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Industry News: The Writer goes on hiatus, RH starts TV unit, Amazon earnings slide, DOJ likes its Apple lawsuit

July 28, 2012

The Writer Goes On ‘Haitus’ While Buyer is Sought

After 125 years, this October will mark the last issue of The Writer magazine, at least for a while. The magazine was founded in 1887 by two Boston Globe writers. It’s suspending operations while its publisher, Kalmbach Publishing Co, searches for a buyer. The magazine staff is currently assembling October’s issue. While there is no guarantee a buyer will be found within a suitable timeframe, the magazine’s editor, Jeff Reich, says the magazine will re-emerge “under the careful stewardship of a new owner.”

What this means to you: If you subscribe to The Writer, you probably need to call customer service and see what happens with your subscription. Otherwise, it means that one of the long-term sources of information and knowledge for writers may disappear. With the number of free information sources out there on the Internet, it’s not surprising that writing magazines, like others, are struggling.

Random House Launches TV Department

Random House and Freemantle Media, both owned by Bertelsmann AG have announce the creation of Random House Television. The new company will concentrate on television development deals for Random House books. It will “work together with Random House’s editors and publishers, and their authors’ agents, to identify and acquire performance rights for the full range” of television projects.  Random House Television will work with RH authors to develop scripts based on their work.

What this means to you: If you think your book may have television potential, Random House may be an attractive location. Or it may not. Because this is a new business entity, it remains to be seen how the conglomeration of publishing and television development benefits RH authors. Will the terms of a standard RH contract change? Will it start to look at different types of books, so as to feed its new TV unit? If you have a flux capacitor*, you’d know, but the rest of us have to wait. (Back to the Future reference.)

Amazon Earnings Slide

Amazon-haters shouldn’t read too much into Amazon’s earnings dip. For the second quarter, earnings fell 96%, from 41 cents per share, to 1 cent per share. However, the slide was expected, as Amazon spent like a kid in an electronics store. Sales were up 29% over last year, but instead of a slim profit, Amazon expects a loss next quarter.

What this means to you: Amazon isn’t going anywhere. Its market share and size guarantee that. The small profits were expected this quarter, but the losses next quarter weren’t expected. And four months from now, on Cyber Monday, Amazon will be primed to rake in the cash.

DOJ supports its collusion lawsuit. Apple and publishers oppose it

The DOJ has disregarded the comments opposing the lawsuit and has decided to go forward with the suit. Apple and the publishers think this is a bad idea. In other new, water is wet, the sun will come up tomorrow, and the Mets are losing more baseball games than they win.

What this means to you: You’re shocked. Totally shocked. Aren’t you?

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