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Thursday News: B&N supporting publishers who support their bookstores;

B&N says that it supports publishers who support their bookstores. I can’t help but think to the Agency pricing decision from Judge Cote who wroteAs to Amazon’s alleged free-riding, the decree expressly permits the Settling Defendants to compensate brick-and-mortar bookstores directly for promotional services that they provide to publishers or consumers. The Settling Defendants should be willing to pay for these services if they truly value them.” 

It could be that B&N is asking for some additional payment from a publisher. It may be that B&N doesn’t want to see early releases of digital books followed by print books. It could be that they want publisher kiosks like the Penguin one in their stores. Who knows but it’s an interesting dispute. Publishers Weekly

“All of the top ten US publishers in the country now recognize that customers will not accept books with paper that comes from the destruction of endangered rainforests. This is a seismic shift in an industry that just two years ago was rife with controversial paper,” said Robin Averbeck, a Forest Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network. “US publishers are sending a loud and clear message to forest destroying paper companies like Asia Pulp and Paper and APRIL that consumers are demanding rainforest safe paper.” Read more at Monga Bay

That was in 1936, and there were only four Lykovs then—Karp; his wife, Akulina; a son named Savin, 9 years old, and Natalia, a daughter who was only 2. Taking their possessions and some seeds, they had retreated ever deeper into the taiga, building themselves a succession of crude dwelling places, until at last they had fetched up in this desolate spot. Two more children had been born in the wild—Dmitry in 1940 and Agafia in 1943—and neither of the youngest Lykov children had ever seen a human being who was not a member of their family. All that Agafia and Dmitry knew of the outside world they learned entirely from their parents’ stories. The family’s principal entertainment, the Russian journalist Vasily Peskov noted, “was for everyone to recount their dreams.”

It’s a pretty fascinating story. Karp Lykov died in his sleep in 1988. Smithsonian Magazine

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

7 Comments

  1. SAO
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 04:47:22

    I get annoyed with all this “support” crap. A retailer should sell products they think their customers want to buy. It’s a commercial relationship, not a friendship or a mutual aid society.

    Thanks to bookstore closings, I (and I’m sure many other people) no longer live near a bookstore. So, the likelihood that we will make a trek to B&N is going to notably decline if they can’t be relied on to have popular books.

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  2. Ren
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 05:27:10

    @SAO: Anyone who’s been to business school since Costco became a thing knows the customer is irrelevant. Those stupid sheep will buy in bulk whatever is on the shelf, so it’s in the suppliers’ best interests to pay handsomely to appear on that shelf.

    If it’s true for ketchup and plastic spoons, SURELY it’s true for books.

    Maybe publishers will protest the squeeze by opening their own book stores, guaranteed to have their new releases available on time, maybe a great opportunity to have a POD machine to take care of anything they don’t happen to have on the shelf… Yes, it would be a hassle to go to six different book stores to shop by publisher, but a better hassle than going to one store, wading through all the non-book crap and the restaurant, only to find out they don’t have anything you came for.

    #whyamazongetsmymoney

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  3. SAO
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 06:57:40

    Maybe if you live in or near a reasonably sized city, there will be a number of bookstores by publisher, but I can’t see it happening in Maine. Amazon gets my money, too.

    With few exceptions, like Harlequin, publishers don’t have good branding. I never know or care who is the publisher of a book I want to buy. I’d bet at a publisher’s house brand store, they’d be constantly getting requests from customers for books by other publishers with the customers leaving in disgust at the lousy bookstore when they can’t find what they’re looking for.

    And yeah, I went to B-school before Costco. I must say, though, that a lot of brands are more or less interchangeable. Who cares what plastic spoon you buy?

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  4. Cindy
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 07:50:10

    Especially since many customers don’t even know the author or title when they come looking for it. And if they’re told there are x amount of books by said title and ask them what it’s about or what the genre is, you get a blank look. I don’t see stores by publisher working.

    What we need is a start up that is run by people who know and love books.

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  5. Christine
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 08:32:06

    It got to the point long ago that I stopped buying romance novels at Barnes and Noble for a few reasons. 1- they kept burying them further and further towards the back of the store and moving the section every few months. 2- New titles were rarely if ever put out in a timely fashion. 3- lack of backlist or series titles available. This was also true for mysteries. If it wasn’t the current ” hottest” series, good luck finding the first books in the series. 4- customer service snarking- usually by the male cashier. I’ve had them openly snort and guffaw at what I am ringing up. Who needs that aggravation? While I have bought magazines and some discounted hardcovers at B&N I cannot remember the last time I bought a paperback or hardcover novel from them.

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  6. Mel
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 08:41:51

    I never get these calls for publishers to open up their own stores. Am I the only person who values their time too highly to check multiple bookstores on a weekly basis on the chance that something interesting might have come out that week. Then, as an e-book only reader, there is the issue of multiple bookshelves, differing DRMs, etc. I can deal with all these issues, but why should I?

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  7. Germaine
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 11:35:24

    I live in a town of about 100,000 people. We used to have a B&N and a Borders kitty-corner from each other downtown. Parking was lousy and both of the stores had more “stuff” like backpacks and coffee mugs than books before they closed for good. We are down to one independent which seems to be doing just fine. It’s got lots of parking and lots of titles. I make a point to make a good sized purchase there several times a year, but for my every-day, feed-my-romance-and-mystery habit, I buy on-line — it’s cheaper and the selection is unlimited. The only thing I miss about the big stores is their magazine sections. They were truly awesome.

    As for going from store to store to get books — there is so little that the major publishing houses are putting out, I doubt I would go into them from one end of the year to the next.

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