Book Publishers Settle Copyright Battle With Audible Over Captioning Service
mediapost.com – Thursday January 16, 2020
Seven book publishers have settled a lawsuit with Amazon's Audible over a captioning service that could allow people to read along while listening to books, according to court papers filed this week.
Settlement terms have not yet been revealed. U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni in the Southern District of New York, who presided over the litigation, officially dismissed the matter Tuesday.
The move brings an end to a high-profile copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and Chronicle.
They argued in a complaint filed in federal court last August that Audible's captioning service could directly compete with their own physical books and e-books. Hachette and the others alleged the service would infringe their rights by “taking copyrighted works and repurposing them.”
Submissions are now open for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize
qmul.ac.uk – Thursday January 16, 2020
From 15 January to 1 June 2020, the Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize will be receiving submissions from around the world. The competition is open to any writers who have not yet published a book-length work in their chosen genre, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or background. The grand prize of £1,000 is available in each category: Fiction, Life Writing, and Poetry.
In addition to the cash prize, winners and shortlisted writers may be eligible for a Chapter and Verse Award, courtesy of The Literary Consultancy, worth £2,000, or Free Reads mentoring, to support them as they grow their writing careers.
Amazon Publishes Books by Top Authors, and Rivals Fret
wsj.com – Wednesday January 15, 2020
When Dean Koontz’s book contract expired last year, his stature as one of the country’s top-selling authors made him a hot target for several major publishing houses. He chose Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.48%
It was a surprising move because it means his new books likely won’t appear in retail stores, which generally boycott Amazon AMZN -0.47% -published titles. But Mr. Koontz is banking on Amazon’s vast retail machine to get his work to readers, whether in physical or digital formats.
“Maybe I won’t be in some stores or make the New York Times best-seller list, but I’m willing to take that risk and I think we’ll sell more books in all formats,” Mr. Koontz said.
Children/YA Sales Rose, Adult Sales Fell in October
publishersweekly.com – Wednesday January 15, 2020
Sales in the children/young adult category jumped 20.9% in October over October 2018, according to the Association of American Publishers’ StatShot program. The increase was led by the performance of Wrecking Ball, which helped lift sales of hardcovers, where sales rose 29.3% over October 2018. Sales of paperbacks increased 21.7%. For the first 10 months of 2019, sales in the children/young adult segment were up 9.9% over the comparable period of 2018.
Sales of adult books did not perform nearly as well as children/young adult. In October, sales fell 3.7% as sales of all formats except trade paperback (up 3.2%) and downloadable audio (ahead 16.3%) fell. The mass market paperback category had a particularly bad month, with sales tumbling 38% compared to October 2018.
Rebus author Ian Rankin to chair this year's Harrogate crime writing festival
yorkpress.co.uk – Tuesday January 14, 2020
Ian Rankin, best-selling author of the Inspector Rebus novels, has been unveiled as the chair of this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.
The author, who has sold more than 20 million books, has been charged with pulling together a “most wanted” list of guest authors and speakers to headline the four-day event at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel from July 23-26.
Helen Donkin, the Harrogate International Festivals Literature Festival Manager, said: “Ian has been one of the crime writing festival’s greatest supporters and we are delighted that he has agreed to become the 2020 Programming Chair."
Romance Writers Of America Leadership Resigns
npr.org – Friday January 10, 2020
The president and executive director of Romance Writers of America stepped down Thursday. The powerful trade organization has been roiled by weeks of controversy over treatment of writers of color.
Tyler Perry slammed by fans after admitting he has no writerâ€™s room
pagesix.com – Thursday January 9, 2020
It ain’t easy being Madea.
Tyler Perry admitted this week that he’s written several of his plays, films and television shows solo, apparently hoping to inspire others with his work ethic. Many fans missed that sentiment, however, and called out the studio owner for not hiring writers.
“So, I don’t know if you know, this but all shows on television have a writer’s room,” Perry, 50, said in an Instagram clip Monday. “Most of the time, they’re 10 people, 12, whatever, that write on these television shows. Well, I have no writer’s room. Nobody writes any of my work. I write it all. Why am I telling [you] this? I wrote all of these scripts by myself in 2019. What’s my point? Work ethic!”
But rather than be inspired, many of Perry’s followers took issue with what they saw as his refusal to employ writers who could bring fresh perspectives to his work.
Abrams Agency Announces A Spate Of New Promotions, Including Amanda Marzolf, James Murray, And Max Grossman To Partner
celebrityaccess.com – Wednesday January 8, 2020
Abrams Artists Agency announced it is starting the new year with a round of promotions at the company that include upping three to partner, six to senior agent, and the minting three new agents.
The Los Angeles-based Amanda Marzolf has been upped to partner in Abrams alternative programming, digital media, licensing & branding division. Since joining Abrams in 2014, Marzolf has focused on the development of social media/digital personalities and spearheaded the agency’s podcasting business.
Longtime Abrams agent James Murray has taken on the title of partner within the voice-over division. Since he joined Abrams in 2008, Murray has worked across commercial, television, feature animation, interactive, promos, and narration, including representing talent in hit television shows and feature films.
Brown and Morris promoted to agents at Curtis Brown
thebookseller.com – Wednesday January 8, 2020
Becky Brown and Lucy Morris have both been promoted to agents at Curtis Brown's books department.
Brown becomes an agent at the firm's heritage division, having taken up the role of associate agent in September last year, joining Norah Perkins to expand the agency’s list of literary estates. Curits Brown said she had been instrumental in bringing in a raft of new ones, including Nancy Spain and Pamela Frankau.
She first joined in 2017 to support Jonny Geller’s office, having previously worked at A M Heath and publishers Macmillan and Bloomsbury.
Morris, who joined in 2014 as assistant to Karolina Sutton and became an associate agent last year, is promoted to agent in the books department.
'Authenticity is the key' - budding crime writers on getting the science right
bbc.co.uk – Sunday January 5, 2020
Whether it is Ian Rankin's world-weary Inspector Rebus or the windswept murder mysteries of BBC Scotland's Shetland, home-grown crime fiction is big business.
But with fans more clued-up than ever, is getting the forensic science right in novels and television series important?
Dundee University seems to think so.
The university launched its MLitt in Crime Writing and Forensic Investigation in 2017, the first course of its kind in the UK.
With Scottish crime writers more popular than ever and the continued success of literary festivals like Stirling's Bloody Scotland and Aberdeen's Granite Noir, many fans are not just content to know "whodunnit", but how it was done, too.