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SMALL RIPPLES: NEWS, CALENDAR, THOUGHTS

Posts Tagged ‘Publishing News’

Greg Herriges STREETHEARTS Availalbe as E-Book

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Streethearts, a sequel to Greg Herriges’ novel, Secondary Attachments, is now available for Barnes and Noble Nook and will be available in all e-book formats next week. You can read a description of the book and view the cover art by Michelle Everst at:  www.streethearts.info

“Waiting in the wings,” Greg says, “is another e-book, Lennon and Me, about a teenage boy who becomes John Lennon’s penpal in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania.”

Serving House Books, edited by Walter Cummins and Thomas E. Kennedy, will be publishing The Bay at Marsailles and Other Stories this fall.

Websites for these books are in developmental stage. Blogs and photos forthcoming on Greg’s website: www.herriges.net 

Open Book Alliance formed over Google ruling

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

                                                                                    Media/Blogger Contact:

openbookalliancepress@yahoo.com

 

DIVERSE COALITION UNITES TO COUNTER

GOOGLE BOOK SETTLEMENT

 

Library Scholar Peter Brantley and Antitrust Expert Gary Reback Spearhead Open Book Alliance to Protect Consumers and Competition in the Emerging Digital Book Market

 

SAN FRANCISCO, August 26, 2009 – Librarians, legal scholars, authors, publishers, and technology companies today announced the formation of a coalition that will counter the proposed Google Book Settlement in its current form. The proposed settlement is between Google, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the Authors’ Guild. Approval of the settlement plan currently is pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The deal is also currently being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department on antitrust grounds.

 

“Just as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press more than 700 years ago ushered in a new era of knowledge sharing, the mass digitization of books promises to once again revolutionize how we read and discover books,” said Open Book Alliance co-chairs Peter Brantley and Gary Reback in a blog post at http://www.openbookalliance.org.  “But a digital library controlled by a single company and small group of colluding publishers would inevitably lead to higher prices and subpar service for consumers, libraries, scholars, and students.” 

 

“The public interest demands that any mass book digitization and distribution effort be undertaken in the open, grounded in sound public policy, and mindful of the need to promote long-term benefits for consumers rather than those of a few commercial interests,” continued Brantley and Reback.

 

Brantley is a director of the non-profit Internet Archive and Reback is a noted antitrust attorney who serves of counsel at the firm Carr & Ferrell, LLP.

 

Members of the Open Book Alliance include:

 

·        Amazon (amazon.com)

·        American Society of Journalists and Authors (asja.org)

·        Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (clmp.org)

·        Internet Archive (archive.org)

·        Microsoft (microsoft.com)

·        New York Library Association (nyla.org)

·        Small Press Distribution (spdbooks.org)

·        Special Libraries Association (sla.org)

·        Yahoo! (yahoo.com)

 

The Alliance will work to inform policymakers and the public about the serious legal, competitive, and policy issues in the settlement proposal.

 

In 2005, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors’ Guild filed suit against Google, objecting to the company’s mass digitization of millions of books on copyright violation grounds. The parties privately settled for $125 million and devised a scheme that would permit Google to charge libraries and consumers for access to the digitized books. Under the deal, Google, the Authors Guild and the AAP would gain significant new powers to control the fledgling market for digital books.

 

The New York court considering the settlement has established a Sept. 4 deadline for submissions on the settlement and indicated it planned to make a final decision on Oct. 7.

 

Following are quotes from some members of the Open Book Alliance on their concerns about the proposed settlement:

 

“The library community in New York is concerned by the ramifications of this settlement on libraries, their patrons and the common good.  Access, affordability and patron privacy issues are key concerns of ours that we do not believe have been adequately addressed so far. A public policy issue of this magnitude should be not be handled in this matter, but by Congress in a deliberative and open format that allows for greater input from concerned parties and the public.” — Michael J. Borges, Executive Director of the New York Library Association.

 

“We look forward to the day when a completely electronic, searchable, and universally accessible repository of digital books brings untold value and knowledge to individuals, organizations and libraries. In the meantime, we are greatly concerned about Google’s efforts here, and we believe that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) must look into the full ramifications of this settlement on issues of copyright, access, affordability and privacy.” – Janice R. Lachance, CEO, Special Libraries Association. 

 

“We’re seeing Google the Good morph into Google the Grabby in all of this. First, Google dangles the prospect of a huge, accessible, digital library in front of us.  But then it shows utter contempt for the people who wrote the books, by scanning them without the approval of copyright holders.  Google didn’t mind stomping on authors to get this project going. If the settlement goes through as it stands, sheer marketplace domination will mean every author will have to swallow the rules set down by a cabal of a registry board or sell no digital books or future, new digital inventions.” – Salley Shannon, President, American Society of Journalists and Authors.

