Friday, 20 April 2012

London Book Fair 2012 | Part One: Dogs and Lawyers

The first of four posts from your correspondent at #LBF2012

Disunited we stand

The 2012 London Book Fair opened with a feeling of uncertainty - and some anger.

As the 25,000 industry visitors from 104 countries pounded the aisles of the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, they absorbed the news that last week the US Department of Justice launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the "Big Six" publishers (Penguin, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group).

The inquiry hinges on the question of whether publishers, at the urging of Steve Jobs, agreed to adopt a new policy in 2010, that in essence coordinated the price of newly released e-books at the price offered in Apple’s iBookstore — typically between $12.99 and $14.99.

So far three of the publishers have settled; whilst Penguin, Macmillan and Apple maintain they have done nothing wrong and have told the DoJ "we'll see you in court".

As Trevor would say....and finally.  Every dog has its day.

English language business:

  • HarperCollins signed three new novels by best-selling writer Cecilia Ahern.
  • Simon & Schuster won out a six-way auction for debut spy novel Treason by former CIA clandestine operations officer Jason Matthews. The agent billed the title as "Tinker Tailor for the Homeland generation". Where can I  buy my copy!
  • As you will no doubt have heard, the title of JK Rowling's first title for adults was revealed - The Casual Vacancy. It will be published by Little, Brown this September.
  • Harvill Secker acquired Black Chalk by Christopher J Yates, a psychological thriller set in New York and Oxford University.
  • Penguin imprint Viking has bought world rights in The Numbers Game, billed as the first big book on football's data revolution, it's "Moneyball meets Freakonomics for football"
  • HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate bought star journalist Hadley Freeman's Be Awesome: Modern Essays from Modern Ladies 
  • Macmillan bought two more two further series from the School of Life - the Great Thinkers series will be collectable pocket guides offering essential life lessons...handy for some of us.
  • Finally - believe it - Uggie, the canine star of silent movie The Artist has sold his rags-to-riches memoir to three publishers the UK, US and France. Harper UK said of their acquisition: "Uggie is enchanting. He has already graced Graham Norton's sofa and appeared on the BBC. We look forward to his author tour and making this the Christmas gift book of 2012. Move over Meerkats"....... 

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