Can you sell more books? Non-returnable? AAPSSolutely!
May 20, 2013

On January 1, 2013 I assumed the position of Executive Director of The Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). As of June 1, 2013 SPAN will formally be known as The Association of Authors and Publishers for Special Sales (AAPSS). 

The AAPSS mission is to become known as the premier source of information, education and help for publishers of high-quality content published in printed, electronic or audio form for sale to consumers, non-bookstore retailers and non-retail buyers. AAPSS intends to become the respected brand-name entity that provides high quality, functional and innovative sales and marketing resources that enhance our members’ efforts to grow their businesses profitably.

Is anyone still paying attention to the DOJ/ebook antitrust case?
May 15, 2013

I guess I'd forgotten. Now that all the the publishing players have settled, abandoning agency pricing and returning to the wholesale slums, the DOJ/ebook antitrust case, which popped up again in everyone's news feeds this week, feels a little anticlimactic.

The DOJ, perhaps simply because it's what it found, or perhaps because there's no one left to pick on, is framing the last defendant standing, Apple, as the "ringmaster" in the price-fixing suit, according the New York Times.

Apple tells DOJ: 'we negotiated individually with publishers'
May 15, 2013

Apple has responded to the US Department of Justice's charge that it conspired with publishers to raise e-book prices, filing a defence which asserts that it "conducted individual negotiations" with the publishers involved in the case.

In documents filed on 26th April and released yesterday [14th May], Apple said its agreements with the publishers were "the result of hard-fought negotiations, reached through compromise and discussion". It said: "Apple denies that competition has been hampered by its entry into the e-book business; rather, competition on price, selection, and content quality has flourished…"

Barnes and Noble shares climb 20% following Microsoft rumours
May 9, 2013

Shares in America's biggest books retailer Barnes & Noble climbed nearly 20% yesterday after a report that Microsoft is considering an offer to acquire its Nook business - B&N's tablet and e-book business and a rival to Amazon's Kindle.

The technology website TechCrunch reported that Microsoft, which already owns 17% of Nook Media, was proposing a $1bn offer to buy Nook's digital assets.

U.S. Senate Passes Sales Tax Fairness Legislation
May 7, 2013

On Monday, May 6, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 by a vote of 69 to 27. The legislation would give states the authority to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax in the state, so long as the seller does $1 million or more in remote gross sales annually. The bill now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is expected to face a tough fight.

“We are grateful that the U.S. Senate has done the right thing …” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher,

Rethinking the Monolith
May 1, 2013

The era of the monolithic print textbook is coming to a close. The Kirtsaeng decision is the latest indication that it is not sustainable.

British publishers report boost from e-books, biggest annual sales ever
May 1, 2013

 British publishers have reported their biggest annual sales ever and insisted rumours of their demise at the hands of growing e-book consumption are greatly exaggerated.

Total spending across printed and digital formats rose 4pc to hit £3.3bn in 2012, according to the Publishers Association.

Printed books still account for the vast majority of sales and slid by just one per cent to £2.9bn.

Publishers were cheered, however, as continued growth in the digital market more than made up for the shortfall.

MacMillan Agrees to $20 Million E-Book Prices Settlement
April 29, 2013

Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s MacMillan unit agreed to pay $20 million to consumers to settle claims it conspired with Apple Inc. (AAPL) and other U.S. publishers to fix the prices of electronic books.

The agreement resolves both a lawsuit by U.S. states and a consumer class-action lawsuit, according to an April 25 letter the Texas attorney general sent to U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote in Manhattan.

Down East Books sold to Maryland publisher; will retain Rockport offices, staff
April 26, 2013

Down East Books, formerly a subsidiary of Down East Enterprise, which also publishes Down East Magazine, has been sold to Maryland-based publishing house Rowman & Littlefield.

According to Down East Enterprise president and CEO Bob Fernald, the sale went into effect on April 1. Down East Books will keep its Rockport offices, as well as editor Michael Steere and two sales representatives, and will retain all but a few of its more than 450 titles in four imprints, including Down East Books, Shooting Sportsman Press, Fly Rod & Reel Books and Countrysport Press.

The Penguin Random House Book Powerhouse Is Coming Very Soon
April 26, 2013

 It was not so many months ago, in October of last year, when we learned that publishers Random House and Penguin would merge, per their parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson. Today it appears that the merger is on schedule, and may even happen more quickly than anticipated, reports Crain's Matthew Flamm: An internal memo went out to Penguin staffers Friday morning in which Penguin Group CEO John Makinson said the merger will close early in the second half of the year. So, soon!