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Posts Tagged ‘John Sargent’

2013 TED Presentations from Writers

ted logoDo you need a boost of inspiration for 2014? We’ve compiled a list of five videos featuring writers who have given TED talks throughout the past year.

Our list includes That Summer in Paris author Abha DawesarDavid & Goliath author Malcolm Gladwell, Blooming Twig Books editor-in-chief Kent GustavsonVideo Night in Kathmandu novelist Pico Iyer, and Macmillan CEO John Sargent.

For more talks, the TED organization has created a playlist for “word nerds” called “Words, words, words.” Who do you nominate to speak at future TED conferences?
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John Sargent Gives Talk at TEDxTimesSquare

Macmillan CEO John Sargent gave a talk called “The Decision Point” at TEDxTimesSquare.

This independently-organized TED conference focused on the theme of “transformation.” We’ve embedded the full presentation in the video above.

During his talk, Sargent spoke about “making decisions that you don’t have historical context and you don’t have information that is useful in making the decision.” He shared the story of how the publisher partnered with Apple and two other houses to form what would become the iBookstore. Looking at the industry as it currently stands, what is your opinion about this decision?

Amazon Executives Testify in eBook Price Fixing Case

The Department of Justice has shared direct testimony from three Amazon executives about tempestuous negotiations over the agency model for setting eBook prices in 2010.

These discussions rest at the heart of the U.S. v. Apple et al. case, as a federal judge decides if publishers  and Apple colluded to fix eBook prices.

In the executive testimony, MyHabit general merchandise manager (and former Kindle Books director) Laura Porco testified about a fateful January 2010 dinner with her former colleague, Random House COO Madeline McIntosh. This conversation prompted evasive legal action at Amazon.

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John Sargent: ‘Our company is not large enough to risk a worst case judgment’

In a frank letter addressed to authors, Macmillan CEO John Sargent explained why his company decided to settle the price fixing lawsuit with the Department of Justice.

After seeing “breathtaking amount” that the major publisher would have to pay in the worst case courtroom scenario, they decided to settle without admitting any wrongdoing. Here is an excerpt:

I had an old fashioned belief that you should not settle if you have done no wrong. As it turns out, that is indeed old fashioned. Our company is not large enough to risk a worst case judgment. In this action the government accused five publishers and Apple of conspiring to raise prices. As each publisher settled, the remaining defendants became responsible not only for their own treble damages, but also possibly for the treble damages of the settling publishers (minus what they settled for). A few weeks ago I got an estimate of the maximum possible damage figure. I cannot share the breathtaking amount with you, but it was much more than the entire equity of our company. I like to believe that we would win at trial. But outcomes are hard to predict with certainty, particularly in a civil case with a low burden of proof. And so we agreed to settle with no admission of guilt. As with the other settling publishers, retailers will now be able to discount Macmillan e-books for a limited time. This change will take effect quickly.

Macmillan CEO: ‘We will be more than fine in the land of the giants’

Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote a letter to authors, illustrators and agents working with the publisher, pledging not to settle the price fixing lawsuit with the Department of Justice (as Penguin did this week).

He also noted that the company has no plans to merge like Penguin and Random House. Read his complete letter at Tor Books.

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DOJ Sues Apple & Publishers

The Department of Justice has sued Apple and publishers for allegedly colluding to set eBook prices. Apple, Macmillan and Penguin will fight the suit in court; HarperCollins (statement here), Simon & Schuster and Hachette (statement here) have settled with the government.

In court documents, DOJ attorneys alleged that Apple and five major publishers engaged in a “substantial” conspiracy as they set up the agency model for eBook pricing–including deleting emails “to avoid leaving a paper trail.”

Macmillan CEO John Sargent has decided to fight the suit. Read his letter here: “Other publishers have chosen to settle. That is their decision to make. We have decided to fight this in court.”

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Macmillan CEO Made Agency Model Decision on Exercise Bike

Macmillan CEO John Sargent has released a public letter addressed to “authors, illustrators and agents,” sharing the moment he decided to join the agency model in 2010–setting prices for eBooks across different retailers.

Check it out: “I am Macmillan’s CEO and I made the decision to move Macmillan to the agency model. After days of thought and worry, I made the decision on January 22nd, 2010 a little after 4:00 AM, on an exercise bike in my basement. It remains the loneliest decision I have ever made, and I see no reason to go back on it now. Other publishers have chosen to settle. That is their decision to make. We have decided to fight this in court.”

The moment will play a crucial role in court soon as the Department of Justice has sued Apple and publishers, alleging that they colluded together to set eBook prices. Sargent disputed these claims in his long letter. We’ve reprinted the entire letter below…

 

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Mr. Popper’s Penguins Trailer Released

Fox has released the official trailer for the film adaptation of Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Above, we’ve embedded the full-length trailer.

What do you think? As we previously noted, the film stars Jim Carrey and is directed by Mark Waters. It will hit theaters on June 17th.

Some parts of the film were shot inside New York City’s historic Flatiron Building, home to several Macmillan offices.  (via Shelf Awareness)

Reactions to Google Books Settlement Rejection

U.S. Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin has rejected the $125 million settlement negotiated between the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and Google. We’ve collected responses from Google, publishers, authors and the federal judge below.  Follow this link to read the complete decision.

Authors Guild president Scott Turow said that they still hoped to reach an agreement, adding had this statement: “Regardless of the outcome of our discussions with publishers and Google, opening up far greater access to out-of-print books through new technologies that create new markets is an idea whose time has come … Readers want access to these unavailable works, and authors need every market they can get. There has to be a way to make this happen. It’s a top priority for the Authors Guild.”

Google managing counsel Hilary Ware had this statement: “This is clearly disappointing, but we’ll review the Court’s decision and consider our options. Like many others, we believe this agreement has the potential to open-up access to millions of books that are currently hard to find in the US today. Regardless of the outcome, we’ll continue to work to make more of the world’s books discoverable online through Google Books and Google eBooks.”

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Amazon & Wylie eBook Deal Shocks Publishers

logo-red-115.pngThe Wylie Agency and Amazon shocked the publishing world with a deal publish 20 eBooks through the literary agency’s brand new Odyssey Editions imprint–selling the books exclusively through the Amazon Kindle Store. We’ve collected some of the strongest responses below.

Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum spoke out this morning: “We are disappointed by Mr. Wylie’s actions, which we dispute. Last night, we sent a letter to Amazon disputing their rights to legally sell these titles, which are subject to active Random House publishing agreements. Upon assessing our business options, we will be taking appropriate action.”

Macmillan CEO John Sargent spoke out this afternoon: “I am appalled, however, that Andrew has chosen to give his list exclusively to a single retailer. A basic tenet of publishing is that our function is to reach as many readers as we can. We disseminate our books and the ideas within them as broadly as possible.”

Other publications also analyzed the news:
New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Teleread
Future Book
A Reading Odyssey

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