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Industry News: Hachette offers ebooks to libraries, Author Solutions sued, TOR celebrates a year without DRM

May 4, 2013

Hachette to offer ebooks to libraries

Hachette has become the latest publisher to soften its stance on offering ebooks to libraries, following Simon & Schuster and Macmillan earlier this year. The Hachette program will offer ebooks at the same time as paper editions, but will charge libraries three times the cost of the hardcover book for a one-year license for the book. Maureen Sullivan, president of the American Library Association, applauded the move, saying it will help patrons with e-readers enjoy the same access as other patrons. Alan Inouye, director of ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy wasn’t as ecstatic, saying that libraries aren’t getting a great deal for the cost of the ebook.

What this means to you: If you like Stephanie Meyer or Malcolm Gladwell, you’re in luck. Now, all of the Big Six have some sort of program that allows libraries to lend ebooks, though the terms vary depending on publisher. Overall, this is good news for libraries and their patrons. Whether it’s good new for you as an author depends on whether your books is offered to libraries digitally. If it is, having the Big Six offer their books builds the awareness that might help sell your book to libraries.

Authors sue Author Solutions

Author Solutions (owned by Penguin) is being sued by three authors who allege its business practices are deceitful. The suit charges that AS misrepresents itself as an independent publisher, when in reality, they are a “print-on-demand vanity press” that doesn’t deliver on its promises, purposely allows errors to allow for further fees, and fails to pay its authors their royalties. The plaintiffs are petitioning to convert the suit into a class action, which could result in other defendants joining the suit. For its part, Author Solutions is denying the charges, saying that it has received an A rating from the Better Business Bureau. The judge hearing the case, Denise Cote, is also hearing the collusion suits against Apple and five of the Big Six.

What this means to you: Author Solutions is not favored by Writer Beware and not recommended by Preditors and Editors (scroll down), both of whom have good reputations for looking out for authors. If you choose to self-publish, you should carefully vet your choice with these resources and other writers before you get started.

TOR celebrates one year without DRM

It’s been a year since sci-fi and fantasy publisher rocked the publishing world by removing digital rights management (DRM) software from its books. DRM is the software that limits the number of copies you can make of a specific book. TOR dropped the DRM protection largely because it doesn’t protect against piracy (at least, according to TOR) and it irritates a large number of its readers, many of whom are technically savvy. According to TOR the overall experience of removing DRM has been positive. Readers and authors alike reacted positively to the change (at least according to TOR).

What this means to you: For honest people this is great news. You won’t be limited in the number of copies of books you can make. If you’re a pirate, screw you and you can make as many copies as you want and give them away. For these fans, the loyalty received from readers outweighed the risks. That may not be true across the board. There doesn’t seem to be a huge rush to copy TOR.

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2 Comments
  1. May 4, 2013 11:39 am

    Excellent information for writers Chris!

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