Middle-Eastern refugees rely on inexpensive smartphones

By Chris Meadows
September 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

The plight of refugees in Europe has gotten a lot more attention in the last few days, thanks to the tragic story of a Syrian refugee child who drowned off Turkey. Part of that attention extends to the technology those refugees use, and it’s not always positive—some Twitter commentators have [...]

Another VAT MOSS casualty: Schlock Mercenary PDFs

By Chris Meadows
July 31, 2015 // 3 Comments

At Gen Con this evening, I got to spectate as Schlock Mercenary webcomic artist Howard Tayler and several other players took part in a playtest/demonstration session of the upcoming Planet Mercenary RPG. This RPG, financed by Kickstarter, lets players run a band of mercenaries adventuring in the [...]

New report details book and e-book VAT rates around the world

By Chris Meadows
July 22, 2015 // 0 Comments

The International Publishers Association (IPA) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) have released a report (PDF) collecting the VAT rates for print books and e-books in every country that charges them. Publishing Perspectives summarizes the report’s findings, which reveal wide [...]

Stockholm, sunshine, Swedish literature, Strindberg, … and Nobel Prizes

By Paul St John Mackintosh
July 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

I’m in sunny (right now) Sweden, home of the Swedish Academy (whose Nobel Museum is pictured above), of Pippi Longstocking, of August Strindberg, of the Millennium trilogy, of The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, and a whole lot else of great literary and cultural merit. I’ll add more [...]

Hungary’s very wonderful National Book Week

By Paul St John Mackintosh
June 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Hungary is a fiercely proud nation with a distinctive literature, thanks to its unique and ferociously difficult language. And the annual spring National Book Week is a correspondingly important event in the calendar. This year’s National Book Week, running June 4th-8th, was the 86th, and [...]

EIBF launches #mynextread campaign and hashtag

By Paul St John Mackintosh
January 22, 2015 // 0 Comments

The European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the “non-commercial European and International umbrella association representing national Booksellers’ Associations and booksellers over the world,” has just launched the My Next Read (#mynextread) campaign, inviting [...]

Break up Google?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 2, 2014 // 0 Comments

Headlines got duly grabbed by the non-binding vote in the European Parliament calling on the European Commission, currently still in a long-running anti-trust investigation against Google, to demand the separation of the search giant’s commercial businesses from its web search engines. The [...]

Lithuania sees campaign launch to restore banned LGBT book

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 1, 2014 // 0 Comments

Lithuanians have started a campaign to restore a banned book, Gintarinė širdis (“Amber Heart”) by local author Neringa Dangvydė to circulation. which includes same-sex relationships and other LGBT themes, to circulation after its banning in May by the Lithuanian Office of the Inspector of [...]

Diane Duane holds Cyber Monday sale; may have to close e-book store

By Chris Meadows
November 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

Diane Duane’s e-book store is running a 50% off sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. All e-books in the store are half-off, no discount code required. But as Duane explains in a blog post, this could very well be her last Cyber Monday sale, because of the new VAT MOSS regulations coming into [...]

New European VAT law could threaten small e-businesses

By Chris Meadows
November 29, 2014 // 4 Comments

New European Union regulations regarding value-added taxes (a sort of European equivalent of sales tax) will take effect January 1, 2015 that could cause problems for businesses selling electronic goods and services. Referred to as VAT MOSS (for “Mini One-Stop Shop,” the web portal each member [...]

The literary cafes of Madrid – great venues in a great literary city

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 23, 2014 // 0 Comments

Madrid – cradle of the Spanish Golden Age, birthplace of Pedro Salinas, José de Echegaray and José Ortega y Gasset, a city so devoted to literature that it has an entire district dedicated to it, the Barrio de las Letras, containing the residences of Miguel de [...]

Cause for concern for copyright holders over EU DG Market Commission roles?

By Paul St John Mackintosh
September 12, 2014 // 0 Comments

Some alarmed articles have been put about about the transfer of the European Commission copyright portfolio to Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, German Guenther Oettinger, who inherits this from the Internal Market & Services Directorate General (DG Market) arm, where it was [...]

Bertelsmann leaves the club as retail book arm closes

By Paul St John Mackintosh
July 7, 2014 // 0 Comments

Gerrman media giant Bertelsmann, part owner with Pearson of Big Five behemoth Penguin Random House, is reportedly closing its direct-to-consumer book sales business in Europe, Der Club, and its few retail bookstore premises. According to the Wall Street Journal report, “The company’s [...]

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