Why Amazon’s the best thing to happen to books

An Anonymous Patron writes "One From The Herald looks back at the first decade of Amazon. Alison Rowat says Accusing on-line booksellers of squeezing out serious literature and discouraging experimentation is wide of the bookmark. "


Chapter Eleven Goes Chapter Eleven

A fixture in the Atlanta GA area, Chapter Eleven Bookstores (a mini-chain of thirteen independent bookstores) is filing for bankruptcy, but will keep it's seven most profitable stores open.

More from the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Publishers Weekly Daily .


UK Bookstore deal has U.K. authors up in arms

One From International Herald Tribune says according to some British authors, the combination of the Waterstone's and Ottakar's chains could mark a turning point in the war between commerce and culture.
Using language that British historians normally use to describe the flanking maneuvers of German panzer divisions, he and other leading authors and publishers are urging British regulators to forward the deal, valued at around £100 million, or $177 million, to the European Commission's antitrust police for scrutiny. If that happens, HMV Group, which owns Waterstone's, has said it would abandon its plan to buy Ottakar's.

See also: Book trade faces a grim new chapter


Authors' fury over bookshop takeover plans

The Sunday Herald reports on Scottish politicians, publishers and writers have expressed "grave concern" over the proposed takeover of the book-chain Ottakar's by Waterstone's, which they think would make a mockery of Edinburgh as the first World City of Literature.


As Kepler's Books reopens, customers queue at registers

San Francisco Chronicle Reports Kepler's Books has reopened. The beloved independent bookstore, which had closed abruptly on Aug. 31, has been given a new lease on life, thanks to volunteers who helped restructure the enterprisewith a new business plan, a new marketing strategy, a new board of directors, a new store lease and more than $500,000 from new shareholders.


Library works out catalog snafus

The Howard County Times reports on "a beastly transition" to a new SirsiDynix system in Howard County Maryland. The problem boiled down to one of software compatibility, Tom Gates, vice president of marketing for SirsiDynix, said Sept. 27. Essentially the company's software didn't click with Java, a programming language, he said.

"It's really changed my library behavior," Weems said. "One gets angry when one loses what one loves."
"We are the first problem of this nature that they have encountered, partly because we are among the most heavily used remote systems in the world," Gross said.

Update: 09/30 11:52 EST by B:Link Fixed


Palm Teams With Microsoft for Smart Phone

Anonymous Patron writes "Making Deals With The Devil? Palm Inc. is teaming up with Microsoft Corp. to launch a Windows-based version of the Treo smart phone, marking the first time the handheld computer pioneer will sell a device based on its former rival's software. The new Treo 700 will be offered through Verizon Wireless, according to market analyst Rob Enderle and other industry sources."


New bookstore caters to young readers

New bookstore caters to young readers covers Paula McDonalds retirement. During her 20-year career as a school librarian with the Chico Unified School District and later at Rancho Bernardo High School, McDonald built many libraries from scratch, carefully selecting each book that would be placed on the shelf for young readers to discover.
Although she has retired from her library career, McDonald's labor of love continues at her newest venture, Salty Tales for Young Readers, a children's bookstore in Carlsbad Village. The store, which opened in July, sells books for infants through young adults, as well as gifts including baby blankets (handmade by McDonald's daughter, Marion), finger puppets, activity books, CDs and DVDs.

Link stolen from a blog you should be reading, Jill Stover's Library Marketing-Thinking Outside the Book.


Board, patrons group launch plan to reopen Kepler's Books

The San Jose Mercury News follows up on plans for Kepler's. Kepler's Books of Menlo Park, the popular independent book seller that shut down abruptly in August, is hoping to reopen by October with financial support from patrons and business expertise from a new board of directors, including three Silicon Valley executives.

The new board retains Kepler's heir and owner Clark Kepler as president, CEO and chairman of the board of the 50-year-old Menlo Park institution which became known regionally as one of the premier independent bookstores in the Bay Area.


Former LA school Official Accused of Ordering Own Books

Here's one way to make a fast buck (actually a million): write a textbook, be hired by a public school board and insist that the board purchase nearly 50,000 copies of your book with federal funds. This is exactly what former Los Angeles math curriculum supervisor Matthias Vheru did, but now the jig is up and he's facing prosecution.

Story from the San Luis Obispo Tribune and additional details from The Washington Post .


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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