Little bookstore that could a venue for big names

The Chicago Sun Times covers one of the little guys, Afrocentric Books. Opened in 1990 by Desiree Sanders the store has become a must-do for famous writers on publicity tours. The visits, Sanders says, serve both the community and her as a businesswoman in a struggling sector of the book industry -- the black specialty bookstore. Black communities in the U.S. have seen the number of shops that cater to them dwindle even as the sum African-Americans spend on books rises.


HMV outbids management for Ottakar's book chain Reports HMV, the owner of Waterstone's, has launched a bid for rival book chain Ottakar's, substantially outbidding the offer from Ottakar's management.

The 440p-a-share cash offer beats the 400p-a-share offer from Book Store Acquisitions, the bidding vehicle of founder James Heneage and other Ottakar's directors. The management team, which increased its offer from 350p just two days ago, had won the board's recommendation.


Hundreds turn out for Kepler's rally

San Francisco Examiner Reports Hundreds of community members showed support for their favorite independent bookstore Tuesday, rallying in the plaza outside Kepler's Bookstore and then congregating in City Hall, where the City Council hosted an idea-gathering meeting aimed at saving the store from bankruptcy.

Kepler's closed its doors suddenly last week after 50 years of selling books on the Peninsula. The closure has sparked a wave of support from elected officials, former politicians, lawyers and literary agents, all pledging to help owner Clark Kepler reopen the store at its current El Camino Real location.


Rally planned to help save Kepler's Books in SFO

Anonymous Patron writes "San Francisco Examiner reports Bibliophiles throughout the Peninsula are gearing up to try to save Kepler's Books, a nationally acclaimed bookstore that suddenly announced impending bankruptcy and closure last week."

One Kepler's fan has set up a Web site called save Keplers . On the site, an e-mail from Menlo Park mayor Mickie Winkler expressed full support for efforts to keep Kepler's in business and said that the city's economic manager "is contacting national and local independent booksellers to find a replacement for Kepler's, should attempts to restore Kepler's fail."


Good News, Bad News For The Little Guys

Anonymous Patron writes "Ottawa Business Journal looks inside the ol' mom-and-pop book shops, and says in general, they're doing just fine, thank you very much. They may not be winning the fight, but neither are most of them losing thanks to some common sense and hard work.

Significantly different story at the San Jose Mercury News where Kepler's, the Menlo Park independent bookstore that drew loyal readers from around the Bay Area for more than 50 years, abruptly closed Wednesday." More on the closing of Kepler's in Palo Alto On-line .


Slashed Prices on Harry Hurt Barnes & Noble

In an effort of sell the most number of copies of the latest Harry Potter saga, B&N slashed its Harry prices 40%...that, plus a few store closings, resulted in disappointing sales for this quarter.

It follows logically that if Barnes and Noble lost sales the same quarter that the best-selling book of the year was released, independent bookstores are in ever deepening trouble. That plus the results of our current poll (though it's not entirely scientific) make the future of local bookstores even more doubtful.

Story from Yahoo News .

Topic: Is Now A Publisher Too

Leading online bookseller Amazon today introduces a new short form literature program known as Amazon Shorts , which allows users to download small writings from various famous authors.

Says the internet bookselling giant, "After a reader pays 49 cents for an Amazon Short, the purchased material can be read or printed off of a web page, downloaded as a PDF file or sent an email address.

"Amazon Shorts will help authors find new readers and help readers find and discover authors they'll love," said Steve Kessel,'s vice president of Digital Media. "We hope that by making short-form literature widely and easily available, can help to fuel a revival of this kind of work."


The Wal-Mart Thought Police

Anonymous Patron writes "AlterNet Says The 'everyday low prices' superchain refuses to carry books and music that dare criticize conservative values. Crucial, and hopefully successful, as these campaigns are, another lesson to take from Wal-Mart's censorship policy is the danger of corporate conglomizoration that stifles free media under the misleading name of radically conservative "family values.""


Hold The Applause for

From Alternet , details on how Amazon, a hugely successful company, has contributed to the net loss of more than 2,000 independent book and music sellers during its first decade.

Topic: opens big doors for small publishers

The Associated Press has one on Amazon. With its limitless shelf space, Amazon has helped countless authors and small publishers earn bragging rights in the past decade, giving readers throughout the world instant access to books they might never have found.

"Book publishing at one time was clubby, and that really has changed," Al Greco, senior researcher at the Institute for Publishing Research in Bergenfield, N.J., says



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