The Open Book Alliance will add its voice and those of its members, to other organizations and noted individuals who have publically expressed concerns about the settlement

 

The Open Book Alliance can be found online at http://www.openbookalliance.org, and on Twitter @OBAlliance.

PMA responds to Amazon

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Terry Nathan, Director of PMA: The Independent Book Publishers Association responded to the Amazon.com new policy regarding POD titles: 

Many of you may have been following the recent news regarding Amazon.com’s new policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand technology to sell directly on Amazon.com. A statement of their policy may be found on the Amazon website http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-printondemand. To express our concern at what we feel could be a significant financial hardship for small and independent publishers, your association is releasing the following statement to the media:

PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association Speaking Out Against Amazon’s Recent Policy

PMA, The Independent Book Publishers Association, representing more than 4,000 independent publishers, is speaking out against Amazon’s recent policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand technology to sell directly on amazon.com. The company has directed that publishers either must print their books on demand exclusively at Amazon’s subsidiary printer for fulfillment of orders placed with Amazon or incur additional cost to print elsewhere and maintain inventory with the online retailer.

“This policy imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it,” points out Executive Director Terry Nathan. “Without the opportunity to benefit from competitive pricing, small publishers risk at best an expensive and needless overhaul of their manufacturing process, and at worst, the loss of their livelihood.

“On behalf of all the small and independent publishers whose businesses are in jeopardy, we urge Amazon to reconsider its position,” continues Nathan. “Over the years, Jeff Bezos and his company have given small and independent publishers a level playing field to compete with the largest of companies. Suddenly, this magnificent playing field has been converted into a ‘members only’ club, to the detriment of those very publishers who have contributed to Amazon’s success. We will continue to monitor developments in the weeks ahead.”

Amazon Explains POD Move; Ingram Raises Questions

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Below is taken from Publisher’s Weekly on-line.   

Amazon has sent an open letter to “interested parties,” explaining “what we’re changing with print on demand and why we are doing so.” Amazon has caused a major stir in the pod field with its decision to have publishers who want to sell pod titles directly through its Web site use its BookSurge pod subsidiary. And late Monday afternoon, Ingram, parent company of BookSurge rival Lightning Source, issued a statement from John Ingram noting the concerns it has fielded from publishers about Amazon’s actions.

In the letter from the Amazon.com books team, the company reiterated that by using machines that are located in its own fulfillment centers, Amazon can have a title ready for shipment quicker than if it needs to wait for a book to be shipped to its facility. The extra time will permit Amazon to “marry” a title with another product that will be shipped in the same box, in most cases hitting Amazon Prime shipping times. “It isn’t logical or efficient to print a POD book in a third place, and then physically ship the book to our fulfillment centers. It makes more sense to produce the books on site, saving transportation costs and transportation fuel, and significantly speeding the shipment to our customers,” the letter states.

Amazon further notes that if publishers do not want to use BookSurge for pod, they can still sell their titles through the e-tailer as part of it Advantage Program, provided they pre-produce five copies of each title that Amazon will stock in its warehouse. Publishers can also use Amazon’s third party marketplace option to list titles. Amazon is not requiring that pod titles be printed exclusively through BookSurge.

Amazon closed the letter by stating that it will only reconsider the policy “if we can find a better way to serve customers faster.” The company noted that while some of its earlier initiatives “caused consternation at times,” it has stuck with changes that it believed are good for customers. Amazon cited its decision to provide customer reviews on the site as one that was initially criticized by many publishers, but which led to more sales. A second controversial move, which caused “significant consternation,” was Amazon’s decision to sell used books along side new editions. Despite lots of protest, Amazon notes it “stood by the decision because we were convinced it was right for customers.”

In his statement, John Ingram said that while “the questions that are being raised about Amazon.com and its Booksurge division don’t directly relate to Ingram – either Lightning Source Inc. or Ingram Book Group – it clearly is alarming many of our publisher partners.” According to John Ingram, “publishers are telling us they feel Amazon.com’s actions are not appropriate.” John Ingram’s statement adds that the company has been unable to get a direct response from Amazon about its pod shift.

