HarperCollins became the third major publisher in two days to make the decision to delay e-book publication of selected titles in 2010. Simon & Schuster and Hachette had made a similar announcement earlier (Shelf Awareness, December 9, 2009).
Brian Murray, CEO HarperCollins, told the Wall Street Journal that beginning in January or February, the publisher "will delay the e-book publication of five to 10 new hardcover titles each month. The delays are expected to range from four weeks to six months, depending on the book."
"We're going to experiment with this," Murray said. "Each new e-book represents a potential new marketing opportunity at a time when we need every possible hook to get consumer attention."
The Journal also reported that John Makinson, Penguin Group's CEO, is monitoring the current situation. "We may undertake trial pricing, and defer publication from time to time, but we won't systematically delay the publication of e-books," he said.
Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, Wash., has found space in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and will move from Pioneer Square next spring, according to a letter from owner Peter Aaron on the store's website.
The new space has slightly more selling space than the store's current location, will have a cafe and offers ample parking below street level and in a nearby parking lot. The building, which dates from 1918, "has the fir floor--complete with creaks--we're used to treading, and gorgeous high wood ceiling--including massive wood beams--and skylights," Aaron wrote. "While no space could exactly duplicate the charm of the original store, I can promise that the new building will offer a warm, comfortable and cozy environment that will be true to the beautiful place Walter Carr founded on Main Street."
He added: "When I first became involved in the ownership of Elliott Bay eleven years ago, it was because I believed fervently that this gem, which had been 'my' bookstore since I first moved here twenty-seven years ago, was worth saving--that it was a precious asset that must and, in fact, could flourish in this city--if anywhere on earth. Since that time I have done my best to be a faithful steward in preserving both the spirit and the body of this unique place which has been built and nourished cooperatively by the generations of booksellers who have worked here over the years and the book-lovers who have supported us--here in Seattle, across the country and indeed around the world. I'm inexpressibly grateful for that ongoing support--and most especially for the outpouring of concern and commitment we've received in recent months. We're committed to doing everything in our power to continue to earn your patronage and support."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says non to Google. During a public roundtable meeting this week, Sarkozy "said digitisation of books would be one of the projects financed by a planned national loan, which is due to pump billions of euros into strategic investments in 2010," according to Reuters.
"We won't let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is," he observed without mentioning Google by name. "We are not going to be stripped of what generations and generations have produced in the French language, just because we weren't capable of funding our own digitisation project."
In the wake of this week's closing announcement by Lambda Rising (Shelf Awareness, December 7, 2009), Project Q Atlanta cautioned: "Never take ATL's Outwrite, Charis for granted.... Stop and imagine what gay Atlanta would be like without the shelves and shelves of LGBT-specific books, not to mention the core LGBT meeting places provided by Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse and Charis Books & More."
"When you support an independent business, a gay business, a gay bookstore, it puts more than the dollars back into the community," said Outwrite's owner, Philip Rafshoon. "Our staff is passionate about what they do, and passionate about the community. They believe not just in independent bookstores, but in building a strong community here."
Sara Look, co-owner of Charis, observed, "As a lesbian-owned feminist bookstore, we’re going to find specialized books that others simply don't have or are hard to find. Even as big-name publishers are starting to print LGBTQ titles, it doesn't mean the chains aren't stocking them."
Both stores emphasize the importance of community, even in the social networking world. "Take away the gay bookstores, bars and newspapers, and you’re stuck with the Internet," Rafshoon said, adding that Internet users are still alone when they’re on the computer.
"Shopping local, shopping gay businesses, shopping gay bookstores puts strength in the community that is tangible and recognizable. Case closed," Rafshoon concluded.
A profile of Robin's Books and Moonstone Arts Center, Philadelphia, Pa., in the Hawk--Saint Joseph's University's student newspaper--called the city's "oldest independent bookstore still committed to open exchange of ideas, despite financial troubles."
Larry Robin, who owns the bookshop that was opened in 1936 by his grandfather, said his business has been affected by all the usual suspects, including online retailers, but "he'll continue finding new ways to keep the language and ideas flowing until he dies."
Paul Hogan, used and remainder book buyer for Robin's Books, observed that Robin "is a principled and very stubborn man who has kept the bookstore, and all the events and programs, alive with sheer willpower and dedication to an ideal."
Rumors about the impending debut of a game-changing tablet from Apple, which may or may not alter the e-reader universe, continue to circulate. AppleInsider offered the latest recap.
Also from the e-book reading newswire, Computerworld suggested that Amazon's Kindle may be winning the battle, but Adobe is "poised to win e-book war," noting that "Adobe announced that more than 100 publishers, book retailers and libraries are using Adobe's Content Server 4 software to deliver encryptable e-books via the two formats favored by Adobe: PDF and ePub. These include 17 e-book reader manufacturers who have licensed the Adobe Reader Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) to enable their readers to display PDF and ePub-formatted e-books."
The San Jose Mercury News featured a best books for kids holiday guide: "Gifts that last definitely would include books that may be treasured by youngsters for many a repeat reading."
The Guardian, which has been taking on the brave task of showcasing the best books of the "noughties," jumped into more treacherous waters by asking: "What were your worst books of the decade?"
The runaway bestseller success of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and subsequent film adaptations has inspired filmmakers to revisit the Brontës, who "are back in fashion--with a bit of help from Bella Swan. New films of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre will shoot next spring, and a script about the teenage fantasies of the four Brontë siblings is in the works," according to the Guardian.
Amazon.com and Penguin Group are sponsoring the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award,
and this time the competition will feature two grand prizes: one for
general fiction and one for best young adult novel. In addition, the
2010 contest will be open to previously self-published novels. Writers
with an English-language novel manuscript can submit their work between
January 25 and February 7. The two winners, who will each receive a
publishing contract with Penguin and $15,000 advance, will be named
June 14, 2010.
Lance Fensterman, hired by Reed Exhibitions as BookExpo America show
manager in 2006 and since then promoted to v-p, show manager, is
leaving BEA and becoming group v-p for Reed Exhibitions's pop culture
shows. In the past two years, he had taken on responsibility for New
York Comic Con; Chicago Comic, Entertainment Expo, which makes its
debut in April; and Star Wars Celebration V, which Reed is organizing
in partnership with Lucasfilm. Other pop culture shows now under his
purview include Penny Arcade Expo, Penny Arcade Expo East and the UFC
At the same time, Courtney Muller, group v-p at Reed,
has been promoted to senior v-p, and is overseeing BEA and other Reed
shows. She has been associated with BEA since 1994, when she became a
sales director for the show. She was named v-p and show manager for BEA
Reed Exhibitions is currently looking for a new show manager for BEA.