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Thursday, March 29, 2012

For Magazine Publishing: The First Unified Platform Leveraging Digital, Web and Mobile Media

This sounds exciting as it provides publishers with a one stop shop solution/platform containing all the new tech requirements for multi-media/multi-device digital publishing :)


With the rapid growth of digital (and especially mobile digital) publishing, publishers have been struggling with connecting all the dots to materialize their content over all platforms with one single format.

Two digital content, publishing industry leaders: Godengo, the largest provider of content management systems for magazine publishers and Texterity, a leading provider of digital magazines and mobile applications have merged to provide just such a streamlined, device-agnostic format solution --- plus other visionary stuff :)

Details from The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch

Godengo and Texterity Join to Offer First Comprehensive Digital, Web and Mobile Publishing Solution for Magazines

BERKELEY, Calif. & SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., Mar 29, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- To meet growing demand from the magazine industry for a comprehensive technology solution for digital content publishing, industry leaders Godengo, Inc. ( www.godengo.com ) and Texterity, Inc. ( www.texterity.com ) today announced that they have joined forces to create the first unified platform that’s focused on helping publishers leverage digital, web, and mobile media. Under terms of the completed transaction, Godengo, the largest provider of content management systems for magazine publishers, has acquired Texterity, a leading provider of digital magazines and mobile applications. Terms of the private deal were not disclosed.

The combined company provides services to more than 1,200 magazine titles owned by more than 500 publishers throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. It is also the only technology-service provider in the space that helps publishers seamlessly transition, integrate, and enhance their content across multiple digital and mobile platforms, the companies said.

“Godengo and Texterity have complementary expertise, specializations, and cultures, and together we’ll offer a level of functionality and flexibility to clients that is well beyond anything currently in the marketplace,” said Peter Stilson, Godengo’s President and CEO, who will lead the combined company as CEO. “The publishing industry has been looking for a true partner that can meet the full scope of needs in cross-platform digital and mobile integration, and now it has one.”

Before joining Godengo, Stilson served as chief operating officer of Internet Broadcasting (IB) from 2000 to 2008. Prior to IB, he was executive vice president of Norstan Inc., a Minneapolis-based telecommunications company.

Stilson added that a key objective of the combined company, which will be re-branded in the months ahead, is to continue to grow its capabilities. “We’ve just completed raising a Series C round of growth capital and will use those resources to expand and enhance our services and products.” Capital for expansion and facilitating the purchase of Texterity was provided by investors including New Science Ventures.

Carl Scholz, who is currently President of Texterity and previously served as the company’s chief operating officer, will become President of the combined company. Previously, Scholz worked at Houghton Mifflin Company, and also held management and software engineering positions at the Open Software Foundation, Interactive Systems Corporation, and NCR Corporation.

Martin Hensel, who founded Texterity in 1991 and has been at the forefront of the digital publishing industry for more than two decades, will advise the new company as part of his new consulting practice for publishers and media technology firms.

Two Leaders Become One Source for Publishers

Godengo’s clients use the company’s industry-leading content management systems and browser-based software solutions to publish digital and online content for print magazines and weekly newspapers. The company works with media including city and regional, parenting, enthusiast, business, and association publications.

Read and learn more

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Yahoo - The Anti-Social Network ?

Yahoo Screwing Facebook?
Since digital portals and social networks are being used more and more by publishers and authors to do their work, a little understanding about how their management acts and interacts online might help one decide who to invest their time with.

Yahoo seems to be developing a certain rep for suing other online entities just as they are getting ready to go public with IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) --- apparently in an attempt to destroy or lessen the new IPO company's initial valuation. This in turn results in a lower price per share loan for expansion, research, etc.

Sounds like nasty business, sour grapes or whatever to me.

These intriguing details from David Kalish of Coats & Bennett PLLC through Lexology.com  :

The anti-social network: Yahoo v. Facebook

In quite an anti-social move, Yahoo has sued its former business partner Facebook for patent infringement. This is one of the first patent litigations in the relatively new and evolving field of social networking.

Yahoo claims that Facebook is infringing ten different patents related to a variety of different aspects of social networking. These aspects generally include instant messaging advertising, fraud prevention in a pay-per-click system, privacy protection and controls, news feed and information customization, and network architecture involved with social networking. Specifically, the following patents are involved in the suit:

Click link at end of post for list of patents.

Facebook denies that they infringe any of these ten patents and has vowed to fight. Many of these patents appear to be directed to basic concepts that may have been in use prior to Yahoo’s patent filings. Further, the patents issued before much of the current case law involving statutory subject matter (i.e., 35 U.S.C. 101) regarding computer-related information. Issues may arise regarding whether these patents meet the new requirements as now interpreted by the Patent Office and various courts.

