RT Daily Blog

The Internet Goes On Strike: SOPA And What It Means For Readers

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 18, 2012 | PERMALINK

No, the Internet isn’t broken and your connection is fine, but it is true that a number of popular websites are not working today. And yes, this is deliberate. As of this morning, several sites, including Wikipedia, Wordpress, reddit, and TwitPic, are taking part in a strike to mark their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA). The strike will last until tonight.

SOPA is a bill that is currently moving through Congress. It’s an anti-piracy measure that will extend the U.S. Government’s law into cyberspace, allowing the government to block certain sites that they believe violate or infringe upon intellectual property rights. SOPA and its corresponding bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), are intended to help preserve the copyright of intellectual property. 

SOPA has both its supporters and its naysayers. It’s a difficult subject because this legislation will have to walk the line between protecting people — such as writers, musicians and actors whose works are being pirated — and respecting Freedom of Speech which is protected by the First Amendment.

The Issue: Protecting Intellectual Property Online 


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Tags: Publishing Industry News, RT Daily Blog
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Kindle Lending Library Plus Kindle Digital Publishing Selects Program Equals Happy Readers And Writers

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 17, 2012 | PERMALINK

Readers and writers alike seem to be very pleased with Amazon’s two most recent initiatives, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and the Kindle Digital Publishing platform's Selects program. The online retailer launched their lending library back in November, which met with some industry resistance as authors and publishers were concerned about the program’s scope. However, since the integration of their new Kindle Digital Publishing platform's lending capabilities, which took place in early December, the program's positives appear to outweigh the negatives. 

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) is open to any Amazon Prime member that also has a Kindle; it gives that customer the ability to rent one participating e-book per month, with no “due date”. Shortly after rolling out the new easy-to-use Kindle Digital Publishing platform, the Internet giant Amazon announced that if KDP’s indie authors or publishers opt to sell their digital books as Kindle-exclusive for approximately three months, they would be rewarded. These authors and publishers would be able to get a cut of Amazon’s dedicated $6 million dollars set aside for the KDP Select program. 


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Tags: Publishing Industry News
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Plagiarism Plagues Self-Publishing

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 13, 2012 | PERMALINK

Self-pubbing has really taken off in the last year. Now more than ever, there are some great opportunities for authors who are interested in being their own publisher. It can be incredibly rewarding — and not just for an author’s sense of achievement, career and bank account. Self-publishing is the perfect way to release works that might not fit into traditional genres or conventions. (Readers also clearly benefit from this trend, as the result is more content and often at better prices with a shorter lead time between when a book is announced and when it becomes available.) 

Here at RT, we have closely been following the self-publishing trend and we have a lot of respect for this new opportunity available to writers. We are even hosting a Self-Publishing and E-Books Track at the upcoming RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago that will focus on the keys to success in this new arena. 


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Tags: Publishing Industry News
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The Future Of Digital Book Rights Hangs In The Balance

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 11, 2012 | PERMALINK

There’s an important lawsuit looming that will mean big changes in the publishing industry as a traditional publisher faces off against a young “new media” house. In late December, HarperCollins filed a copyright lawsuit against Open Road Media stating that the new publisher is infringing on HarperCollins' rights by e-publishing Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George. This case is the first of its kind. All eyes are on this suit as it may determine the precedent for digital copyright ownership for the foreseeable future.

HarperCollins’ suit states that the publisher’s contract with George gives HarperCollins the exclusive right to publish the classic “in book form”. But what makes the situation more interesting is that the contract, which was signed in 1971, includes the line that HarperCollins' control of the book covers any format of the work “through computer, computer-stored, mechanical or electronic means now known or hereafter invented.” 


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Tags: Publishing Industry News, E-Book
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Smashwords' CEO Mark Coker's Year-End Report Reflects On Self-Publishing In 2011

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 09, 2012 | PERMALINK

On Friday, we took a look at mainstream publishing’s figures for 2011, including the book deals that were made by publishers and consumer book buying habits. But this didn't account for the changes that took place in the arena of self-publishing during 2011. For an idea of some of the ongoing trends, today we are taking a look at Smashwords’ sales figures and changes for the past year. 

Smashwords.com is one of the top publishing platforms for authors looking to self-publish or release their works outside of the avenues offered by mainstream publishers like New York City’s big six. This year Smashwords has grown exponentially, and by taking a look at some of the ways they’ve improved according to the company’s founder and CEO Mark Coker’s year in review post, it’s no wonder that self-publishing is taking such a bite out of the publishing pie. 


