A few years ago, when I was reading several annual SEC reports from the soon-to-be defunct Borders Group, I came across a sentence that not only defined the dysfunction of one retailer, but the dangerous mindset that has been crippling the book industry for decades.
In a stunning upset, used ebook marketplace Tom Kabinet has survived its first round of legal battles today in the Netherlands. A judge for the District Court of Amsterdam has ruled today that Tom Kabinet can continue to operate while it is being sued in court. Launched just over a month ago, Tom Kabinet enables users to resell ebooks, both DRM-free and ebooks protected by digital watermarks (but not ebooks encumbered by Adobe DRM). The site was in operation for only 8 days
"The everything store" was never the extent of Amazon's ambition. Jeff Bezos has built a business that is, ultimately, about offering every kind of access to every kind of thing. You can buy shoes and coyote urine, subscribe to periodicals and deodorant, stream music and movies and TV shows. Oddly, books have been the holdout, as Amazon's fights with publishers have largely kept it from experimenting with new forms of packaging and distribution.
The recent takeover of Poland's second-largest bookstore chain Matras could define the direction in which the country's book market will move over the next several years. Two rival chains, Empik and Matras, are experimenting with new store formats and expanding into smaller cities to reach out to readers.
The takeover of Matras by businessman Jerzy Kowalewski marks the end of a long saga for the bookstore chain. Rumors of its potential acquisition by a new investor date back to at least 2012
We have all read about the decline of the independent bookstores in the UK and US. However, we have also seen the relaunch of Foyles in Charing Cross, the expansion of the Hatchards brand by Waterstones to St Pancras, the growth online of the bargain bookseller, The Works. So what is the future of the Bookstore and does it have a vision of itself in 2020, or is its vision somewhat out of focus and requiring both short and long sighted correction?
Malcolm Gladwell, Dick Cavett, and Dave Hill discuss the Amazon-Hachette dispute on TOUGHTalk. Directed, shot, and edited by Tim Fornara.
Amazon calls Edan Lepucki's new book California one of the "best books of July," but the highly anticipated novel about a post-apocalyptic world has been caught in a real-life battle. Lepucki finds herself in the cross fire between Amazon and her publishing house Hachette, which have been in a contract dispute for months now. As a bargaining tactic, Amazon has been delaying shipments of some books, and in the case of Lepucki, refusing to make the title available for pre-order.
Citing a lack of funding from outside the book industry, World Book Night U.S. is suspending operations.
Executive director Carl Lennertz said, "This has been a remarkable, passionate undertaking, and it has been a success by all measures, except for one: outside funding. For three years, the publishing industry and book community have very generously footed the bill and contributed enormous time and effort, and my gratitude for all of that is immeasurable. For us here at World Book Night, this experience has been life-changing
Brick-and-mortar book stores have clearly been on the decline for a while -- just look at Barnes & Noble's rocky finances. However, there's now some tangible evidence that the pendulum has swung in favor of internet-based sales. BookStats estimates that US publishers made more money from online orders and e-books in 2013 ($7.54 billion) than they did from old-fashioned physical retail ($7.12 billion). While the difference isn't huge, it suggests that a large chunk of the American population is content with buying books that it hasn't seen in person.
French lawmakers adopted a bill on Thursday that will prevent Amazon and other online giants from offering free deliveries of discounted books, in a bid to support the country's small bookshops.
The Senate gave its approval for the bill, which had already been unanimously backed in the lower house National Assembly, and it is expected to be signed into law by President Francois Hollande within the next two weeks.
The bill bans online giants such as Amazon from delivering books without charge, but still allows them to set discounts of up to five percent