News Bits and Bytes 10-21-2011

On the self-publishing front, three of the so-called “Big Six” publishers announce plans to give authors access to sales data. Melville Books calls it war with Amazon.

Why else is this important? Well, back in the spring, authors’ sales data and royalty statements were somewhat of an issue, as Kristine Kathryn Rusch indicates in her piece on book royalties and the follow-up update.   (Note: I haven’t heard of any updates on this story – If anyone has, please share in the comments.)

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If you have privacy concerns about the Amazon Kindle Fire’s new Silk browser, this article from the EFF should interest you.

NY Times Best Sellers List Finally Includes eBooks

Another the times they are a-changin’ moment: As of today, the New York Times Best Seller list finally includes ebooks. Given the fact that ebook sales have now outpaced both hardcover  and paperback  sales, it’s about time.

Unfortunately, though, if you read the list, all of the qualifications and exceptions at the bottom of the list are somewhat disheartening. And if you sell your title exclusively at Amazon or Smashwords, you won’t make the list (at least for the time being) because:

E-books available exclusively from a single vendor will be tracked at a future date.

Also excluded are:

Among the categories not actively tracked at this time are: perennial sellers, required classroom reading, textbooks, reference and test preparation guides, journals, workbooks, calorie counters, shopping guides, comics, crossword puzzles and self-published books.

That means no J. A. Konrath,  no Amanda Hocking,  no–well, no anybody who isn’t with a traditional publisher. No matter how many books they sell. Even if they sell more books than the ones listed on the New York Times list.

But, hey, it’s a start, right? What do you think?