Round up #104: Heyer birthday to you, e-Quidditch
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Not enough Potter?
While you may already have The Complete Harry Potter Collection (or have purchased the seven books separately), it’s not really complete.
Two of Harry’s schoolbooks (officially available from J.K. Rowling’s own Pottermore, but you can start your purchase through the Kindle store) are also available:
Both of these are written by Rowling, and as Potterheads know, are featured in the books. The Fantastic Beasts book includes Harry’s marginalia.
They are $3.99 apiece in the US store at time of writing…and 40% of the sale of the books goes to benefit the charity Comic Relief. This group benefits especially children in need in different parts of the world.
Happy birthday, Georgette Heyer!
In honor of Georgette Heyer’s 110th birthday, the publisher Sourcebooks has put many of the e-book editions on sale for $2.99…and I’ve seen lower prices as well.
Heyer had a huge impact on romances…here’s a nice little article from USA Today where current writers comment on the “queen’s” impact:
Not so secret agent
Once upon a time, authors wrote books…and left the business end to their agents.
That’s changed: many of today’s authors juggle more numbers than nouns. They spend more time on marketing than they do on metaphors. They…well, you can fill in your alliterative aphorisms.
If authors become publishers, do they need agents to negotiate with themselves?
Well, in this Diane Patrick interview with Regina Brooks
you can get a little perspective on what it means to be an agent in this e-volving world.
I have no doubt that there is a solid place for business professionals to work with authors…I’m not sure traditional agency will continue to have the same prominence it has in the past, though.
The Digital Reader: “Amazon’s Next Kindle Fire Android Tablet Clears the FCC”
Well, now that my hypothesized timetable for a new hardware release has been thrown off by Amazon extending the Kindle sale forAmazon.com Rewards Visa cardholders to August 24th (thanks, reader Vonda Z!), I thought I’d link to a little digital legwork:
There is some nice research in it, identifying a (redacted) patent filing as probably having been done by a front company for a front company for Amazon.
While I’m impressed with that part of it, it seems to be a bit of a leap from what we can’t see to what we think might be in it.
“Captain, you sing and dance as well as anyone I’ve ever seen, but what the devil are you talking about?”
–Harry Mudd (played by Roger C. Carmel)
episode of Star Trek
written by Stephen Kandel
Apple has a point
Apple has recently filed a
objecting to the proposed settlement between the DoJ (Department of Justice), and some of the publishers accused of colluding with Apple to raise e-book prices.
I fundamentally don’t like the Agency Model, and I would like to see it gone. However, I think Apple makes a good point in this statement.
Their basic point is that the DoJ and the settling publishers can’t agree to terminate the Agency Model contracts with Apple…because Apple hasn’t agreed to it, and hasn’t been proven to have done anything wrong. The statement cites this case law:
“[A] court may not enter a consent decree that imposes obligations on a party that did not consent to the decree.”
Firefighters Local 93 v. Cleveland , 478 U.S. 501, 529 (1986)”
I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know enough to know if this case is applicable to the current settlement or not.
However, on the surface, that seems logical to me.
The question would be whether not terminating the contracts would result in ongoing significant harm. Let’s say that a company is accused of sending toxic waste to another company, which is allegedly dumping it into the ocean. Even though the company which has been accused of dumping it hasn’t been convicted yet, the contract could be (at the least) suspended.
Do higher e-book prices similarly pose a threat (even if not of the same magnitude) that requires immediate action? How much worse would it be to wait for that remedy until there was a finding of guilt (which might be months or more away)?
That depends…the market could be considerably reshaped in a year, even if consumers were eventually compensated for what might be artificially higher prices.
On the other hand, in what is literally a footnote, they make a statement which I would consider to be…I’ll go with hyperbolic:
“6 For example, many expressed concerns about the possibility that the Government has unwittingly placed a thumb on the scales in favor of Amazon, the industry monopolist. Amazon was the driving force behind the Government’s investigation, and it told a story to the Government that has yet to be scrutinized. Amazon talked with the Government repeatedly throughout the investigation, even hosting a two-day meeting at its Seattle headquarters. In all, the Government met with at least fourteen Amazon employees—yet not once under oath. The Government required that Amazon turn over a mere 4,500 documents, a fraction of what was required of others”
ReadWriteWeb: “Amazon Pursues Growth at the Risk of Brand Identity”
I recommend this article by Kevin Kelleher:
It makes an interesting point about how Amazon is diversifying so much it’s in danger of being seen as a nebulous expander, a company whose whole identity is tied to spreading out, rather than being focused on a mission.
While the article leaves out Amazon’s earlier auction failure (which does make a neater narrative, I guess), it’s a concern I’ve had.
My issue has been partially with naming a tablet a “Kindle” (as they did with the Kindle Fire). I think that really muddied the waters…I see many people asking why the Fire doesn’t do something that their RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle) did.
That’s a smaller issue than Amazon’s overall customer perception, but shows a parallel…
Have comments on any of these stories? Feel free to let me and my readers know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.