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Publishers Weekly: A land of paradoxes, the Netherlands. Book trade concentration is little short of horrific. Depending on who you talk to, and whether Belgian Flanders is included in the calculation, two large groups of somewhat similar dimensions hold either 40% or 60% of the book market, while a third group is half as large as either of the first two. Yet it was one of the country's smallest publishers who recognized the potential of Harry Potter. Jaco Groot of De Harmonie, who buys according to his and wife Elsbeth's hunches, has followed J.K. Rowling ever since, and now has a cool million copies of the HP books in print.
According to Bertelsmann Lexicon, there are reasons why people will want to see a print version of the German Wikipedia. Guardian UK reports.
With a price tag of €19.95 , €1 from every Wikipedia Lexikon sold will be given to the German chapter of Wikimedia, the non-profit group behind Wikipedia, for the use of its name.
The publication reverses the industry trend towards the internet and away from traditional print. Publishers of the Wikipedia Lexikon insist it is too soon to say farewell to the book format.
Once upon a time I wrote "while the Kindle buzz has stimulated interest in the legal academy, the development model will not follow along the lines of Kindle" because the digital text-study aid functionality law schools students want is not gizmo-dependent and products are or can be expected to integrate their computer-based apps with online research services." That may change if the forthcoming big screen Kindle catches on because the sheer market presence of Amazon may prove once again that bad technology will trump consumer needs. Read more about it in Big Screen Kindle Aiming for $5.5 Billion Textbook Market at http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2008/07/big-screen-kind.html
This week's episode is different from the usual fare. The thread holding this together is: "Authors You Didn't Hear at ALA Annual 2008". Authors David Weber and Piers Anthony were interviewed this week. Interviews ranged from talking about their works to how they view libraries to the future of books. The interview with David Weber is being presented in two parts with the remaining portion to air on a future episode. Both authors raised unique points when it comes to determining authorial intent relative to exposing children to their own works that might be otherwise objectionable.
A link is presented below for the Baen Free Library. That site is one where there are complete works available for reading without digital rights management software issues. Works by David Weber and others appear in that collection.
Home page of Piers Anthony
A book by Piers Anthony not for kids
A second book by Piers Anthony not for kids
The Baen Free Library featuring items by David Weber and others
Works by David Weber published by Baen Books
The Honor Harrington Series
US Transition to Digital Television Broadcasting Info Site
Home page of Erie Looking Productions
An interesting tweet on Twitter -- Read More
The UK's biggest publisher, Hachette Livre UK, is leading the charge against Amazon, which it claims is squeezing the market and demanding too great a share of sales. The Telegraph reports on the gathering storm.
Chair of the Society of Authors Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring, called for a strike against Amazon. She said: "To punish the author so publicly and so humiliatingly is really not on. I hope other publishers join Hachette and basically strike against Amazon to say there is only so far you can push us before you break us and we are not going to take it any more."
Article in the NYT about Amazon shutting off the "buy" button for small publishers. This has been looked at on LISNEWS before, although this article focuses on what is happening in Europe in regards to this.
Amazon, the online retailing giant with a fast-rising share of the consumer book market, has adopted the literary equivalent of a nuclear option for rebellious publishers who balk at its demands.
In the latest in a series of disputes over the division of revenue from online sales, Amazon has disabled the “buy now with 1 click” icon on its British Web site for hundreds of books published by the British unit of Hachette Livre, from back-list Stephen King novels to, naturally, “The Hachette Guide to French Wine.”
For decades, the publishing industry has paid stores to return unsold books. The method forces publishers to gamble on the success of a given title, a risk many small presses can't afford. In a move seen to signal a possible industry change, a new imprint at HarperCollins will not allow stores to return unsold merchandise.
Jane Friedman, whose profitable and apparently joyous reign at HarperCollins abruptly ended this week, is not widely known to the general public. But the CEO's departure stunned, and saddened, an industry that regards her as the most energetic, optimistic and collegial of executives.
Penguin has reported that e-book sales from the first four months of 2008 have surpassed the house's total e-book sales for all of last year. According to the publisher, the spike is "more than five times the overall growth in sales, year-on-year, through April 2008." Penguin Group CEO David Shanks said he attributed the jump, in large part, to the growing popularity of e-book readers.
Full story at Publisher's Weekly
The production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new titles and editions, but the output of on-demand, short run and unclassified titles soared from 21,936 in 2006 to 134,773 last year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by R.R. Bowker. The combination of the two categories results in a 39% increase in output to 411,422. Although it has tracked production of on-demand titles in the past, this is the first year the company has broken out the segment to better show the differences in the traditional categories (such as biography, fiction, juvenile) and the on-demand segment.
Full story at Publisher's Weekly.