Amazon nearly doubled its lobbying expenditures in 2015 versus the previous year, spending $9.4 million dollars trying to sway Congress and executive agencies. The jump puts Amazon’s lobbying efforts in the same league as other tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook, and reflects how the company’s expanding business interests have raised the stakes of its relationship with the government.
The issues were wide-ranging from some obvious ones such as online sales taxes and drones. But it also pressed Washington on other matters including computer cloud services, cyber-security and welfare benefits.
The increased lobbying spending is just one sign of Amazon’s interest in courting the nation’s capital. In the fall of 2014, the company moved its Washington policy shop to a much larger office space. Last spring, Amazon picked up Jay Carney, a former White House press secretary.
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Women at the Intersection of Publishing, Finance and Tech (DBW)
“Women at the Intersection of Publishing, Finance and Technology” and “Transformation in Publishing: Quarto & Sourcebooks” are just two of the highly anticipated sessions and hot topics at the upcoming Digital Book World Conference + Expo. Other key issues at the event include transformation in publishing, investment trends in digital publishing and media, the book buyer’s journey, and digital audio, among many others. DBW 2016 is the premier event for book publishers and content providers of all sizes and business models.
Amazon Brick-and-Mortar Store Rumors: A Timeline (Book Business)
Several additional reports have come to light regarding the bookstore expansion since Sandeep Mathrani’s comments—none of which Amazon spokespeople have confirmed or denied. To help our readers understand this still-developing situation and its impact on the book industry, we created a timeline of events which links to some of the most useful stories covering this news.
How “Send to Kindle” Can Help Neutralize Amazon (Joe Wikert)
Publishers that sell ebooks direct to consumers typically do so in EPUB format. That’s because most publishers are still wedded to the false sense of security DRM provides, and EPUB offers a popular DRM solution. Contrast that with Amazon’s format, MOBI, in which Amazon is the only company that can apply and manage the file’s DRM’d files and settings.
Amazon Specifically Mentions Warnings on Product Pages (Chris McMullen)
This Amazon KDP help page appears to have updated in the past couple days. I and others had read this page carefully and thoroughly when we first noticed the updated KDP help page about a week ago. But now there appears to be new information on the page: “A moderate amount of Distracting or Destructive Issues can result in the book remaining available for sale, but with a temporary quality warning displayed on the detail page of the book on Amazon.com until corrections are made.”
Survey: 92% of Students Prefer Physical Books (NBC News)
Ebooks may be convenient and cheap, but they aren’t displacing paper just yet, at least in the hearts and minds of college kids. That’s what Naomi Baron, linguistics professor at American University, found out as part of the research she conducted for her new book, Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World. She and her fellow researchers surveyed over 300 university students from Japan, Germany, Slovakia and the U.S., and found that 92 percent preferred to do serious reading in paper books—rejecting e-readers, laptops, phones and tablets.
Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? Be Professional (PW)
Jessica Lourey crowdfunded the publication of her book with a Kickstarter campaign. After meeting her Kickstarter goal, she used the money for professional editing and design services: “I differentiate between what I call snap publishing—write approximately 60,000 words, upload to Kindle, and, snap!, you have a book—and self-publishing. Snap publishing is free, but self-publishing requires the writer to take on all the expenses of a traditional publisher.”
A Hybrid World: HarperCollins’ Restivo-Alessi in Germany (Pub Perspectives)
“It’s absolutely vital to stick to a digital agenda.” A voice of reason amid recent “print resurgence” hosannas, HarperCollins’ Chief Digital Officer and Vice President of International, Chantal Restivo-Alessi gave the keynote address at the Future! Publish conference event, which was staged in Berlin on January 28th and 29th. Focusing on “mindflow,” workflow and networking, the program was produced by a partnership including the Borsenverein des Geutschen Buchhandels, Frankfurt Book Fair, Forum Zukunft, and MBV.