“For the past year, to the rising horror of publishing-industry insiders, the federal government has been on a campaign to stamp out price fixing in the e-book trade between the last remaining major publishing houses and Apple, which sells e-books for its iPads and other devices. On Wednesday, Denise Cote, a federal judge in Manhattan, ruled that Apple had indeed colluded with publishers to raise prices of e-books — in the process giving aid and comfort to Amazon, the single strongest monopolistic force in the book business.The case is far from over. Apple is one of the world’s largest corporations, and it is in a knife fight with Amazon and others over the future of digital content, so you can count on it to carry on its appeals as long as it can. But Wednesday’s ruling follows an earlier decision by the major publishers to settle with the government rather than fight the case, so in some ways we are already living in the economic environment Justice Department lawyers believe is best for the book business. It isn’t pretty. Borders is gone, Barnes & Noble is on the ropes, and with the recently approved merger of Random House and Penguin Books, the already absurdly conglomerated Big Six publishers have become the Big Five.”
“The publishing industry is all screwed up, and whose fault is that? Perhaps the fault of all the publishing execs who are stepping down right around now, blogger Agent Orange suggests in a post on FutureBook entitled “The Elephant in the Graveyard.” While they did great things in their time, they were too inculcated in the culture of bricks and mortar to be able to adapt to the potential of an electronic world.When the paradigm shifted, which significantly predates the global recession – Amazon first turned a profit way back in 2002 – they comprehensively and continuously failed to understand the challenges of the new world. Why should they – they were schooled in the old and had already presided over one paradigm shift – the end of the net book agreement. Is anyone capable of presiding over two?”
Many authors dream of signing an huge multi-book deal with a large publisher. But big is not always the best option.
While using a small publisher is often seen as a consolation prize, it can be a tailored experience that allows you to publish what you want for whom you want.
The exact extent of the Australian independent publishing market is hard to estimate. Mary Masters, General Manager of The Small Press Network (SPUNC), a representative group for small and independent Australian publishers says, ‘We currently have 130 core members who come in all shapes and sizes and we also have some NZ members. While our current membership is representative of the breadth of publishing that our sector has to offer, it is by no means comprehensive of the publishers that exist.’
Many small independent publishers cover niche topics such as crime, erotica or poetry. While this specialisation of content allows for unique publications, it can limit sales.
Bram Stoker Awards Ceremony
Jeff Strand, the MC, introduced Rocky Wood, HWA president, and Lisa Morton, HWA vice-president. Lisa announced eleven categories, Lifetime Achievement award, the Specialty Press and the Silver Hammer Award, thanked the chairs, panels and webteam, and acknowledged platinum sponsors (Samhain publishing).
Lisa then thanked the convention sponsors: Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham, Journalstone Press and Dark Regions Press.
The announcement of the next Bram Stoker Award banquet at WHC next May in Portland Oregon.
Now, on to the winners
Superior Achievement in Poetry:
Linda Addison and Stephen M. Wilson – Dark Duet (NECON eBooks)
Bruce Boston and Gary William Crawford – Notes from the Shadow City (Dark Regions Press)
Michael Collings – A Verse to Horrors (Amazon Digital Services)
WINNER: Marge Simon – Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls (Elektrik Milk Bath Press)
Mary A. Turzillo – Lovers & Killers (Dark Regions)
Stoker Award for Non-Fiction:
Michael Collings – Writing Darkness (CreateSpace)
Leslie S. Klinger – The Annotated Sandman, Volume 1 (Vertigo)
WINNER: Lisa Morton – Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween (Reaktion Books)
Kim Paffenroth and John W. Morehead – The Undead and Theology (Pickwick Publications)
Kendall R. Phillips – Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film (Southern Illinois University Press)
Silver Hammer Award
Award to HWA volunteer: instituted in 1996 and decided by Board of Trustees.
