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Industry News: Google loses again, Stephen King delays e-book, Amazon and IPG come to terms

June 2, 2012

Google, Authors Guild Appear Headed To Trial

In a case we’ve been following since before this blog was born, Judge Denny Chin has denied a motion from Google to dismiss the Authors Guild as a plaintiff in the case about Google creating a massive online library. The case involves Google’s attempt to create a library and its policy that requires authors to opt out of the library. Judge Chin has effectively indicated that a previous settlement between Google and the Authors Guild is not valid because of the opt-out clause. The Authors Guild and the American Society of Media Photographers now have class standing and the case involving this suit could go to trial as soon as September. Google had been arguing that individual authors needed to bring suits, a motion that Judge Chin denied. Although this case has been pushed from the headlines by the DOJ’s case against Apple and several publishers, it’s still a big deal.

Stephen King’s New Novel Will Delay e-Book Version

“The folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book,” says the venerable Mr. King of his forthcoming novel Joyland, which will be available in paperback only. King will publish the book, due next summer, with Hard Case Crime. The e-book will be available eventually, but not right away. The move against the digital version of the book is practically unique and could only be pulled off by someone who doesn’t worry about sales numbers and the ability to publish his next book. Hard Case is an imprint of Titan books, specializing in pulp fiction paperbacks. Beside King, Hardcase features contemporary authors Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, and Ed McBain.

Amazon, IPG Come To Terms

Three months after their disagreement led Amazon to pull IPG titles from its Kindle store, the two parties have reached a settlement. The original dispute occurred when Amazon approached IPG for better terms to list its e-books. IPG balked, saying its authors would not make money on any Kindle sales under the terms Amazon wanted to impose. Terms of the new agreement have not been released. IPG is a book distributor. Since late last year, Amazon has been negotiating more favorable deals with many publishers, which has resulted in charges that its tactics have been heavy-handed. Amazon has been asking for better terms, including higher co-op. Co-op is money the distributor gives to the retailer, in this case Amazon, to assist with marketing the books. In this case, IPG has considered the co-op a discount.

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