Notes: E-Price Maneuvers; 'Staggering Numbers'
Following the Amazon-Macmillan standoff and Apple's announcement about the impending iPad, "as publishers enter discussions with the Web giant Google about its plan to sell digital versions of new books direct to consumers, they have a little more leverage than just a few weeks ago--at least when it comes to determining how Google will pay publishers for those e-books and how much consumers will pay for them," the New York Times wrote.
Google's proposed terms for Google Editions have been less advantageous to publishers than the new agency plan that Macmillan will implement selling to Amazon. A key additional sticking point: Google's proposal to allow consumers, who would receive e-books on a range of devices of their choice, to print as well as cut and paste parts of the text. Google is reportedly backing down on these points.
The Financial Times offered another take on the Amazon-Macmillan dispute and the book industry's move into e-books.
"Legacy publishers still want bookstores to last as long as possible," Mike Shatzkin, CEO of the Idea Logical Company, said. "Their business model is built on their expertise in navigating that industry."
And Steve Haber, president of Sony's digital reading division, emphasized that a major shift for the industry is occurring, saying, "Once you go digital you don't go back."
Supply of Barnes & Noble's nook e-reader has caught up with demand. The device will be available in "the majority" of B&N stores beginning this week. When the company introduced the nook late last year, it ran out of devices and there were delays in fulfillment.
B&N is promoting the now-plentiful nook as "the perfect Valentine's Day gift for anyone who loves reading."
Postings for jobs at Amazon.com make sleuths at the New York Times believe that the company is going to add color screens and wi-fi to some future Kindle products and will not "back down from a fight with Apple and its iPad." Speculation is that Amazon will have separate devices--its current eInk black-and-white e-reader and a color e-reader or a color computer that reads books.
Yen Press is printing 350,000 copies of its graphic novel adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and Dark Horse Comics will print 100,000 copies of Troublemaker!, a graphic novel by Janet Evanovich, which continues her Motor Mouth series--amounts that the New York Times called "staggering initial print runs for graphic novels."
Troublemaker! is geared both for Evanovich's current fans as well as graphic novel fans. "We thought it was a great opportunity to expand the readership of graphic novels," said Michael Martens, v-p for business development at Dark Horse.
How about a Bud Light and a nice book? Don't count on that combination
gaining popularity any time soon after the airing of the beer company's
Super Bowl ad "mocking book clubs, male readers, female readers, and
book reading in general. The ad shows a couple fun-loving beer drinkers
crashing a book club, playing with all sorts of stereotypes about
American readers," as GalleyCat put it.
Sarah Bedell, owner of Bookworm, West Hartford, Conn., will close her
shop, which "has been a fixture in town since 1973," by the end of the
month, the Courant
reported. Bedell "said concerns about her health, and not
the faltering economy, prompted her recently to decide to retire after
nearly 37 years in the business she said she still loves."
The Merced, Calif., Sun-Star profiled Nancy Smith, the owner of Second Time Around Used Books, which she acquired after original owner Jim Barnett died last summer.
"I've lived in Merced for 20 years, and it seemed like a good opportunity to buy the store," Smith said.
Book trailer of the day: The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Love and Faith by Stephanie Saldaña (Doubleday).
In the San Diego area, independent booksellers may be
facing perilous times, "but the passion of their owners, along with
unwavering optimism and the ability to adapt just might stave off
extinction, SanDiego.com reported.
"It may sound hopelessly idealistic, and maybe it is, but to me, a good bookstore is somewhere between a business and church," said Craig Maxwell, owner of Maxwell's House of Books, La Mesa. "It's not exactly place of worship, but it's not just a business either."