Publishing News: Democratized publishing and the digital divide

Nook Press launches, self-publishing raises digital have-not concerns, ebook subscription tests continue, and BitTorrent wants more books.

Will rise in self-publishing leave world’s digital have-nots behind?

Barnes & Noble announced this week it has upgraded and rebranded its PubIt! self-publishing platform and is launching Nook Press to better compete against platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Laura Hazard Owen noted at PaidContent that the major feature update is the web-based authoring tool the company developed in partnership with FastPencil that allows authors to write, format, edit, and preview ebooks in a browser.

“What we are trying to do here is make self-publishing simple,” Theresa Horner, Nook Media’s VP of digital content, told Owen. “You can come to the product, write, edit and publish into EPUB without ever knowing any bit of technology.”

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Publishing News: Traditional publisher tests self-publishing waters

Simon & Schuster launches Archway Publishing, BitTorrent wants to reinvent itself, and publishers can't win playing against Amazon's wallet.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

Simon & Schuster ventures into self-publishing

The headline news this week was Simon & Schuster’s deal with self-publishing company Author Solutions to launch Archway Publishing, a new self-publishing house. Leslie Kaufman reports at the New York Times that the company is looking to distinguish itself by offering premium services that go beyond what other self-publishing options offer — such as access to a speaker’s bureau that will assist with speaking engagements, and video production and distribution services for book trailers — in addition to editorial, design and distribution services.

The premium services come at a premium price as well — Kaufman reports that packages range “from $1,599 for the least expensive children’s package, to $24,999 for the most expensive business book package.” She also points out that Simon & Schuster personnel will not be involved in the new company, nor will Simon & Schuster attach their name to any of the final products. They will, however, mine the self-publishing author pool for talent. Kaufmann writes: “Adam Rothberg, vice president of corporate communication for Simon & Schuster, said that another attraction of Archway was that Simon & Schuster would be carefully monitoring sales of books completed through the new venture and would use it as a way to spot authors it might want to sign to a contract.”

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Publishing News: No dismissal for Apple, Macmillan and Penguin

Publishing News: No dismissal for Apple, Macmillan and Penguin

A request to dismiss is denied, an attempt to end Internet piracy, and a look at reading behaviors.

Updates on the DOJ and antitrust lawsuits against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin; Russian startup Pirate Pay targets BitTorrent file sharing; and Steve Rubel muses on digital media, social sharing and news consumption.

Getting your book in front of 160 million users is usually a good thing

Getting your book in front of 160 million users is usually a good thing

"Pirate's Dilemma" author Matt Mason on BitTorrent.

Pirating your own book may seem like an odd promotion strategy, but that's just what Megan Lisa Jones did with her new novel. Matt Mason, author of "The Pirate's Dilemma," says P2P platforms like BitTorrent are a great way to reach audiences and distribute content.

Author Paulo Coelho Illustrates the Upside of Openness

Budding authors may not be able to duplicate the success of Paulo Coelho, but Coelho's willingness to experiment across mediums is certainly worth studying. From Jeff Jarvis' Guardian column: Coelho is the thoroughly modern author. But he still believes in print. For him, this isn't a matter of print v digital. It's a question of what comes when you add…

News Roundup: Web Focus Yields Revenue for Tech Publisher, Out-of-Print Books Return Via POD, UK's First E-Reader, TorrentSpy Hit with $110+ Million Judgment

Tech Publisher Finds Path to Web Revenue Tech/trade publisher International Data Group (I.D.G.) rolled one of its largest magazines, InfoWorld, into a Web-only publication in April 2007. A profile of the company in the New York Times reveals encouraging first-year results from InfoWorld's digital transition: There were nervous months after the switch as the company awaited the reaction from advertisers…

TorrentSpy Hit with $110+ Million Copyright Judgment

Defunct BitTorrent index TorrentSpy has been ordered to pay more than $110 million in damages for copyright infringement. From News.com: The judge ordered TorrentSpy to pay $30,000 per copyright infringement — for 3,699 films and shows. That works out to be worth $110,970,000. TorrentSpy shut down its site in March. Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy's attorney in the copyright suit, tells News.com…

Responsibly Assuaging Author Concerns about File Sharing and "Piracy"

Eric Freeman, co-author of O’Reilly’s Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML and Head First Design Patterns, recently asked via email about a rise in activity for Head First books on a popular file-sharing site. His query sparked an interesting thread on the Radar back-channel that I thought worth sharing here. The original question (sent to Tim O’Reilly, who…

BitTorrent as a Book Publicity Tool

The author and publisher of two new Mac books posted both titles as free downloads on BitTorrent.