Friday, April 19, 2013

Why do e-book outfits love the letter 'K'? (Part 2)

Photo: Selina Swayne (from: word and image)

"An Australian bookseller has announced that he will no longer stand 'passively by while Amazon steals our customers and steals their reading choices,' and is urging readers to throw their Kindles in a specially provided bin.
     Pages and Pages, one of Australia's leading independent booksellers, made the announcement on Friday that it would be holding a 'Kindle Amnesty' on the third Saturday of every month, when customers would be able to get rid of their old Kindles in a bin in the Mosman Village, Sydney store in exchange for a A$50 (£34) gift voucher if they also buy the ereader the store sells.
     'Pages & Pages is no longer sitting passively by while Amazon steals our customers and steals their reading choices. Through this campaign we want people to understand what Amazon is doing and make an informed choice to have choice,' said manager and Australian Booksellers Association president Jon Page.
     'The ebook is not a threat to physical bookshops. This new format presents bookshops and readers with many wonderful opportunities to sell and read more books. What does threaten bookshops is a company who engages in uncompetitive behaviour, pays no tax in Australia and misleads readers with restrictive devices and fake book reviews.'"
— Alison Flood, The Guardian

"If print could talk, it would surely be telling the world, Mark Twain-style, that reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. The market for e-books grew exponentially after Amazon introduced the Kindle, and it’s still one of the most fascinating and unpredictable sectors of a once hidebound industry.
     But the early-adapter boom is showing signs of flagging and the growth of the e-book market appears to be leveling out. E-books are definitely here to stay, but it seems that many, many readers — a threefold majority, in fact — still prefer print.
     […] New self-publishing enterprises are a godsend for traditional publishers because they can take much of the uncertainty out of signing a new author. By the time a self-published author has made a success of his or her book, all the hard stuff is done, not just writing the manuscript but editing and the all-important marketing. Instead of investing their money in unknown authors, then collaborating to make their books better and find them an audience, publishers can swoop in and pluck the juiciest fruits at the moment of maximum ripeness. As Hughes points out, that’s exactly what happened with erotica blockbuster E.L. James."
— Laura Miller, Salon
Read more…

"Last October, when superstorm Sandy ripped through Connecticut, it flooded Bank Square Books in Mystic. Owner Annie Philbrick recalls walking inside to the smell of the ocean and a soaking wet carpet. […]
     Not to worry. Three weeks after superstorm Sandy, on Nov. 16 at 11 a.m., Bank Square Books reopened for business. 'We couldn't have done it without the help of our community,' says Philbrick. 'It was pretty incredible.'[…]
     That community support is by no means unique to Bank Square Books, and it may be the secret ingredient behind a quiet resurgence of independent bookstores, which were supposed to go the way of the stone tablet – done in first by the national chains, then Amazon, and then e-books.
     A funny thing happened on the way to the funeral.
     While beloved bookstores still close down every year, sales at independent bookstores overall are rising, established independents are expanding, and new ones are popping up from Brooklyn to Big Stone Gap, Va. Bookstore owners credit the modest increases to everything from the shuttering of Borders to the rise of the 'buy local' movement to a get-'er-done outlook among the indies that would shame Larry the Cable Guy. If they have to sell cheesecake or run a summer camp to survive, add it to the to-do list.

Wendy Welch and her husband
(from: Malaprop's Bookstore Café)
    '2012 was the year of the bookstore,' says Wendy Welch, co-owner of Tales of the Lonesome Pine in Virginia and author of the 2012 memoir The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap. In her memoir, she recounts how she and her husband, Jack Beck, created – sometimes despite themselves – a successful used-book store in a town that, by any business measure, is too small to support one."

— Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor

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