From Guardian Unlimited: Authors and agents have been waiting nervously to see if a big publisher would attempt to grab hold of the long tail. This week Simon and Schuster in the US has emerged as that publisher, with a new provision in its contracts to retain copyright in all works that exist in its electronic database – whether or not the work remains in print. The company will no longer have to hold copies in its warehouse to qualify as the publisher of those works. The Authors Guild is advising authors not to sign.
Writer Beware had something to say about it, too.
From The New York Times: When predicting which candidate is likely to win an election, what a movie will make at the box office or how much the price of oil will fluctuate, the guesses of a crowd can be remarkably accurate. But can crowds predict whether a book will succeed? That is the hope of the founders of Media Predict (www.MediaPredict.com), a virtual market beginning today [5/21], and Simon & Schuster, a publisher that plans to select a book proposal based on bets placed by traders in the new market. [Read more…]