On NPR's On the Media, Mike Shatzkin, head of the Idea Logical Company, co-head of Publishers Launch and publishing pundit about town, spoke at length about "what Amazon is up to."
Concerning Amazon's expanding publishing program and whether its books will be distributed outside Amazon, he said, "Amazon's desire in signing up authors directly is to monopolize the e-books for the Kindle platform.... Barnes & Noble has said [to Amazon], 'We might stock your books but only if you make the books available through the Nook platform,' and I don't think it's Amazon's intention to make the books available through the Nook platform."
Concerning the agency plan used by the six major publishers for e-book sales: "The commercial impact is that Amazon was on its way to a monopoly, and because of the agency pricing scheme we now have a healthy Barnes & Noble e-book business. We have Google and Kobo and Apple. We have a multi-retailer e-book business, and Amazon's e-book monopoly is nothing like what it looked like it was going to be two or three years ago, which I think is good for the industry and ultimately good for the consumer."
In what has become an annual summer ceremony on Martha's Vineyard, the media covered President Obama's book-buying trip to Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven.
The Washington Post reported that as the president entered the bookshop, he said, "They’ve got to buy some books," referring to daughters Malia and Sasha, adding that one of them had a school assignment.
After a 15-minute shopping trip, Obama "was seen holding five or six books," including Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Daniel Woodrell's The Bayou Trilogy, the Post wrote.
ABC News later reported that the president also purchased Rodin’s Debutante by Ward Just and brought three books with him--Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, To the End of the Land by David Grossman and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. "No word yet on what the girls purchased. Stay tuned," ABC News wrote.
Location, location, location. Few booksellers (other than Bunch of Grapes) garnered as much publicity over the weekend as Charles Mysak, who, more than a decade ago, "snagged a primo parking spot on the corner of Columbus Avenue and 68th Street--and he hasn't budged since," the New York Post reported, noting that the sidewalk bookseller stores his inventory in a green '94 Civic "and feeds the meter $36 a day--in quarters--to hold on to the spot."
"I've been here for 11 years," he said. "Barnes & Noble is now closed. I'm the last resource for books. I'm here from 7 to 7 every day."
Racked discovered that he appears on Google Street View.
Laughing Squid featured a short documentary on Mysak that was filmed earlier this year.
"Almost every day we move the car," he told Jalopnik.com, which offered video proof. "A lot of people don't believe that--they look at the car, they don't think it's ever moved. I tell them: 'You come here at 6:30 in the morning, you'll watch me in action!' "
Cool idea of the day. To help promote events, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif., has created a crossword puzzle, in which the answers are names of some of the writers scheduled to appear at the bookshop this fall. Most answers require a person's name, with only the surname necessary. The dates following each clue reveal when an author will be appearing at Book Passage. Linked dates take you to an available event page on the store's website.
Book trailer of the day: The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams (Bantam), which publishes August 30.
Traditional print book piracy. The Daily What caught these two Barnes & Noble patrons "pirating" cookbooks in the store's café.
Positing the theory that "the right book can open up a whole new world of scientific information," MSNBC's Cosmic Log recommended 10 books for a summer field trip, which offer "a little science, a little travel, and little or no math required."
The American Advisory Committee of the Jerusalem International Book Fair will hold a memorial tribute to the fair's longtime chair and managing director Zev Birger on Thursday, September 22, at 6 p.m. at the Random House Building, 1745 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, with a reception following hosted by Random House. Reservations are necessary to pass through lobby security. Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 14, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birger, who died in Jerusalem in May after being hit by a motorcycle, was a friend of many thousands of bookpeople around the world, including nearly 450 editors and agents awarded fair fellowships since 1985. To leave remembrances or comments on Birger's Tributes page on the committee's website, go to jibffellowship.com.
A program in Birger's name will launch at the next book fair in 2013. Donations for its creation and endowment may be made to the Ariel Municipal Company Ltd., Bank Leumi, Agudat Sport Hapoel Yerushlayim 1, Jerusalem, Branch no. 901, account no. 6433300/99.