Claims agency pricing a boon to industry
Bookseller Barnes & Noble has sent a complaint to the US Department of Justice regarding a proposed settlement in the latter's case against e-book price fixing, says paidContent. The DOJ has proposed a settlement with publishers HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, who were all accused of colluding to keep e-book prices artificially high by moving to an agency model. In its complaint, B&N claims that the settlement "represents an unprecedented effort" by the DOJ to become "a regulator of a nascent technology that it little understands," and that e-book and hardcover prices have actually fallen under the agency system.
DOJ warns Apple must change iBookstore rules
The US Department of Justice is readying an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and publishers unless they change their pricing strategy for e-books, leaks revealed Wednesday night. Agency officials reportedly slipped to the Wall Street Journal that both the iPad designer as well as Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster would face legal action for possibly having colluded on e-book pricing. DOJ prosecutors objected to Apple's since confirmed insistence on an agency model, where publishers set the price, as it allegedly kept e-book prices artificially inflated.
Random House stays pay-once with e-book libraries
Random House helped set a possible precedent for e-books in libraries late last week after it agreed to a deal on lending. While it would raise the price for an e-book by an unspecified amount, the term would guarantee that libarires could have any title they want and provide an unlimited number of loans. The deal was portrayed to Publishers Weekly and others as giving authors fair compensation while still letting libraries treat e-books like they would paper.
Area generally unexploited in tablets
Over 100 illustrated books have been added to the iBookstore in tandem with the release of iBooks 1.2, says the New York Times. These are spread across several different genres, including cooking, photography and children's books. Some notable titles include Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home, a photo collection by Ansel Adams and the Olivia series of picture books.
Amazon Kindle sees majors follow iBookstore model
Amazon today bowed to pressure ahead of the iPad launch by striking new Kindle book deals with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Similar to the terms for Macmillan, the change will let both publishers use an agency model that gives them control over prices. Some bestseller e-books will now cost between $13 to $15; others will still cost the usual $10, but others should be priced below Amazon's average.
Titles held back four months past print shipments
Several major publishers have begun delaying e-book releases to combat the competitive price slashing of best sellers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Simon & Schuster is putting a four month hold on 35 titles scheduled for release next year, while Lagerdere SCA's Hachette Book Group is planning to take similar actions.
Simon and Schuster launches Vook format
Simon & Schuster hoped to spur on the creation of a new book format on Thursday by launching vooks, or video books. The approach builds videos directly into a text and is meant to enhance a work while minimizing the flow of a book as much as possible. An instructional book can show a task in action, for example, while a novel can use clips to establish the setting or to show a video a character would have watched.