Five years after Amazon secretly asked regulators to investigate leading publishers - a case that ended up reinforcing the e-commerce company's clout - groups representing thousands of authors, agents and independent booksellers are asking the United States Department of Justice to examine Amazon for antitrust violations.
Perhaps stealing a page from Amazon, which often promotes policies that would benefit it by talking about what customers want, the groups said their concerns were more about freedom of expression and a healthy culture than about themselves.
Amazon Mexico has finally launched its full retail operations and a print bookstore . Previously it had offered just Kindle e-books through a store that opened in 2013.
There's no telling what took them so long to open in Mexico. After all, isn't Mexico, with its population of 120 million people, one one of the most desirable markets in the world?
Still, the market is rather young and nascent. A report from Forrester suggests that Mexico's online market will hit $5.5 billion by 2018, with some 18 million online buyers.
Apple may be trying to keep the spotlight on its latest foray into the streaming-music business, but it is also still trying to clean up the mess caused by its ham-handed entry into an earlier market: book publishing. A federal court on Tuesday rejected the company's appeal of an earlier ruling that found it guilty of orchestrating a conspiracy with the major book publishers, in what the court said was a successful attempt to artificially inflate the price of e-books.
An appeals court in New York on Tuesday upheld a 2013 verdict that Apple organized an illegal conspiracy with five book publishers to raise the price of ebooks, noting that so-called horizontal price-fixing is "the supreme evil of antitrust."
The ruling ends a long-running legal fight between Apple and the U.S. Justice Department, and paves the way for Apple AAPL 0.58% to start issuing payouts to consumers in a related class-action settlement.
Penguin Random House has signed new long-term sales agreements for print and e-book sales with Amazon in both the US and UK, on undisclosed terms.
The agreement was confirmed by Amazon. A PRH spokesperson said: "We do not discuss our relationships with our retail partners. But, as you can see, we still are in business with Amazon, and with all our retail partners, and will continue to be."
In the US, Penguin Random House was the last of the original agency publishers to reach a new agreement after its Department of Justice
Ronald Schild CEO of Germany's MVB discusses how research shows simple metadata fixes, like putting the language of a book in your metadata, can double sales.
"I'm evangelizing for metadata, currently I'm trying to create awareness among publishers about metadata for marketing," says Ronald Schild, CEO of MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH, which is the technical and digital subsidiary of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.
Just ten days ago, industry and regulators in Europe feared that the Commission's probe into Amazon had gone dormant.
But while the timing of the probe announced Thursday by Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, may have been a surprise, the Commission's interest in the topic is certainly not. A series of high-profile bust-ups in recent years over e-book pricing have drawn the attention of regulators. And at the heart of this dispute is a simple question that has big ramifications for the future of digital publishing.
Who should set the price of e-books: the publishers or Amazon?
Don't like Paulo Coelho's book? Don't pay for it.
The bestselling author of "The Alchemist" put free e-copies of two of his books on his blog this week. He is asking readers to decide later whether the works were worth purchasing, and if so, to name their price. The Brazilian-born author, who posted "Manual of the Warrior of Light" in English and "Brida" in Portuguese, wrote: "If you like the text, please buy it-so we can tell the publishing industry that this idea does not harm the business."
One of the most experimental and exciting areas of book publishing right now, especially in the trade market, is direct-to-consumer marketing. It's a topic that has been discussed extensively here on Book Business, but it's worth a deeper dive as all of the Big Five and many mid-size and small publishers have launched experiments in this field. Book Business had the opportunity to hear three forward-thinking leaders from Perseus Books Group, Hachette, and Rodale Books on the topic at our Book Business Live event in March. They offered a variety of strategies to driving greater sales, but the big lesson was that D2C marketing is really about content marketing and relationship building.
Barnes & Noble could make for exciting reading this summer, as the retailer moves toward separating its college bookstore business from the rest of its operations in August. The spinoff of Barnes & Noble Education will showcase an attractive business with good growth prospects that is buried inside the bookseller, whose results have been depressed by a disastrous foray into the tablet area with Nook. The split will also let investors get a clearer look at the company's underappreciated retail bookselling division, which generates significant free cash flow.