Category Archives: Articles by Richard

Occasional articles and commentary by our publisher on his personal view of the book business and related topics.

Amazon as The Terminator

In recent days the Internet has been abuzz with discussions of Amazon’s decision to reverse its position on sales taxes. Until very recently, Amazon has refused to collect and pay sales taxes wherever it operates. It has used provisions in US law regarding needing to have a (physical) “presence” in a state before sales tax collection and remittance is required. In Europe it established its business presence in Liechtenstein to avoid paying taxes in the EU and last year paid no UK tax on sales to UK customers valued at £3.3-billion.

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The eBooks Launch

We began contracting with online retailers late last year, and at the same time contracted for access to what is known as a Digital Asset Management server — a web server which could hold our ebooks and make them available as appropriate to our retail partners. All that is now in place and we are moving books onto the server.

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Preparing eBooks

Anyone who tells you that making an ebook from a print book is “simple” is probably trying to sell you something. This is especially true for nonfiction books like the ones we produce. In working towards our launch of ebooks this week, we have learned a lot and experienced more than a little pain in the learning.

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Goodbye to Internet Explorer 6

Effective January, 2012, none of the CD-ROMs or digital download kits we produce will support Internet Explorer version 6. They may work with IE6, or they may not; we are no longer investing the (considerable) time and effort required to provide compatibility.

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No More Borders

As you may have read, the Borders bookstore chain finally entered liquidation proceedings after a protracted period of trying to stay viable through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding. Borders was, after Barnes & Noble, the second-largest retail bookstore chain in the United States, with about 11,000 employees.

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Shop Changes

Over the weekend of July 9th and 10th we updated our web store. As I write this (Monday 11th) some changes continue to be made, but the big changes are already in place. We are working towards the launch of ebooks very soon, and many of the changes we have made to our store anticipate that.

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Will Curiosity Kill the Social Media Cat?

At first, Facebook was this great place to connect with friends; especially those friends I hadn’t seen in years. I was curious. What happened to that girl from high school I used to sit with in science class, together mockingly calling our teacher The Bald Eagle, thinking he wouldn’t pick up on what we meant? What about that guy I dated years ago; could I have a quick peek at his profile and then block him so he can’t find me?

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