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Archives: June 2012

INFOGRAPHIC: Battle Over the Geeks

PayScale created a massive infographic called “Battle Over the Geeks,” exploring some key statistics about the salaries at leading tech companies including Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

We’ve embedded the whole infographic below to help you see a breakdown in how the leading companies pay. A tech employee with 3-4 years of experience at Amazon can expect to earn about $73,300 a year, and an employee with ten years of experience can expect to earn $130,000.

Check it out: “Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and other leading companies want the brightest minds in the tech industry working for them. How do they attract this clever crew? PayScale compares the pay, benefits and more for nine top tech employers.” Read more

CreateSpace’s New Royalty Payment Terms In Effect

CreateSpace’s new royalty payment terms for members that are paid through checks have gone into effect. In May, Amazon’s self-publishing arm announced the new terms which require a minimum of $100/£100/€100 in earnings for a check to be cut.

CreateSpace explained in an email: “In June, the check minimum payment amount will increase to $100/£100/€100 (previously $28). If you continue with royalty payments made by check and sent to the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, or the Netherlands, then a check handling fee of $8/£8/€8 will apply per payment.  These new payment terms will be effective for payments made in June 2012, for royalties previously earned.”

For those members that use the direct deposit payment service, CreateSpace will pay out royalties as low as $10/£10/€10 through bank transfers.

Amazon Plans to Acquire the Assets of Dorchester Publishing

Amazon Publishing plans to acquire mass-market paperback publisher Dorchester Publishing. Other interested parties are welcome to try and outbid the retail giant at an auction which will take place in August. Dorchester built its list specializing in genre fiction (western, horror and romance) novels.

Here’s more from Digital Book World: “In practice Amazon, or any firm that outbids Amazon in an auction to be conducted in August, will tender amendments to authors and agents transferring rights to the new entity, in exchange for which back royalties will be paid in full. The acquiring firm will then convert the books to e-books (a number of them have been converted already) and release them in e-book format. The original covers are among the assets to be acquired; our understanding is that Dorchester owned them outright and no rights clearance will have to be undertaken.”

Since launching its publishing arm, Amazon has pushed to rapidly acquire small publishing houses and set up imprints. Last month, Amazon acquired Avalon Books which boasted a backlist of 3,000 titles. In December 2011, Amazon purchased 450 titles from Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books to start off its children’s division. In addition, the company has six imprints: AmazonEncore (out-of-print/self-published books), AmazonCrossing (books in translation), Montlake Romance (romance titles), Thomas & Mercer (suspense and thriller titles), 47North (science-fiction and fantasy titles) and New Harvest (general publishing). (via Sarah Weinman)

BookBaby Partners With Federal Government

Self-publishing platform BookBaby has partnered with the federal government, to allow government agencies to publish documents with its service.

Steven Spatz, Chief Marketing Officer for BookBaby.com explains how the partnership is available to all government agencies: “By purchasing our discounted publishing credits, all federal agencies can now use BookBaby to convert publications into eBooks, from simple brochures to huge reports. They can take advantage of our easy upload process and global distribution network, just like the thousands of authors we’re already working with.”

To be accredited, BookBaby has created a special Terms of Service (TOS) agreement, required for vendors working with government agencies. Because of the contract, government employees can purchase publishing credits at a discount.

Bluewater Productions to Launch Art History Graphic Novel Series

Bluewater Productions will launch an art history-themed graphic novel series called The Milestones of Art. Starting in October 2012, the comic publisher will release six volumes profiling Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Keith Haring and Frida Kahlo.

German author and artist Willi Bloess produced the biographical graphic novels. During the illustration process, Bloess emulated the individual style of each subject. The print editions of the 40-page titles will cost $7.99. Readers can also access digital versions on the Kindle and the Nook.

Bloess had this statement in the release: “The field of illustrated books is still dominated by dragons, wizards and heavily-armed fighters. Therefore I was very surprised when I learned that Bluewater were running illustrated biographies in the USA. Unbelievable, a home of pure facts in the land of fiction. Reality strikes back!” What other artists would you like to see spotlighted in this comic series?

