ALA’s gripes to publishers dance around the e-library world’s Problem #1—not enough money for e-books
September 25, 2012

I’m still borrowing e-books from public libraries. I loved the digital edition of the late Louis Auchincloss’s memoirs that popped up when I was browsing the electronic stacks of a library system near me here in Northern Virginia.

Public libraries at their best can be Serendipity Central.

But I rely much less these days on library books than before. Too often, some major e-books are AWOL from library collections or, as documented earlier this year by the Washington Post, have long waiting lists.

Will Amazon open physical stores to sell Kindles, Kindle Fire tablets?
September 24, 2012

Late last week Wal-Mart announced that it will no longer sell the Amazon Kindle and Kinde Fire in its stores, joining Target in in rejecting the devices. While the argument could be made that the razor-thin margins on those products contributed to that decision, the real reason is clearer: Amazon's tablets are a gateway to easy ordering from, which means fewer sales for Target and Wal-Mart.

Monica Lewinsky Sells ‘Revenge’ Book For $12M, Reportedly Needed The Cash
September 21, 2012

Monica Lewinsky has reportedly sold her tell-all “revenge” autobiography, which is thought to center heavily on the scandal with then-President Bill Clinton and how the resulting fallout has affected her life, to an unnamed publisher for a previously rumored $12M pay day. If you kind-of sort-of think you remember hearing a story like this over a decade ago, you are correct! Lewinsky previously collaborated with Andrew Morton in 1999. The new book is allegedly a “reboot” of the same old stuff.

Apple, publishers propose settlement in Europe e-book antitrust case
September 19, 2012

Apple and four publishing companies have offered to settle with the European Commission over antitrust allegations relating to the e-book market.

Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck and Simon & Schuster have all proposed measures to "alleviate concerns that these companies may have engaged in an anti-competitive concerted practice affecting the sale of e-books", the Commission said.


UK Ebook Sales Soar but Physical Book Sales Unaffected
September 18, 2012

For the first half of 2012, digital fiction sales value was up 188 percent compared with the sales figures from the same period last year. Children's books and non-fiction books also saw major growth in the digital market, rising 171 percent and 128 percent respectively.

For the same period, physical book sales value fell by just 0.4 percent. These numbers are annoucned just as Fifty Shades of Grey enjoys incredible popularity in ebook format and bookseller Waterstones secured a partnership with Kindle ebook readers.

States' ebook settlement: Preliminary approval, and a 2013 hearing
September 17, 2012

A judge has preliminarily approved the states’ $69 million ebook pricing settlement with publishers, but consumers won’t receive any payments until after a hearing is held in February 2013. Payments would range between $0.25 and $1.32 per ebook.
states, u.s. states, map, united statesphoto: Shutterstock   

Federal district judge Denise Cote has preliminarily approved (PDF) the states’ $69 million ebook pricing settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

Serving Up Justice: Learn how the DOJ case against Apple and the big publishers could affect you
September 11, 2012

I have been reading a lot of news reports over the last months about the Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple and five of the big six publishers, and I’m sure you have too (many of them in this newsletter). We all know this is an important legal case for those of us who work in this industry, maybe even work for one of the companies involved in the suit.
What does it all mean? Many of us are wondering: How will it impact me, my company and/or my job? What do I need to know about this lawsuit and, judging from the complexities of the reports I read, how can I hope to even figure out and understand what the takeaway of all this is for me?

Short-Form Digital Grows at University Presses
September 11, 2012

Back in March, the Digital Digest profiled Princeton Shorts, a new short-form e-book program launched last fall by Princeton University Press. At least two more AAUP presses have launched short e-book programs this spring: Stanford, with Stanford Briefs, and North Carolina, with UNC Press E-Book Shorts.

For Princeton and North Carolina, the digital shorts content comes from already-published, bestselling titles. Princeton Shorts and UNC E-Book Shorts re-package excerpts of full books—as North Carolina describes it, "essential concepts, defining moments, and concise introductions." In contrast, Stanford's Briefs are made up of all new content.

Ebook price drops begin — and Apple is discounting, too
September 11, 2012

The Department of Justice’s ebook pricing settlement was approved last Thursday, and HarperCollins, one of the three settling publishers, has already entered into new contracts with ebook retailers – including Apple. The retailers can now set their own prices on HarperCollins titles. So what kinds of changes are we seeing? A roundup of select titles (the prices are correct as of Tuesday morning, but are subject to change).

Amazon and Apple's Giant Markups on Flash Storage
September 10, 2012

 Apart from the look and feel of their products, there’s a key difference between Amazon’s new tablets and Apple’s iPads: the amount of money each company charges for storage. Apple customers typically pay more to get extra gigabytes, but over all, both companies do a major markup on memory.

Take the example of the 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD.