Several deals in late September and October highlighted continued expansion and new directions among the top three providers of distribution and client services to independent and small publishers: Perseus Books Group, IPG, and Ingram.
As part of University Press week, November 9–15, the American Association of University Presses broadcast an online panel on Collaboration in Scholarly Publishing via Google Hangouts. Moderated by Jennifer Howard, a senior reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education, the panel featured Peter Dougherty, director of Princeton University Press; Barbara Kline Pope, AAUP president and the executive director for The National Academies Press; and Ron Chrisman, director of the University of North Texas Press.
Amazon and Hachette Book Group have ended the pricing dispute that the two have been waging since spring of 2014. On November 13 they jointly announced a multiyear agreement for ebook and print sales. The new terms will go into effect in early 2015, but Hachette has said that even before that time Amazon will restore its previous supply of Hachette titles and make them available for pre-order, as well as including them in promotions on the site.
On October 20–21, scholarly nonprofit organization ITHAKA held its annual Sustainable Scholarship conference at New York City’s Wyndham Hotel. The event’s theme, “At the Starting Line,” echoed the concerns of many libraries, publishers, and institutions about the demands for change driven by today’s information marketplace.
In three post–Labor Day memos to Penguin Random House (PRH) staff, CEO Markus Dohle detailed the formation of the Penguin Publishing Group, consolidating all Penguin adult trade publishing (Penguin Adult and Berkley/NAL) under one roof. He named Madeline McIntosh, U.S. president and COO of PRH, to head the new entity and said that longtime Penguin president Susan Petersen Kennedy would be leaving at the end of the year.
Over the past 30 years or so , there have been several waves of technological change in the library world. First was the replacement of the card-based catalog and circulation system with the integrated library system (ILS). Second was the replacement of paper journals with electronic databases. Third was the adoption of the PC. Fourth was the rise of the World Wide Web. Fifth was a sort of echo of the first, in which automation reached a little deeper into our processes, replacing manual checkin and checkout with RFID-based self-check and automated materials handling.
As SAGE Publications’ CEO and president Blaise Simqu celebrated his tenth year in the job this August, he was also gearing up for SAGE’s anniversary: the company, founded in 1965 by Sara Miller McCune, turns 50 in 2015. It retains its deep connections to the library and higher education world, both through its journals, which comprise 50 percent of the business, and its textbooks, reference works, and databases, which make up the rest.
In a case that has drawn comparisons to the RoweCom/Faxon Library Services bankruptcy almost 12 years ago, the court of Amsterdam on Friday, September 19 granted Netherlands-based Swets & Zeitlinger Group permission to suspend payments to its creditors, and on Tuesday, September 23 accepted a bankruptcy filing from the group’s subsidiary—global subscription management provider Swets Information Services
Martin Eve is in a good position to spread the word about how open access publishing can benefit the humanities. He is a lecturer on 20th- and 21st-century American fiction at the University of Lincoln in the UK, with an impressive list of journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and professional affiliations. His most recent book, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future, will be published by Cambridge University Press this November. At the moment, however, he is on research leave in order to concentrate on developing his new venture, the Open Library of the Humanities.