Wow, sun is actually pouring across the lawn and into the living room. Pouring. I’m seeing colours in my house that I haven’t seen since last summer. It makes it look like spring out there. So I’m going to scramble into some can-be-seen-in-public clothes and get myself to the park. Then K and I will have lunch.

To entertain you meanwhile, here are a few bits of publishing news.

One from about Amazon tightening the screws on the competition. “Amazon’s newest shot to keep e-book prices low and to develop more original content is a new royalty program that will give authors and publishers who use the company’s self-publishing Kindle Digital Text Platform a much higher rate that standard royalties. Under the program, which goes into affect June 30, authors or publisher who choose the new 70% royalty option will receive 70% of list price, net of delivery costs on all e-books sold. The new option will be in addition to the existing DTP standard royalty option.”

One from Mike Shatzkin who explains how the big disruption ahead in ereading isn’t going to be Apple’s iSlate/Unicorn, but the agreement they’re hamming out with the Big Six (the huge trade publishers: Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Macmillan) which will change the rules for the rest of us. “If the reporting by Publishers Lunch today is accurate (and I’ve never known it not to be), publishers may have used the entry of Apple into the ebook arena as an opportunity to change the entire paradigm of ebook distribution for major books. And while the great excitement about Apple and ebooks has been based on hopes that the new Apple Tablet that the world expects to be announced next week will add a lot of new ebook consumers, the change in the sales protocols will probably have a much more profound impact on the ebook market than the device. Or at least that’s how it looks from here.”

And finally, a nice piece of news, again from, about how young people’s book-reading is staying steady, showing no decline. Yay! “A new report released by the Kaiser Family Foundatioin on media usage found some relatively good news for book publishers amid findings that generally determined that 8-to-18 year-olds are consuming more digital media than ever. According to Generation M, total media usage by that age group rose to seven hours and 38 minutes per day in 2009 from six hours and 21 minutes in 2004. Time spent with digital media rose in all categories, while the use of print media fell from an average of 43 minutes per day in 2004 to 38 minutes in 2009. The decline in reading print was due entirely to young people spending less time with magazines and newspapers over the last five years, while the time spent reading remained steady at about 25 minutes per day.”

Play nicely while I’m gone.