In a blog post, Macmillan CEO John Sargent took a dim view of Andrew Wylie's Odyssey Editions, which will sell e-book editions of older titles by some of his agency's clientele through Amazon (Shelf Awareness, July 22, 2010).
Sargent expressed dissatisfaction with Wylie's decision "to give his list exclusively to a single retailer. A basic tenet of publishing is that our function is to reach as many readers as we can. We disseminate our books and the ideas within them as broadly as possible. I understand why Amazon wants an exclusive deal with Andrew. They have asked us too for exclusive product, as has every major retailer we deal with. This is smart retailing, and a great deal for Amazon. But it is an extraordinarily bad deal for writers, illustrators, publishers, other booksellers, and for anyone who believes that books should be as widely available as possible. This deal advantages Amazon, which already has the dominant share in this market.
"Independent booksellers across the country are making plans to launch their e-bookstores this Fall. Now they will not have these books available and Amazon will. These are the very folks who helped make many of these books bestsellers in the first place. And what of Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million, and others? As they promote the frontlist books for which Andrew is the agent, they are not going to be able to sell his publishing backlist in digital form... while their competitor can?"
Sargent concluded "the exclusive-to-Kindle aspect of this deal has no strategic value at all for authors and publishers."
Random House had a strong reaction, summed up by spokesman Stuart Applebaum in this statement: "The Wylie Agency's decision to sell e-books exclusively to Amazon for titles which are subject to active Random House agreements undermines our longstanding commitments to and investments in our authors, and it establishes this Agency as our direct competitor. Therefore, regrettably, Random House on a worldwide basis will not be entering into any new English-language business agreements with the Wylie Agency until this situation is resolved."
Barnes & Noble has introduced a Nook app for Android smartphones and devices. B&N called Nook for Android the "first eReader software to feature Barnes & Noble's new Nook-centric branding, leveraging the strength of the company's Nook brand across its entire eReading offering. Nook for Android will soon be followed by an updated Nook for iPhone, Nook for iPad and others in the coming months."
"With Nook for Android, and the other renamed software to follow, customers can also easily recognize and have confidence in Barnes & Noble's Nook brand to provide them with a fun and easy-to-use eReading experience on any device of their choosing," said Douglas Gottlieb, v-p, digital products for B&N.
CNET observed that "what's interesting about the announcement is that Barnes & Noble has decided to move away from its BN branding and go with Nook as the name of choice for its digital reading platform.... By further embracing the Nook brand, Barnes & Noble appears to be pursuing a similar strategy to Amazon, which has labeled its e-reader apps with the Kindle brand while it continues to promote its standalone e-reader devices, the Kindle and Kindle DX."
After hearing final arguments in Ron Burkle's lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, a Delaware judge said yesterday "the bookseller may have acted reasonably in adopting the poison pill last year after Burkle more than doubled his stake in the New York company," the Associated Press
reported, adding that the judge said "he would try to issue a ruling quickly but gave no indication of how soon."
in New York City "is a neighborhood hangout by design," Bookselling This Week
reported in its profile of the bookshop with "a loyal following, drawing from its neighborhood on New York’s Lower East Side and beyond. With its nightly readings, fair trade café, comfortable couches, and 8,000 titles on women's and gender studies, sexualities, political theory, and activism, along with a fiction section that consists largely of titles written by women/LGBTQ/genderqueer authors, it has established itself as an indispensable New York cultural venue."
"We have space for people to sit and read and interact with each other," said co-owner Kimmie David. "We purposely don't have Wi-Fi so people can talk face-to-face instead of being heads-down at a computer."
also showcased Murder By the Book
, Houston, Tex., which McKenna Jordan bought last year. In August, the bookstore will celebrate its 30th anniversary and Jordan, who said business is up 10% this year, is planning a series of events and a customer appreciation day.
"In the last year, we've dedicated more energy to developing young readers, tripling the stock in our children's section, hiring a full-time employee to oversee the section, and offering imports of children's books," she said. "We also now have two full-time employees who read primarily paranormal fiction, causing that section to explode."
Honolulu creative collective Interisland Terminal
is opening a pop-up bookstore for two weeks--beginning next Wednesday--to draw attention to the fact that "bookshops that don't start with a 'B' are no longer in existence. Aside from some smaller shops scattered here and there-–like Bookends, Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii and Revolution Books-–local booksellers fell victim to the big franchises," Honolulu Weekend
Reed Space HNL, which will be located at the Waikiki Parc Hotel, is a concept that "came up because of concerns about our community as a civic group, mourning the loss of bookstores here," said Wei Fang, head of art and design curation for Interisland Terminal. "Independent bookstores in particular; the culture of being able to go in, and browse and look at a really thoughtfully curated selection; and the idea of discovery.... It's an important part of our creative process: being inspired by unexpected things that other people show you. It's what a really great bookstore can do and we haven't really seen any in Honolulu. They've all disappeared.”
A list of recently discovered manuscripts, letters and journals written by Franz Kafka--including a handwritten short story--that have been the subject of a legal battle (Shelf Awareness
, July 21, 2010), may soon be released. The New York Times
reported that a District Family Court judge in Tel Aviv "ordered attorneys to prepare a detailed list of the contents of four boxes that had been stored in a Zurich bank."
Starting next Monday, author Jane Smiley will join Life Goes Strong
as a guest blogger, writing about her experiences and work; exploring family ties, romantic relationships, child-rearing and more for Family Goes Strong
. The site will also be hosting a book giveaway of Smiley's latest novel, Private Life
, as well as The Georges & The Jewels
. Life Goes Strong is a new online boomer destination from NBC Digital Networks and Procter & Gamble Productions.
Who says there's no money in books? A pair of elderly men, who'd been stealing books from large bookstores for more than two years, were caught by the police Wednesday. The Korea Times
reported that the "men traveled abroad with money reaped from reselling the stolen books. Kim has accrued a long criminal record for stealing books over the course of some 30 years. He even bought a house with the money from the sale of the stolen books."
featured the "Best Publisher Pages on Facebook" while conceding that the list is "a directory that barely scratches the surface of the publishing scene on Facebook."
"The summer holidays are here again, and this year, as every year, the great, the good and the journalists have told us what they plan to pack in their suitcases," noted the Guardian
, while wondering, "What are the rest of us taking on holiday this year?"