The best-selling horror author James Herbert, described as ‘one of the giants of popular fiction’, died yesterday aged 69. Mr Herbert, who wrote horror classic The Rats, died only a week after his 23rd novel, Ash, was published. He was prolific, releasing a new novel almost every year between 1974 and 1988, but said he remained ‘very insecure’ about his skills as a writer.
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Macmillan, the last remaining publisher holdout in the Department of Justice’s ebook pricing antitrust lawsuit against five publishers and Apple, has decided to settle about ten months after the lawsuit was originally filed. Following Penguin’s settlement in December, Macmillan CEO John Sargent had said Macmillan wouldn’t follow suit, but he acknowledged Friday in a letter to authors and agents that “the potential penalties became too high to risk even the possibility of an unfavorable outcome.” The settlement means that Apple is the only remaining party fighting the DOJ lawsuit.
Macmillan will start selling ebooks to libraries in the next few months. In a statement, the company detailed a pilot program that would distribute 1,200 backlisted titles from the Minotaur crime fiction imprint, the first time it's offered a library program.
Like most other big publishers, though, the ebooks will come with restrictions: only one user at a time can check them out, and each copy will only last for 52 checkouts or two years, whichever comes first. As tight as that leash seems…
Macmillan, the last of the major publishers still fighting the U.S. Justice Department over antitrust charges, says it has renegotiated its e-book deals with retailers to allow some discounting.
In an open letter posted on his book-publishing company's website Wednesday afternoon, MacmillanChief Executive John Sargent said the firm is still committed to fighting the antitrust case brought by the Justice Department involving allegations that Macmillan and four other publishers plus Apple Inc. (AAPL) conspired to raise e-book prices.
Penguin, which is merging with Random House, has settled with the Department of Justice in the ebook pricing lawsuit, the DOJ announced late Tuesday afternoon. The DOJ sued Apple, Penguin and four other publishers in April for conspiring to set ebook prices. Penguin had planned to fight the case in court, along with Apple and Macmillan, but the company’s pending merger with Random House compelled it to get the litigation out of the way.
We’ve reached an interesting point in the ebook pricind saga: All three publishers that settled with the Department of Justice to resolve an ebook price-fixing lawsuit have now fulfilled the first and most important part of their agreements — sign new ebook deals with their retail partners.
Simon & Schuster was the last to sign a new deal with Amazon and others — putting its new agreement into place this weekend. Hachette had its new deal up and running earlier this past week. And HarperCollins was very early out the gate…
As we mentioned yesterday, the marketplace of ideas around what the Random House/Penguin merger all means is heating up. The Financial Times' Robert Cookson looks at bigness vs. smallness and might vs. agility as competing strategies for success in an increasingly digital world. In smallness' corner is indie house Salt Publishing's Christopher Hamilton-Emery:
“I don’t think big necessarily means better." The rise of digital publishing, he argues, is likely to lead to an “explosion” of smaller, more focused publishers that can harness technology to establish relationships directly with consumers. —Brian Howard
Macmillan Education said Monday it will cease publishing a print edition of its dictionaries, following other publications into an online-only format as print sales decline.
Final editions of the dictionaries are now being printed.
Macmillan Education, a unit of Macmillan Publishers Ltd., said it will focus on its expanding digital resources, including an English language dictionary and thesaurus, a column on emerging words and Open Dictionary, which allows users to submit new words and slang such as Frankenstorm.
It sometimes feels like the price-fixing settlement between e-book publishers and the government has been stretching on for forever. But it now seems Amazon is prepping Kindle customers for a potential, partial refund if they bought e-books between April 2010 and May 2012. That is if the court approves the settlements in various states.
PCWorld says customers could be getting back anywhere from $0.30 to $1.32 per e-book from Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Those publishers agreed to paying $69 million into a fund for the settlement.
Nothing cast a pall over the publishing world like news of the Department of Justice's ebook price fixing case against Apple and five of the big six publishers. While Apple, Penguin and Macmillan aren't slated to go to court until 2013, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins have already settled, and the effects are already being felt.
What will this all mean? How and why did the case come about? And what can publishers do once the verdict is reached?