The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Apple is appealing a judge’s ruling last year that it broke antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices. The appeal, filed Tuesday, called U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote’s decision “a radical departure from modern antitrust law and policy” that would “stifle innovation, chill competition, and harm consumers.” The company said it was ignorant of any conspiracy, claiming, “Apple had no knowledge that the publishers were engaged in a conspiracy in December 2009 or at any other point.” In her July ruling, Cote wrote: “The evidence is overwhelming that Apple knew of the unlawful aims of the conspiracy,” and worked with five major publishers to fix prices. Bloomberg News reports that a spokeswoman for the Justice Department said the government would file a response in May.
- The Relentless Award, a $45,000 playwriting prize founded in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman, will be funded by The National Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Incorporated. It’s part of a settlement deal after the Enquirer ran a false report days after Hoffman’s death claiming the actor had an affair with playwright David Katz. The Enquirer quoted Katz as saying that he and Hoffman were lovers and had used cocaine together. However, Katz said he had never spoken to the paper and filed a libel lawsuit. He told The New York Times, “The issue was never me being outraged at being accused of being gay — we’re theater guys, who cares? The issue was lying about the drugs, that I would betray my friend by telling confidences.”
- Emily Gould writes about being broke in an essay in the new collection MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction, excerpted in Medium: “It took me a while to realize that my book had failed. No one ever told me point-blank that it had. It was more like the failure occurred in tiny increments over the course of two years, after which it was too late to develop a solid Plan B.”
- Stephen Jones and R. L. Stine will receive lifetime achievement awards from the Horror Writers Association for their “profound, positive impact on the fields of horror and dark fantasy.” The awards will be given out on May 10 during the Bram Stoker Awards banquet.
- For Morning Edition, NPR’s Lynn Neary reports on the recent VIDA count, which tracks gender balance in literary publications. She interviewed New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul, who said of the Times’ excellent gender balance, “It is not hard work at all. That’s the big secret — it’s not hard! There are so many good books by women and there are so many incredibly good book critics out there that are women.”
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