DOJ’s Harsh Words for Apple, Penguin, Macmillan

The Department of Justice didn’t mince words in its response to the latest filings by Apple, Penguin and Macmillan in what has become the e-book price-fixing settlement saga.
To Apple: The need for you to conduct your e-book business can’t stop the settlement.

To Penguin: We don’t need to show that e-book prices have gone up across the board – just that yours did, which we do here and here.

To Macmillan: You can’t prove that the settlement will result in an Amazon monopoly and we don’t think it will anyway.

The DOJ also responded to a filing from Barnes & Noble and the American Booksellers Association, saying that the great volume of letters opposing the settlement didn’t mean it wasn’t in the public’s best interest.

So, will the settlement go through? Antitrust experts say yes.


David Levithan: Transmedia and the Next Hunger Games (DBW)
In this exclusive Q&A, we spoke with Scholastic vice president, publisher and editorial director David Levithan about the success of the Hunger Games as an e-book, what’s new and hot in transmedia, and why the reading experiences of the future may depend on how children consume content today.

Bin Laden Raid Book Author Outed? (Fox News)
Apparently, in the Internet age, it’s impossible to keep a secret for more than 24 hours. The anonymous Navy Seal author of the upcoming Penguin title on the Osama bin Laden raid has been outed. Penguin has not confirmed his identity.

The Next Step in Turning Libraries into E-Book Sales Channels (DBW)
Bilbary has formed a partnership with the Califa library network that will see it add what are essentially buy buttons to its libraries’ websites. Libraries and Bilbary split the profits when a prospective e-book borrower decides to buy.

Random House Canada Launches Digital-First Imprint (Pub Weekly)
Random House Canada is embarking on a new, three-pronged digital strategy, part of which is a digital-first imprint called Hazlitt. Summary.

Sourcebooks Promotes Head of Digital, Expands Duties (DBW)
The Naperville, Ill.-based publisher has been shoring up its executive ranks all year. Lynn Dilger is now senior vice president, director of technology and content delivery and reports to CEO Dominique Raccah.

Amazon’s Big Announcement (Mashable)
Amazon will be making a big announcement in Santa Monica, Calif. on Sept. 6. Our guess? A 10-inch Kindle Fire.

Merger Rumors (The Bookseller)
There are rumors in Germany that Bertelsmann is contemplating a merger between its massive book publishing concern Random House and Penguin or possibly HarperCollins. A Bertelsmann spokesperson called the rumor “speculation” and gave “no comment.” Is financial activity in the publishing world ready to heat up?

Kobo Ups Royalties on Writing Life, for a Time (DBW)
Responding to a larger trend of self-publishing sites competing for authors by lowering prices and adding services, Kobo is offering an additional 10% in royalties to authors on book sales made from Sept. through Nov.

Digital Edinburgh (Pub Trends)
Digital was a focus at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, with multiple publisher including Saraband and Blasted Heath standing out for digital innovation.

Students Not Impressed With E-Textbooks (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Why aren’t e-textbooks taking off the way e-books have? Well, for one thing, their target audience just doesn’t seem to like them all that much – yet.

BREAKING: Apple Signs Deal With Feds (DBW)
Wait! Don’t click! It’s not what you think!

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