Amazon has introduced a second publishing imprint, AmazonCrossing, which will focus on English-language translations of foreign books, using "customer feedback and other data from Amazon sites around the world to identify exceptional books deserving of a wider, global audience," the company said. AmazonCrossing plans to acquire the rights, translate books and introduce them to the English-speaking market through multiple channels and formats, including its own online book and Kindle stores, as well as "national and independent booksellers via third-party wholesalers."
The first title to be published is Tierno Monénembo's The King of Kahel, translated by Nicholas Elliott and scheduled to be released November 2.
"The goal of our publishing programs is to introduce readers to terrific authors they might not otherwise have the chance to know," said Jeff Belle, Amazon's v-p of books. "Our international customers have made us aware of exciting established and emerging voices from other cultures and countries that have not been translated for English-language readers. These great voices and great books deserve a wider audience, and that's why we created AmazonCrossing."
Cool idea of the day: Chelsea Green Publishing has partnered with Scribd and Global Green USA to raise awareness of and money for the Gulf Coast relief efforts. In exchange for a donation, Chelsea Green is offering a free digital copy of Riki Ott's book Not One Drop: Courage and Betrayal in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on Scribd.
"In response to the Gulf oil spill, Global Green is co-chairing the local Green Collaborative--a network of 65 organizations working to build a strong green economy in Louisiana--to assess the greatest needs to help in the clean up, and to support those families devastated by the spill," Ott observed. "Funds will go toward delivering healthy food and support for the fishermen and families whose lives depend on a thriving coastal economy."
A benefit book sale has been scheduled June 4-6 for Phil Wikelund, whose Great Northwest Bookstore was destroyed by fire earlier this month (Shelf Awareness, May 3, 2010). The Oregonian reported that Wikelund "did not have insurance and needs thousands of dollars to cover the cost of clearing the site. Poet and painter Walt Curtis was living at the store and also needs help."
Jill Hinckley, a former owner of Murder By the Book, is organizing the fundraiser. She has set up a website and is soliciting books, volunteers and tables for the sale, which will be held at 3025 S.W. 1st Avenue in Portland.
At the Book Industry Conference in London yesterday, Booksellers Association chief executive Tim Godfray announced that the organization "has signed an agreement for its members to sell Google's e-book system later this year, as well as share its membership data with the search engine," the Bookseller.com reported
"This will have a significant impact on e-book sales for members," he said, adding that Google, as well as Apple and Amazon, will be "hugely influential" in determining how the digital landscape changes in the future. "They should be part of the trade associations and inside the tent. It puts us at a disadvantage not to have companies sitting at a table and working with us to map out what the best way forward."
A mystery developed north of the border this week as independent booksellers in Canada expressed anger "after Indigo Books and Music apparently ignored the official on-sale date for one of the summer's most highly anticipated blockbusters," Quill & Quire reported, adding that none of the indies it contacted had received copies of Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, "but there have been anecdotal reports that the book has been on sale at Indigo and Chapters stores since as early as last Friday, well ahead of the official on-sale date of May 25."
The National Post wrote that Indigo Books & Music not only denied it broke an embargo, but that one even existed for the novel. Janet Eger, Indigo's director of public relations, argued that the book "was not embargoed" and Yvonne Hunter, Penguin Canada's director of publicity and marketing, backed her up, confirming that "the book was not a strict on-sale."
At the Independent Booksellers Forum in London, more than 100 delegates discussed "forging partnerships in pursuit of business growth." The Bookseller.com reported that Emma Milne-White of the Hungerford Bookshop, Berkshire, said "becoming the 'hub' of the community could help indies to prosper. She suggested booksellers should look for events that they could 'piggyback off' including the likes of festivals and fetes."
"What's good for the town will nearly always be good for you," Milne-White observed.
Author events were also emphasized, with Najma Finlay, publicity director at Icon Books, noting: "You have to get used to handselling events in the same way that you handsell books."
Barnes & Noble is now selling used CDs and DVDs online through its Marketplace program at bn.com. The company said thousands of titles are available from a wide range of sellers in a mix of new and old titles, as well as titles that labels and studios no longer make available.
In her graduation speech at CaseWestern University last weekend, CBS news anchor Katie Couric played handseller, recommending the book Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview by Ellen Gordon Reeves (Workman).
Couric said, "I know you may be anxious if you don't have a job and even if you do, I'm sure you're wondering, 'Will I do well? Is it the right fit?' Well, for those of you who are still looking, I had a conversation this week with Ellen Gordon Reeves, author of Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? Yes, that's true... I didn't really peg you guys, by the way, as the nose ring types... belly button rings maybe... but I do think she offers some terrific tips." Couric followed this by sharing several bits of advice gleaned from the book.
Obituary note: Tor.com paid tribute to Ripley, the Borderlands Books cat "and semi-official mascot of the SF community. Anyone wandering into Borderlands Books over the last seven and half years will have met the beloved hairless Sphinx who lived happily amid the shelves and stacks until her passing on May 12th.... Our sincerest condolences to owners Jude Feldman and Alan Beatts, who have set up a Memorial Blog on which people can share reminiscences and photos of Ripley. Anyone who has ever lost a pet can understand how difficult the experience can be--we encourage everyone with a fond memory or a kind word to reach out and share the love. Rest in peace, Ripley--you will be greatly missed."
Organizers of Wimbledon (properly called "The Championships") and Poetry Trust have teamed up to name Matt Harvey the All England Club's first writer in residence. The Guardian reported that he "will serenade the Wimbledon queue with poems inspired by the tournament." Harvey will write a poem a day throughout the two-week tennis major.
"Expect themes to include strawberries, queues, the rain and, undoubtedly, the traditional Centre Court tantrum," the Guardian wrote.
Who ya gonna call? A re-creation of the opening scene from Ghostbusters was Improv Everywhere's answer when the New York Public Library "approached us about a month ago and asked if we would want to stage an Improv Everywhere mission on their property. The library is facing serious budget cuts, and they thought having us do something awesome there might serve to remind people of how great the NYPL is. We couldn't say no to the opportunity to do something in their gorgeous, 100-year-old Rose Main Reading Room."
Vice President Joe Biden's annual financial disclosure report revealed that he had been given a first-edition copy of James Joyce's Anna Livia Plurabelle, signed by the author and valued at $3,500, the Associated Press reported. Margaret Spanel, the 97-year-old woman who sent him the book, did so "after hearing him say Joyce was his favorite poet."
Not for Tourists,
the New York City publisher of city guides for both travelers and
residents, will be distributed by National Book Network. The guides are
"mobile-oriented, cartographically inclined and to the point."
president Rich Freese said that addition of the company strengthens
"our position as a leading distributor of travel and lifestyle content."