Apple And Antitrust: US Government Is Anti-Consumer

Apple And Antitrust: More Proof That The Federal Government Is Anti-Consumer - Forbes: " . . . Federal District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple Inc. was guilty of collusion and of fixing the price of e-books. The gist of the case is this: At the time Apple entered the e-book market, Amazon held a 90% share of the market and sold e-books for $9.99. After Apple entered the e-book market, Amazon’s market share fell, as did prices of e-books. If you are perplexed in trying to understand how Apple fell afoul of the antitrust brigades for lowering prices to consumers, the key point to grasp is that the federal government is not the friend and defender of the consumer, as popular mythology would have it. The Apple case is not an aberration. Uncle Sam has been a chronic thorn in the consumer’s side, intervening to raise consumer prices in a variety of ways. . . ."

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Book Publishing Consolidation Costly

Book Publishing’s Big Gamble - " . . . Decades of consolidation have cost writers and consumers alike. There is, for one, the persistent gripe of writers and agents: companies either forbid (as at Penguin) or restrict (at Random House) their constituent imprints from bidding against one another for a manuscript. That means not only lower advances, but also fewer options for writers to get the kind of painstaking attention — from editors, marketers and publicists — that it takes to turn their manuscripts into something valuable. Among the imprints that survive, the tendency is to homogenize and focus on a few general fields like ambitious nonfiction, accessible literary fiction or thrillers. “Legacy” publishing does best in the first category: it commands the advances needed for research, the editing talent to shape the writing and the marketing muscle to distribute those doorstop biographies on Father’s Day. In the more commercial genres — romance, horror, “Fifty Shades” — writers are beginning to find success in self-publishing. That’s a bit of a misnomer, because often it involves an agent who packages a book with any number of freelance editors and marketers, many of them refugees from the ever-shrinking houses. (Amazon’s publishing platform, which runs on more of a packaging model, has made inroads into these genres.) . . ." (read more at link above)

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JK Rowling directs anger at lawyers after secret identity revealed

JK Rowling directs anger at lawyers after secret identity revealed | Books | " . . . . Rowling, who initially spoke of the "liberating experience" of adopting an alias, said in a statement: "I have today discovered how the leak about Robert's true identity occurred. . . ."Whilst accepting his own culpability, the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly. On becoming aware of the circumstances, we immediately notified JK Rowling's agent. We can confirm that this leak was not part of any marketing plan and that neither JK Rowling, her agent nor publishers were in any way involved." The revelations have boosted sales however. Rowling's publishers have reprinted 140,000 copies to meet demand. It had shifted just 1,500 copies before her identity was uncovered." (read more at link above)

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‘This Town,’ by Mark Leibovich (video)

Charlie Rose interviews author Mark Leibovich

“This Town,” by Mark Leibovich, the national political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, is a blistering look at the egos and machinations of Washington’s insider culture.--

‘This Town,’ by Mark Leibovich - " . . . . So here’s to all the big mouths, big egos, big shots, big machers and big jerks. In case you’re wondering, Mark Leibovich is on to every one of you, and his portrayal of “This Town” is spot on. Because Mr. Leibovich, perhaps alone among capital insiders, has realized that Washington, once an inside joke, now looks more and more like a bad joke." (read more at link above)

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Book Fetish?

Internet Book Fetishists Versus Anti-Fetishists : The New Yorker: " . . . Alongside the fetishists and anti-fetishists, Internet literary culture has also seen the flourishing of a third group, one that celebrates books neither as precious physical objects nor as utilitarian vessels but uses them as the raw materials for works of art. The forms are varied—some are sculptures made from individual books, others use books as the building blocks for larger structures, while still others make books the canvas for paintings or drawings—but these projects have in common a way of playing off the near-spiritual aura that many of us associate with physical books, both augmenting books’ specialness by using them to make something beautiful, and undercutting it by ignoring their original purpose. This genre of work, known as “altered-book art,” is not a new phenomenon. The British artist Tom Phillips's page-by-page transformation of a Victorian novel, beginning in the nineteen-sixties . . . "

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Amazon launches Jet City Comics imprint

Amazon launches Jet City Comics imprint to turn 'great books' into comics | The Verge: "The new imprint, Jet City Comics, launches today with the first issue of Symposium, a series set in the "Foreworld" realm that Stephenson in part created. In October, Jet City will publish an adaptation of one of the Game of Thrones creator's stories, Meathouse Man, and in 2014 will serialize a graphic novel adaptation of the dystopian hit Wool by Hugh Howey."

