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Industry News: B&N opposes Apple suit, BEA news roundup, Amazon buys Avalon, IPG offers DRM-free option

June 9, 2012

Surprise! Barnes and Noble Opposes DOJ Lawsuit

Although Barnes and Noble wasn’t named in the Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple and five of the big six publishers, it doesn’t like the lawsuit. According to a Federal Court filing, B&N has said that the lawsuit would injure bookstores and writers. In an interview quoted in the LA Times, B&N general counsel Gene De Felice said, “”Their attack on publishers, small business and free commercial relationships is really unprecedented.” B&N is concerned about the lawsuit because it would help Amazon, which is B&N’s top rival in e-reader, print book, and e-book sales. A move away from agency pricing would allow Amazon to return to taking losses on sales. Amazon an absorb the losses in its overall business model. B&N would struggle to remain competitive.

This year’s BEA must less somber than previous years

A couple years ago, people walked into BookExpo America (BEA) and thought they’d found the funeral they were looking for (not really). This year, no such mistake could be made. Among the noticeable trends apparent this year were a decrease in print copies for adult fiction, but an increase in picture books and young adult books–both genres where print books strongly outnumber e-books. Overall, CBS News reported that the mood at BEA was positive, as many figured the industry was healthier than they figured it might be. Attendance  at this year’s event was up 5% for retailers, book sellers, and librarians, and 1% overall. How the total attendance figure was arrived at was a mystery, as this was the first year the public could attend.

Other BEA-related stories

Amazon buys Avalon Publishing, 3000 titles

Amazon has continued to increase its publishing footprint, this week purchasing Avalon Publishing and about 3000 titles. In a publishing world where sex, booze, and violence sells, Avalon is counter-cultural. It does not allow explicit sex, most vulgarity, and even eschews heavy drinking.

IPG offers DRM-free option

Fresh off its settlement with Amazon, the Independent Publishers Group (IPG) took a major step this week in offering a DRM-free option for its publishers. At least four publishers, ECW Press, Chicago Review Press, Medallion Press and Triumph Books, have already signed onto this format. Science Fiction and Fantasy publisher Tor/Forge and technology publisher O’Reilly eBooks already offer DRM-free offering. DRM is software that limits the number of copies of e-books you can create based on a single file.  Among other things, DRM prevents you from loading a copy on a server and letting anyone who can access it download it for free.

  1. June 9, 2012 11:05 am

    Chris: Thank you for all of your industry trends information. Your blog provides me an insight that I value. As a writer I understand how important it is to remain up to date with the evolving state of the book world.

    • Chris Hamilton permalink
      June 10, 2012 8:34 am

      Thanks for the nice words!

  2. June 10, 2012 9:01 am

    I attended BEA again this year in my publisher’s booth. My publisher had a neat idea to generate traffic in the booth that worked well–they filmed short interviews with authors and industry folks for a possible upcoming documentary. If anyone is interested, I have a few reports on my blog:

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