A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective

Friday, June 13, 2008

Book News Round-Up

Quick post of links I want to share and remember for later…

Borders is finally free of Amazon and has launched its own ecommerce site.

US Bookstores are looking for ways to pull people into the store: tvs, music and other digital bits. The US publishing industry is worth $37-billion according to this LA Times article. Good info about online marketing activities of publishers and who’s doing what.

E-books still unnerving publishers. “Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, spent much of a packed session on Friday evangelizing about the Kindle, which he said already accounts for 6 percent of his company‚Äôs unit sales of books that are available in both paper and electronic formats.”

Carolyn K. Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said “electronic book sales last year totaled about $1 million, a sliver of its annual sales of roughly $1 billion.”

And here’s something ironic. Despite the fears of e-books, “Electronic readers have nevertheless gained many fans in the publishing industry. Random House and Penguin, among others, have equipped their entire sales force with electronic-book readers, allowing them to avoid having to lug around as many preview editions of books. Editors at many of the larger publishing houses also use the devices to read manuscripts submitted by agents and authors.”

The National Book Critics Circle’s Campaign to Save Book Reviews is meant to thwart the disappearance of book review sections in newspapers and magazines.

More stats and facts about the declining coverage for books in the Columbia Journal Review. Interesting reader comments follow.

Wall St Journal on how the scarcity of ad revenue endangers newspaper book review sections.

New York Times on “Are Book Reviewers Out of Print?”

Fascinating look at Pan MacMillan’s publishing manifesto. Also interesting reader comments.






I’m personally thrilled to have Borders with its own storefront. The fact that they have physical stores means that this weekend I’m specifying a Father’s Day gift online and then picking it up in person.
I would love to see the Kindle carry more titles. Right now, that’s a major reason I haven’t bought one because I am ready to adopt e-books, and so are my over-stuffed shelves. That, and the fact that the Kindle doesn’t have color screens!

It’s an interesting historic timing, the paradigm shift for publishing, the change in reading habits by the Internet society, and the big economic unstabilities. That should accelerate any change towards a different direction, though at what price remains to be seen.

The most critical part will be where books are going to be advertised tomorrow, by who, and why.

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