Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Publishing overload

Not only am I overwhelmed at work, but I'm also overwhelmed by publishing news. I can't follow it all! There is...

- the endless chatter about the Amazon vs Walmart vs Target vs Sears - SEARS?! - price gouging with bestsellers. It's kind of turning back on itself as indie booksellers go from frustration to a kind of Zen-like attitude. From Shelf Awareness:

Arsen Kashkashian, inventory manager at the Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo., writes:
Perhaps the price wars are really a positive thing for independent bookstores. We are looking at canceling our orders from the publishers on these books and ordering them from Amazon, Wal-Mart or Target. We will save almost $10 per book on some of the titles. I figure we can cut our billing by close to $1,000 and offer our customers significant savings while still maintaining a healthy margin. If these companies want to become wholesalers at a loss why should we discourage it?

Deb Sullivan, co-owner of the Book Oasis, Stoneham, Mass., writes:
As a very small retailer of new hardcover releases, I'm embarrassed to say I might consider buying them from a big box at these prices. Why would I want to be forced into buying case quantities of hot titles when I only want three? With free shipping, I can still sell them at 30%-40% off cover and make a profit while getting customers into my store that will hopefully buy other full price items or more profitable second-hand titles.

Fair enough!

- Cory Doctorow is now an author trying to give books away for free. Actually, this article does a fine job of making sense of how giving stuff away for free can still allow for revenue, even if Doctorow's case is a bit funky.

- I would say MobyLives has the best write-up of B&N's new e-reader, the Nook. Melville House's Dennis Johnson is right - "worst product name in recorded history."

- I haven't even processed Marion Maneker's article with the cheaply provocative headline: It's the End of the Book World as we Know It. I don't think I disagree with it whole hog, but who has time to know for sure?!

- I still haven't read Richard Nash's presentation from Frankfurt, or had a chance to check in with his new creation, Cursor. (Points for the name, though.)

- I really want to go to the Whitney to see Steve Wolfe's exhibit, but I also wouldn't mind someone building me a book tree.

Okay, egads... back to editing!

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