The Wall Street Journal

Vook Puts E-Book Publishing Power in More Hands
July 24, 2012

Just one year after moving from San Francisco to New York, Vook is enhancing its cloud-based e-book publishing platform this week. Vook, which has made its name by enabling non-techie types to publish their work electronically, is now rolling out features such as an HTML5-based reader that will let many tablets and smartphones pull up titles published through the platform.

Matthew Cavnar, Vook’s vice president of business development, who demoed the new features at this month’s NY Tech Meetup, says it’s all part of the company’s strategy to further disrupt the publishing world.

Senator Schumer in WSJ: DOJ ebooks suit could “wipe out the publishing industry as we know it”
July 18, 2012

The Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple and major book publishers “sounds plausible on its face, [but] could wipe out the publishing industry as we know it, making it much harder for young authors to get published,” New York Senator Charles Schumer writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Schumer has been in touch with the WSJ about the ebook pricing suit for awhile. “Rarely have I seen a suit that so ill serves the interests of the consumer,” he told the paper in April. Schumer’s overall argument against the agency pricing lawsuit is that the lawsuit hurts competition by making

Ebook Bestsellers Breakdown: Young adult romance is big
July 13, 2012

This weekly feature examines certain ebooks’ paths to bestseller-dom, and highlights bestselling titles that are selling more copies in digital than in print. Slammed by Colleen Hoover Hoover’s first book, Slammed, is self-published and hits the NYT ebook fiction bestseller list this week at #13. The young adult romance tells the story of an 18-year-old girl, Layken, whose family has to move across the country after her father’s death. When Layken meets her new neighbor, Will, romance and challenges ensue. Hoover tells me, “I hadn’t written anything in the past ten years until December [2011], when I got the idea for

Now It Can Be Told: Shopping for "Fifty Shades of Grey"
July 10, 2012

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that "Fifty Shades of Grey" has become “one of the fastest-selling book series in recent memory.” Recently I mentioned that a friend of mine was one of the purchasers, and that she had funny experience doing so. Some readers commented that my piece was a tease (all in the spirit of the book, of course), and they wanted the full story. I finally pinned my friend down (not literally—really now!) and made her fill me in on the details. Here is my friend (we’ll call her “J”) sharing her Fifty Shades shopping experience:

Houghton Mifflin Plans To Cut $3.1 Billion In Debt
May 11, 2012

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers Inc. has formed an agreement with a majority of its creditors to eliminate $3.1 billion of debt, marking the publisher's latest effort to tackle a heavy debt load in the face of weak textbook demand.

The company plans to reorganize through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, an effort it hopes to complete by the end of next month.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Houghton had hired restructuring advisers for help reworking its finances, citing people familiar with the matter.

Confused By the eBook Lawsuit? So Is Everyone Else. The Atlantic
May 1, 2012

The Justice Department's antitrust suit over eBook price fixing is as deeply befuddling as it is important to the future of publishing.  Reuters A lengthy Wall Street Journal analysis of the Department of Justice price-fixing case against five publishers and Apple features a photo of Picholine, the swanky restaurant (Zagat calls it "one of the best restaurants in town") where, according to the government, the alleged conspiracy took shape. The lawsuit asserts that "meetings took place in private dining rooms of upscale Manhattan restaurants and were used to discuss confidential business and competitive matters, including Amazon's e-book retailing practices.

The U.S. Threat To Sue Apple And Publishers: What It Means
March 8, 2012

Sources close to the anti-trust investigation told the Wall Street Journal that the government is ready to sue Apple and the publishers for price-fixing. What this means is that the Justice Department, which has been investigating e-book pricing since last year, has decided the parties violated the Sherman Act.

Amazon: The Elephant in the Room
March 1, 2012

In 1455 Johannes Gutenberg produced his famous "Bible"—the first book printed with moveable type—launching what would become in subsequent centuries the modern publishing industry. In 1995, Jeff Bezos sold the first book through, launching what would produce in less than 20 years the end of the modern publishing industry.

Hyperbole? Perhaps not, when the earth-shaking influence of the e‑commerce giant's recent moves in publishing are taken into account.

Year-end books: E-sales surge; where's Oprah?
December 30, 2011

In a year when Borders went out of business and Oprah's Book Club disappeared, e-book sales surged and self-published authors got rich selling 99-cent digital books. But it also was a good year for an old print lion —Ernest Hemingway— and books about a famous 20th-century couple, Jack and Jackie. USA TODAY looks back at the rapidly changing world of books in 2011.

Publishing Insider Tipped Law Firms About E-Book Price Fixing Conspiracy
December 20, 2011

The decision by major publishers to strike a pricing deal with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has been the source of speculation and several antitrust investigations. Now, a new court filing suggests someone inside the industry was leaking the publishers’ pricing strategy.

In a brief filed in New York federal court this week, law firm Grant & Eisenhofer said it should get to represent consumers because it has special knowledge about how the scheme took place. The filing reads in part: