News & Notes — 3/09/13

March 9, 2013 News & Notes 2

Worth Reading: 

 Books & Ebooks in the News:

  • “The e-Reader Isn’t Dead — Tablet, eReader Ownership Increased Over Christmas (Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader blog).  The included six-year graph shows some other interesting trends, including a drop in desktop computer ownership and a corresponding rise in laptop ownership, and a leveling out of both mp3 player and game console ownership.
  •  “SFWA De-Lists Hydra; Random House Responds” (Victoria Strauss on Writer Beware Blogs!)  Hydra is Random House’s new digital-only “self-publishing” service.  Its contract terms are not great for what writers get out of it: RH keeps the digital rights basically forever, and authors get 50% of the sales — a lot less than the 70% Amazon offers, and with Amazon, authors retain the copyright.  The Science Fiction Writers Association, which does not recognize self-published authors or those who publish through so-called “vanity presses”, has decided that Hydra falls under this category, so authors published only under the Hydra imprint will not be eligible for SFWA membership.  There are several links worth clicking in this article, including the one to SFWA president John Scalzi’s scathing blog post on Hydra’s contract terms.
  • Like Amazon, Apple is seeking to patent a process for selling used digital goods  (Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch).  Incidentally, according to Dear Author, the Amazon patent has been granted.
  • HarperCollins is laying off 200 employees due to the shift from print to digital, and one senator wants federal help for a job retraining program for them.  I suspect HarperCollins won’t be the only big (or small) publisher laying off employees.  (Joseph Kohut, The Times-Tribune)
  • Self-publishing service LuLu now offering marketing and publishing services provided by Author Solutions.  Author Solutions has been taking some heat recently for not treating authors well.  (Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader blog)
  • All the big publishers seem to be jumping on the self-publishing services bandwagon.  Simon & Schuster’s self-publishing house, Archway, wants book bloggers to plug their services to aspiring authors.  Archway is offering a $100 bounty to blogger affiliates for each author they refer who publishes with Archway.  When self-publishing promoter April Hamilton received an email from S&S Archway, she produced a blistering response.  Incidentally, Archway’s services are delivered by none other than… Author Solutions.  Hmm.

Giveaways on this and other blogs: 

  • Starting Now, by Debbie Macomber, right here on The Bookwyrm’s Hoard! Ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time!, so click the link to sign up to win an ARC of the book.
  • Peach Pies and Alibis (a Charmed Pie Shoppe mystery) by Ellery Adams, on Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.  In addition to 2 copies of the book, Ms. Adams has a special prize pack with an apron, dish towels, and a mini pie mold. 

Awesome lists:   

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