Pizza Hut Book It! Nostalgia from Karen Russell

The New Yorker recently ran a nostalgic essay by Swamplandia! author Karen Russell about Pizza Hut’s Book It! reading program. Unfortunately, the article itself is subscription-only. Here is an excerpt:

In the early nineties, Pizza Hut sponsors Book It! to promote reading. For every ten books you read, you get a certificate for a free, one-topping pizza. At the end of each month, you come home from Mrs. Sicius’s fifth-grade class and slam down the Book It! certificate in front of your parents like a hunter dropping a deer carcass on the kitchen table. Book that Family! We are eating tonight! It turns out there is no greater pleasure than reading for pizza. No longer do you feel guilty about eschewing the ‘real’ world for these fantasy zones. Now you have an unassailable American motivation; you’re a breadwinner. Literally.

Reading the essay, this GalleyCat editor remembered the hours and hours and hours of pizza-driven reading he completed as a Book It! kid back in Michigan. If you were a fan of the program, Pizza Hut still hosts the reading contest with some new media twists. Book It! graduates can sign up for the alumni newsletter.

Twitter Cheat Sheet for Writers

Buddy Media has released “Strategies for Effective Tweeting: A Statistical Review,” a report sharing best practices for using Twitter. The free report included some practical and simple advice for using social media that will help all the writers and publishing professionals in the audience.

Here’s an excerpt: “Tweeting during the day is the way to go. Tweets during ‘busy hours’ (8AM-7PM) receive 30% higher engagement than Tweets published outside that time frame. This includes Tweets published on Saturday and Sunday.”

Below, we’ve reposted the complete Twitter Cheat Sheet from Buddy Media–what do you think? (Via AllTwitter)

Read more

Google Nexus 7 Tablet Will Recommend eBooks

Today Google introduced a $199 Nexus 7 tablet. At the presentation, Google presenters highlighted the 7-inch tablet’s best qualities as eBook reading device (video embedded above)–including a new service that will recommend books for the individual tablet user.

AppNewser has more details about pricing, specs and content on the new device.

Here’s more from PC Mag: “the tablet will come pre-loaded with the Transformers Dark of the Moon movie, the Bourne Domination book, and issues of magazines like Popular Science, Food Network, and Conde Nast Traveler, among others … The tablet will include a new recommendation engine via widgets on the home screen that will serve up app, book, or movie options. If you’re not interested, just dismiss it. Google promised that the recommendations will become smarter over time, the more you watch, listen, or read.”

Smashwords & Califa To Let Library Patrons Self-Publish Books

Digital publishing company Smashwords and Califa, a consortium of 220 California libraries, have formed a partnership to distribute Smashwords eBooks in libraries and to give member libraries the ability to let patrons publish eBooks through Smashwords.

Library Journal explained the self-publishing process: “A patron will be able to use the Califa interface, being built with VuFind, to upload their manuscripts to Smashwords, which then will make the books available to its retail partners (such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony). But Smashwords will also notify Califa that a patron has uploaded a title and see if Califa wishes to purchase the title for its collection.”

Under the terms of the deal, Califa will buy 10,000 of Smashwords’ bestselling titles. The agreement will also allow library patrons to publish their own work through Smashwords and the libraries will own these works.

Read more

Digital Magazine Service Zinio Is For Sale

Digital magazine publishing company Zinio is for sale and reports say that the company hopes to fetch between $50 million and $100 million.

The company has grown through the help of venture capitalism. CNN has more: “Zinio raised venture capital in the early part of the aughts, from brand-name firms like Apax Partners, New Enterprise Associates, North Bridge Venture Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures. But those firms all sold their stakes (for very little) more than five years ago to a real estate and hotel magnate named David Gilmour, who currently serves as the company’s executive chairman.”

AppNewser has more about what the company does: “Zinio’s service let’s users purchase subscriptions and individual issues of digital magazines and newspapers and read them through tablet smartphone, and desktop apps. They sell thousands of magazines including Rolling StoneHarper’s and VIVmag.”

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