Tag Archives: independent bookstores

James Patterson Donates $1M to Independent Bookstores

Who better to make a statement about the future of the book industry than one of the most popular bestselling authors of all time? That’s exactly what author James Patterson did when he promised to donate $1 million to independent bookstores across the country.

According to CBS, James Patterson is concerned that because of the rapid growth of e-readers, the independent bookstores and libraries are losing steam. So he’s pledged $1 million to keep these places alive. He says he doesn’t care how the money is used — whether it’s to better the stores and libraries themselves or to increase pay for their employees.

He says what’s most important is that these are “viable” bookstores and that they have children’s sections.

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Showdown: Barnes and Noble vs. Amazon

Now that Amazon has a growing book publishing industry, authors will have to choose between selling their books on Amazon or in Barnes and Noble and other bookstores across the country. One thing’s for sure; they can’t have it both ways.

Last week, Barnes and Noble released a statement, saying it would not sell Amazon-published books in its stores. According to this article by The New York Times, the decision is the latest punch in the battle between B&N and Amazon. B&N’s chief merchandising officer, Jaime Carey explains the reasoning behind the decision.

“Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain e-books to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It’s clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest.”

Yikes; it’s clear that the tension between the two biggest booksellers in the country has been growing for quite some time.

Barnes and Noble will still sell Amazon-published books on its web site, but not all of them.

This move by Barnes and Noble may be smarter than it seems. Choosing not to sell Amazon’s books might seem like the company is limiting itself. On the other hand, a good number of authors will inevitably choose not to have Amazon publish their books if it means Barnes and Noble won’t sell them. That being said, it will be interesting to see how many books Amazon winds up publishing in 2012.

*Sidenote: Amazon’s latest publishing move is a book by country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.


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Author Attempts to Defy Odds, Opens Small Bookstore

In a time where Amazon and Barnes and Noble rule, the little guys are being shut down. That’s all well and good until it left Nashville, Tennessee without a bookstore. But now a local author is attempting to defy the odds by opening her own bookstore — one she says she doesn’t even want.

According to this article by The New York Times, Ann Patchett — the bestselling author of State of Wonder — is opening her own bookstore, called Parnassus. She couldn’t believe that this cultural city, which is also the home of Vanderbilt University, faced becoming a city with only a campus bookstore.

Between money she earned from her own book sales, the help of her business partner and publishing veteran, Karen Hayes, and six months of hard work, Patchett opened the store earlier this month.

Opening an independent bookstore in this day and age is hard, and Patchett knows it. But it’s also not impossible as Julie Bosman explains.

But she is aspiring to join a small band of bookstore owners who have found patches of old-fashioned success in recent years, competing where Amazon cannot: by being small and sleek, with personal service, intimate author events and a carefully chosen rotation of books.

In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Greenlight Bookstore opened in 2009 and reported sales of more than $1 million in its first year. The Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee was founded two years ago and has been profitable both years, its owner said.

For the sake of books and their industry, I hope that Patchett’s store succeeds. This may not be what she expected to do with her book earnings, but the people of Nashville will surely appreciate it.

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