Nick Mamatas was kind enough to tip me off to a fascinating writeup by Dennis Johnson, co-founder of Brooklyn indie publishing stalwart Melville House, on a story that knocks another hole in Hachette’s credibility as the self-styled defender of cultural and literary values against the encroachment of Amazon. As Johnson tells it, Hachette Book Group’s […]
George Packer’s epic 12,000-word piece on Amazon and the publishing industry in the current issue of The New Yorker is full of memorable reported bits—the culture clash between Amazon’s editorial staffers and its programmers, insider accounts of the company’s hiring process, the story of an Amazon employee who was handed a printout of a Slate article about Amazon’s stingy philanthropy with the words “Fix This” scrawled at the top in Bezos’s hand. But for a wide-ranging survey of the new publishing landscape, its cast of characters is a notably familiar one.
President Barack Obama's decision to give a high-profile speech on jobs and corporate tax rates during a visit to one of Amazon's distribution centres this week was a coup for the company. Now it's capitalising elsewhere in its business.
Amazon will launch an ebook under its Kindle Singles imprint on Wednesday based on an interview given by Obama to the imprint's editor, David Blum, during his visit. GigaOm reports that the ebook will be a free download rather than a paid title.
On Tuesday, the embattled baby changing station Barnes & Noble released its quarterly report and announced that it would no longer produce the Zune Nook tablet in house. And, while the Zune Nook’s catastrophic failure has rightfully received a great deal of attention over the last few days, there were a number of other uncomfortable and unfortunate truths in the report, including that Barnes & Noble is maybe not that good at selling books anymore, either (though it is still better at selling books than it is at selling tablets)
The merger of Penguin and Random House is expected to close in July, creating—with sales of £2.5bn—the largest trade publishing business ever. Ahead of any announcements about its forthcoming plans, The Bookseller asked a range of industry insiders what the new management team should do:
Dennis Johnson, publisher and co-founder, Melville House
If I were the CEO of Random Penguins, I would...
1. Join those b******* at Apple in standing up to the American government's persecution of the publishing industry, and to its protection of Amazon's monopoly.
On January 30th, subscribers to Publishers Weekly’s email newsletter received a special “News Alert” with a red rectangle across the top. “Simon & Schuster, Barnes & Noble in Dispute Over Terms” the headline declared. But the message itself was cryptic, offering no details about the terms involved or a clear explanation as to why there was a dispute to begin with. PW managed to get one quote from a B&N spokesperson: