When Amazon division Abebooks -- the largest platform for antiquarian booksellers in the world -- announced it would blacklist stores in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, South Korea and Russia, citing nebulous transaction-processing difficulties -- 600 antiquarian booksellers in 27 countries went on strike, withdrawing their 4,000,000 titles from Abebooks.
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New York City's amazing McNally Jackson Books is closing its flagship bookstore on Prince Street in Nolita; the store is a neighborhood fixture and a hub of literary events (I've appeared there); they also sport a cafe and a book-printing machine.
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Authors Nicola Griffith (So Lucky) and Kate Ristau (Clockbreakers) and bookseller Annie Carl (The Neverending Bookshop) presented at last week's Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association on the ways that increasing accessibility can result in higher profits for booksellers.
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The nice folks at Libro.fm supply audiobooks online and through a network of the country's best indie bookstores; all their books are DRM-free, and they have a new, snappy way of describing them: Cage-Free Audiobooks. Read the rest
Since the earliest days of my novel-writing career
, readers have written to me to thank me for my books and to ask how they can best support me and other writers whose work they enjoy. Nearly 15 years later, I have a pretty comprehensive answer for them!
Waterstones was at death's door when it was purchased by Russian billioniare Alexander Mamut, who hired James Daunt -- an investment banker who'd founded the successful, six-store Daunt Books -- to run the chain. Read the rest
Larry Smith is a mainstay and fixture of America's science fiction conventions (as well as many overseas events); he's someone I've conversed with dozens of times, and, like John Scalzi, I always made a point of signing his stock because I knew that anything I signed for Larry would go all around the nation. Read the rest
Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz's must-read new book The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (read an excerpt) is not for sale in the Apple ebook store, and won't be until they agree to change their text to refer to Apple's ebooks as "iBooks" rather than "iBook." Read the rest
Chris writes, "I bought my first e-book in 1998, before my e-reading hardware had even arrived yet. Yesterday I discovered that Barnes & Noble has effectively stolen that book from me, mistakenly replacing it it in my Nook library with another title I never bought." Read the rest
A new book called Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World cites surveys that say that young readers increasingly prefer to read books from paper, not screens. Read the rest
From A Slip of the Keyboard, Pratchett's very sensible advice to booksellers on care and feeding of touring authors. Read the rest
In the 1990s, London was home to notorious book-thieves who stole to order for the shops of Charing Cross road, who paid a fraction of cover-price for them -- meaning that each thief would have to steal £50,000/year worth of books (and often stole more). Read the rest
Cici James -- founder of Brooklyn's amazing science fiction bookstore Singularity and Co -- posed for a body-painted portrait amongst her wares. Read the rest
Photographer Steve Kenward's Literally is a series of portraits of booksellers in their native habitats (their bookstores). As a former member of the tribe myself, I recognize these for the fine specimens they are: magnificently nearsighted, slightly askew, and posed with the treasures they have personally assembled and arrayed for the public's delectation. Each portrait is accompanied by a list of favorite books, which is the only part of this that rings hollow -- a bookseller with only one favorite book is like a chef who only likes one dish. Impossible. Read the rest
Vivs Ngo snapped this wonderful shot of Los Angeles's Last Bookstore, an exuberant temple of the bookseller's faith. Read the rest
Safwat sez, "After unsuccessfully trying to sell nude photos on Craiglist (Watch the project video to learn more about that!), Moby-Dick, Frankenstein's monster AND Gregor Samsa turn to crowdfunding to help Changing Hands Bookstore build a new indie bookstore in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. There's some pretty funny and one-of-a-kind classic-literature based t-shirts, prints and greeting cards up for grabs."
I spoke at Changing Hands on my last book tour and not only were the staff kind and knowledgeable, the store was spectacular. What's more, it was clearly a hub for a community of active readers in Phoenix. They certainly deserve your support! The t-shirts/posters are fab, too. Prints start at $10, tees at $30, and you can get all five tees (and support an amazing bookseller) for $140.
Frank 'N Moby Build a Bookstore
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The number of members of the American Booksellers' Association is slowly creeping up, a welcome sign after a steep decline from 5500 members in 1995 to 2191 in 2002. ABA is comprised of indie booksellers, and though the dominant narrative has it that the indies were slaughtered by Amazon, the numbers suggest that the decline had more to do with the rise of the big-box chain-stores (ironically, these are dead [Borders] or dying [B&N] and were almost certainly killed by Amazon).
More interesting is why the number of indie bookstores is growing: Read the rest