- In his attempts to rehabilitate the term “midlist,” the proprietor of Book Angst wonders when it “cease[d] to mean ‘dependable seller’ (similar in this way to ‘backlist’), as it had for generations?” I’m going with March 22, 2004.
- Jeff Bezos tells Wired‘s editor-in-chief that Amazon’s “search inside” feature, which allows customers to perform full-text searches of books, has not detrimentally affected sales. On the contrary, sales of search inside books “are up 9 percent relative to others.” (Via Beatrice.)
- Lawrence Lessig, copyright reform guru, raises a potential stumbling-block for Google in proceeding with its massive new deal to digitize major research libraries’ holdings:
the excitement around Google’s extraordinary plan has obscured a dirty little secret: It is not at all clear that Google and these libraries have the legal right to do what is proposed. For work in the public domain, the right is clear enough. But for work not in the public domain, Google’s right to scan — to copy — whole texts to index is uncertain at best, even if it ultimately makes only snippets available. When permission has been given by the copyright holder, again there’s no problem. But when permission has not been secured, the law is essentially uncertain.
- Do you know your children’s books? Take the Guardian quiz, which includes questions on works from Roald Dahl, Frances Hodgson Burnett, CS Lewis, “Lemony Snicket,” and more.