Prepare to transport yourself back to 2003, kids, before Facebook, when a profile meant a list of your Top 5 friends and a flashy, custom design, and MySpace ruled the social media realm (Friendster, sit down). Apparently, it still exists today, and Time Inc. now owns what’s left of it. [More]
Don’t put down that pen just yet, Penthouse readers: your letters to the magazine could still end up in an issue on the newsstand in the near future. Penthouse’s editors say the magazine won’t be going online-only… at least not at the moment. [More]
Almost exactly a year after Amazon and book publisher Hachette entered a very public feud over an e-book pricing dispute, the mega online retailer is reportedly on the cusp of engaging in a new battle with the world’s largest book publisher, Penguin Random House. [More]
As more news consumers have started to migrate online instead of getting their news in dead-tree form, this has caused problems for the entire business model of publishing. It raises an interesting question, though: what if there were a news equivalent of buying the one song you like from a new album for 99¢ or less? That option may be coming soon to our national newspapers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. [More]
Almost five years after the release of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, publisher Tyndale House says it’s yanking the book from shelves immediately. This, because the “boy” and co-author of the tome, Alex Malarkey, says the book is literally malarkey because he didn’t die and thus, did not go to heaven.
They’re going to the chapel and they’re gonna get married: Book publishers Penguin and Random House will become one after their parents company complete an upcoming merger. If the merging of companies in other industries is any indication, this new union could produce higher book prices as the two cease competing, as well as a possible dearth in the selection of titles. [More]
At a small book store in NYC’s West Village, there are shelves labeled “Best Sellers” and “Sale,” but even a quick scan of the spines will reveal something: They’re all the same book. In fact, all 3,000 or so volumes stacked and shelved in Ed’s Martian Book store are the same.
Probably not. But it does have lots of widgets and video modules.
Add this to the woes facing the magazine industry: retailers are cutting back on the space they allocate to print products, and many are outright banning titles that show a little skin. Over the last three years, 18,000 North American retailers stopped carrying magazines, an 11.3% decline.
Defying the notion that the magazine business is careening at the edge of a digital abyss, the venerable Atlantic is about to turn its first profit in over ten years. The magazine cites a cultural shift that had employees think of themselves as “a venture-capital-backed start-up in Silicon Valley whose mission was to attack and disrupt The Atlantic.”
The second half of summer is “complain about textbook prices” season, and last week the New York Times put together a special section on the topic and asked experts to weigh in. Too many of the contributors just provide an overview of the situation but no solutions; a publishing industry representative actually defends textbook prices as trivial compared to other educational costs. Fortunately Anya Kamenetz, who writes for Fast Company, suggests Flat World Knowledge. And to be fair, the guy who defended textbooks prices suggests CourseSmart for ebook rentals. The Times also asked students, professors and parents to weigh in with advice.
Yesterday we wrote about someone who downloaded a pirated copy of a game after he couldn’t gain access to the copy he’d already paid for. In that case, which most of our commenters supported, it was clear that the consumer was trying to resolve a problem created by the DRM. But what about if you own a printed copy of a book and you simply want to read the ebook version? Should you have to pay for a second copy? Randy Cohen, who writes the The Ethicist column for the New York Times, says downloading a copy you find online is ethical.
Imagine trying to buy a book from Big Generic Bookstore and watching the cashier add $5 to the sticker price. “What are you doing?!” you cry out, waving a fist menacingly at him. “You look like you can afford it,” he says back to you with a hint of entitltement. That’s basically what a publishing industry expert said in a piece he wrote last week about ebook pricing.
If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore, you’re probably intimate with the practice of pulping mass market paperbacks. Publishers reimburse booksellers for inventory they don’t sell, but paperbacks are so cheap to produce that it would cost more to return them than to throw them away. Instead, stores tear off the covers, mail those back as proof of unsold inventory, and throw the books in the trash.