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Tags: Publishing Industry News
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What They're Buying, What We're Buying: A Look At Publishers’ And Readers’ Book Buying Habits Of 2011

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JANUARY 06, 2012 | PERMALINK

With Publishers Marketplace and Nielsen Bookscan both releasing sales data for 2011, today we are comparing the book buying habits of publishers and readers. Publishers Marketplace tracks the deals that publishers have made with authors for upcoming works. And on the other side of book buying, Nielsen tracks the amount of print book purchases made by consumers. Together these two reports provide an interesting picture of the book industry's immediate past as well as a forecast of what we can expect in 2012 and beyond. 

 

Stats At A Glance

According to Publishers Marketplace, publishers made more new book deals in 2011 than they did in the previous year. Specifically, over five thousand more deals, which is a 5% increase from 2010. What does this mean for readers? We will be seeing more traditionally published books in the next few years.


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Tags: Publishing Industry News
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Amazon’s Best Selling E-Books of 2011

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, DECEMBER 20, 2011 | PERMALINK

Amazon has just announced its lists of the best-selling books of 2011 in print and e-book formats. Looking at the e-book list says a lot about the reading choices that booklovers made this year. The winning e-books fall into three major categories; there are the big name mystery authors we couldn’t get enough of, the non-fiction books that gave us a look inside the lives of others and then three inexpensive self-published e-reads. 


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Tags: Publishing Industry News, E-Book
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2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Winners Announced

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, DECEMBER 06, 2011 | PERMALINK

Over 600,000 Goodreads users have voted, and their picks for best books of 2011 have been announced!

Goodreads is a social networking site (and bookworm heaven!) for readers, authors and publishers to share their favorite reads, write reviews and discover new books. With over 6.5 million users, the site has established itself as one of the largest communities of online readers to share their thoughts and where authors and publishers to determine what’s working and what isn’t based on reader input. The Goodreads Choice Awards are a prime example of crowd sourcing valuable fan opinions.

Several of our favorite authors won Goodreads awards this year, with tremendous representation from the Young Adult genre. Here are some notable YA wins for the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards:

Best Book of the Year: Divergent by Veronica Roth (this title also won best YA sci fi/fantasy)

Best Author of the Year: Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments series

Best YA Fiction: Where She Went by Gayle Forman


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Tags: Publishing Industry News, Young Adult
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Smashwords Helps Literary Agents Adapt To Digital Publishing

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 30, 2011 | PERMALINK

Today marks the last day of NANOWRIMO, and many writers who have worked hard all month long to complete manuscripts are now thinking about their next step: publication. E-book publication continues to be a popular option for both new and established authors, using either digital-only publishers or self-publishing platforms. With the success of this new method of publishing changing the industry quickly, many wonder what will happen to the one of the most important roles in print publishing: the literary agent.

Traditionally, literary agents have acted as the gatekeepers of the publishing industry, ensuring that publishers receive only the best manuscripts from the most talented authors. The “big six” publishers — Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster — have relied on literary agents to provide them with quality writing fit for print publication.

But is there room for literary agents in this new e-book era of publishing? Smashwords certainly thinks so. Smashwords, the world’s largest independent e-book publisher, has recently revised their policy in regards to literary agents and has even introduced new services for literary agents, making their role of publishing gatekeeper just as significant in the digital world as it is in the print world.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, Publishing Industry News, E-Book
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Through The Doors Of The Kindle Owners' Lending Library

BY Whitney Sullivan, NOVEMBER 18, 2011 | PERMALINK

Across the publishing industry, the newest addition to the Amazon family of apps and special programs is causing waves: the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Earlier this month, Amazon announced that Kindle owners who are also Amazon Prime members will be able to “borrow” books from Amazon free of charge. This has much of the publishing community, from editors to publicists, authors to agents, up in arms. But what does a Kindle Owners' Lending Library membership actually entail and what does a reader think about it?

In terms of what is happening on the industry front, there’s no mistaking the fact that Amazon did a poor job of explaining the program. From not being clear about which books would be included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library or how the books’ rightsholders would be compensated, there are questions all around. (In some cases books are included from publicists or rightsholders that turned down the opportunity to be included in the program in it’s planning stages a few months ago.) Now there’s talk of boycotting the program and there are rumblings that the entire Lending Library should be pulled from Amazon's site.


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Tags: Publishing Industry News, E-Book
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