“We all live in a world where decisions are made about insourcing and outsourcing, and free choice is important,” the statement continues. “At Ingram Book and Lightning Source, we are going to work really hard to continue to be the compelling choice as publishers make their outsourcing decisions. Our breadth of distribution channels including the online retailers remains the same, and Ingram still provides one day turnaround in the fulfillment of orders for books including print on demand titles.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: More and more small presses are utilizing POD services to publish books as publishers can acquire short runs and maintain smaller inventories to supply their websites and for order fulfillment, while providing greater general accessibility of titles, thus keeping them in-print longer (if authors find the arrangement beneficial), while reducing costs of warehousing and the headaches of finding good distributors who pay on time, etc. 

The industry is changing. Many of these changes were forced by punitive inventory laws which compelled publishers to invest in books with a quick turnover rate and then allowed to go out of print or remaindered. This is not a workable model for literary work, which often require longer periods of time to reach break-even. Almost all the supporting independent publisher organizations are geared toward the marketing of non-fiction books and have little creative ideas for literary publishers to help keep them afloat, so POD may well be the only tool literary publishers will have to sustain their operations.

There is still much bias in the field in regard to POD production and confusion about self-publishing and vanity publishing versus literary presses utilizing the production strategy to remain viable in a shrinking market. Literary presses, in particular, are increasingly moving toward this option or even developing their own POD capabilities and marketing primarily through their websites. Wordcraft of Oregon, for instance, acquired perfectbinding equipment, high speed laser printers, scoring and cutting capabilities, so we could produce small books in our office that were competitive in price and production standards, but larger books — such as novels and story collections — require the much more expensive inventory production model with larger runs (1,000 or more) or the alternative of the POD short run strategy.

POD books if well-designed can be very nice books that look as good as anything being produced by inventory printing. The only problem I’ve run into with POD production is occasional spillover of glue in the binding which does not allow the back cover to lie perfectly flat. I have this same issue with books I perfectbind in the office, but I’ve learned this is primarily because of over-glueing and adjust my own process. But the product of POD services such as Lightning Source has improved immensely over the last few years. 

Wordcraft of Oregon, because of our prior experience with inventory publishing, maintains an Amazon Advantage membership so even if we produce a POD book and if Amazon declines to accept POD titles from Lightning Source, we could still send copies to Amazon under that program to be included in their on-line catalog. The tradeoff with the Advantage program is that you gain competitive standing with quicker order fulfillment (within 24 hours) but at the cost of any profitability for the publisher – a publisher provides not only the standard 55% distributor discount, but must pay shipping to deliver copies to the Amazon fulfillment center in Lexington, Kentuck – and they often re-order single copies. A single copy of a novel-sized book at media book rate is currently $2.13 (and will be going up again). If you use media book rate and sent five copies, the publisher cost per book would allow at least for some small profit. 

More on this in my next blog.

David Memmott, Editor

Misha’s stories in new anthology

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Two short stories by Misha Nogha are included in a new anthology published by Oxford University Press (February 2008). RECKONINGS: Contemporary Short Fiction by Native American Women, edited by Hertha D. Sweet Wong, Lauren Stuart Muller and Jana Seqouya Magdaleno, was just released and this hardbound edition which sells for $24.95 features work by fifteen Native American women, including Paula Gunn Allen, Kimberly M. Blaeser, Beth E. Brant, Anita Endrezze, Louise Erdrich, Diane Glancy, Reid Gómez, Janet Campbell Hale, Joy Harjo, Linda Hogan, Misha Nogha, Beth H. Piatote, Patricia Riley, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Anna Lee Walters. The two stories by Wordcraft of Oregon author, Misha Nogha, are ““Memekwesiw” and “Sakura.”

Oxford University Press; 344 pages; 20 illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; ISBN13: 978-0-19-510925-2; ISBN10: 0-19-510925-2, $24.95

Linda Lappin– Katherine’s Wish

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

An excerpt from Katherine’s Wish, a novel about the last years of Katherine Mansfield, forthcoming from Wordcraft Oregon will be published in South Caroline Review. That issue also includes a critical review of her novel, The Etruscan (Wynkin de Worde), by Gaetano Prampolini of the University of Florence. The final chapter of Katherine’s Wish was short-listed for the Eric Hoffer Award in short fiction and was published in Best New Writing 2007 by Hopewell Publications.

Thomas E. Kennedy recognized

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Wordcraft of Oregon author, Thomas E. Kennedy, won the NEW LETTERS READERS AWARD in best essay category (shared with Margaret Ozmet) for his essay ”I Am Joe’s Prostate.” In addition to winning the 2007 Eric Hoffer Award for Micro Press novel division for Greene’s Summer, his novel, Danish Fall, was First Runner-up in General Fiction Category. A new collection of essays, Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America, is coming out in the spring from New American Press and the spring 2008 issue of South Carolina Review is featuring essays, a full bibliography of many pages, a piece of fiction and a portfolio of photos.