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Tuesday: Amazon is evil; Barnes&Noble files disappointing quarterly results. Water is...

B&N still intends to produce new Nook devices. Whether this is hopeful thinking or they have actual new devices in development isn’t really clear. I’m betting the former. What they do plan to do is partner with a device manufacturer to launch some kind of Nook platform on an Android device.

It also plans to go further with its international plans, but there is no word on when that will occur either. The Digital Reader

This is great for the consumer and not necessarily bad for the publishers and authors right now because the discounts are eaten by Amazon and Overstock. What it could mean for the future, though? Who knows. It’s a temporary thing, for now.Tech

I have to say I never really grasped how exalted the indie bookseller was to the publishing crowd until the Google Books lawsuit and then the rise of digital books and Amazon occurred. I’m still not completely comprehending the romanticism around indie booksellers since I, as a romance reader, have been treated so poorly by them.

Nonetheless, the indie bookseller as the savior of all cultural literacy is really a fascinating paradigm and one that Mr. Cader really buys into. For instance, in this article, he completely mischaracterizes the price fixing lawsuit as a time in which publishers bravely stood up for higher prices.

Some publishers made the mistake of speaking out about the devaluation of their top releases, which the Department of Justice later painted as part of publishers’ Evil Plot to Destroy Amazon and force hard-working Americans to pay double digits for their new-release books.”Publishers Lunch

According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Teicher pointed out, for every $10 million that shifts from bricks-and-mortar stores to Amazon.com, 33 retail jobs are lost. Publishers Weekly

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

16 Comments

  1. jmc
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 07:13:08

    I bought bar stools at Overstock last week, and noticed their banner advertising books at 10% less than Amazon. I avoided temptation at the time because my book budget for the month was exhausted, but I wondered about their effort to break into that market. I like the home goods I’ve bought at Overstock, but it’s not a site I would have turned to automatically when hunting for books.

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  2. Christine
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 07:49:44

    I’m a firm believer that the market will find a way to give the consumer what it wants and trying to artificially keep businesses afloat that aren’t meeting the consumer’s needs never works. I like to compare the ebook/Amazon situation to the demise of Blockbuster. When Blockbuster (who drove the little independent video stores in my area I used to use out of business) started closing no one heralded it as the end of civilization. Personally, I would have preferred to have the smaller book chains or independent book stores that used to be dotted around strip malls or smaller shopping areas than the huge Barnes and Nobles and (now defunct) Borders.

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  3. hapax
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 08:17:19

    Obama visiting there is tantamount to swearing allegiance to the Republic

    I know this is hopelessly geeky of me, but I believe that you mean that Obama has joined the Empire.

    The publishers are just being silly here. I’m hardly a fan of the Amazon behemoth (you want a rant about Amazon? I’ve got PAGES of ‘em!) but as President, Obama’s in the business of encouraging jobs, period — not of endorsing particular industry models.

    To whinge about his visiting Amazon is like fans of the LA Dodgers complaining about Obama’s inviting the SF Giants to the White House for their World Series win — or, better, like construing that as a slap against the Golden State Warriors.

    I mean, where else should he go? A quick googling turns up less than thirty indie bookstores in the whole of Tennessee, and most of those are little UBS, whom the publishers consider even mohr eeeeeebil than Amazon.

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  4. Jane
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 08:26:44

    @hapax: Palpatine transformed the Republic into the Empire. It’s always been the Republic v. the Rebel Alliance for me.

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  5. cleo
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 08:48:13

    @Jane @hapax – your Star Wars exchange made me laugh out loud. This may be my favorite comment tangent yet.

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  6. Jane
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 08:49:52

    @cleo: It’s on topic, right? Right???

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  7. hapax
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 09:07:38

    Oh well, so long as it’s on topic…

    But wasn’t the purpose of the Rebel Alliance to restore the Republic? Only cleansed of the “imbalance” that allowed the Jedi Council to rot and permitted Palpatine’s rise to power?

    By that analogy, one can argue that Amazon is the true rescuer of the publishing industry, in that it “brings balance” to the relative power of the publishers, the authors, and the readers!

