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Bookstore

Daunt Books runs flyer promo for Recommendations
January 30, 2015 | 2:25 pm

IMG_20150129_084130 Daunt Books, the highly regarded UK bookstore chain which began with a travel focus and has since branched out into general book selling - as well as producing the savior of Waterstones, James Daunt - has a rather attractive version of the Amazon Recommendations engine: In print, naturally, for print books. Themed printed flyers. The flyers, keyed to a particular highly popular/visible title, take up the same theme or category and show other recommendations. The examples on show are for young adult readers, but there are plenty of others for different age groups from kids' literature to adult fiction. And of...

Tesco bails on Blinkbox, bids bye to Blinkbox Books
January 27, 2015 | 6:25 pm

blinkboxTesco has followed through on widespread predictions, and followed the sale of its Blinkbox video service and telecoms provider platform with the disposal of its other Blinkbox-branded online media ventures, including Blinkbox books. Tesco has sold its streaming music service, Blinkbox Music, to Australian streaming platform Guvera, as detailed in an announcement, which states that: "The acquisition of blinkbox Music will help significantly accelerate the growth of Guvera’s business.  Leveraging blinkbox Music’s deep technical, product, marketing and content expertise will allow Guvera to expand into Western Europe faster." The Bookseller, meanwhile, quoted a Tesco spokesperson saying that the Blinkbox Books service would...

UK indie bookseller sector not dead yet apparently
January 17, 2015 | 2:49 pm

Despite the best efforts of UK business rates and rent setters, and Big Publishing, British independent booksellers appear not to have been killed off yet, but are in fact thriving, at least if a piece in The Bookseller, reporting the results of its own survey, is anything to go by. The Bookseller's Independents Christmas Trading Survey may not have the largest sample size on record, at just 57 respondents, but with a total of just 987 still in business as of early 2014, according to the Booksellers Association, it is fairly representative. And it indicated that almost 80 percent of the respondents saw...

Textbook publisher Follett threatens price-comparison browser plug-in
January 6, 2015 | 1:23 pm

A textbook price-comparison browser extension developed by textbook price finding site Texts.com has come under fire from textbook publisher Follett. This extension, “Occupy the Bookstore,” sits in a user’s browser and pops up less-expensive alternative purchasing sites when the user is visiting some online textbook store. Follett asked Texts.com to remove the extension because it draws sales away from stores Follet supplies. Texts.com has no intention of dropping the extension. They believe Follet does not have a case, because the price-comparison plug-in does not actually interact with the stores’ web sites; it interacts with data on the customer’s browser...

James Patterson gives third round of grants to bookstores
December 16, 2014 | 6:25 pm

James PattersonJames Patterson is at it again. The best-selling author sent another round of donations to independent books stores around the country. This time, he doled out $473,000 to 81 shops in a third round of donations, according to the Associated Press. Patterson has donated more than $1 million since he launched the program a year ago. Initially, Patterson had intended this third round to be the last, but that may not be the case. According to the AP, he will offer more in 2015 along with an “ambitious plan to help school libraries.” The grants were awarded to shops based on proposals....

One of Budapest’s loveliest bookshops: Rózsavölgyi és Társa
December 11, 2014 | 1:00 pm

IMG_20141202_182020 One of Budapest's most fascinating and attractive specialist bookshops, as well as the storefront for one of Hungary's largest music publishers, is Rózsavölgyi és Társa, just off the tourist thoroughfare of Váci utca and a major feature of the Rózsavölgyi House, itself an architectural monument. As the pictures indicate, this is mostly a music bookshop, with possibly the largest selection of sheet music available anywhere in the city. It also sells musical instruments and accessories of all kinds for performing and student musicians, as well as a huge selection of classical CDs and DVDs. However, for visitors and others, it has a big...

Taiwan brings back the bookstore
December 2, 2014 | 2:26 pm

According to a recent report in CNN, Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite is leading a renaissance of the bricks-and-mortar bookshop on the island, by focusing above all on the social experience of browsing and reading together. The chain facilitates this not only by a totally browser-friendly posture, but also by staying open 24 hours a day in some cases, and with cafes, gift shops, cultural events, and generally every means to make the stores social and cultural hubs as well as book marts. The chain is reportedly turning a healthy profit, fueled substantially by book sales. Barnes & Noble should take...

What would make an Amazon competitor competitive?
October 21, 2014 | 2:25 pm

competitionAs all and sundry go round and round about Amazon/Hachette and the end of author royalties as we know it, I stopped to consider. I believe the eBook marketplace is healthier with competition, even if Amazon is right now a pretty darned good company to do business with. I do not consider B&N, Kobo or Apple to be the ideal competition, although together, they may not be too bad. So, I asked myself, with both my reader and author hats on, what it would take to be a contender in the eBook marketplace. As a reader This was tough because Amazon does...

Amazon to experiment with brick-and-mortar store in New York City
October 9, 2014 | 5:16 pm

Remember when Apple opened its first retail store and everyone thought they were crazy? It’s déjà vu all over again. The Wall Street Journal (article paywalled; google the headline to read) cites the ubiquitous “people familiar with” the matter to reveal that Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th St. in New York City, across from the Empire State Building and just a block away from Macy’s at Herald Square, just in time for the holiday season. The store space could be used for same-day delivery in New York City, returns and exchanges, order...

HarperCollins offers authors higher royalties for direct sales
October 2, 2014 | 6:17 pm

harper-collinsOne of the rallying cries of author advocates and Amazon adversaries alike has been that publishers should start selling their books direct to the public instead of letting middle-man Amazon have so much power. Another rallying cry is that publishers should pay authors bigger royalties. Well, Publishers Weekly reports that HarperCollins is combining those two suggestions, in a way—it’s offering authors an additional 10% royalty rate if they use an affiliate link on their web site to sell their book, e-book, or audiobook from HC’s direct sale site. (The PW article isn’t clear on the math; I’m assuming this means...

Why Are We Still Missing Out on Book Bundling Opportunities?
October 2, 2014 | 3:12 pm

art booksI saw a specialty display at Indigo the other day which sucked me right in: art books. I have always aspired to have skills in this area and never felt like I really did. The featured book of this display was on a technique calling 'zentangling' which promised success for everyone: it's just small doodles or patterns, repeated in miniature many times over. The finished designs are surprisingly slick-looking, and I coveted the book, going back to look at it several times, before pulling the trigger. I'm happy with my purchase, and feel that this is exactly the sort of book...

Amazon’s e-book position ‘weak’ but customer focus too strong for disruption
August 11, 2014 | 4:35 am

Here’s a couple of interesting takes on the Amazon/Hachette affair. It’s kind of refreshing, actually, after all this back and forth he-said/she-said of authors in favor of Amazon or Hachette and Amazon and Hachette themselves to look at what more neutral parties are saying. For starters, here’s Jake Kerr on Medium.com suggesting that Amazon is fighting so hard for lower prices on e-books because, far from being the monopolistic behemoth others accuse it of, its position in the e-book trade is actually fairly weak. This seems a little counterintuitive at first, but Kerr points out that e-book stores have...