The book publishing world is merging into behemoths in order to better negotiate with Amazon. Rupert Murdoch (HarperCollins) has made an offer
to buy Penguin for $1.6 billion
. This just hours after Penguin said it was in talks to merge with Random House to create a 'Random Penguin' with nearly 25% of all English-language book sales. Either way the reputation of Penguin could soon be in tatters.
As one agent said, "Authors have told me they are frightened by a Random House takeover, but terrified by a HarperCollins one."
posted by stbalbach
on Oct 29, 2012 -
RJ Ellory's secret Amazon reviews anger rivals. [guardian.co.uk]
"Crime bestseller caught using sock puppets to trash colleagues and hymn his own 'magnificent' work." Under the pseudonym "Nicodemus Jones":
"All I will say is that there are paragraphs and chapters that just stopped me dead in my tracks," he wrote. "Some of it was chilling, some of it raced along, some of it was poetic and langorous and had to be read twice and three times to really appreciate the depth of the prose … it really is a magnificent book."
posted by Fizz
on Sep 3, 2012 -
But now, Bic has saved me!
With these easy-to-manage lady pens, I too can record my grocery lists and the agenda for my weekly sewing circle! Yes, that's right; due to these pens' soft grips and lightweight build, even my useless, made-from-porcelain hands can manage to wield them. And what's more, their sweet and rosy color palette is soft on my frail lady eyes! It really is a dream come true!
posted by the young rope-rider
on Aug 26, 2012 -
Have you ever wanted to sort a particular Amazon's reviewer's reviews by their number of stars? Amazon has never added this feature to its user profile pages, but here's a workaround
. Or perhaps you need a tool that lets you see ratings, dates of reviews, helpful and unhelpful votes, and number of comments, all in a helpful sortable list. Maybe you need to download and install the Amazon Reviewer Analysis Tool
posted by shivohum
on Aug 6, 2012 -
The E-Book Wars: Amazon Versus the Rest.
Publishers, distributors, booksellers, and authors weigh in on Amazon's ever-increasing presence and influence in the electronic publishing world. The author also takes a stab at forecasting the future for the major players in the e-book industry.
posted by Rykey
on May 26, 2012 -
Why book publishers
will give up on Digital Rights Management. Short answer: because they are more afraid of Amazon becoming a monopsony than they are of consumer piracy. I don't know if he's right, but it's an interesting discussion of the immediate future in book publishing, and the way the Kindle has changed everything.
posted by Chocolate Pickle
on Apr 21, 2012 -
The Seattle Times has just published a largely unfavorable four-part series about Seattle-based Amazon.com. In Part 1
, the newspaper questions how much Amazon is doing for the local community. Part 2
suggests that Amazon is damaging the publishing industry. Part 3
asks if Amazon's tax-free status gives it an unfair advantage. And Part 4
wonders whether Amazon is bad for its own workers.
posted by twoleftfeet
on Apr 3, 2012 -
"NASA is one of the few institutions I know that can inspire five-year-olds. It sure inspired me, and with this endeavor, maybe we can inspire a few more youth to invent and explore." An undersea expendition funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has discovered
the spent rocket engines
used to power Apollo 11
posted by Brandon Blatcher
on Mar 29, 2012 -
was a self-published novelist of no real success. Until WOOL
, that is - a 15,000 word "little throwaway story" he uploaded to Amazon's Kindle Marketplace one day and promptly forget about. The story he didn't blog, didn't tweet, and didn't even sell on his site hit #2 on the Kindle SciFi Bestseller list and "changed the course of e-books
." [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri
on Jan 15, 2012 -
The London Geographical Journal, the preeminent publication in its field, observed in 1953 that “Fawcett marked the end of an age. One might almost call him the last of the individualist explorers. The day of the aeroplane, the radio, the organized and heavily financed modern expedition had not arrived. With him, it was the heroic story of a man against the forest.”
Fawcett was none other than Percival "Percy" Harrison Fawcett
, British soldier, trained as a surveyor of unknown lands, doubling as a British spy
. But his true love was exploration, and not simply to mark boundaries on a map
. His final goal was the same that had been the demise of many explorers: a mighty lost civilization in South America
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 29, 2011 -
Apple has adopted new tactics
in its patent war against the handheld industry. Last summer, Apple has transferred patents
to the patent troll Digitude Innovations
, using a shell company operated by Digitude's primary investor, Altitude Capital Partners. In December, Digitude filed suit with the International Trade Commission alleging patent infringement by almost every mobile manufacturers except Apple. (pdf filing
) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges
on Dec 11, 2011 -
Amazon has recently declared that tomorrow is Price Check day
. If you go into a brick and mortar retail store with Amazon’s new Price Check App
on your smart phone, and scan a barcode with the location settings active, and then report back to Amazon on the price of that product, Amazon will deduct $5 from your online purchase of that product. Amazon claims it’s trying to keep prices low for consumers, but others attribute the move to a less innocuous agenda
. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Dec 9, 2011 -
We've all gotten used to the idea that certains movies will be available only on certain cable channels, that certain albums will be available only via certain webstores, etc. However, it does seem a little bit stranger of an idea when applied to hard copy books. And yet
posted by Ipsifendus
on Oct 7, 2011 -
Who owns the term "app store"? Apple wants to
, but Amazon
, among others, think it is generic. Will Steve Jobs's own words
come to haunt him? In any case, the first casualty of the fight between giants seems to be Amahi
, a small open-source media server. [more inside]
posted by kmz
on Jun 22, 2011 -
Do you want some Spam with your Kindle?
Spam has hit the Kindle, clogging the online bookstore of the top-selling eReader with material that is far from being book worthy and threatening to undermine Amazon.com Inc's publishing foray.
posted by Fizz
on Jun 17, 2011 -
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 6, 2011 -