    (Oh, dear Lord, here I am saying Nice Things about Amazon. Somebody rescue me…)

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  8. Christine
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 09:54:48

    @hapax: I thought that was the case as well. The Republic became ineffectual but it had been democratic for centuries before Palatine took over. I always assumed it was based on the Roman Republic before Caesar.

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  9. M Cader
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 10:24:07

    Where in the world do you get this from?

    “Nonetheless, the indie bookseller as the savior of all cultural literacy is really a fascinating paradigm and one that Mr. Cader really buys into.”

    The following line, about publishers and pricing (we can agree to disagree there; there quoted line is 100% supported by the public court record) has nothing to do with your assertion above.

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  10. Jane
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 10:33:31

    @M Cader – people who believe that the price fixing case was about publishers standing up for cultural literacy and against Amazon are inside the paradigm. People who believe the price fixing case was about illegal actions by a horizontal cartel and that publishing doesn’t have a special exemption from acting in illegal ways are outside the paradigm. The “we’re special” argument has been made by every price fixing group since the 1920s. Courtney Milan has a great post on the “special snowflake argument.” http://www.courtneymilan.com/ramblings/2012/07/24/your-unspecial-antitrust-snowflake/

    In other words, ipso facto, the language used reveals where along the paradigm one falls.

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  11. M Cader
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 11:40:56

    Thanks, but you *still* have not addressed my question. My post — and the alleged paradigm inside which you believe I reside — does not mention or pertain to the “indie bookseller as the savior” of anything. You are making this up.

    I also never mention culture, or culture literacy. Not in the context of the current story. Not in the context of the DOJ case. The phrase “cultural literacy” has never appeared in Publishers Lunch. I cover the business of publishing. So in that case, you are projecting.

    Those points were the primary focus on my comment. I don’t think the comments field is the right place to engage with you on the DOJ case, which is a complicated set of events that you would like to reduce. We disagree, but I’ll just make clear here for the record that you misrepresent (or, a better guess, simply do not know) what I “believe.”

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  12. Carrie G
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 12:12:38

    @M Cader:

    ” I don’t think the comments field is the right place to engage with you on the DOJ case, which is a complicated set of events that you would like to reduce. ”

    Okay, I have to laugh at this! Give it up, M Cader! All you have to do is go back and read the many MANY posts following the DOJ case here on DA to know Jane isn’t about “reducing” a “complicated set of events.” She’s practically written a book on the subject and understands more than some of the defendants seemed to!

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  13. Alice
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 14:08:10

    I whole-heartedly adore the Star Wars references. <3

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  14. Mzcue
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 16:52:36

    I would never have thought of Overstock.com as a place to buy books until I read your post above. I checked it out, and indeed, many of the Nalini Singh books I’m devouring at the moment are cheaper on Overstock than Amazon. It’s interesting to note that Overstock prices are listed as “Today’s price is _____,” so I gather they are moving targets. My only reluctance is that I really prefer reading ebooks to hard copy anymore, and Overstock doesn’t seem to be offering those.

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  15. MikiS
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 01:30:06

    The Overstock banner ad on their books page says “One Week Only”, for what that’s worth.

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  16. Harper Kingsley
    Jul 31, 2013 @ 16:46:35

    I don’t know why Barnes & Noble doesn’t focus on fixing their physical stores before they throw all their money into ebooks and the Nook :/

    My local B&N boasts more toys and gadgets than the Sharper Image next to it, and their physical book selection has gotten smaller and smaller. And they’re usually books I’m not interested in.

    Seriously, if I was running a physical bookstore, I would get one of those book making machines (they’re only $10,000 to rent). People could come in, use the kiosk to order a book that’s not in the store, and go have a cup of coffee while it prints. And considering the size of B&N, they could probably cut the manufacturing costs because they’ve already got the paper and ink right there — it’s just printing a PDF file.

    Right now those machines use Lightning Source (which is a hassle to sign up for), but I think you can load your own documents. So if B&N went that route, they would get more authors signing up for their POD service, especially if it was a click-option while using PubIt or NookIt or whatever it’s called now. Plus, if they offered that service, independent bookstores could get the machines, use B&N as their file distributor, and have millions of books available without having to waste the space. Everyone makes money.

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