Amazon Publishing, the retailer’s trade publishing operation based out of New York, has a new publisher, who will be based in Seattle.
Daphne Durham will take over as publisher from Larry Kirshbaum, who will be leaving the company in January to go back to being an agent. Durham, an Amazon employee since 1999, had been editor-in-chief and will continue to live and work in Seattle.
Publishing media is painting it as a retreat from New York to Seattle, speculating that the company couldn’t cut it in the Big Apple, competing with the world’s largest publishers on the biggest books (a take which the company denies, citing expansion for its New York publishing business).
Blame Barnes & Noble for making it tough on Amazon Publishing’s print bookstore aspirations, said one report. Another, however, claimed the move to Seattle no big deal, as the company retains one of its advantages over other publishers: paying authors royalties monthly instead of twice a year.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Libraries Respond to Fifty Shades Spending Revelations (DBW)
Revelations that libraries were spending big sums of money on keeping their patrons stocked with huge numbers of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey sparked debate between publishers and libraries. The American Library Association has responded with a statement. Read it here. Related: Ohio Library System Spent Nearly $24,000 on Fifty Shades Ebooks.
Ebook Revenue Estimates (PW)
New estimates for just how much more money retailers and publishers made from selling ebooks at “agency” prices give some insight into just how much money five of the largest publishers in the world made from selling ebooks in two years from 2010 to 2010: About $1.5 billion.
How Self-Published Authors Get Paid Through Oyster (GigaOm)
Self-published authors will make the same amount of money as they do selling a book through Amazon or another retailer every time one of their works is “read” by an Oyster subscriber, per a new deal signed with Smashwords. This dovetails with what we’ve learned publishers are getting paid.
Kobo to Authors: We Don’t Have to Sell You (Good E Reader)
Kobo, the ebook retailer for some reason at the center of a new scandal about selling objectionable erotica ebooks, encourages authors to write what they want to, in a new email to self-publishing authors. It doesn’t have to sell anything it doesn’t want to, the email also said. Related: Nearly Third of Self-Published Ebooks Are “Erotica.”
Self-Published Author New Star of Murder She Wrote Reboot (Hollywood Reporter)
A new version of the classic television series Murder She Wrote will star a self-published mystery novel writer. Take that, “vanity publishing.”
Print No Longer “Rule”? (PW)
Anonymous sources tell PW that publishers are now starting to reserve the right not to produce print versions of a book if they don’t want to. Digital-only or digital-first trade publishing may start to be the rule rather than the exception.
Why Even Have Print Books? (Digital Trends)
“To show off,” is the only viable reason, says one editorial. We would suggest that that the author may not know readers and books very well, let alone just how most books in the U.S. are still sold and read.
Vietnam Youth Flock to Ebooks (Vietnamnet.vn)
Students and other youth in Vietnam are flocking to digital versions of what they once read in print, seeing little reason to use the older technology.
Japanese Government Trying to Collect on Ebooks (The Digital Reader)
The Japanese government is working on closing loopholes that make buying ebooks there from retailers based outside the country basically tax-free.
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