The preliminary settlement agreement between the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and Google regarding Google’s Book Search project and its alleged copyright violation has been heralded by the parties involved as a victory. Other publishers and industry analysts also have voiced optimism over the settlement’s impact on the industry. But as the date of the final settlement review (the Fairness Hearing) approaches (June 11), many still are investigating the agreement’s details. Others have voiced concern and suggest the settlement demands some significant changes.
Association of American Publishers
It can’t have escaped the attention of anyone in the book business that we’re working through the toughest trading conditions that any of us have experienced. In the course of just a few months, we have become accustomed to a flood of bad news from our industry—declining book sales in most outlets, significant job losses, traditional sales channels shrinking and consolidating, and consumer confidence at an all-time low. If you add into the picture declining literacy skills and the apparently irresistible attraction of other types of media, it’s tempting to succumb to persistent pessimism and certainly to abandon the view that comforted many for so long—that we work in a recession-proof industry.
It has been several months since Google’s preliminary out-of-court settlement with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors Guild regarding Google Book Search, and the dust has yet to settle. The agreement’s true impact will only become apparent over time, as its terms are put into practice. The devil will be in the details of execution. This is a watershed event nonetheless and marks the beginning of a new era in content distribution. A few themes have emerged that will characterize this next phase.
Judging from the prognostications that Pat Schroeder remembers hearing at publishing conferences a decade ago, most people today ought to be reading e-books and regarding print as a quaint relic of the past. That hasn’t happened, of course, and the president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) sees that fact as a useful caution when trying to predict the future of the industry. It’s easy to identify key factors, but misjudge their effect; trends that seem vitally important now could fade into obscurity, and the course of publishing could be shaped by things currently on no one’s radar screen.
The trade association Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has released version 1.0 of its BookDROP technical specification, a new standard intended to support the search and discovery of digital book content on the Web.
Two events occurred recently that some have called the biggest news to hit the industry in decades. First was the announcement of the settlement between Google, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Authors Guild, regarding Google’s controversial Book Search tool. The settlement allows Google to make millions of books available for consumers to read or buy through Google Book Search; but the big news is that Google will provide compensation to publishers and authors for their works. The settlement also established a Books Rights Registry (supported by the $125 million settlement paid by Google), which will monitor such compensation as well as work to resolve any additional disputes.
Representatives of the book industry's leading trade groups say the pending agreement brokered last week with Google over the Internet search giant's controversial Book Search tool will benefit the U.S. publishing industry for years to come.
Book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of August increased 0.6 percent to $1.5 billion, compared to August 2007. Calendar year-to-date sales were down 1.4 percent. Categories posting an increase in August included: •E-books sales jumped up by 82.9 percent for the month ($4.3 million), and the category also posted a 52-percent increase for the year. •The children’s/young-adult paperback category increased 18.4 percent in August with sales totaling $69.4 million, reflecting an increase of 14.1 percent for the year. •The adult-hardcover category increased 9.2 percent in August with sales of $100.9 million; year-to-date sales decreased 3.6
76,000 The number of copies of “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down,” by Kaylene Johnson—the only biography of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin—regional publisher Epicenter Press printed in a few days, due to an overwhelming, nationwide demand in the week following the announcement of her Republican vice-presidential nomination. That same week, Zondervan announced that it would release a biography of Palin in October entitled “Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader.” Source: Book Business Extra, Sept. 12, 2008 10,000 Number of copies Barnes & Noble (B&N) originally ordered of Robert Kuttner’s “Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of
As Steve Potash, CEO of Overdrive and president of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), said last spring at IDPF’s annual meeting: The world of digital books is expanding, and there is a steady flow of major publishers and technology providers adopting the .epub standard. What we’re going through now is a ramping-up stage during which it can’t be either/or—nobody is saying that we will accept or deliver only in .epub. Accepting only .epub formats is likely to be the first move that’s made, because the advantage to publishers is that they will have only one electronic book version with one ISBN of which