Roll up, roll up! It’s time to hear about the biggest publishing news from around the web over the past month, with the BookMachine May Publishing Wrap!
Big news from Amazon once again this month, as it hit an all-time high in the stock market and revenue from Q1 is up, prompting CEO Jeff Bezos to sell some of his stocks in the business for the largest sum yet. The tech giant’s Japanese expansion continues apace and they are widely considered to be “eating the world”, but all is not well with Amazon’s relationship with publishing. The introduction of a new buy button programme has drawn criticism from publishers and authors alike – including in the independent scene. What’s more, Amazon has this month announced and released a new book chart system, in which – perhaps unsurprisingly – their own books are notably faring better than anyone else’s.
Yet all is not lost. Sales are up in other areas too with several publishers, including Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, reporting promising first quarters. Perhaps this is what has prompted the slew of new headlines claiming digital has been trumped by print. Certainly more teething issue with ebooks are emerging, as the European Commissions’ new ebook laws worry booksellers and the PA has demanded scrapping VAT on ebooks ahead of the imminent General Election.
The darlings of SFF publishing, JK Rowling and George RR Martin have dominated headlines. Martin revealed that, despite being distracted by aliens, he is planning more prequels to the already epic Game of Thrones series. Rowling apologized for killing off Snape in the Harry Potter books, and announced a new online Harry Potter Book Club, all this was not enough to protect her from the ire of Joanna Trollope, however, who compared Rowling’s ego to Kim Kardashian’s. Rowling isn’t the only author to come under fire, however, as letters from Harper Lee have been published, revealing a less than honest Truman Capote… [READ MORE]