“The publishing industry got a little smaller Friday when Hachette announced its plans to buy Hyperion, the adult imprint owned by the Walt Disney Co. Disney, under Disney Publishing Worldwide, will retain its children’s books. Hachette, formally known as Hachette Book Group, is one of six existing major publishers — a number that will be reduced to five after the pending merger of Penguin with Random House. And that might drop to four if a rumored deal between Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins comes to fruition.” (via LA Times.com)
“Scholars up to the age of 35 used to dominate authorship of articles in top economics journals. But a new study finds that the profession — at least as judged by publication — has aged dramatically since the 1960s. And the study also found that while women have made notable gains in top economics journals, those gains lag their growing representation in the discipline.”
via Inside Higher Ed
“The University of Michigan, in collaboration with more than 50 other academic libraries and the Educopia Institute, has joined a two-year project (2013-2014) to create the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). The project emerged from conversations between Purdue University, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech regarding the need for a community dedicated to advancing the field of library publishing. The University of Michigan will play an integral role in the design and implementation of the LPC as a contributing institution.”
“Self-publishing has been made easier since the Espresso Book Machine by On Demand Books debuted in 2006. The machine also can make copies of out-of-print editions. The first machine was installed briefly at the World Bank’s bookstore. Through a partnership with Xerox, the company now has machines in about 70 bookstores and libraries across the world including London; Tokyo; Amsterdam; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Melbourne, Australia; and Alexandria, Egypt.
via Associated Press
NYT – “After decades of healthy profits, the scholarly publishing industry now finds itself in the throes of a revolt led by the most unlikely campus revolutionaries: the librarians. Universities from Britain to California are refusing to renew their expensive subscriptions, turning instead to “open access” publishing, an arrangement whereby material is made available free on the Internet with few or no restrictions except for the obligation to cite it.”
Giga Om – “Every week, it seems there is more evidence that the balance of power in the book industry continues to tilt towards the author and away from the all-powerful publisher. One of the latest examples is John Green, who writes fiction for young adults from his home in Indianapolis, and whose latest novel has hit number one before it has even been published. Green gives credit for this phenomenon to his Twitter and YouTube followers, but the real credit should go to him for being willing to not just use social media as a promotional tool the way some do, but to actually reach out and engage with his readers and fans.”
Washington Post – “There is no good comparison for what’s happening in the frontier world of self-published e-books, because there has never been anything like it in publishing history.
Since Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press in the 15th century, publishers have pretty much owned the presses, the means of mass production and, therefore, of distribution. Save for tiny “vanity” printings, for the intervening 500 years or so publishing houses have controlled who was able to publish, how many copies were printed, the price and the percentage of profits paid to writers (in modern America, usually about 10 to 15 percent of the list price.)”
ChronicleReview.com – “And while university presses grapple with the economic and technological challenges now affecting how we publish our booksÂ â€” the subject of a thousand and one AAUP conference sessions, e-mail-list debates, and news articlesÂ â€” discussion of what we publish seems to have taken a back seat. And understandably so. Why obsess about content if books as we know them are about to become obsolete in favor of some yet-to-evolve form? Has creative destruction spelled the end of books?”