What does the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Apple (s AAPL), Penguin, Macmillan, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins mean for authors? Richard Russo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls, will talk about that and much more at paidContent 2012: At The Crossroads, including his decision to publish his upcoming collection of short stories only in print, and how e-books and consolidation are changing the dynamics on the creative side of publishing.
Russo isn’t anti e-book, but he has been outspoken about his concerns over Amazon’s (s AMZN) low-price strategy and the effect it can have on bookstores (his daughter is a bookseller). He’s a new member of The Authors Guild board, working with Scott Turow and others to lobby publicly about this and other issues.
From his op-ed in The New York Times reacting to the Amazon holiday offer to beat bricks-and-mortar prices:
Nearly two years ago, the Macmillan publishing group adopted a new sales model that would cost Macmillan in the short run, but allow other companies to enter or remain in the e-book market without having to take a loss on every sale. Amazon’s response to more competition? They refused to sell not merely Macmillan’s e-books, but nearly every physical book Macmillan published. Amazon eventually backed down, but its initial response helped shape a widespread sense that it envisions a world in which there will be no other booksellers or publishers, a world where, history suggests, Amazon may not use its power benignly or for the benefit of literary culture.
Now Macmillan is one of the publishers being sued by the U.S. government — and CEO John Sargent is already promising a big fight.
We’ll also explore other facets of the changing publishing landscape at paidContent 2012, including how some are using the combination of low-cost technology, the influx of new reading devices and social marketing to challenge the Macmillans of the word for reader money and attention. Book publishing isn’t just for publishers anymore.
Register today to join us at The TimesCenter in New York on May 23rd for paidContent 2012 and take part in a day-long conversation about the best ways to create, distribute and make money from content. The full list of confirmed speakers is here, with more to come. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, please contact [email protected].