Yahoo is bringing this suit at a time when Facebook may be somewhat vulnerable. Facebook is in the process of an initial stock market listing that is expected to provide a valuation of between $75 billion -$100 billion. Facebook may be more willing to settle this dispute prior to the offering to remove any potential issues that could affect the value of the company. Yahoo has used this timing strategy before when they sued Google for patent infringement in 2004. That suit was filed at a time when Google was preparing for their initial public listing.

Read and learn more

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Copyright Reinstatement Deemed Legal for Certain Works --- What Happens to Public Domain?

Supreme Court -
 "Right or Wrong, That's
My Ruling!"  
First, the definition of public domain RE literary or artistic works:

Public domain is the status of a literary work or an invention whose copyright or patent has expired or that never had such protection --- In other words, all initially accrued rights to the creator have expired. (I often wondered why they should ever expire ... but, I can see the other side to this, mainly for educational purposes).  

Many professions, researchers and teaching professionals (think libraries) rely on free access to works in the public domain to carry out their missions. So, what happens if a great old masterpiece has its copyright reinstated ? What is the fallout ?
You know what I think the supreme court did here ? The thing they always do the best --- create a clusterfuck !
Meaghan Hemmings Kent, writing on Lexology.com for Venable LLP has this insight:  
On January 18, 2012, the Supreme Court confirmed 6-2 that certain works that had entered the public domain could have their copyright restored. Golan v. Holder, Case No. 10-545. The works affected are estimated to number in the millions and could include films by Alfred Hitchcock, such as The Birds; books by Virginia Woolf, such as Mrs. Dalloway; symphonies by Prokofiev, such as Peter and the Wolf; and paintings by Picasso, such as Guernica.

The decision will not only affect the copyright owners, but also anyone who relies on public domain works, particularly those creating derivative works, reprint publishers, musicians, orchestra conductors, teachers and film archivists.

The case considered the constitutionality of a portion of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 104A, that was enacted in 1994 by Congress in order to comply with the international accord, the Berne Convention. Section 104A allows for certain works that had previously entered the public domain to have their copyright reinstated. The types of works are non-U.S. works that were protected in their country of origin, but were not protected in the U.S. for the following three reasons:

1.They were exempt from copyright protection at the time of publication (i.e., Soviet-created works).

2.They were sound recordings fixed before 1972 (the U.S. did not protect sound recordings prior to 1972).

3.The author did not comply with U.S. statutory formalities of copyright under the old 1909 Copyright Act (such as the old requirement of copyright notice).

Read and learn more

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Magazine Publishing: Biggest Magazine Business Deals in 2011

Want an inside look at who sold what to whom and at what price in the great magazine media in 2011 ?

Digital and print magazines are a bubbling, ever morphing and exciting publishing enterprise! And the M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) each year gives an insight into the lifeblood and future trends of this vibrant and entertaining industry.

These details from the March, 2012 FOLIO Magazine:

The Top Magazine Industry Deals of 2011

Deals that signaled new directions or tipped the scale on emerging trends.

While not a blockbuster year for magazine media M&A, 2011 did have its share of big deals, as well as some that clearly signaled where publishers were placing their bets on future revenues. While Hearst’s purchase of the Hachette brands was the biggest strictly magazine deal of the year, it was nevertheless a relative anomaly. Straight magazine deals on a large scale were almost non-existent and may become a rarity going forward if some industry observers are proven correct. Instead, e-commerce, events, marketing services and digital deals were more the norm as publishers looked for tuck-ins to create an instant revenue source to shore up a flat advertising market.

Looking back on 2011, our list includes some big deals alongside others that represented significant milestones for some companies and brands, as well as some smaller deals that were noteworthy in their own right or intersected the magazine industry, such as Glam’s purchase of the Ning community platform or AOL’s acquisition of Huffington Post.

Read and learn more about the deals (the deals details [buyers, sellers, prices, etc.] are given as links under the heading 'properties' at end of featured article.

The WWB (Writers Welcome Blog) is available on Kindle :)))

Friday, March 16, 2012

The New Query Letter is Actually a Publishing Experience --- And it's Global

Self-Publishing Is The New Query
I have posted several times prior RE bypassing the old 'submit your manuscript (MS) to publishers and hurry up and wait, wait, wait for a response' and just go ahead and self-publish your MS on venues that will not only get your work read (and critiqued) but also read by editors looking for new talent!

Tonight I'm giving out a new self-publishing venue I discovered that sounds pretty good for accomplishing these goals.

Introducing Danish online startup Movellas. More by Tarmo Virki of Reuters:

Next star authors could be found online

For novelists, the days of sending manuscripts to dozens of publishers and anxiously awaiting a reply may soon be over.

Thousands of writers who use online literature networks like teen-friendly Movellas or Penguin's Book Country, are already receiving instant feedback, altering texts on a whim and having their work read by the public no matter what a publisher thinks.

The internet has torn down the walled gardens of a previously closed industry as anyone can publish their texts with a few clicks -- a change which is also creating demand for industry newcomers.

