Today in books and publishing: Bertelsmann buys full stake in Random House Mondadori; manipulating Amazon's new monthly subscriptions; overdue fees waived for canned goods; Macmillan ceases printing dictionaries.
Bertelsmann buys full control over Spanish publisher. Fresh off the announcement that they'll merge Random House and Penguin to create the world's largest publisher, German media giant Bertelsmann has purchased a full stake in Random House Mondadori. The publisher serves Spanish-speaking readers in Spain and Latin America. Random House Mondadori's history stems back to 2001, when Bertelsmann created the fledgling company with 50 percent share holdings. Those days of split ownership are over now, with consolidation fever running high in publishing these days. "Bertelsmann believes in the creative and commercial potential of the book business and, by maximizing its holding in Random House Mondadori, is embracing an opportunity to significantly improve both its position in the Spanish book market and its access to the growing Spanish-language markets of Latin America," says Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe (pictured above, on the right). [GalleyCat]
As long as Amazon's offering monthly Prime subscriptions, you might as well take advantage of it. The holidays are just around the corner, after all. The key perk of an Amazon Prime subscription is the free 2-day shipping. At only $8 dollars a month, you'd only have to buy a handful of books to make that fee worthwhile. If you intend only to get in, haul some discounted titles, and get out, do remember to cancel your account after one month's binge. The monthly fees go up to $17 per month after a honeymoon period. Whatever you do, don't feel too bad about gaming Amazon. If you need a refresher on how little they care about customers, read this horror story about a guy whose account was hacked to the tune of $560. (Spoiler alert: Amazon was not very helpful.) [LifeHacker]