With Declining Nook Sales, B&N Says Lynch Out As CEO, Huseby Steps Up, Big Strategic Review Planned | TechCrunch: "Where will this ultimately go? Don’t forget that we heard a while back that Microsoft was eyeing up a $1 billion purchase of Nook Media, so a sale to someone, somewhere, could be in the wings. Barnes & Noble owns 78% of the tablet and e-reader division, with Pearson and Microsoft the other shareholders."

For Apple, a Tough Legal Road Grows Longer - Law Blog - WSJ: "The verdict also clear the path for a consumer class action. Consumers would have less to prove now that a federal Manhattan judge has said that the government proved Apple “played a central role in facilitating and executing” a conspiracy. Under federal law, they would have to establish that they were direct purchasers of e-books who paid too much because of an illegal pricing scheme. “The verdict clearly makes a lawsuit more valuable,” said Mr. Hovenkamp. A group of state attorneys general are seeking damages on behalf of consumers in their states. But a private lawsuit could also be filed on behalf purchasers in other states, according to Steven Semeraro, a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law."

NEW YORK: NY judge: Apple conspired to raise e-book prices - Technology -"She (Judge Denise Cote) quoted (Steve) Jobs, who died in 2011, as saying he understood publishers' concerns that Amazon's $9.99 price for new releases was eroding the perceived value of their products and that Apple was willing to try pricing e-books at $12.99 and $14.99. She noted that Jobs bought an e-book for $14.99 at the launch of Apple's e-book store and told a reporter that day that Amazon's $9.99 price for the same book would be irrelevant because soon all prices will "be the same.""

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E-Book Ruling Gives Amazon the Advantage

“The Department of Justice has unwittingly caused further consolidation in the industry at a time when consolidation is not necessarily a good thing,” said Mark Coker, the chief executive of Smashwords, an e-book distributor. “If you want a vibrant ecosystem of multiple publishers, multiple publishing methods and multiple successful retailers in 5, 20 or 50 years, we took a step backwards this week.” (source infra)

E-Book Ruling Gives Amazon an Advantage - "Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, loves disrupting markets. In that regard, he must be having a delightful summer. The book business, once so mired in the past it seemed part of the antiques trade, is up for grabs. A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Apple had illegally conspired with five of the six biggest publishers to try to raise prices in the budding e-books market. The decision came two days after Barnes & Noble lost its chief executive and said it would not appoint another, signaling that the biggest chain of physical bookstores could be immediately broken up.
“We’re at a moment when cultural power is passing to new gatekeepers,” said Joe Esposito, a publishing consultant.. . ." (read more at link above)

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Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

'Sisterland' by Curtis Sittenfeld
Boston Globe
When her interlocutor remarked that she would not want to be friends with the protagonist of “The Woman Upstairs,” the author became incensed. “[W]hat ... Although the novelist Curtis Sittenfeld did not weigh in, each of her four books relies on this ...

'Difficult Men' by Brett Martin
Boston Globe
Martin, in his markedly polite style, does not stint in his judgment of the personal foibles of these men, and the result is a more tightly concentrated, “showrunner''-focused book than Sepinwall's. “ 'Wasn't that amazing?' ” Martin remembers of Weiner ...

New book documents Cold War experiments on kids
His story is one of many told in a new book, ''Against Their Will,'' the result of five years of gathering data from medical and university libraries and archives, medical journals and records from many of the now-shuttered state hospitals and ...

Book review : The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Daily News & Analysis
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is my first Gaiman book so I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to read it. The story begins with the narrator, now in his forties, ... As a seven-year-old child, the narrator is quiet and finds solace in books ...

