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Looking on Bright Side of Book Business

If winter is for pessimists – all grey and cold and bleak – then summer certainly is season for sunny dispositions. In August, though, the publishing business has seemed frozen as if in mid-January. The source of the polar vortex, of course, is the ongoing slugfest between Amazon and Hachette. Yet while the book world […]

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Up Against Amazon

In the book world, telling horror stories about Amazon is a common enough way to pass the time at conferences and receptions. The details may vary, but the plot is the same –Amazon eats publishers for breakfast. What dramatically changed this summer, however, is not the Amazon horror stories, but their arrival in the headlines […]

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The Book Fight of the Century

In one corner: the scrappy contender whose strongest punch is a blow to his opponent’s appetite for power and profit. And in the other corner: the towering heavyweight champion who wants to pound the contender’s prices to the mat. “I think these fighters are dancing around the ring right now,” says Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, […]

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Bringing Up Bookworms

As foundational as it is to our lives, reading is not natural. Reading must be learned, and that means it must be taught. Whether a child enters through the printed page or a digital screen, the world of words promises rich rewards. Author of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, Jason Boog insists there is […]

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Escape from Amazon

It sounds like the title of a summer blockbuster movie. Trapped in the e-commerce jungle, the denizens of the book world dream of liberation, even as they while away the time weaving fantasies of an alternate universe: a place where Amazon plays nice; a place where Amazon gets beaten at their own game; and a […]

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Amazon to Publishers – Spread the Wealth

We’re fighting for you. That’s what Amazon told authors this week as the public battle between the retail giant and Hachette Book Group continued. In a post on Amazon’s Kindle Forums, the Seattle company says consumers should pay less for e-books, and authors deserve a more sizable cut of the 70% of each sale that […]

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Robots Go To Journalism School

In science fiction, robots make lightning fast calculations and have superhuman strength. From “Forbidden Planet” to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the robots of cinema have played a wide range of roles – as friends and as enemies to humankind. But of all the wonders robots have performed, until now, no one has imagined them as […]

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The Wheels of the Amazon Bus Go Round

If the book business were a big yellow school bus, the driver would be a bald fellow wearing a wide grin. More even than before, Jeff Bezos and Amazon have the wheel, while publishers and authors hang on for a rough ride. In particular, speculation about the end game in Amazon’s e-book sales battle with Hachette centers on the […]

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Amazon A Busy Negotiator

When Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, the owners of Simon & Schuster, let slip that the Big 5 house was in pricing talks with Amazon, the media world did its best to react with shock. Any expression of surprise, however, could only have been for appearance’s sake. As close observers of the […]

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Copyright and the Aereo Decision

In one corner stood the leading US television broadcast companies together; and in the other opposite corner facing them alone was Aereo, a well-funded startup company that was offering paid subscribers the ability to watch broadcast television in almost-real time over their internet-connected devices. Because Aereo did not get permission from – or pay royalties to – […]

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