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Post at Publishing Perspectives.
A theoretical plan for saving bookstores and making libraries more robust.
Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong
October 27th, 2014 | Hugh C. Howey
Almost everything being said about publishing today is predicated on two facts that are dead wrong. The first is that publishers are somehow being hurt by ebook sales. The second is that independent bookstores are being crushed. The opposite is true in both cases, and without understanding this, most of what everyone says about publishing is complete bollocks.
Example infographic from post:
Paperback Trading Post will close next weekend after nearly four decades in business.
By next Sunday evening, the store’s old, metal cash register will have rung up its final sale.
Gerry Maciuba ran the shop for 38 years, mostly in the first floor of his home, which he dubbed “the big yellow house on Seneca.”
He suffered from muscular dystrophy and died on Jan. 5 at age 66.
Rose Maciuba, 62, walked around the store Saturday morning, rattling off all the genres offered. Tens of thousands of used paperbacks fill wooden shelves stretching from floor to ceiling.
Commentary on the Amazon-Hachette fight by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin.
Shatzkin says - My “position” on all this is that it reveals an imbalance that only the government can fix.
Another point he makes: Amazon, at great expense and with great vision, made the ebook business happen. Before the Kindle, the ebook marketplace was small and unambitious. The biggest player in terms of sales was Palm, which wasn’t really interested. The most interested party was Sony, which repeatedly tried over more than a decade to establish some sort of ebook device and ecosystem. But Amazon made a significant corporate commitment — creating the Kindle device, pressuring the publishers to make much more of their catalog available as ebooks, and investing heavily in discounted sales and screen real estate to build the consumer market. When B&N with Nook in late 2009 and Apple with iPad and iBookstore in early 2010 entered the market, they were attempting to capitalize on a product class that Amazon had pretty much single-handledly created.
Last week, we talked about how Amazon was delaying orders of Hachette books as a negotiation tactic in a pricing argument with the publisher. Walmart has now announced that they'll offer customers 40% off on all Hachette books and quick shipping.
Full piece at -- On The Media
From Shelf-Awareness a report on author James Patterson's address to conference participants:
"Amazon seems out to control shopping in this country. This ultimately will have an effect on every grocery and department store chain and every big box store and ultimately put thousands of mom and pop stores out of business. It sounds like a monopoly to me. Amazon also wants to control bookselling, the book business and book publishing. That's a national tragedy. If this is the new American way, it has to be changed by law if necessary."
Posman's Chelsea store is one of three that the small independent chain currently operates in Manhattan. The other two are in Grand Central Station and at Rockefeller Center. John Mutter, editor-in-chief of Shelf Awareness, an online newsletter about books and publishing, stated that each separate store caters to a specific market, and that niche marketing is one reason Posman has succeeded where others have failed. The Grand Central store is aimed at commuters; the Rockefeller Center store caters to tourists and travelers; and the Chelsea Market store is filled with cookbooks.
Even in this age of e-books and the convenience of buying online — a market dominated by Amazon — plenty of readers still love browsing through bookstores.
It used to be that politicians' lives were recounted after their careers, by professional biographers. Today, writing a memoir has become de rigueur for political aspirants looking to garner votes. Manoush speaks with Politico's Casey Cep, who says these books amount to little more than press releases that consistently fall flat.
Friday was the store’s last day at 31 West 57th Street, and the closing came at the end of a painful week for shoppers who value a particular kind of New York store. J & R Music and Computer World, which grew from a 500-square-foot basement operation to storefronts along an entire block in Lower Manhattan, closed, saying it had to be “reimagined and redeveloped.” And Pearl Paint, a store on Canal Street beloved by artists, reportedly put its five-story building on the market.
Literary City, Bookstore Desert
The rising cost of doing business in Manhattan is driving out many of its remaining bookstores, threatening the city’s sense of self as the center of the literary universe.
“How can Manhattan be a cultural or literary center of the world when the number of bookstores has become so insignificant?” he asked. “You really say, has nobody in city government ever considered this and what can be done about it?”