Author Published Multiple Lie-Riddled Biographies Through Simon & Schuster, Random House
August 28, 2014

All the celebrity bios Heymann wrote for them and other publishers-dealing with JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe-are riddled with errors and fabrications. An exhaustive cataloging of those mistakes would fill a book, so a sampling from his long career will have to suffice.

His given name was Clemens Claude Oscar Heymann. He was a large man, known for chomping on cigars,

Press Release: Bertelsmann Invests Billions; Achieves Leap in Profits
March 26, 2014

The international media company Bertelsmann invested heavily in expanding its businesses in 2013, as the company increased its revenues, operating result and Group profit. Investments in implementing the Group's strategy amounted to €2 billion, including financial debt assumed, up from €655 million in the previous year, and its largest sum since 2005. Group profit increased by 42 percent to €870 million. This is the highest Group profit since 2006, and is well above the latest expectations.

A Critical Look at the New Yorker's "Off-Base" Amazon Profile
February 17, 2014

Borders is long gone, Barnes & Noble (BKS) is on the ropes, and total sales at U.S. bookstores have fallen 22% over the past five years. Is every book lover's nightmare coming true? Is the publishing industry somehow being destroyed by a combination of Amazon (AMZN) price cutting and a wave of Netflix (NFLX) watching, iPhone gaming and tweeting?

Definitely not, though you might come away with that ridiculously pessimistic view from some recent coverage trashing Amazon's role in the industry.

Profits Rose 32% in 2013 at Simon & Schuster
February 13, 2014

Operating income at Simon & Schuster rose 32% in 2013, to $106 million on a sales increase of 2.4%, to $809 million, parent company CBS reported. The publisher closed 2013 with a solid fourth quarter with sales up 4.6% over the fourth quarter of 2012 and income up 30%. Sales in the quarter were $225 million and operating income $35 million. Fourth quarter sales were driven by an increase in sales of print books, something CEO Carolyn Reidy attributed in part to the mix of titles, especially the strong physical sales of the three

Netflix and Google Books Are Blurring the Line Between Past and Present
February 3, 2014

Millions of out-of-print books and historical videoclips, black-and-white movies, nearly forgotten TV shows and pop songs are all available with a credit card or in many cases for free. It used to be that, for economic and techno­logical reasons, this cultural history was locked away. Libraries and corporate archives kept a small subset of it available, but the rest was in storage, out of reach. The reversal has happened in just the past decade.

How to Reverse a Declining Business
January 24, 2014

SodaStream creates and sells home-carbonation systems, competing with Coke and Pepsi. The company was founded in 1903 and by 2000 it had an 85% share of the worldwide home-carbonation market. But in 2007 the company was near bankruptcy with revenue of $136 million. Then a new management team with new ideas and strategies turned it around so that at the beginning of 2013 revenue reached $436 million. Some of their tactics[1] can apply to book publishers trying to turn around their businesses. Here are SodaStream's Top Ten Tactics for a Successful Business Turnaround.

5 Things We Learned at Digital Book World 2014
January 17, 2014

On the surface, it looked like business as usual at this year's Digital Book World conference in New York City earlier this week, with no groundbreaking announcements, no radical plans hatched to transform the book business as we know it. But as always, when publishers convene to discuss the state of the industry, a few ideas emerge.

Teens Not Reading for Fun

Of the news repeated over-and-over again in private conversation, it was that a recent Nielsen Books survey revealed 41% of teenagers aged 13-17 said that they do not read books for fun.

Amazon Will Probably Dominate Books-by-Subscription, Too
January 15, 2014

For a bunch of rapacious capitalists, the people who start technology companies are strikingly ambivalent about the concept of owning stuff. Silicon Valley would like to replace the practice of owning copies of, say, a song or a movie, with a world where everything's kept on servers that people pay to access. Next up: books. As startups have started offering services inevitably referred to as literary Netflixes (NFLX) or Spotifys, the idea has been gaining momentum. Still, it's getting a mixed reaction at Digital Book World, a publishing industry conference about e-reading.

No Books Enter Public Domain in 2014
January 3, 2014

A new year means a new batch of copyrights expire, and works like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Bell Jar become as free to use as Charles Dickens or Shakespeare. Unless you happen to live in the United States, that is.

As Duke University notes in its mournful annual report, no books will enter the public domain this year, or next year, or the year after that.  This situation is the result of Congress's decision to add another 20 years of protection for long dead authors, which means that no new works will become public until 2019.

Google Calls Book Scanning ‘Transformative’ Fair Use
August 29, 2013

Is Google's book scanning practice "transformative"? Google argues that it is, the Authors Guild argues that it isn't, This could be an important part of determining whether Google scanning all those books in violation of copyright could be considered a "fair use." It follows on the heels of the appeals court decision back in July requiring that the circuit court rule on whether Google Book Search constituted fair use before deciding if the suit warranted class action status.