Welcome to this week’s Buzz Worthy News! Books sellers settle with DOJ to compensate consumers, Author Solutions hits out at fraudulent accounts, The BIC pen for women takes over Amazon, and Sue Grafton gets some heat. All this and much, much more. Read on to find out everything that’s been happening in the book world this week.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly Monday news post. Bringing you all the most interesting, relevant and fun news from the publishing and book blogging world.
Buzz Worthy News
Publishers Get Ready to Pay Up to Consumers
Hachette, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster have agreed to settle with 49 US States, The District of Columbia and four US territories. The settled amount reaches the awesome amount of 69 million dollars. Oh yeah, that’s right, baby. 69 million dollars!
The settlement has to be agreed upon by the court. The sum, divided up amongst the three publishing houses also includes fees and and the costs that the publishers have to pay. Consumers who purchased ebooks between 1st April 2010- 21st May 2012 will be refunded based on what kind of book they purchased. Ultimately, consumers won’t see much money.
Macmillan and Penguin refused to settle so the agreement doesn’t seem likely to make it through the court.
The book, written by the pseudonym Mark Owen, has been threatened with legal action by the Pentagon. The book is a firsthand account of the raid that killed Bin Laden. However, apparently the book is in violation of two non-disclosure agreements that the soldier signed in 2007 regarding the disclosure of classified information.
The book is due for release this week, but was not vetted by any government agencies to ensure that no secrets were revealed.
The Pentagon has sent a strongly worded letter to the author, though has not disclosed the agreements signed in order to protect his identity.
The letter was signed by Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel.
“You are in material breach and violation of the non-disclosure agreements you signed.”
“The department of defence is considering pursuing against you, and all those acting in concert with you, all remedies legally available to us in light of this situation.”
“Further public dissemination of your book will aggravate your breach and violation of your agreements.”
Mark Owen released the following statement via his publisher: “with respect for my fellow service members while adhering to my strict desire not to disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way.”
The self-publishing company Author Solutions is removing fake social media accounts under the name “Jared Silverstone” after copywriter and editor Emily Seuss blew that popsicle stand right out of the water. Using an iStock photo and creating a fictional person for PR? Seems legit. The company replied saying:
“At Author Solutions we take our social media activities very seriously, and we are committed to following industry best practices. The manner in which the accounts were set up is not supported by our company-wide social media policy, and in no way is condoned by our company. We are taking appropriate action and we are in the process of removing the content from social media accounts.”
Just when you thought you’d seen it all in fan fiction, Amazon UK customers responded to Bic’s “for her” Amber Medium Ballpoint Pen by writing up their own short stories, shedding light on the absurdity of the idea of a pen specifically designed for women. Because nothing screams “I’m a woman!” like a pink pen that’s stocked in the tampon isle of your grocery store.
Apparently, it does not come with a warning label for men as seen in this review:
Normally my hand writing is defined and strong, as if chiselled in granite by the Greek gods themselves, however upon signing my name I noticed that my signature was uncharacteristically meandering and looping. More worryingly the dots above the I’s manifested themselves as hearts, and I found myself finishing off the signature with a smiley face and kisses. Obviously I had no choice but to challenge the delivery man to a gun fight on the rim of an erupting volcano in order to reassert my dominance. Had I not won this honourable duel this particular mistake might have resulted in a situation that no amount of expensive single malt whiskey and Cuban cigars could banish. I leave this review here as a warning to all men about the dangers of using this particular device, and suffice-it-to-say will return to signing my name with a nail gun as normal.
After bestselling crime novelist Sue Grafton made a few unsavory comments about self-publishing, saying ”that’s as good as admitting you’re too lazy to do the hard work” and that they are ”often amateurish,” the self-published community was angered.
Self-published thriller author Adam Coft responded:
“Self-publishing means finding your own proofreader, finding your own editor, finding your own cover designer (or designing your own), doing all your own marketing and sales work, etc. Having a publisher is lazy as all you need to do is write a half-acceptable book and allow your publisher’s editor to make it sales-worthy. Self-publishers must do it all – we have no one else to pick up the slack.”
Grafton later apologized for her remarks with the following statement:
“It’s clear to me now that indie writers have taken more than their fair share of hard knocks and that you are actually changing the face of publishing. Who knew?! This is a whole new thrust for publication that apparently everyone has been aware of except yours truly. I still don’t understand how it works, but I can see that a hole has been blasted in the wall, allowing writers to be heard in a new way and on a number of new fronts,” she said. “I will take responsibility for my gaffe and I hope you will understand the spirit in which it was meant. I have always championed both aspiring writers and working professionals. I have been insulated, I grant you, but I am not arrogant or indifferent to the challenges we all face. I am still learning and I hope to keep on learning for as long as I write.”