The New Marketplace: Used Digital Files

A debate is raging in the publishing industry about whether the selling of secondhand ebooks is legal. One startup isn’t waiting for the dust to settle. Tom is an online marketplace for used ebooks that essentially acts as a liaison between buyers and sellers: it processes credit cards (for a fee), and oversees the

Skin-Deep Publishing

OBS intern Oliver notes that: “In the near future, custom publishing may run only skin-deep.  In light of Apple’s recent introduction of Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner to the iPhone 5S, it could soon become possible to receive any amount of pre-packaged, personalized information everywhere you go at no more than the push of a

Richard Russo: A Writer’s Call to Arms

From the downward spiral of ebook prices to the major content grab of digital giants such as Amazon, Apple, and Google, the writer as we know it is seriously threatened. In a letter released by the Authors Guild, an advocate for writers’ interests in effective copyright protection, fair contracts and free expression, bestselling novelist Richard

‘Breakout Books’ Category in Apple iBookstore Shines the Spotlight on Independents

Earlier this month the Apple iBookstore launched Breakout Books, a new category of the online store which features self- and independently-published books. Although the iBookstore has always accepted self-published titles, Breakout Books highlights the increasing market share of the independent author and gives added support in terms of marketing and promotion. To give an idea of

In Europe, Apple Concedes; in the U.S., Publishers Pay – Yet Another Argument for Distributing Digital Content Directly

(Reuters) An ongoing antitrust investigation of Apple’s pricing negotiations with European publishers in December 2011 may be coming to a close, though not in Apple’s favor. The four publishers – Simon & Schuster, News Corp (HarperCollins), Hachette Livre and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck (owner of Macmillan in Germany) – made deals that allowed Apple to

Despite Public Outcry, Dept. of Justice Sticks to Settlement

by Marina Evans Last week, the United States Department of Justice condemned the substantial amount of criticism levied upon its controversial price-fixing settlement with Apple and the “big five” publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillian, Penguin and Simon & Schuster). Some 800 public comments were filed on the settlement, many of them accusing the DoJ of upholding

OBS Announces Tiller Books: Putting Publishers Back at the Helm in the Age of the Aggregator

There’s no question that the publishing industry is evolving rapidly. New technology companies spring up daily providing the latest technologies – tablets, e-readers, smartphones – as well as publishing services like file conversion and optimization. But in the frenzy to ensure their content is as widely available as possible without incurring prohibitive setup and/or conversion