Simon & Schuster has reached a distribution agreement with Amazon that largely restores the publisher’s ability to set its own prices on ebooks.
While details remain forthcoming, the deal does not appear to significantly change how much Simon & Schuster authors earn from the sale of their ebooks.
Although Amazon’s ability to discount ebooks will be sharply limited, both the publisher and the e-tailer are said to be satisfied with the agreement.
The new agreement could turn up the pressure not just on Hachette, which remains locked in a standoff with Amazon, but on the remaining Big Five publishers whose contracts with the Amazon are nearly or already expired.
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Atavist Books Folds (Pub Lunch)
While the Atavist, which produces and licenses digital publishing software, remains in business, the publisher associated with it will close its doors by the end of the year, after determining that “the market for highly innovative enhanced full length literary eBooks still heavily relies on a print component and has yet to emerge.”
Enhanced Ebooks Embrace Video (HuffPost)
Even though publishers like Atavist Books are struggling to get enhanced ebooks to take off, developers continue working to improve the technology behind them. Here’s what some are doing to better incorporate video functionality, plus one industry insider’s take on why it’s still worth pursuing enhanced content.
Related: Prepare for the Next Generation of Digital Content at DBW15
Apple Aims to Widen In-App Purchases (Good E Reader)
The launch of Apple Pay with yesterday’s iOS 8 update brings the tech company’s mobile payment system to a number of bricks-and-mortar retailers, but it also facilitates in-app purchasing. And it’s the latter that Apple expects to make up the lionshare of Apple Pay transactions in the first stages of the system’s rollout.
Related: How Many New Customers Will iOS 8 Bring to iBooks?
Why the Kindle Voyage Should Make Print Obsolete… (NYT)
Going beyond just a positive review of Amazon’s newest premium e-reader, one tech writer explains how, in his view, the reading experience on the Kindle Voyage closes the book once and for all on the “trusty hardcover.”
…But Why It Won’t (GigaOm)
Another tech writer praises the Kindle Voyage on virtually all the same criteria but concludes that at this point in time, even the most sophisticated e-reader isn’t likely to convert print devotees. Here’s why.
Librarians Hamstrung to Protect User Privacy (Slate)
Both the platforms and the contracts licensing them to libraries are at fault for the persistent challenges libraries face in protecting patrons’ privacy when it comes to providing access to digital content. The recent controversy surrounding Adobe Digital Editions may not be an anomaly in this respect. Here’s a look at the systemic issues underlying those challenges.
Related: ALA Confronts Adobe on Ebook Data Gathering
Scholarly Publishers Release Author Data on Open Access (Infodocket)
Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan make public the complete results of a survey of over 30,000 authors’ views about open access in scholarly publishing.
Court Reverses Fair Use Ruling (PW)
An appeals court overturns an earlier ruling in favor of Georgia State University administrators in a closely watched fair use dispute with three major academic publishers.