Two years after HarperCollins’ Avon Books imprint launched the digital romance imprint Impulse, its William Morrow imprint announced plans for Witness, a “digital-original” mystery, suspense and thriller line.
Over a hundred titles have signed for Witness and ten of them will appear this October.
Witness will feature the same royalty structure as Morrow/Avon’s other digital-first imprints: authors receive a 50% royalty once their book sells 10,000 copies (initial royalties start at 25%).
Agatha Christie’s short stories will be digitized and included, as well.
As a Barnes & Noble bookseller, I can tell you all about the new devices, the comparisons between each other, and comparisons with other tablets in the market. As a struggling graduate student who loves pretty shiny things, I can also tell you how entranced I was by the ads and commercials and everything these devices will offer.
So I’m pumped and ready to give you links to all sorts of information about the HD and HD+!
- New York Times — “The new devices are a seven-inch tablet for $199, called the Nook HD, and a nine-inch tablet for $269, the Nook HD Plus. Company executives promoted them as being lighter and faster than comparable tablets, a market that is crowded with competitors from Apple, Amazon and Google.” There are four devices. Nook HD 8GB, Nook HD 16GB (both available in Snow and Storm), Nook HD+ 16GB, and Nook HD+ 32GB (both available in Slate). Something to note.
- Shelf Awareness Pro — Information on the new tablets, the new Nook Video (“This fall, B&N is launching Nook Video, which will stream movies and TV shows from a range of studios, including Sony, Warner Bros., Disney, HBO, Viacom and Starz. The material can be watched on Nooks, TVs, tablets, smartphones as well as on a video app that will be released in the near future.”), and expansion in the UK.
- Publishers Weekly — “B&N’s head of hardware development Bill Sapperstein showed off the Nook HD and what he described as the “highest resolution display on a 7-inch tablet,” with 243 pixels per inch and pointed to wide viewing angles on both tablets. Both devices run on a customized version of Ice Cream Sandwich, the Android 4.0 OS optimized for tablets. The devices also just seem to get lighter—the Nook HD is 315 grams and Nook HD+ 515 grams—and more powerful with the NHD offering a 1.3GHZ processor and the NHD+ offering a 1.5 GHZ processor.”
- Barnes & Noble — As you can see, the Nook Color, Nook Tablet 8GB and Nook Tablet 16GB have sort of…disappeared.
I feel like a kid in a candy shop. I’m already in love with the device and I haven’t even held one yet!
Three Publishers Agree to $69 Million State Deal — Publishers Weekly
The Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have reached a $69 million agreement that will resolve lawsuits brought by 54 attorney generals from 49 states, the District of Columbia and territories, that charged the publishers with fixing e-book prices. Under the proposed agreement, which the court must approve, the three publishers will compensate consumers who purchased e-books from the three houses between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. Payments will begin 30 days after final court approval of the settlement. In addition to paying restitution, Hachette, HC and S&S will pay the states approximately $7.5 million in fees and costs.
This also ends their current agency agreements.
I’m all sorts of confused. Doesn’t this make Amazon even more powerful? Could someone please explain this to me?
Barnes & Noble to Sell Nook in UK – Shelf Awareness
In October, Barnes & Noble will begin selling the Nook in the U.K. both online and through partnerships with “leading retailers expected to be announced shortly,” the company said. The move marks B&N’s first foreign retail foray.
Hurray! Everything will be available for UK customers on nook.co.uk. However, I think B&N is still looking for a partner. I’m surprised Waterstones is working with Amazon, as W and B&N are essentially the same store…
EDIT: Publishers Lunch has more detailed information to offer.
Nook UK will first sell the company’s Simple Touch and Simple Touch with Glowlight devices, with the tablets available at an undisclosed point. The unnamed UK partners “are expected to support the Nook offering there through both established physical and online channels.”
Brain Hive Offers On-Demand K-12 E-book Library Lending – Publishers Weekly - Calvin Reid
At a time when libraries and publishers are clashing over the ability to lend e-books, Brain Hive, a Minneapolis-based firm, is offering an alternative. Brain Hive is an on-demand pay-as-go e-book lending service offering K-12 schools online access to a library of digital titles.
… The service offers a collection of about 3,000 e-book titles including fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels aimed at the K-12 education market. The service includes titles from major publishers including Random House Children’s Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Lerner Publishing, Lee & Low Books, Gecko Press, Open Road Integrated Media and others.
What a great idea for schools with limited budgets! Teachers and students can “check-out” books for unlimited amounts of time and have multiple copies. Great concept!
In Supreme Court Filing, Libraries Say Decision in Wiley Suit Threatens Lending Rights – Publisher’s Weekly – Andrew Albanese
In a recent interview with PW, lawyer Jonthan Band, who authored the LCA brief, said a ruling upholding the Second Circuit’s interpretation of First Sale would be “a blow to the heart of the library enterprise,” because it would mean libraries conceivably could not lend books that were printed abroad. “Not only books from foreign publishers,” Band explained, “but American-published books that are merely printed overseas.” The LCA brief notes that a significant portion of U.S. library collections consist of resources that were manufactured overseas, and more than 200 million books in U.S. libraries have foreign publishers.
