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Posts tagged bookstores

Morning Roundup: February bookstore sales dropped. Which metrics really matter? and more
April 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

bookstore sales droppedThe Chicago Sun-Times Shuts Down their Comment Section (The Digital Reader) It’s widely accepted that the anonymity of the internet can turn almost anyone into a troll, and nowhere is this more true than in the comment section. *** February Bookstore Sales Dropped 6.8% (Publishers Weekly) Hampered no doubt by bad winter weather, bookstore sales fell 6.8% in February, to $791 million, compared to February 2013, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. *** We are Drowning in Data About Readers and Attention, But Which Metrics Really Matter? (GigaOM) Thanks to the web and real-time measurement tools, the media industry has gone from having...

Indie bookstores doing fine: Now stop demonizing Amazon?
April 10, 2014 | 10:31 am

amazonSalon, rarely the most Amazon-friendly of venues, has just run another story on the state of the indie bookstore sector in the U.S., and found surprisingly positive trends. And naturally, being Salon, it saw fit to headline the report with a hit at Amazon like: "The independent bookstore lives! Why Amazon’s conquest will never be complete." In the article, Andrew Leonard picks up on the same kind of data that I instanced previously on the relative fortunes of indie bookstores and major book chains (Borders in particular, of course) in the era of digital disruption. "Brick-and-mortar bookstores aren’t dead, yet," he...

Morning Roundup: BooksOnBoard files lawsuit. UK court says electronic information is not property
March 27, 2014 | 6:46 am

BooksOnBoard files lawsuitDefunct Indie eBook Retailer BooksOnBoard Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple, 5 Publishers (The Digital Reader) BooksOnBoard may have abruptly gone out of business last April but that doesn’t mean it’s completely gone. Some remnant is still active, and last week it filed an antitrust lawsuit. *** UK Court Says Information Stored Electronically is Not Property (Techdirt) It confirms that the property of "intellectual property" is of monopoly rights, not of the information in the creative work. And since that information cannot be possessed, it therefore cannot be stolen, despite what copyright maximalists would have us believe. *** Even the Biggest and Smartest Digital Publishers Still Have...

Do indie bookstores really have that much to fear from digital disruption?
March 26, 2014 | 6:25 pm

digital disruptionPublishing savant and veteran book world journalist Jane Friedman has just shared "5 Valuable Charts That Show How Publishing Is Changing" from her personal Pinterest board, which she uses "for speaking at conferences and providing insight into how the industry is changing." All of them are fascinating, and well worth perusing. But I'd like to concentrate on just one, and on just one finding from it. That chart, reproduced here, is Bowker’s Books & Consumers US's chart of the "Retailer share of books bought by US consumers, Jan 2010-Nov 2012. And it shows some of the patterns that you'd expect. For...

Weekend Roundup: Buying best seller list status? What to do with Android tablet with broken screen
March 23, 2014 | 11:21 am

best seller listWhat's Wrong with Buying Your Way Onto the Best Seller List? (The Passive Voice) PG is inclined to think that, if one or more companies offer to place a book onto the NYT, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best seller lists, those best seller lists are gamed on a regular basis. *** The Problem with Pandora and Why It's Time to Clean Up the Digital Music Mess (GigaOm) A court ruled that Pandora should pay songwriters about the same amount as AM/FM stations. The ruling may seem fair, but it disguises the much deeper problems of an outdated system for compensating musicians. *** Beyond the...

What if Amazon bought Barnes & Noble?
March 14, 2014 | 11:12 am

There’s a peculiar phenomenon by which year-old articles sometimes show up again in news aggregators and social network feeds that for some reason see the month and day part of the date and miss the year. (It’s gotten me in trouble before.) But today it brings up an interesting blog post I missed the first time around. And while a lot has changed since the post was written in March 2013, it still bears a little bit of thinking about: might or should Amazon buy the struggling Barnes & Noble? There’s been a lot of speculation...

Morning Roundup: Libraries driving digital transition, Canada Writer’s Union to accept self-published authors
March 4, 2014 | 9:00 am

libraries driving digital transitionNew Report Hails Librarians as Drivers of Digital Transition (The Digital Shift) The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) published the report “Leading In and Beyond the Library,” this past January, showing the importance of school and public libraries in both state and district-wide efforts toward digital learning and the effective use of technology in teaching. *** Is Canada Seeing the Death of the Niche Bookstore? (Digital Book World) If there’s a conclusion to be drawn, then, it’s that niche bookstores are facing the same struggles as other indie bookstores. We can all support them by buying from them. *** The Writer's Union of Canada to Accept...

Weekend Links: Dangers of 3D printing. Common ground in publishing debate?
February 23, 2014 | 11:21 am

dangers of 3d printingBrave Bookselling (Brave New World) If Bookstores are to survive they must change and adapt. They must embrace all books and in doing so take some risks. They must widen their appeal and offer complimentary services and goods and they must start to see the glass half full and not half empty. *** Common Ground in the Debate of Self vs. Traditional Publishing (Digital Book World) This debate is fun for the publishing industry. It illustrates the growth and upcoming unknown. But in the end, there will always be great things to read. That it what ultimately matters. *** Will 3D Printing Transform the World, or...

HuffPost buys into Espresso model to save bookstores
January 12, 2014 | 12:30 pm

bookstoresYes, the Huffington Post appears to have bought into the print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine model as the solution to bookstores' woes in the digital age. Or at least, travel writer columnist Eytan Levy does. In his piece "How to Save Local Bookstores in Two Easy Steps," he outlines how these machines and tablet affiliate sales could be the salvation of bricks-and-mortar bibliophilia. Salvation must begin, though, by "recognizing the impending doom of the current model," he believes. "Local bookstores currently face the difficulties of increased overhead due to real estate costs and inventory issues, whereas Amazon can cut those costs by shipping...

Barnes & Noble names Nook division CEO Michael Huseby to overall CEO slot
January 8, 2014 | 2:20 pm

Barnes and Noble has just picked up a new overall CEO. Or at least a new-old one. Digital Book World and Publishers Weekly report that B&N has moved Michael Huseby, former CEO of the Nook division, into the top CEO spot left by William Lynch who vacated in July. Huseby said in a statement in the press release: My role, as I see it, is to enhance and unlock the value of these businesses for our shareholders. We are well-positioned in today’s dynamic reading and learning markets and confident in our ability to provide our customers...

Barnes & Noble bookseller LiveJournal community offers candid, depressing look behind the scenes at B&N stores
December 19, 2013 | 7:31 pm

Over on The Passive Voice, I found a link to a LJ community where Barnes & Noble employees anonymously discuss their work lives. I’ve been reading through a few comment threads, and wow is it depressing. You would sort of expect Barnes & Nobles to be decent places to work, wouldn’t you? All the books, the surrounding of pure distillate of culture on every shelf. It’s not an “everything store” for cheap and shoddy goods like Wal-Mart, after all. Surely they pay their employees a decent wage and treat them decently, right? Right? …wrong. The comments...

‘The commune is passé’: Publishers need to wake up and face the new world
December 13, 2013 | 2:49 pm

Fullscreen capture 12132013 23200 PM.bmp‘Tis the season for holiday specials, and one of the more obscure yet entertaining ones you will find is the Oscar-nominated “A Doonesbury Special” from 1977. Nominated for Best Animated Short, this half-hour TV special features the Doonesbury gang looking back at the just-ended hippie movement and trying to figure out where it all went and make sense of where they are now. I bring it up, because it seems like the big publishers and the Authors Guild are in a similar boat. They’re looking back at the era when they dominated publishing—they were the great gatekeepers, and the...