While not a surprise to anyone who had followed the book retailer's recent financial struggles, the official announcement yesterday that Borders Group had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy still caused a stir throughout the book publishing industry, as publishers, retailers, authors and consumers speculated about what this development could mean for the future of brick-and-mortar bookstores.
DETROIT (Reuters) - Target Corp affirmed on Wednesday it would begin selling Amazon.com Inc's Kindle e-reader in all its stores starting on Sunday, making it the first brick-and-mortar retailer to carry the top-selling reading device.
With ostensibly lower production costs and a rich vein of backlist titles to mine, it may have been inevitable that e-book publishers would leverage the advantages of their medium to offer authors a higher percentage roy-alty rate for their works. This did not make it any less of a jolt when celebrity author Stephen Covey signed a digital rights deal with e-book publisher RosettaBooks, garnering him more than half of net proceeds for e-book sales of two of his older backlist books, including the famous "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," which would be sold exclusively through Amazon.com for one year. (Covey's print books are published by Simon & Schuster, which released a statement reflecting its position that e-book versions of the company's print titles should remain part of the company's catalog.)
What does it mean when a city of 230,000 loses its lone bookstore, as is happening to Laredo, Texas, in early 2010? With a world of books available to purchase online, is it merely a symbolic loss, or is there something more deep-rooted at work?
If the Internet has taught traditional media anything, it’s that valuable content should be protected or it will quickly lose its worth. Letting music, news articles or whatever fall into the hands of those who do not value it has been toppling old media companies left and right, and is likely to continue. Take newspapers: Had their stories not been copied, pasted, snarked upon and uprooted far from their original sources (and the advertisers), there wouldn’t be nearly as many journalists in the unemployment line today.
In advance of this year's BookExpo America (BEA), held May 28-31 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, one might have expected to see tumbleweeds blowing through the aisles, based on pre-show media coverage and word in the blogosphere pondering the show's future and its role in the industry. While a number of exhibitors noted that traffic seemed lighter this year, and many publishers downsized their booth space or decided not to exhibit at all (Thomas Nelson, which announced its decision prior to the 2008 BEA, was among the most notable not to exhibit), the event was successful for many publishers—though their objectives for "success" varied, and few seem to include actual sales. Also, many publishers' booths were difficult to traverse due to crowds.
Children are pulled in many directions today; at least, their attention is. They are occupied by MP3 players, gaming systems, computers, cell phones, handheld electronic games and other digital technologies. And yes, children still play old-fashioned board games. They also attend school, compete in team sports, and participate in community and extracurricular activities. With all of these outlets occupying children’s time, how are books faring? With an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 new children’s titles released each year, children’s book publishers are concerned with how their books can compete for young readers’ attention with the thousands of titles already in the market, according to Ron
Now in its 21st year, the Gold Ink Awards call attention to the print industry’s finest projects. 2008 was no exception, as North American Publishing Co. (NAPCO; parent company of both the Gold Ink Awards and Book Business) received more than 1,400 entries for this year’s competition. As always, a talented team of judges hailing from diverse backgrounds across the industry poured through the submissions, awarding Gold, Silver, Bronze and Pewter honors in 46 categories. In all, 488 entries were selected for awards. Nearly two-dozen judges sorted and sifted through the finest print pieces, submitted by publishers and printers alike, over the course of
“Today the book business stands at the edge of a vast transformation, one that promises much opportunity for innovation: much trial, much error, much improvement.” —Jason Epstein (“Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future,” Norton 2001) That was seven years ago, and today, innovation and experimentation—trial and error—is the theme of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) report “From Experimentation to Innovation in the Digital Age.” The report contains the results of a survey on the industry’s attitudes and actions pertaining to experimentation (more on page 7). It also contains case studies—based on interviews conducted by Mike Shatzkin, founder/CEO of The Idea Logical Co.,