Monday, 29 October 2012

News: Random Penguins, Amazon, And Self-Publishing Grows (Some More)

Penguin and Random House have merged into what could be the world's largest book publishing firm. Apparently, news of the merger "rattled" publishing ... and kicked off a meme. "Penguin House" sounds like something Owl City would compose. "Random Penguin"? Not so much.

But they're going to call it Penguin Random House. Key facts of the two entities from the Guardian here.

Amazon reportedly slaps British publishers with 20% value-added tax on ebook sales. Not as hair-raising as how it allegedly erased the contents of customer's Kindle without a detailed explanation, though the contents were reportedly restored later. Or the note she received after her Kindle was wiped:

"We wish you luck in locating a retailer better able to meet your needs."

In some dystopian future where Amazon is the only retailer, that would bite.

EPUB 3.0 now said to help publishing of Japanese e-books, many of which follow a particular format. Will e-books finally take of in the land of the keitai shosetsu?

And Forbes states the obvious: "self-publishing shows rapid growth". For those itching to hop onto that bandwagon, here are some points to ponder before self-publishing your book.

Meanwhile, others ask whether self-publishing authors are ruining it for e-book publishing with dirt-cheap e-books.

In other news:

  • Nobel troubles rear its head for Mo Yan, whose accolades raise piracy fears for his books and concerns over fate of his village when the 'Mo Yan theme park' is up.
  • Kurdish publishers at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair can't seem to keep politics off the table.
  • Fraud-exposing crime writer Jeremy Duns may have revealed another possibly dodgy book reviewer.
  • A different point of view on the Bourdain's foodie machismo. The opening line lampshades his writing style: "In Rome, visiting friends in May, I ordered the sweet, unctuous lining of a cow's stomach thrice, and ate it each time in a state of pure gustatory contentment."
  • A bookstore guy on what goes into a bookstore.
  • Donated hollowed-out book found packing heat. Origins unknown.


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