In another tactical move to keep its publishing costs from rising, Pandora has filed a motion with the ASCAP rate court, making the case that publishers looking to cut their own direct deals with Pandora are in fact bound by the ASCAP consent decree and cannot withdraw their digital rights from the performance rights organization.

According to sources familiar with the filing, Pandora is asking the judge to rule on whether publishers like Universal, BMG Chrysalis and Warner/Chappell, which have all filed a revocable notice with ASCAP of their intention to withdraw certain limited “New Media” rights as of July 1, are in fact obligated to keep those digital rights at ASCAP for the purposes of Pandora licensing.

While sources say Universal and BMG are withdrawing their digital rights from ASCAP on July 1, Warner/Chappell has yet to reveal what it will do on that date.

Motivate Publishing relaunches its online bookshop

Relaunched this month with a brand new design and a more user-friendly interface to enhance customer experience,, the online bookshop of Motivate Publishing, will also offer 15% discount on all Motivate titles.

Based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and London, Motivate Publishing is one of the Middle East’s longest-established and most successful publishing companies. In over 25 years of book publishing, Motivate has captured and chronicled the many evolving faces of the region through a wide range of titles, establishing its unrivalled reputation as an end-to-end publisher of books of superior quality.

Motivate’s books portfolio currently stands at more than 300 titles. These range from coffee-table books and cookbooks to business publications and autobiographies. Arabian culture and heritage feature heavily in Motivate’s collection, offering an awe-inspiring journey through the Gulf and the wider Arab world.

Google ends standoff with French publishers, commits to €60 million ‘innovation’ fund

Google has announced plans to establish a €60 million (roughly $82 million USD) Digital Publishing Innovation Fund that it says will help French media sites “make the most of the web.” In a Google Blog post from Eric Schmidt, the chairman spins the large investment in a positive light, insisting his company plans to help spur an increase in AdSense revenue for news publishers — who have taken issue with Google displaying their headlines and snippets of stories in search results. Today’s arrangement, which Schmidt also announced publicly with President Hollande of France, brings an end to the high-profile rift.

Amazon Publishing Signs Fan Fiction Agreements With Comic Book Publisher, Authors

Amazon  Publishing has expanded again. This week the company announced it has secured licenses for its new publishing platform, Kindle Worlds, with comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment and four best-selling authors: Hugh Howey, Barry Eisler, Blake Crouch and Neal Stephenson.

Under the license terms, any writer will be allowed to create and sell fan fiction from Valiant’s comic book library, including Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, and Shadowman. Writers can also earn royalties creating works based on Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga, Barry Eisler’s John Rain novels, and Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines Series. 

Writers will be able to sell their fan fiction through Amazon Kindle Worlds, which launched last month. Under the terms, authors will be paid a standard royalty rate of 35% of profits for works of at least 10,000 words.


10 Statistics Magazine Publishers Should Keep in Mind

Creating a successful future for digital magazines means you need to be able to pay attention to three unique trends at the same time: technology, age, and attention. Open just about any website these days and you will find more research, recommendations, and data on these three areas than you might know what to do with. It is a sea of statistics.

One positive note is that there is some stability for our world. The content magazine publishers create is, and will continue to be, the one constant we can count on. After all, it is the high-quality content that creates the core of the magazine brand. But once you decide to take that content into the digital world, everything changes.

Cut through the sea of data and get focused on the top 10 statistics that you need to consider when building your publishing strategies in the digital arena. But keep up, because these statistics change about every nine months as consumer behavior and technology choices change. So keep refreshing these stats and your outreach strategy to ensure you are reaching the right audience on the right device at the right time.

The top 10 statistics for driving publishing success are:

Polly Courtney: ‘Now I’m back to self-publishing, I’ve regained control’

In the first of our series showcasing the best in self-publishing, Polly Courtney explains how, after falling out with her publisher over their ‘chick-lit’ branding of her novels, she decided to go it alone. The result is her new novel, Feral Youth

You achieved the dream of many a would-be author when you were signed up by HarperCollins. Why are you self-publishing your new book?

When I signed with HarperCollins, I thought “Great! This is the golden ticket I’ve been waiting for!” I thought it would be a great collaboration between me and the publisher, given my success self-publishing my first two novels. The reality was a big disappointment. The publisher seemed intent on pushing my books into pre-existing moulds (“misery lit”, “chick lit”) that didn’t reflect the contents.