Amazon launched its Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service, featuring all-you-can-eat access to hundreds of thousands of books and audiobooks. This week, word came from Seattle […]

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Tale of A Library Rescue

When the American Library Association convenes its annual conference  later this month in San Francisco, book authors are the honored guests – and not only famous names like Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robbie Robertson of The Band. One particularly appropriate speaker will be Scott Sherman, author of […]

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“Grey” Returns To Number One

The E.L. James penned trilogy that began with 50 Shades of Grey has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 50 languages. Throughout a remarkable 2011-2013 run, booksellers were ecstatic but sales have since suffered while waiting for more from Christian Grey. Mercifully, that wait will soon end. “This […]

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BookExpo Has A Word for 2015: Subscriptions

For a business with a global, contemporary outlook like book publishing, BookExpo America is full of small ironies. Print has regained some of its lost luster quite recently, while educational programming remains focused on the digital. And though China has  prominent presence as this year’s Global Market Forum “guest of honor,” BEA is very bit […]

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