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Industry News: AAR Opposes e-Book Collusion Settlement, 50 Shades Banned in Some Libraries; Oprah Bigwig Jumps to Amazon

May 12, 2012

AAR Opposes DOJ Settlement on Suit Against Apple, Five of the Big Six

Saying that the proposed settlement for Apple ultimately restricts competition, the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) Board of Directors has written a letter to the Department of Justice, urging it to reject the settlement with three of the five publishers that were named in the suit. The letter says that rather than encouraging competition, Amazon’s below-cost pricing will ultimately drive all major competitors out of the bookselling business and create a de facto monopoly. In addition, the AAR sent a letter to the DOJ correcting what it called were erroneous understandings around the entire issue. For instance, the increases from the agency models only applied to bestsellers. Non-bestsellers actually declined slightly in price under the agency model (according to AAR). The AAR has also written a letter for its members to send to the DOJ, urging them to reject the settlement.

AAR Letter to the DOJ | AAR Letter Created for Members to Send to the DOJ 

Libraries Banning 50 Shades of Gray

The 50 Shades of Gray series, known to many as Mommy Porn, has caught the attention of suburban moms around the country–to the point where the series holds the top three spots on this week’s New York Times bestsellers list. It’s also caught the attention of librarians. Libraries in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Florida have either decided to ban the series or have removed it from the bookshelves. (Or the librarians took them to read them.) (Just kidding.)  In most of these cases, the decisions being taken aren’t specifically about 50 Shades, but are part of an overall decision taken about erotica. Random House isn’t pleased with the Brevard County library, which removed 19 copies of the book from its shelves. Many of the libraries are citing community standards in refusing to stock the book.

Sarah Nelson, Oprah’s Book Editor, Moves to Amazon

Sarah Nelson, the books editor for Oprah’s O magazine, is leaving Oprah’s struggling media network for Amazon, where she will become the editorial director of Books. Nelson’s duties will include adding content to the books home page and on the site and in public events.


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