paper trail

Google Books wins class action suit; Italian reality show offers publishing deals

Michiko Kakutani

A New York court has ruled in favor of Google’s argument that scanning more than twenty million books and posting snippets of them online without permission from the authors does not violate the terms of fair use. The ruling is a major victory for Google, and against the group of authors and publishers who filed the class action suit in 2005. The plaintiff, led by the Authors Guild, had been demanding a payment of $750 for each book scanned.

Simon and Schuster is restructuring its production and manufacturing division to “further integrate the design and creation of e-books into the earliest stages of our overall production process.”

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, authors will volunteer at their local bookstores at more than one hundred shops around the country in honor of Small Business Saturday.

Slate catalogs New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani’s overuse of her new favorite phrase, "deeply felt,” with a list of the forty times she’s used it in her columns since 1984.

Some novelists work for years without ever being acknowledged, but in Italy, others might just go on TV. This Sunday will see the premiere of Masterpiece, a new reality TV show in which aspiring authors “vie at literary challenges until one contestant wins a major book deal—and a level of publicity that few novelists achieve over a lifetime of quiet toil.”

Susan Choi, Woody Guthrie, Matthew Reynolds, and Manil Suri are among the seven novelists shortlisted for this year’s “Bad Sex” award. The prize, now in its 21st year, celebrates the “the most embarrassing passage of sexual description in a novel.” The winner will be named on December 3.