"Publishers don't want the same to happen to them that happened to the music industry," said Per Larsen, chief executive of Danish online startup Movellas. "They know the publishing business model has been broken."

The recording industry has seen an explosion in online piracy take an enormous amount of money out of their pockets with the widespread illegal downloading of music, which used to be available only on CDs, tapes, records, etc...

At the same time, the music industry is also seeing some bands recording their own music and putting it out directly over the Internet, cutting out the big labels in the middle.

Movellas aims to stand out among rivals with its global approach and focus on teenagers who are entering the world of creative writing through its network.

"We want to be the Number One community in the world for identifying new talent," Larsen said.

Already tens of thousands of texts are published monthly on the site by young writers like Ebonie Mather, a 19-year old from Hertfordshire in Britain, who has published mostly poems on the site.

"I'd love to be a writer," she said, adding that the constructive feedback was helping her to develop.

Read and learn more

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Independent Publisher Gives Insider View of Amazon's Rustling

Curt Matthews, CEO of IPG
(Independent Publishers
Tonight I post an independent book publisher's view on the current, legal, wrangling clusterfuck playing out RE Amazon and the internal ramifications to his very business. A good insider's view.

Please read my yesterday's post Is the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division Allowing the Buying of Publishing Monopolies? for more background. 

Chicago Tribune reporter, Corilyn Shropshire, says:

The little guys stand up to Amazon

Book distributor IPG fights for say in e-book pricing

Curt Matthews is pushing back.

The chief executive of the Chicago-based Independent Publishers Group is up against an almost insurmountable force, Amazon.com. The online retailer rakes off half the cover price of IPG's e-books and is demanding an even larger share. For now, Matthews isn't budging.

"This fight was going to happen," said Matthews, a soft-spoken, bearded and bespectacled man who once taught 19th-century American literature at Northwestern University. "And our judgment was that it was better to have it happen sooner rather than later."

The standoff began late last month when IPG's contract came up for renewal. IPG distributes roughly 50,000 titles for about 400 small publishers, including the best sellers "Outwitting Squirrels'' by Bill Adler and "The Covenant with Black America" edited by Tavis Smiley.

When Matthews balked at what he called tougher terms, Amazon pulled from its website nearly 5,000 of IPG's electronic books. As of Friday, the two sides weren't talking. The stakes are high, said Matthews, who acknowledged concern that without sufficient revenues from e-books, independent publishers eventually could be driven out of business.

"There's not enough money to keep this chain alive, from author to publisher and retailer," Matthews said.

Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

The faceoff between IPG and Amazon is part of a larger battle playing out over who will determine the pricing of e-books, the digital version of books.

E-books have boomed in the five years since Amazon's Kindle debuted. The device allows users to almost instantly download books, and by being first in the market ahead of similar tablet-like machines such as the Nook from Barnes & Noble and the iPad from Apple, analysts say, Amazon's Kindle has claimed 60 percent of the e-reading market.

Read and learn more

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Ghosts of Publishing Future

The Ghosts of Publishing
Future - Guess Who?
Another intriguing true story about a self-publisher. One that addresses the question: Is formal editing necessary for the success of a book? Or, does money trump quality?

This from Anna Baddeley of The Guardian

Ebooks: why it pays to self-publish

Their books may not be of the highest quality, but self-published authors such as Rachel Abbott are the trade's hottest property

At last year's London Book Fair, a well-respected publisher confessed to running away from self-published authors at parties. Everyone laughed. After all, the writer who dares go it alone is one of the last acceptable victims of literary snobbery.

British author Rachel Abbott, whose DIY debut, Only the Innocent, is currently riding high in the Amazon Kindle charts, presumably couldn't give a fig about all that. She claims to have turned down a publishing deal "because it didn't feel right". Since her success, she's been besieged by agents, who must be salivating at the thought of a ready-made fanbase. It will be interesting to see if Abbott gives into temptation and follows the example of fellow Kindle star Kerry Wilkinson, a sports journalist from Lancashire who has signed a six-book deal with Macmillan, and US author Amanda Hocking, who made a fortune from her self-published paranormal novels before signing with the same publisher. In an interview in January, Hocking sounded relieved to have at last received some help with the editing process. "It drove me nuts, because I tried really hard to get things right and I just couldn't. It's exhausting."

Just how hard becomes clear a few sentences into Only the Innocent. Abbott's whodunnit about the murder of a man with a fetish for red-haired women is entertaining enough, but it's crying out for a second pair of eyes.

Read and learn more

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

BookBaby's 'A Guide for Self-Publishing'

Get Published Now!
Many out there trying to navigate the maze of self-publishing today may find this free series a good resource and reference.

From BookBaby.com:

First in an ongoing series of inside secrets

from indie authors who have made it big!

Get it here :)))

The Writers Welcome Blog is available on Kindle :)