TO: Charles Day of Evil Jester Press
WINNER: Mort Castle and Sam Weller – Shadow Show (HarperCollins)
Eric J. Guignard – Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations (Dark Moon Books)
Eric Miller – Hell Comes to Hollywood (Big Time Books)
Mark C. Scioneaux, R.J. Cavender, and Robert S. Wilson – Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology (Cutting Block Press)
Stan Swanson – Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books)
Jonathan Carroll – Woman Who Married a Cloud: Collected Stories (Subterranean Press)
JOINT WINNER: Mort Castle – New Moon on the Water (Dark Regions)
Elizabeth Hand – Errantry: Strange Stories (Small Beer Press)
Glen Hirshberg – The Janus Tree (Subterranean Press)
JOINT WINNER: Joyce Carol Oates – Black Dahlia and White Rose: Stories (Ecco)
Richard Laymon Presidents Award – for service to the HWA
Jane Goldman – The Woman in Black (Cross Creek Pictures)
Sang Kyu Kim – The Walking Dead, “Killer Within” (AMC TV)
Tim Minear – American Horror Story: Asylum, “Dark Cousin”
Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray – The Hunger Games (Lionsgate, Color Force)
WINNER: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard – The Cabin in the Woods (Mutant Enemy Productions, Lionsgate)
Specialty Press Award
Centipede Press – Jerad Walters
Bruce Boston – ‘Surrounded by the Mutant Rain Forest’ (Daily Science Fiction)
Joe McKinney – ‘Bury My Heart at Marvin Gardens’ (Best of Dark Moon Digest, Dark Moon Books)
Weston Ochse – ‘Righteous’ (Psychos, Black Dog and Leventhall Publication)
John Palisano – ‘Available Light’ (Lovecraft eZine, March 2012)
WINNER: Lucy Snyder – ‘Magdala Amygdala’ (Dark Faith: Invocations, Apex Book Company)
Kealan Patrick Burke – Thirty Miles South of Dry County (Delirium Books)
Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee – I’m Not Sam (Sinister Grin Press)
Joe McKinney and Michael McCarty – Lost Girl of the Lake (Bad Moon Books)
WINNER: Gene O’Neill – The Blue Heron (Dark Regions Press)
Norman Prentiss – The Fleshless Man (Delirium Books)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Clive Barker and Robert R McCammon
Barker’s accepted by the vice president of his company
‘I’m not done yet. I have written, painted, and made movies for 30 years now, and I would like the same again. Thank you. I love you all’ – Clive Barker
Cullen Bunn – The Sixth Gun Volume 3: Bound (Oni Press)
Terry Moore – Rachel Rising Vol. 1: The Shadow of Death (Abstract Studio)
Ravi Thornton – The Tale of Brin and Bent and Minno Marylebone (Jonathan Cape)
Peter J. Wacks and Guy Anthony De Marco – Behind These Eyes (Villainous Press)
WINNER: Rocky Wood, Lisa Morton and Greg Chapman – Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times (McFarland)
Young Adult Novel
Libba Bray – The Diviners (Little Brown)
Barry Lyga – I Hunt Killers (Little Brown)
WINNER: Jonathan Maberry – Flesh & Bone (Simon & Schuster)
Michael McCarty – I Kissed A Ghoul (Noble Romance Publishing)
Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Boys (Scholastic Press)
Jeff Strand – A Bad Day for Voodoo (Sourcebooks)
Michael Boccacino – Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling (William Morrow)
Deborah Coates – Wide Open (Tor Books)
Charles Day – The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief (Noble YA Publishers LLC)
Peter Dudar – A Requiem for Dead Flies (Nightscape Press)
Richard Gropp – Bad Glass (Ballantine/Del Rey)
WINNER: L.L. Soares – Life Rage (Nightscape Press)
Benjamin Kane Ethridge – Bottled Abyss (Redrum Horror)
John Everson – NightWhere (Samhain Publishing)
WINNER: Caitlín R. Kiernan- The Drowning Girl (Roc)
Bentley Little – The Haunted (Signet)
Joe McKinney – Inheritance (Evil Jester Press)
All up, this was a wonderful ceremony, and I really wish I could have attended.
Congratulations to all the winners.
A U.S. government lawyer opened a civil trial by portraying Apple as a corporate bully that swaggered into the market for electronic books in 2010, forcing an end to price competition and costing consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Justice Department attorney, Lawrence Buterman, said Monday a dramatic price increase in e-books was “no accident or unforeseen outcome” but the result of a deliberate plan by Apple and five book publishers to eliminate Seattle-based Amazon.com’s $9.99 bargain price for popular e-books.
He asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who is overseeing a trial expected to last several weeks, to find that the computer company had violated anti-trust laws.
Defending itself from U.S. Department of Justice allegations of e-book price fixing, Apple on Tuesday pointed to the diverse contract terms it made with five major publishing houses as evidence against purported conspiracy.
A follow-up report to yesterday’s proceedings from AllThingsD says Apple lawyer Orin Snyder brought up the negotiated terms multiple times during the bench trial now in front of U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote.
The composition of Apple’s agreements with five of the biggest book publishers in the world is central to the Justice Department’s antitrust argument, which holds that the companies worked hand-in-hand to falsely inflate e-book prices in the iBookstore. At the core of Apple’s pricing strategy was a so-called “most favored nations” clause that allows publishers to set e-book pricing, but precludes them from selling the same content to other retailers at a lower price.
Here is the DoJ opening statement (June 3, 2013):
“It’s not just the $.99-$2.99 price point and Free e-book specials that have the traditional publishing establishment worried. It’s the .99 cent e-book with the terrible cover and the typos, grammatical errors, and poor story development that have them concerned. If readers are willing to buy these types of books, then traditional publishing truly is lost.”
No surprise, really. ASI have one of the worst reputations in the publishing world, yet for some reason, authors keep going to them.
“The Alliance of Independent Authors welcomes the news that three authors have filed suit against self-publishing service provider Author Solutions (ASI), and its parent company Penguin.
Law firm Giskan & Solotaroff, on April 26, filed a class action complaint on behalf of writers Kelvin James, Jodi Foster, and Terry Hardy. The complaints listed in the action won’t come as any surprise to those who follow the behaviour of ASI in recent times: overcharging for services, up-selling editing and marketing packages of poor quality, deceptive practices, poor royalty reporting and nonpayment of monies due. (For a full list of ASI iniquities, see this earlier post.)
The company’s true business is not publishing, the complaint stresses, but selling services to authors. And not doing it well. As we point out in our recent book, ASI is a company about whom we regularly receive the most complaints from a wide variety of authors.”