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March 2011 - In The News

New Imprint for Harper Collins

The publisher has recently announced the creation of an all-digital line, Avon Impulse, for romance titles. Ambitions plans are to release one original e-romance a week. The first "e-novella", A Lady's Wish, was written by veteran romance author Katherine Ashe. With the e-books, there are no shipping or printing costs, and no advances. Authors get a 25 percent royalty on net receipts for the first 10,000 units of each e-book sold, increasing to a 50 percent share after that.

More Harper Collins:

A new policy by this publisher now places limits on the number of time an e-book that can be accessed. Under the new policy, libraries can lease new Harper Collins e-books and loan them out a maximum of 26 times. After that, the e-book expires in the library's system, unless a library opts to lease another copy for the next 26 readers. Librarians have taken action against this policy as discussed in their blog on LIS News.
Freedman On Harper-Collins and the Boycott of Its E-Books Library Users, Librarians, and Libraries Boycott HarperCollins Over Change in Ebook Terms

Random House Adopts an Agency Model for e-Book Sales.

Random House was the last of the major publishers to make the switch to the agency model, which allows the publisher to set consumer pricing for their electronic book sales and provide the retailers with a commission for each sale. This newly adopted model is now dominating the selling of e-books, as retailers become "agents" through which publishers sell books directly to consumers. The agency model doesn't allow for discounting; retailers simply pass books to consumers at the price set by publishers, and receive a commission on sales. This new model provides retailers with 30% of the sale and gives publishers the remaining 70%.

Under the old wholesale model, which has been the standard "norm" for printed works, publishers set the list price of books and sell them to retailers at a substantial discount. The retailers then sell the books to consumers at whatever price point they choose. Random House will continue to use the wholesale model for its printed books.

Google Book Settlement

A federal judge rejected Google's six-year fight to scan the world's 150 million books and make them available through Google's search engine. The judge's decision rejected a 2008 settlement between Google and publisher groups, stating that, "While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, Google's current impact would "simply go too far." The deal would "give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding if for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission." Also noted were antitrust issues that "would arguably give Google control over the search market."


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