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Publishers In No Hurry For Amazon Antitrust

Over the summer, as Amazon and Hachette clashed on e-book pricing levels, calls were heard for the federal government to undertake antitrust action against the e-retailing giant. Distraught booksellers and outraged intellectuals alike have challenged the Department of Justice to take on Amazon as a monopolist, even as publishers look the other way. “The Seattle Times […]

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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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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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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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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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Publishing Jobs Survey for 2014

If you’ve got a job in publishing in 2014, you’re working longer hours than last year, and your paycheck isn’t growing very fast. But according to a recent industry survey, you’re probably smiling, all the same. “The average number of hours worked per week rose last year to 47, up from 45 in 2012. Some […]

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Throwing Elbows in Book World

Over the last several years, the book world has seen its real estate contract, as much a result of the loss of bookstore chains and the rise of e-retailers as consolidation moves among publishers. In such a world grown small, any move by one player impacts many others. A war for online book sales, for […]

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E-Readers Dead Or Alive?

An auspicious setting and the unveiling of a possibly revolutionary device – it could be a make or break moment in the company’s history. No, we’re not speaking of tomorrow’s much anticipated announcement by Apple from the very same venue in Cupertino where Steve Jobs dramatically unwrapped the Macintosh exactly 30 years ago. Instead this was New York City, […]

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