Friday, August 29, 2008

A few things before we go

It's almost Labor Day, folks, so I thought I'd post a few links for anyone whiddling away these final hours before the long weekend.

First, Richard Nash, the publisher over at the amazing Soft Skull (seriously - I'm still working through the great selection we got from them when they did a grab bag last year for $100), was a guest blogger over at Ecstatic Days. Recently, he posted a few links, and one was to an interview by Grove Atlantic editor Jofie Ferrari-Adler of agent Nat Sobel. Go read it! No really! It offers an interesting perspective that encompasses so many aspects of publishing and bookselling. One particularly interesting point Sobel makes is that the loss of independent bookstores has hurt first-time fiction writers. He also sings the praises of literary journals, which was good to see. It's long but well worth the read.

Next, I was going to offer this link to a VT's public radio coverage of Chelsea Green's controversial decision to sell their new book, Obama's Challenge by Robert Kuttner, through Amazon's POD service exclusively, to get it to people during the DNC convention. (I appreciate how the company allowed a single bookseller comment on their blog regarding this decision, with a single response from an appropriate sales rep. Surely others tried to comment there.) Shelf Awareness offered more links to coverage of this decision, which many independent booksellers felt was inappropriate for an independent publisher, seeing as it gave an unfair advantage to the enemy, Amazon. But we can all appreciate B&N getting huffy about it! They've decided to pull their order, refusing to carry the book in their stores (though they'll carry it online). Remember when B&N said they wouldn't carry O. J. Simpson's If I Did It? Then they decided to sell it due to consumer interest? I know they carry serious weight when publishers, especially indie publishers, are deciding print runs, but let's all agree that they are fickle, not smart about their orders but chasing the market. This pretty much, for many of us, sums up the problem with corporate booksellers taking over the planet.

And finally, I added a button for Book Blogger Appreciation Week, which I believe was instigated by the blogger over at My Friend Amy's. Amy herself sent out an email to participating bloggers with a list of all the participants. It's long but pretty exciting, so I've listed the first chunk of them below. I wanted to list them all but it wasn't formatting right, and it is an exhaustive list. I also should note that I have not been to most of these blogs so I cannot vouch for them, but I imagine there's tons of fun stuff. So... get to clickin'!

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