Trade associations hit back as 300 authors accuse publishers of 'undermining libraries'
thebookseller.com – Sunday October 2, 2022
More than 300 authors including Neil Gaiman, Naomi Klein, and Lawrence Lessig have teamed up with advocacy group Fight for the Future with an open letter demanding publishers and trade organisations "cease efforts to undermine the essential contributions of libraries to an accessible and inclusive world of books”.
The letter mainly focuses on the lawsuit brought against the Internet Archive, over its Open Library programme, involving mass scanning and distribution of literary works under a process called Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) which publishers and trade organisations have criticised for “facilitating the distribution of millions of pirated books without paying a penny to the authors and publishers who produce them”.
There is also reference to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) suing to block a Maryland law that would have required publishers to offer commercially available e-book licences to libraries on “reasonable terms”.
The Authors Guild called the open letter "highly misleading” while the AAP and Publishers Association (PA) have sought to stress that the Internet Archive is “not a library” but instead “a pirate website”.
Amazon, major publishers win dismissal of antitrust lawsuits over book pricing
reuters.com – Saturday October 1, 2022
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two antitrust lawsuits accusing Amazon.com Inc and five large publishers of illegally conspiring to fix U.S. prices of electronic and traditional books, causing consumers and bookstores to pay more.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan accepted a magistrate judge's recommendations to end both cases against Amazon, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.
Consumers accused the defendants of signing agreements that let the publishers inflate e-book prices by locking in a 30% "agency" fee for Amazon on each sale, and guaranteeing that Amazon's prices would not be undercut.
Author coalition blasts publishers in legal fight with Internet Archive
reuters.com – Saturday October 1, 2022
A group of more than 300 authors including Neil Gaiman and Naomi Klein issued a letter Thursday criticizing lawsuits from major publishing companies over the lending of digital books.
The authors said in the open letter, organized by digital-rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, that publishers and their trade groups are "undermining the traditional rights of libraries to own and preserve books, intimidating libraries with lawsuits, and smearing librarians."
The letter said the authors were "disheartened by the recent attacks against libraries being made in our name."
Free writing course for aspiring novelists
enfielddispatch.co.uk – Wednesday September 28, 2022
Indie Novella is launching a new writing course in October, alongside literary agency Watson Little (credit Deepesh Thobhani, Indie Novella)
Our North London-based publisher Indie Novella is launching a brand new form of writing course for new, aspiring and experienced writers.
What makes this writing course different to those currently out there can be summarised as follows: it is the only publisher and literary agent led writing course that is completely free and available to anyone.
Longrigg to retire from MBA Literary Agents after 25 years
thebookseller.com – Wednesday September 28, 2022
Laura Longrigg is retiring at the end of September 2022 after 25 years at MBA Literary Agents as an agent and director of the company.
Longrigg started her publishing career as assistant to Mic Cheetham at Abner Stein, before becoming an editor at HarperCollins, Hutchinson Heinemann and Penguin. In 1994 she joined Jennifer Kavanagh’s agency.
Since 1997 she has been a literary agent at MBA, where her clients have included Clare Morrall, Alex Dahl, Cathy Woodman and Rosanna Ley.
Save Our Books campaign urges government to keep UK copyright exhaustion scheme
thebookseller.com – Friday September 23, 2022
The Publishers Association (PA) has written to the new secretaries of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) and business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) to urge them to continue with the UK’s current copyright exhaustion scheme.
The PA, alongside its Save Our Books campaign partners, including the Association of Authors’ Agents, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and Society of Authors, want the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to stick to the current regime when it makes a final decision in March 2023.
The IPO consulted on changes to the UK’s copyright exhaustion regime last year, including considering a move to an international exhaustion regime. The Save Our Books campaign fought to retain the UK’s current regime, arguing that the proposed changes “would cause a projected loss of up to £2.2bn to the publishing industry, disincentivise the UK’s thriving book exports, and flood the UK with international copies of books tailored to other international audiences, typically American”.
Want to write? Start by reading this book
lansingcitypulse.com – Thursday September 22, 2022
“Write what you know” is a common slice of advice given to aspiring authors. Lansing area author Thomas C. Foster, who has taught college writing for more than four decades, has taken that wisdom to heart in his new book, “How to Write Like a Writer: A Sharp and Subversive Guide to Ignoring Inhibitions, Inviting Inspiration, and Finding Your True Voice.”
Foster, who has written several books on how to read, including “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” and “How to Read Poetry Like a Professor,” was searching for a topic for his next book when he decided to write about what he knows best “how to write.”
“I pretty much ran out of genres to write about,” Foster said.
“This is a writing book for everyone interested in writing,” Foster said.
Loughman swaps Bev James for The bks Agency
thebookseller.com – Thursday September 22, 2022
Literary agent Morwenna Loughman is departing Bev James Management to join The bks Agency.
Loughman has previously worked as an editor at Ebury, Bonnier and HarperCollins with authors including Hilary Mantel, Nigel Slater, Anna Jones, Marie Kondo, Brené Brown and Tim Ferriss, as well as commissioning books such as Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe (Vermilion) and Ask Me His Name by Elle Wright (Lagom). She has since worked as a literary agent at Bev James Management.
Loughman said: “I’m over the moon to be joining the brilliant team at bks. I’ve long admired their spirit, warmth and tenacity, which, when combined with their unparalleled industry expertise, makes an unbeatable combination. The fact that they are also some of the loveliest people in publishing is the icing on the cake.”
Thwaites becomes head of books at Curtis Brown as new children’s division announced
thebookseller.com – Tuesday September 13, 2022
Senior literary agent Steph Thwaites has been appointed head of books at Curtis Brown amid a raft of promotions within the agency’s book division, and she will be setting up a new children’s division.
In her new role as head of the Books Department, she succeeds Sheila Crowley and Gordon Wise, joint managing directors of the Book Department over the past three years, who continue in their book board and senior agent capacities.
Writing Science Fiction: Win a place on the Curtis Brown Creative Writing Course with Adam Roberts
scifinow.co.uk – Saturday September 10, 2022
Writing Science Fiction is a six-week online course from Curtis Brown Creative – the renowned writing school led by the major literary agency. Since launching in 2011, over 170 students have become commercially published authors.
Join prolific science fiction author Adam Roberts for a six-week voyage into the genre. Adam shares wisdom acquired from writing his 23 published novels, most recently Purgatory Mount (Gollancz 2021; shortlisted for the Prometheus Award) and The This (Gollancz 2022). You’ll work through six modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes from Adam. You’ll learn how to develop your novum (‘new thing’), build a compelling world, people it with extraordinary characters, and write a story that transports your readers to somewhere that’s entirely yours. Topics include worldbuilding, narrative structure and navigating beloved tropes of the genre while avoiding clichés.
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