J.K. Rowling is not the average author, given that she has amassed a estimated fortune of £500m from the Harry Potter series and that she can more or less dictate her terms to Hollywood studios and others.
Nonetheless, her new e-book venture Pottermore is a fascinating insight into the shifting balance of power between book publishers, authors and e-book retailers and publishers, led by Amazon’s Kindle platform.
I wrote last July about the impact of the short-lived threat by Andrew Wylie to publish backlist titles from his authors in e-book format without giving the publishers with the physical book rights a share of revenues.
Since then, other agents have jumped on the bandwagon, including Ed Victor, the UK agent, who has established a publishing arm. Read more
Some have attributed Nick Clegg’s proposal to give every British voter a share in the UK’s state-owned banks (floated during a trade visit to Rio de Janeiro) to a combination of jet lag, domestic political calculation and Copacabana sunstroke. But the UK deputy prime minister’s suggestion has a long pedigree – longer than perhaps even he recognises. Read more
The demise of Norwegian electric car pioneer Think Global will drain some of the energy from advocates of electric vehicles.
They should recharge by shifting their view from blueprints of cars and studying instead more comprehensive plans that aim to combine vehicle, infrastructure and services. Read more
JPMorgan Chase this week became the second Wall Street bank after Goldman Sachs to face a large fine and a stiff warning over its sales of mortgage-backed bonds in the last days of the housing bubble in spring 2007. Others are to come, perhaps including Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup.