Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 21, 2012 - 2:47am
The French, as usual, insist on being different. As independent bookstores crash and burn in the United States and Britain, the book market in France is doing just fine. France boasts 2,500 bookstores, and for every neighborhood bookstore that closes, another seems to open. From 2003 to 2011 book sales in France increased by 6.5 percent.
From the Malaysian Digest, news that a Borders store manager in Kuala Lumpur is facing possible arrest for stocking a Canadian title that Muslim religious authorities find objectionable.
Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court for allegedly violating the Hukum Syarak by distributing or selling Irshad Manji’s book Allah, Liberty and Love.
“The management of Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd who own and operate the Borders bookstore chain in Malaysia is very disappointed that our store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz has today been charged by Jabatan Agama Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court for distributing a book by Canadian author Irshad Manji deemed to be against the Islamic Law (Hukum Syarak) and banned in Malaysia. The charge was brought under Section 13(1) of Prime Minister’s Department for Islamic Affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom have also been named as respondents in the application for judicial review."
So maybe publishers should treat indies like showrooms, and send their books to indies on consignment. That means that only if and when a book sells is money paid to the publisher. The books in the store shouldn’t be the focus of the revenue. Instead, the revenue might come from membership fees, book rentals, and referral fees for drop shipped new copies or ebook sales. Members of this store/library then would have a stake in keeping the store/library open, so presumably they would have little motivation to misuse ebook files. Then I as a publisher might have a reason to trust the store and those members with DRM free files.
This is an essay I wrote last month and am having trouble finding an audience. I think LISnews readers and I would find it mutually beneficial.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 17, 2012 - 8:50am
The textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Higher Education announced a pilot program with University of Minnesota bookstores last week that may eventually make early semester lines and sold-out core texts as obsolete as the diskette.
McGraw-Hill will offer its complete catalog of more than 1,600 e-books to University of Minnesota students starting in the 2012 fall semester (the number of participating students was not yet available). Professors decide whether to sign up their classes.
The full texts will cost significantly less than a hard copy and appear in the university’s learning management system, or online interface, as soon as a student registers for a class.
What is happening to our Literary Life?
Open for only five years, the owners of Literary Life Bookstore and More (Grand Rapids, MI) made a warm inviting environment from a classic brick bank; now what will it become?
Yesterday there was news of a bookstore closing in Hood River, OR , Gorge Bookstop. Both were family-owned bookstores.
Can Barnes & Noble Balance Physical and Online Sales Without Killing Itself?
In what has long been a nightmare scenario for booksellers, the physical bookstore is becoming a showroom for the online shopper. After casually browsing the tomes in comfort, people will use their smartphone or tablet to buy their choices online at a much lower price. While most booksellers can do little more than fume, Barnes & Noble is not just meeting the threat head on, it's embracing the change.
From LA Times Jacket Copy: Readers walking into the Tehran Book Fair will not find "Memories of My Melancholy Whores"; the Gabriel Garcia Marquez book has long been banned. Yet if they can find a street stall, called nayab foreshi (Farsi for "forbidden items"), that book, and others, will be for sale.
The 10-day Tehran Book Fair, which attracts an average of 550,000 visitors per day, calls itself "the most important publishing event in Asia and the Middle East." It features publishers from the Islamic world, which are, like those in the West, struggling. Their troubles include the trafficking in pirated, banned books, reports our blog World Now.
“I can show you hundred titles of the books Xeroxed or on CDs sold in massive numbers right here in the sidewalks opposite Tehran University,” lamented Majid Taleghini, a publisher in Tehran. “We publishers are bankrupt and book smugglers are making a fortune. So what is the use of censorship?”
Frustrated writers say getting books past the government gantlet can take years, making it hard to eke out a living, even as the black market flourishes. Books must be submitted to the Cultural and Islamic Guidance Ministry, which picks out any offensive words, phrases or even whole paragraphs and insists on changes before texts can be printed.
The 25th annual Tehran Book Fair, which takes place at the Grand Mosque Mosalla, began today and continues through May 12.
A new show at the Grolier Club on the Upper East Side conjures memories of the glorious bookstores designed by Ernest Flagg for the firm of Charles Scribner's Sons. Fortunately, both turn-of-the-century spaces still exist.
In a breathy post about her life as in the Christian publishing industry in general, blogger Rachel Held Evans wrote specifically about her about her forthcoming book about her experience living “biblical womanhood” for a year: “…I’m too busy arguing with my publisher. They won’t let me use the word vagina in my book because we have to sell it to Christian bookstores, which apparently have a thing against vaginas.” Though only one sigh among the many difficulties of being a Christian “industrialist,” Evans’s fans raced to her rescue for this.
The 160-page book, published by Idara Impex in New Delhi, India, is written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who’s described in the book’s foreword as a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”
The store’s manager, who didn’t give his name, said the book had been sold out for some time, and the store’s owner, whom the manager identified as Shamim Ahmad, refused to comment for the story.
It wasn’t clear whether the shop has ordered more copies of the book, but it’s available at online Islamic bookstores and even through eBay.
In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”
Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”
Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him ... ”
Kepler's 2020: Literary Entrepreneur Reinvents the Bookstore
Two trends are important to shaping Madan's thinking about bookstores and their future. Influenced by Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone, he believes technology has an isolating impact. The best bookstores, like Kepler's, serve as a much-needed community hub. Secondly, as advanced as book ecommerce sites can be with recommendation engines, samples, or search inside the book, they don't replace the discovery of browsing physical books.
The Bookstore’s Last Stand
Barnes & Noble, the giant that put so many independent booksellers out of business, now finds itself locked in the fight of its life, with Amazon.com lurking in the background.
Former librarian is new owner of Annie's Book Stop
Simone Henderson loves to read, so a 14-year career in library science was a natural choice for her. After brief break from books, she's back in the bound business, having assumed proprietorship of Annie's Book Stop on far north Union Avenue on the first day of this year.
Henderson's career as a librarian included time spent working at Bates College, in the University of Maine system and, for the final three years, in the New Hampshire State Library. She left that career to take part in a family business. That move didn't work out as planned, and in August of last year she found herself looking for something to do.
...Overnight, this 67-year-old Seattle grandmother has become a greedy betrayer of the small, sometimes-struggling, bookshops that so supported her. "Yes," says J.B. Dickey, owner of the Seattle Mystery Bookshop about such an assessment. "By aligning herself with Amazon, she's turning her back on independents. Amazon is absolutely antithetical to independent bookselling, and, to many of us, truth, justice and the American way."
If things sound like they've gotten a little heated over Pearl's latest project, they have.
On Wednesday, Amazon.com announced it was issuing "Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries series, a line of Pearl's favorite, presently out-of-print books to share with readers hungry for her expert recommendations."
About six books a year would be published in versions that include print books and eBooks, says the Seattle-headquartered merchandising Goliath that in 2010 had sales of $34 billion, or about $1,077 per second.
1. Let me subscribe to my favorite authors.
2. Keep books updated for one price.
3. Buy a print copy, get an electronic copy, too.
4. Give more of my money to authors.
5. Indie bookstores should sell e-books.
Is browsing lost?
As humans, we browse. We pick up, feel, look, touch and scan all the time gathering information about the world and the objects of our interest. This is how we interact with the world and this experience cannot be totally replaced by a screen. So as others lament that the library is dying like some befuddled beached whale caught in the changing tides of e-books, I see us becoming the only game in town where people can browse and make unexpected discoveries and experiences.
[Fixed that link!]