Read on for more of the legalities. It’s incredibly to interesting to see how ebook lending and publishing can help some areas of the book business and harm others.
Simon & Schuster is adding QR codes to all its print books. Will readers bite? — paidContent – Laura Hazard Owen
Twenty-six percent of Simon & Schuster’s sales are now digital, and the QR codes are seen as a way to link digital and print. The codes “make it easy for consumers to visit our site and hopefully subscribe to one of our newsletters,” S&S chief digital officer Ellie Hirschhorn wrote in a recent email to employees. Scanning the QR code on a book ”will bring the consumer to the author’s mobile page on S&S.com where they can sign up for an email, browse the author’s other books and watch video.” Jackets will also include a printed link to the author’s website “so consumers without smartphones or QR scanners could still easily find the author’s page.”
Personally, I’m not sure it will catch on. QR codes still remain somewhat of a mystery to most Americans – and those who are aware of it rarely whip out their smart phones to scan things. What do you think?
Apologies once again for the lack of posts. I’ve accepted a job and have either been busy at work, busy sleeping, or busy looking for apartments near my grad school I’ll attend in August. Big things are heading my way, so other obligations fell through a bit.
And now, for the news!
- The Shrinking of HMH – Want to hear more about the bankruptcy? Publisher’s Weekly provided a brief overview of why Houghton Mifflin Harcourt filed. “In its filing, HMH blamed the recession and subsequent decline in school funding for what it acknowledged has been a “substantial decline” in revenue. The filing noted that despite the financial restructuring in March 2010 “due to the continuing contraction of funds for state education spending and higher deferrals of awarded business than expected,” HMH “continued to experience “financial difficulties,” which led to another round of discussions with lenders about a new restructuring.” Lots of internal struggle, financial issues, and education issues all play in this messy game.
- Gay Superheroes Soar into Comic Books – I think this is a very positive thing, a good step forward! The Guardian’s article talks about Marvel’s plan for a same-sex marriage between Northstar and his boyfriend, and DC plans to reveal a gay character sometime this summer.
- Hachette Launches Facebook Excerpt App – “The app, ChapterShare, lets Hachette publishing divisions, authors and retail partners post free chapters of books on their Facebook pages. Readers can preorder the books directly from the page and share links to sample chapters with their Facebook friends.”
- Profanity in YA Books - TIME reveals a study on 40 teen novels and the use of profane language in the novels. Apparently, the characters who have the most foul language are also the most attractive characters. You can look at this study several ways: young adults are reading things parents would prefer they didn’t, young adults are being exposed to “dangerous” things, young adults are being exposed to things they already have exposure to outside the home, young adults are finding healthier ways to escape the real world. I’m of the escapism party, and I think it is good to have teens read this sort of fiction. Not all good characters are good, not all attractive people are attractive, and issues with sex (the recent The Fault in Our Stars ban) and violence (The Hunger Games controversy) will become more difficult to parents if children aren’t exposed to these things in a much healthier form. Even still – this study’s findings is incredibly interesting. Take a look!
For something entertaining…”celebrate” the 10 million copies of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by watching this Funny or Die video starring Selena Gomez!
2012 Hans Christian Anderson Illustrator Award Winner: Peter Sis! This award is considered the most prestigious in international children’s literature, given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People. Congratulations!
Barnes & Noble Partners with Microsoft (Publisher’s Weekly). The new unit is called Newco, and it will hold B&N’s digital assets, college stores, and will be backed by a $300 million investment from Microsoft. Read on for the full story and more details.
Target Will Stop Carrying Amazon Kindle (The Verge). Apparently there is a conflict of interest. According to an inside source, the Kindle Touch will be on sale the week of May 6. If you’d like a Kindle, I suggest getting it then.
The Atlantic Attempts to Clear Up Confusion on the eBook Lawsuit. Remember the issues with the Department of Justice and the massive confusion with big five publishers and who prices what for ebooks? Well, even though The Wall Street Journal tried to clear things up, people were still left befuddled. The Atlantic attempts to clear the air. Buckle down: it’s going to be a long ride.
B&N Teams with HMH for Student Reading Program (Shelf Awareness). “Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Barnes & Noble have partnered for a program in which schools can acquire HMH digital titles, categorized for students at each grade level, on preloaded Nook e-readers. Many of the titles are age-appropriate, International Reading Association-recommended selections.” Well isn’t that nifty!
Publisher Romances the Web – The Wall Street Journal - Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg
In a move that further thins the line between book publishing and book retailing, Sourcebooks Inc., a leading independent publisher, is launching an online bookstore this week focused on its romance titles.
Really great read! Downside, though, is that you need to be a subscriber of the WSJ in order to read the rest. You’ve been warned! In short, readers of romance novels will get to converse with the authors through live chat and other nifty things.