Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

03/14/2012

Publishing Intrigue Con’t: Is Government About to kill Real competition to Save Appearance of Competition?


Gov't Killing Competition?

Hopefully not!

The jury is still out. While the Justice Department is weighing the past, present and future course of the publishing industry (in trying to tame the nefarious price-setting practices of e-books — and by extension of all books), opinionated speculation is running rampant!

This digital-era-caused publishing shipwreck upon ‘conscience island’ could just be the best thing that has ever been visited upon the publishing empire.

Why ? Because the forced dealing with recent ethical questions like price-setting below profitable margins just to run peripherals out of business and create a more monopolistic advantage, will hopefully lead to a clearing up of abuses and unethical practices that existed under the old traditional publishing business model as well!  

But, in order for this to take place, the DOJ must put it’s best foot forward with a real commitment to create a publishing landscape that fosters open and fair competition. Good prices for all concerned will then follow — based on fair market value — not cookie-cutter, one-price-fits-all, dip-shit prices (that will be raised, without any recourse, in the future when the true monopoly is firmly established).

This from Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times:

Scott Turow: Apple didn’t collude, it offered an e-books life raft

Last week shivers shot through the world of publishing when news broke that the U.S. Justice Department warned Apple and five major publishers that it was investigating them for alleged collusion, the Wall Street Journal reported. At issue was the price of e-books: When Apple launched the iPad, five major publishers adjusted their pricing schemes from a wholesale/retail model to an agency model.

In December, Justice Department official Sharis A. Pozen told a House subcommittee that the antitrust division was investigating e-book pricing. A source told the New York Times that the department hopes to decide by the end of April, when Pozen is leaving, whether to file suit against Apple and publishers  Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, HarperCollins and Macmillan.

That would be a mistake, writes Scott Turow, a bestselling author, a lawyer, and head of the Authors Guild. In an update on the Authors Guild website, he writes:

We have no way of knowing whether publishers colluded in adopting the agency model for e-book pricing. We do know that collusion wasn’t necessary: Given the chance, any rational publisher would have leapt at Apple’s offer and clung to it like a life raft. Amazon was using e-book discounting to destroy bookselling, making it uneconomic for physical bookstores to keep their doors open.

Just before Amazon introduced the Kindle, it convinced major publishers to break old practices and release books in digital form at the same time they released them as hardcovers. Then Amazon dropped its bombshell: as it announced the launch of the Kindle, publishers learned that Amazon would be selling countless frontlist e-books at a loss. This was a game-changer, and not in a good way. Amazon’s predatory pricing would shield it from e-book competitors that lacked Amazon’s deep pockets.

Read and learn more

This Publishing/Writing Blog is available on Kindle :))) 

Advertisements

05/12/2010

Scott Turow, New President of The Authors Guild, Ponders the Future of Publishing



Scott Turow (pictured on left), bestselling author of Presumed Innocent and numerous other mystery suspense novels, just became the president of The Authors Guild…Good pick, indeed, him being a lawyer and all. He seems well equipped to handle the ponderous problems facing authors in today’s devastated, topsy-turvy publishing industry.

This excerpt is taken from Jason Boog’s interview with Scott Turow on Media Bistro dot com:

Earlier this month, novelist Scott Turow became the new president of the Authors Guild–taking charge of the group during a tumultuous time for the publishing industry.

In today’s installment of Media Beat, the bestselling novelist and attorney advised writers about the biggest problems facing the publishing industry. In previous segments, Turow talked about his new novel, Innocent, and offered advice for aspiring writers.

Here’s an excerpt: “Right now frankly royalty rates for eBooks are too low. The Book royalty rates don’t represent the same kind of division of profits that traditional hardcover royalties have represented. So that will be a meat and potatoes issue for us. But the larger problems for us is the pirating of books. It has killed large parts of the music industry. Musicians make up for the copies of their songs that get pirated by performing live. I don’t think there will be as many people showing up to hear me read as to hear Beyonce sing. We need to make sure piracy is dealt with effectively.”

Video of interview can be viewed here: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid57408845001?bctid=84440520001

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: