Bob Kohn to Have Last Laugh Over DOJ?

Attorney Bob Kohn has been an outspoken opponent against the e-book price-fixing settlement between the Department of Justice and publishers Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. He had so much to say that he wanted to file a 93-page brief with the court arguing against the settlement. The presiding judge, Denise Cote, granted him permission to file a five-page brief.

Perhaps unable to squeeze 93 pages into five, Kohn came up with a solution that any book editor would be proud of: He submitted a five-page comic strip instead, reasoning that each picture is worth 1,000 words.

The comic outlines some of Kohn’s strongest arguments against the settlement while underlining how difficult it is to convey complex information in only five pages.

While Judge Cote might find the comic’s final panel amusing, she won’t have the last laugh so much as determine who does: the DOJ and those in favor of the settlement, including Amazon and some consumers who are upset about the prices of e-books; or Kohn and those against it, including Apple, Penguin, the American Booksellers Association and others.

Related: Problem With Settlement and Its Detractors

 

Grafton to Indie Authors: “You’re Lazy,” then “Sorry” (DBW)
After calling self-published authors “lazy,” best-selling author Sue Grafton took it back in a heartfelt apology underscored by her confession that she knew nothing of how self-publishing and digital technology was remaking the publishing industry.

How Fifty Shades Changed the Jobs of Romance Editors (SBTB)
Beyond selling a whole lot of books and spawning its own cottage industry for themed knick-knacks and doodads, Fifty Shades is changing the way the romance publishing industry is working. Cover art, pitches and the content are all changing.

Is the Term “Legacy Publisher” Outdated? (DBW)
At a time when large publishing companies are sometime a part of the leading edge for digital innovation, “legacy” might be an outmoded term to describe them. Full-service might be more apt at this point.

Amazon Plagued With Fake E-Books? (The Future of Publishing)
Never mind fake reviews, what about fake e-books? DBW contributor and publishing consultant Thad McIlroy takes you down the rabbit hole in his posts (Part I, Part II) about fake e-books on Amazon.

Your Email Address for an E-Book? (DBW)
How much personal information would you give away for a free or discounted e-book? According to new research, some three-quarters of people would give away their email and other personal data for “fair” compensation.

Boring But Important (BusinessWeek)
Amazon has started collecting sales tax in Pennsylvania. It already collects sales tax in Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, New York, Texas and Washington. California will join the list on Sept. 15.

“Like” This Paragraph (DBW)
A new app is integrating Facebook into reading experiences.

Tesco Buys E-Book Platform (WSJ)
UK retail chain Tesco has acquired Mobcast, an e-book and e-reading platform, for £4.5 million. The retailer has been buying up digital businesses in an effort to deliver content to its customers in whatever form they want it in.

Kindle Gets Into Bed With Playboy (DBW)
Playboy joins a growing parade of non-book-publisher media companies that are now jumping into the e-book game. The storied magazine publisher will put out fifty shorts exclusive to Kindle in the next fifty days – all Playboy interviews of luminaries like Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Tina Fey and, of course, Jimmy Carter.

You Can’t Take It With You (Forbes)
There was a rumor going around that Bruce Willis was suing Apple over its terms and conditions after discovering that he wouldn’t be able to bequeath his iTunes library to his children. Apparently, Willis isn’t suing Apple, but the episode raises the question, what happens to your digital content when you die? Nothing lasts forever.

Does This Title Make My Book Look Fat? (New York Times)
Thinking of a book title is one of the hardest things out there – even if you spend all day thinking of names for other things. How do you summarize 50,000 or more words into five?

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