Book lovers make most of 'print on demand'
Times of India
Officials of the trust said that a few months ago, a lady wanted to gift an entire set of Mahadevibhai ni Dairies (Dairies of Mahvadevbhai Desai) comprising 23 books to her teacher. However, the ninth volume in the set was out of print. Her joy knew no ...

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Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson

Book review: 'Nelson Mandela' by Kadir Nelson
Book review: 'Nelson Mandela' by Kadir Nelson. Imagine being locked in a room for years and years and years for no good reason. That's what happened to a great man in Africa, and in the book“Nelson Mandela,” (Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins, ...

Book review: Questlove reveals his inner nerd
Press of Atlantic City
Then there's the real deal, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson: driving force behind the Roots, Twitter giant, compulsive compiler of music lists and now author, with Ben Greenman, of the new quasi-memoir "Mo' Meta Blues." The guy who emerges from these pages ...

Barking Blondes: Dogs and books - Independent Blogs
By Joanne Good and Anna Webb
It's also the home of the proprietor, Sara Bowers and her family. Whilst many urban bookshops panic at the thought of inviting dogs to attend an author's signing for a canine-related book, Sara positively encouraged it. Mind you, if our book had ...

Free E-book Reader Headed To Nintendo 3DS In Japan - Siliconera
By Sato
Dai Nippon Printing, a major Japanese printing company, revealed during the Tokyo InternationalBook Fair that they're teaming up with Nintendo to release an e-book reader for Nintendo 3DS. ...The software is expected to sell novels for children, picture books, and various study material, which will also be categorized according to the reader's age and kanji reading level. All the ebooks from honto will have font size adjusting options and will fully utilize both screens on the Nintendo ...

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Amazon the disintermediator

The Price of Amazon - "The story is remarkable. Within living memory, bookselling was a local activity. A major city would have two or three large independent stores selling new books and other large, scruffier stores selling secondhand books. Paperbacks would receive wide if uneven circulation on bus station and drugstore racks. It was not a perfect system, but it had the advantage of being diffuse and thus hard to control. The hippie, black and women’s movements of the 1960s would not have been so successful in challenging authority without the bookstores, which made their ideas widely available and sympathetic in a way that television, for instance, did not. That transmission system has now been largely dismantled, killed by high rents and new technology. With little discussion, Amazon has skillfully absorbed a large part of the book trade. It sells about one in four new books, and the vast number of independent sellers on its site increases its market share even more. It owns as a separate entity the largest secondhand book network, Abebooks. And of course it has a majority of the e-book market. . . ." (read more at the link above)

Tali Carmi's Children's Book,'Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg', Emerges as Best ...
Wall Street Journal
Children's story book - 'Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg' by Tali Carmi emerges as best seller eBookin its category for the month of June. This is the second book in the series: "Happy Inspired children's books Collection" published on ...

Book a pizza or pasta for a train journey
Hindu Business Line
You can now book your pizza or pasta through Internet before boarding a train and food will be delivered at your seat during the journey. Much to the delight of train passengers, the Railway Ministry has decided to launch a pilot project of booking ...

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Joyce Carol Oates on Writing (video)

 Video: Joyce Carol Oates on Writing : The New Yorker: "“Joyce Carol Oates . . . When we visited her earlier this month, at her home in New Jersey, she told us, “I haven’t the faintest idea what my royalties are. I haven’t the faintest idea how many copies of books sold, or how many books that I’ve written. I could look these things up; I have no interest in them. I don’t know how much money I have. There are a lot of things I just don’t care about.”"

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From The Uttermost Ends Of The Earth, by John H Gray

Book lover: Witi Ihimaera
New Zealand Herald
The book I'm reading now is ... From The Uttermost Ends Of The Earth, by John H Gray. It's a history and guide to the New Zealand Division on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918. I have just started a project on Gallipoli and the Western Front which I ... (read more at link above)

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Book: Wallenberg also helped armed resistance

Book: Wallenberg also helped armed resistance
Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary, may also have had a secret military mission during World War II, a new book claims, “For me it is very clear that it was also Wallenberg's mission to act as ... (read more at link above)

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