Today in books and publishing: A possible settlement between some of the Big Six publishers and the Department of Justice, Pottermore sold an estimated $1.5 million in e-books in its first three days, and a depressing look at an Amazon fulfillment center.
Talks about a possible settlement between publishers and the government stemming from the Department of Justice's e-book price-fixing probe are reportedly "quicken[ing]." Under the terms of the proposed settlement, existing contracts between publishers and e-book vendors would be cancelled, and Amazon would be allowed to discount their prices further, which is good news for people who like cheap books. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple still isn't on-board with the possible settlement, and Macmillan and Penguin are also disinclined to settle. [The Wall Street Journal]
J.K. Rowling -- already a very rich lady -- has become considerably richer since Pottermore went live. Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne (great Harry Potter name) says that the site sold more than £1 million worth of e-books in its first three days. Since the first three books in the series are selling for $7.99 in the Pottermore shop, with the final four installments going for $9.99, Paid Content notes that if you assume "an average price of $9.13, that means around 164,000 copies were sold in the first three days." Which means Rowling and Co. raked in close to $1.5 million in 72 hours. Not bad for an oft-delayed project built around selling people books that they almost certainly already own. [Paid Content]