June Bookstore Sales Down
June bookstore sales fell 1.9%, to $1.04 million, compared to June 2010, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have inched up 0.1%, to $7.05 billion.
From Shelf Awareness
$50,000 Book Deal for Tao Lin
Writer Tao Lin has landed a $50,000 deal with Vintage Books for his novel, Taipei, Taiwan. According to The New York Observer, Lin (pictured, via) will also receive an additional $10,000 bonus if the profits for his novel earn out his advance.
A Real Book Cafe
The Ideal Book Cafe- "It's the living room one aspires for but never has," said a customer of Bikya Book Café in Cairo, Egypt. The bookstore, which is owned by five women, opened last January and "has now become a cultural hub in the middle of Nasr City, a neighborhood deficient in cultural venues. In Bikya, people come to read, meet with friends or work quietly in a corner. Few places in Cairo offer a truly quiet environment such as Bikya," the Daily News Egypt reported.
Top talent from DC Comics
The New 52 will be attending this year’s New York Comic Con (NYCC). The annual pop culture extravaganza will include guests Mahmud Asrar, Brian Azzarello, Greg Capullo, Cliff Chiang, Tony Daniel, Dan DiDio, Keith Giffen, Paul Levitz, Francis Manapul, Fabian Nicieza, Joe Prado, Amy Reeder, Ivan Reis, Ardian Syaf, Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, and more. DC Entertainment will once again occupy a 3000 square foot booth on the show floor where fans will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with creators and staff. The preeminent publisher will be participating in several panels over the course of the weekend and officials at DC note that “behind-the-scenes” information about DC Entertainment will be revealed over the course of the weekend. The centrally located booth will feature talent signings, free giveaways and early peeks at the newest action figures, statues, busts and other amazing collectibles on display from DC Direct. The official New York Comic Con poster celebrates DC Comic’s JUSTICE LEAGUE in all their glory set against the iconic NYC backdrop of the Statue of Liberty. The poster is designed by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis. The posters are not for sale, but signed copies are included in the NYCC VIP packages.
French Bookstore Wins Award
Shakespeare & Co. in Paris is one of 46 French bookstores that will be nationally recognized as libraires indépendantes de référence (LIR), an award launched in 2009 by culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand. The Bookseller reported there are now 514 recipients of the honor, which "aims to maintain the national network of independents in France." Requirements for the designation include "deriving at least half their turnover from the sale of books, proof of independence, diversity of stock, the quality of staff and services, and a strong program of events," the Bookseller wrote.
Amazon Cracking Down on Duplicative eBooks
Amazon is cracking down on "publishers" of "spurious or duplicative" e-books created using private label rights (P.L.R.), which have inundated the Kindle Store. According to the New York Times, "When P.L.R. is applied to e-books, someone writes something--say, a guide to marketing information on Kindle--and then sells the rights to others, who repackage it under their own name and title. In theory, the new owner is also supposed to refashion the text to make it his own, but this does not often happen. A search on 'Kindle marketing' in the Kindle Store turned up 12,990 results." The Times cited reports last week from commentators on Warrior Forum, an Internet marketing site, that Amazon "was yanking their P.L.R. e-books from the Kindle Store. Amazon tells the offenders that their copycats 'diminish the experience for customers.' "
Slow Process for eReaders in Brazil
E-book distribution and retailing is ramping up, but only 4,000 e-book titles are available in Brazilian Portuguese. Over the past 12 months, Brazilians put aside their fears that the e-book would be the death of the printed book and put more energy into finally moving into the digital era, but the number of native e-book titles is growing slowly. At Saraiva’s e-bookstore, to take but one example, there are more than 220,000 digital titles on sale, but over 99% of them are in English.
Apple eBook Law Suit- Evidence “Circumstantial”
Steve Berman, the key attorney in the lawsuit accusing Apple of price fixing e-books, spoke with Publishing Perspectives earlier today. Berman noted that, currently, all evidence supporting their case is “circumstantial.” He reiterated his belief that Apple and several publishers acted in concert to undermine Amazon.com’s leading market position with regards to e-books.” Attorney Steve Berman says, "Jobs knew what was coming..." “Had Macmillan, which initially challenged Amazon’s e-book pricing strategy and said ‘take it or leave it,’ had they acted individually, that would have been perfectly legal,” said Berman. “But the speed at which everyone shifted and abandoned a decade’s-old pricing strategy at the same time indicates that the move was orchestrated. We believe that Apple acted as co-conspirators with the publishers and Steve Jobs knew what was coming down the pipe.”
BookTour.com is Closing
Jacket Copy broke the news today that BookTour.com will close. Since 2007, the site has helped authors, publicists and readers connect through book tours. Site manager Kevin Smokler wrote an email about the closure: “Fewer author tours and changes in book marketing budgets have made our company financially unviable. And while we would like to continue providing the valuable service that is BookTour, everyone here has families to feed and bills to pay.”