Some big news in the book world as Random House, the lone holdout among the six major publishers, has agreed to Apple's terms and will be moving over to the agency model. What is the agency model? Well, this post of yore provides some background, but for readers this means that over 17,000 Random House titles will now be available through iBooks, and will also means that the price you pay for Random House books will probably be a few dollars higher (Amazon likes the $9.99 e-book price point. Publishers, who set the price with the agency model: not so much).
Mike Shatzkin and Eric from Pimp My Novel offer some more background on the publishing implications, which are many. Shatzkin notes that this is a sign that the agency model has helped cracked Amazon's hegemony, and Eric wonders what effect this will have in iBooks sales.
One big e-reader, the iPad 2 was launched on Wednesday amid much fanfare (and much tweeting from yours truly). Among the book implications was the Random House announcement, and Apple also stated that over 100 million e-books have been sold through the iBookstore. Wow.
And speaking of lots of e-books sold, my colleague and fellow author David Carnoy had a great article this week on the rise of the 99 cent e-book and what this might mean for publishers, and Mathew Ingram at GigaOM writes that with the success Amanda Hocking and J.A. Konrath are enjoying, publishers need to "wake up and smell the disruption." Quite a few people have been asking me lately to weigh in on self-publishing and the new 99 cent/$2.99 Kindle bestsellers, and I shall do so soonest.
But meanwhile we have more links!
HarperCollins took the controversial/ingenious (depending where one sits) step of limiting library lending of e-books at 26 lends per library e-book purchase, rather than allowing libraries to loan e-books infinitely. Presumably 26 was arrived at as comparable to the number of times a print book could be lent before it wore out. What say you as author and reader on this one?
In rather hilarious news, Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware noticed an eBay listing for a story idea that the author claims "can be compared to stories like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Indiana Jones and other titles in those categories..." Starting bid the author set? $3 million!
In case you want a sense of just how challenging things are for chain bookstores these days, the SFGate blog Dollars & Sense noted that Borders' liquidation sale wasn't even beating Amazon's prices. In related news, the NYTimes surveyed publishers attempts to move beyond the bookstore, selling print books in other brick-and-mortar outlets like clothing and sporting goods stores. In the words of Perseus Books Group CEO David Steinberger, "The national bookstore chain has peaked as a sales channel, and the growth is not going to come from there. But it doesn’t mean that all brick-and-mortar retailers are cutting back.”
Earlier this week I posted some advice for authors getting started on Facebook, and Meghan Ward has a great interview with Miles of the Milesmaria publicity, communications and media company, about what to do with those pages. There's some really terrific advice in there, so definitely check it out!
In writing advice news, Matthew Rush defines that plot device known as a MacGuffin, the Rejectionist cautions against adverbs and non-said dialogue tags in typically uproariously hilariously funny fashion (he extolled), Jim McCarty from the Dystel & Goderich agency is a fellow trend-unfollower, and Jim Duncan has important though controversial advice in a writerly world of "butt in chair:" sometimes it's important to step away.
And at the Oscars were this past week The King's Speech took home Best Picture. Author David Mitchell talked with Prospect Magazine about how the film was the first to portray his speech defect realistically.
This week in the Forums, listing your favorite words, wondering about how e-books are created exactly, whether you write with paper & pen or computer, what to do when HARRY POTTER creeps into your own writing, and how do you know if your idea is original?
Comment! of! the! Week! You know which one it is. Congrats again to Curt for his winning caption entry:
Our demands are simple. No more asparagus, bed time gets moved back to 9pm, and little Johnny here needs some gold chains for his track suit. You have 30 minutes or I push this button, and boom goes the dynamite.
And finally, via John Ochwat comes a seriously awesome time-lapse of a couple having fun organizing their bookshelf:
Have a great weekend!