Doris Kearns Goodwin

After decades of decline, independent bookselling has become a growth industry.

For the fourth year in a row, membership has increased in the American Bookseller Association, the independent stores' trade group. According to CEO Oren Teicher, the association now includes 1,632 members — some operating in multiple locations — up 65 from last year. In 2009, there were 1,401 members and strong pessimism in the face of superstore chains, the online power of and the recent financial crisis.

We know that Barnes & Noble has the technology to process ebook transactions in its stores, and with a new holiday promotion the company announced Thursday, we’re seeing more ways that technology can work. Between December 20 and 24, customers who go to a Barnes & Noble physical store and buy an ebook from a list of 20 qualifying ebooks — including The Hobbit, Life of Pi and the entire Hunger Games trilogy – can “instant-gift” another ebook on that list for free.

From multimillion-dollar acquisitions to multimillion-dollar best-sellers, powerful women stand at every pivotal, decision-making point in the book publishing process. Book Business’ first annual “50 Top Women in Book Publishing” feature recognizes and honors some of these industry leaders who affect and transform how publishing companies do business, and what—and how—consumers read.

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