News & Updates - December 2022

Check out the Policy Advisory Committee's monthly column, "News & Updates," rounding up news and articles of importance to writers.


Legal News

Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster

Judge Florence Pan has ruled against this merger, expressing monopoly concerns if the merger is allowed. Because the merger failed, due to the judge’s ruling, PRH is required to honor their agreement with Paramount to pay them a termination fee of $200M. 

Publishing Activities


HarperCollins Union workers are still on strike and a group of 172 agents have sent a letter to HC to inform them they are in support of the Union. A group of authors are preparing a letter to HC informing them of same. 

Keep in mind, your submissions and contract negotiations could experience delays. 

Entangled Red Tower Books

Entangled’s Red Tower Books, a new adult fiction imprint focused on romantic fantasy and science fiction, first appeared in our digital pages almost a month ago with the acquisition of Rebecca Yarros’s new adult fantasy Fourth Wing, but now the company has provided full details. 

Molly Majumder is editorial director, and the company says the line “will champion feminist and empowered perspectives in the fantasy and science fiction space, while also enfolding in…romance.” 


Zombie eBook Class Action Lawsuit is revamping by filing a second lawsuit against the big five publishers, alleging they participated in a scheme to monopolize the ebook market. Judge Gregory Woods dismissed the previous case, but without prejudice. 

Amazon – Announces Layoffs in Books, Devices

Though Amazon has not revealed how many layoffs there will be, they have circulated a memo to their employees that a number of positions in the Devices and Books divisions are forthcoming. “This year’s operating planning review” is more difficult due to the fact the economy remains in a challenging spot. 

Amazon’s CEO, Andy Jassy, told employees on Thursday that the company would “eliminate a number of positions” in the Devices and Books divisions. In a memo to staff, he said that this year’s operating planning review “is more difficult due to the fact that the economy remains in a challenging spot and we’ve hired rapidly the last several years.” (Unlike Books, Devices has been a drag on the company, reportedly losing over $5 billion a year.) 

Print Sales Down

The AAP released StatShot data for August from participating publishers, reporting $686 million in trade sales, down (9.8) percent from $760 million last year—when stores had stocked up early for holiday sales due to supply chain issues. The month’s total for this year is well ahead of earlier past years’ numbers—$648 million in 2020 and $602 million in 2019. 

Adult sales were $475 million, a (9.3) percent decline from $523 million in August 2021. Hardcover sales fell (22.1) percent to $129 million and paperback sales were $174 million, down (5.6) percent. Mass market sales were $15 million, a decline of (14.9) percent. 

Digital formats rose overall, with total ebook sales up 2.6 percent to $86.2 million and digital audio up 11.8 percent to $69.2 million. 

Famous Quotes and Advice

"Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window."

-- William Faulkner

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