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Posts Tagged ‘Stuart Applebaum’

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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Random House Statement on William Styron eBooks

openroaddarkness.jpegThis morning we linked to reports that Open Road Integrated Media will publish a number of eBooks from the William Styron backlist. Open Road will release the eBooks on May 4, and this page has more information about the collection–including Styron’s memoir, Darkness Visible (pictured).

This afternoon, Random House, Inc. spokesperson Stuart Applebaum passed along a statement about the situation: “Our position is unchanged. Our publishing agreements grant us the right to publish our authors’ works in all text-based version of the work, including electronic publication formats. In any potential separation of our e-books backlist rights, we reserve the right to pursue all our options, including, in some cases, legal ones.”

The statement concluded: “Our preferred course is always a business resolution. Random House has more than 14,000 of its backlist titles available in e-book format, and we have the resources and capital to maximize their sales. The Styron titles presented a unique situation in the context of our effective efforts with authors or their estates to transition their backlist to Random House e-books.”

Authors Guild Offers eBook Royalty Advice for Random House & HarperCollins Authors

augui.gifToday the Authors Guild wrote to individual members referring to letters that some authors have received from Random House and HarperCollins about eBook rights. According to the Guild, the publishers hope “to lock in e-book royalty rates at 25 percent of net receipts.”

In the letter, the Guild has offered five tips to writers about eBook royalties. We’ve included the entire letter after the jump–the advice raises some fascinating questions for all writers. Here’s an excerpt: “[A]lthough some letters [from Random House and HarperCollins] suggest that the author’s work was ‘selected’ for digitization, appear to be going to virtually all authors who have no stated e-book royalty rate in their contracts. In some cases, the letters have gone to authors who have never granted e-book rights to the publisher. These amendments should be treated with extreme care.”

Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum had this response: “It is Random House, Inc. standard business procedure to have an agreed-upon royalty rate with our authors and their representatives for the formats in which we publish them.”

Read the whole letter after the jump. What do you think? We’ve contacted both publishers with a request for comment, and we will include all responses in a future post.

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Random House Responds to iPad

ipad.jpg

Today Apple (AAPL) rocked the publishing world with a tablet computer called the iPad, a device with 9.7 inch LED-backlit screen, a special iBooks application and bookstore, and a base price of $499. Publishing partners mentioned in the presentation included: Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Hachette, but not Random House.

Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum had this statement when GalleyCat asked about the publisher’s absence in the iPad demonstration. “Random House welcomes Apple’s iPad and iBooks app and we look forward to our continuing conversations with them about how we might best work together.”

Here’s more about the iBook Store: “The iBooks app is a great, new way to read and buy books. Just download the app for free from the App Store, and you’ll be able to buy everything from classics to bestsellers from the built-in iBookstore. Once you’ve bought a book, it’s displayed on your Bookshelf. To read it, all you have to do is tap on it and it opens up. The high-resolution, LED-backlit screen displays everything in sharp, rich, color, so it’s very easy to read, even in low light.”

Crown Publishing Group Split and Publisher Leaves

crown.jpegRandom House CEO Markus Dohle announced today that Crown Publishing Group will be broken into two distinct groups. Crown Publishing Group publisher Jenny Frost is leaving the company. Doubleday Canada’s executive publisher Maya Mavjee will take over as publisher of the restructured Crown Publishing Group.

In a memo Random House CEO Markus Dohle summarized the changes: “After an extensive review, we believe that both our overall publishing interests and those of our respective imprints, authors, and our colleagues, will now be best served by splitting off the current Crown Publishing Group into separately structured and distinct groups: one comprised of the Crown trade-publishing imprints; the other with the Random House Audio Group and the Random House Information Group.”

As the news broke, GalleyCat had a telephone interview with Random House, Inc. spokesperson Stuart Applebaum: “Mavjee is joining Crown to maximize their publishing potential,” he explained. He also stressed the digital potential of the restructuring: “One of the rationales for the reorganization is to give our Random House Information Group publishing lines an even greater opportunity to expand on their digital publishing options. Already the Fodor’s Travel site is one of the most popular in its area, and we expect to be able to grow these businesses digitally on what has been a very strong foundation.”

The restructuring memo follows after the jump.

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