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Worried about their industry's carbon footprint, publishers in Britain are considering tossing the sale-or-return system by which they have traditionally supplied bookstores with books and going to a practice of firm sale, at least with older titles.
"Can we really justify sending books all over the country, only to send them back on the same journey to be destroyed?" Victoria Barnsley, CEO of HarperCollins UK, recently asked in the trade journal The Bookseller.
Her counterpart at Hachette UK, Tim Hely Hutchinson, agrees. "It's pretty silly to send backlist shuttling back and forth - it's a waste of time, money and resources."
Some birthday gifts have a more lasting effect than others. In 1987, Toni Bruner received 600 romance novels from a friend, effectively doubling her collection and leading her to open New & Recycled Romances, Costa Mesa.
"So here we are, 20 years later," Bruner told the Daily Pilot, "still in the happy ending business. And we're getting busier and busier, because so many small bookstores are closing."
Never hesitant to try something that will bring about a boom in their business, Amazon.com is offering customers access to two new programs: previewing publishers galleys and the opportunity to publish their own works.
Publishers Weekly reports (but I wasn't able to find anything on the Amazon.com site): Through Project Vine, readers with a history of posting accurate and helpful book reviews are being invited to receive advance copies for review purposes. And, through CreateSpace, a division of the company that already provides CD- and DVD-on-demand services, Amazon has added book publishing options.
Australian publishers are reeling after being told one of the country's biggest book store chains will not stock their books unless they pay thousands of dollars within weeks.
The publishers are calling it blackmail and have called for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate.
The NYTimes Takes A Look at the Amazon.com sales rankings. When Amazon created the system 10 years ago, it could hardly have known how greatly its list would change the dynamics of the publishing business (much the way the company itself did) or how hard writers and industry executives would work to game the system. Today the Amazon rankings list and, to a lesser extent, a similar list on the Barnes & Noble Web site is the subject of great microanalysis and some mystery.
The Baltimore Sun reports: Just a decade ago, the trend in the bookstore industry was to fit nooks and crannies with big chairs for browsing, which, it was hoped, would spur buying. The idea was to recast the bookstore as a community place or an extension of the home.
But now the availability of so-called "soft" seating - overstuffed chairs and sofas - is on the decline at some bookstores, done in by various complications: homeless squatters, overly enthusiastic young lovers, food trash left behind.
Amazon.com is experimenting with selling and delivering fresh produce and other grocery items to customers on Mercer Island, near its Seattle, WA headquarters, according to the AP and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Offerings do not include books.
The tangled web of Harry Potter, author J.K. Rowling, Harry's British & US publishers, on-line bookstores (Amazon), bookstore chains (Barnes & Noble, Borders), non-bookstore chains (Wal-Mart, Costco), independent bookstores and all those Harry Potter fans/readers is examined in Saturday's New York Times.
One Oregon couple's wedding night will be especially magical. Courtney Lanahan and Shawn Gordon of Clackamas are heading straight from their wedding reception Friday to a Barnes & Noble to get the final Harry Potter book.
How do we know all this??? WaPo has the story of the nuptials and the groom's little treat for the bride, an elementary school teacher. Wonder if they'll name their first kid Hermione?
U.S. Borders bookstores shelve `Tintin': "Tintin in the Congo," an illustrated work removed from the children's section of Borders Group, Inc., stores in Britain because of allegations of racism, will receive similar treatment by the superstore chain in the United States. "Borders is committed to carrying a wide range of materials and supporting our customers' right to choose what to read and what to buy. That said, we also are also committed to acting responsibly as a retailer and with sensitivity to all of the communities we serve," according to a Borders statement issued Monday.