Wednesday News: Simon & Schuster opens up digital lending, Taiwanese book business booming, Montlake offers review copies, and Hungarian anti-rape, woman-shaming video
S&S Expands Library E-book Lending – Simon and Schuster will now be providing both front and backlist books to all libraries. This is a change over their previous policy, which was to allow only those libraries that were part of it’s “Buy it Now” program, where the borrower would have the option to buy the book directly from the publisher. Of course, S&S is still touting Buy it Now, and apparently some of the money does go to the library, but I don’t know how much.
“We very much look forward to serving the broadest possible segment of the library community in order to bring our e-books to their patrons,” said S&S president and CEO Carolyn Reidy, who added that the publisher still hopes libraries will “consider ‘Buy It Now’ as a new and viable option to generate revenue for the library and provide a service for their patrons.” –Publishers Weekly
Nightclubs for literature? Why book selling is booming in Taiwan – This is seriously cool. Elite has created a model for bookselling, particularly in Taiwan, that has the company growing and expanding to other parts of Asia. At 25 years old, and with 42 stores in Taiwan, Eslite’s secret is a 24-hour store experience, where readers of all ages and backgrounds can browse or read or have a snack at any time of the day or night. I don’t know how well this concept would do in the US, but having spent time in Taipei (and no small amount wandering the night markets), I understand why the nighttime reading experience would be popular.
Eslite is now expanding into China, and is facing criticism for its decision to preemptively suppress the sale of certain books of which the Chinese government would likely not approve.
Eslite has hit upon a concept to dodge this trend — making the store as much a place for books as it is for design, fashion and home styling, small cafes and restaurants.
It reported revenue of around $425 million in 2013, with books accounting for some 40 percent of sales, according to company spokesman Timothy Wang. Sales are expected to increase by almost eight percent this year. –CNN
Welcome to the Montlake Romance Media Kit Site – So Montlake, Amazon’s Romance imprint, has started its own promotional website, complete with press kits and ARCs of upcoming releases. It looks like they’ve got about 40 titles up, including books by Anne Stuart, Connie Brockway, and Brenda Novak.
This site offers book reviewers, bloggers and media professionals a convenient way to access information and materials for upcoming and recent Montlake Romance titles. For information on books not featured here, please contact us at [email protected]. –Amazon/Montlake
How Not to Make a PSA About Rape – Just in time for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Hungary has released a video that is so offensive it’s hard to believe it’s even real. But apparently it is, and as this feature in The Atlantic, notes, a disastrous mess of victim-blaming, but what really horrified me was the extent to which the video eroticizes these young women, sensationalizing and exploiting their sexuality in the process of shaming them into, well, I’m not sure what, exactly. Ick.
The key takeaway from the “You can do something about it, you can do something against it” campaign? Hungarian women should not invite rape by drinking, flirting, dressing scantily, or dancing suggestively.
In case the message was lost, another county police department in the country issued a statement on Tuesday warning that “flirting by young women can often elicit violence,” according to the AP. –The Atlantic
I took a look at the Montlake site.
Very disappointed that there’s no diversity to be found with as many covers as they’ve got up. Come on Amazon, are you telling me that you couldn’t list one cover with a multicultural or person of color on the cover?
Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I had to say something. Here’s my message to Montlake:
“Where are your covers showing either multicultural or persons of color?
This is beyond sad that all you’ve chosen to promote are white couples, with an utter disregard for the diversity of readers and also writers.
This is 2014 not 1940. Please at least attempt to be more inclusive.”
I live in Taipei and I just had to comment on how fantastic Eslite is. Let’s not talk about what percentage of paycheck goes to that place. How can you not love a city with a 24 hour book store?
@ohhellsyeah: yeah, I didn’t want to be snarky but…Isn’t the Eslite idea just a physical bookstore? I know it’s open 24 hours and serves refreshments but it’s a physical bookstore. Like Borders was. Which I loved and had events and had coffee bars in the ones I visited. It was a perfectly nice physical bookstore that lots of folks abandoned when Amazon provided instant gratification. With buyers saying that their schedules are too hectic to go browse in a brick-and-mortar structure, with buyers wanting the immediacy Amazon provides and/or not living near a bookstore, I can’t see how this concept would make it in the book culture of the States.
@P. J. Dean: The impression I got from the article is more that the company made hanging out around books “cool” vs the US market of “buy! buy! buy! Now leave!” that we have now. IDK if its like this around your way but around my way the major bookstores have removed all seating except if they have a cafe. I used to be able to go into a B&N or a Borders and take a seat – not anymore.
If you want a counterpoint to the complete and utter wrongness of the Hungarian ad campaign, here’s how Scotland did it. This is the campaign by the Scottish police force. Straightforward. Simple. Not confined to heterosexuals. And aimed, not at women, but men. http://www.wecanstopit.co.uk/default.aspx
@Susanna Kearsley: That is a great campaign. I especially like it being aimed at possible perpetrators instead of potential victims.
@RebeccaA: Me, too.
Under the section marked “What Can You Do?”, here’s one thing the Scottish Police force tells guys to do:
“Question your own attitudes. Consider the messages you hear about how men should act and think about your own actions, attitudes and behaviours.
Understand that behaviour, such as pub chat about a woman ‘asking for it’ because of what she is wearing, can perpetuate harmful attitudes towards sexism and sexual violence.
Work towards positively changing attitudes. Choose what kind of guy you want to be.”
THIS. So much this.
@MrsJoseph: “buy! buy! buy! Now leave.” LOL. Love that.
Having visited the ones in Taiwan and the one in Hong Kong (where I live), my impression on Eslite is that it is *not only* a bookstore, but a department store. So the experience would vary, depending on what a person is looking for – browsing only or buying. Besides, at least in Hong Kong, Eslite is not open 24/7. (It tested the market here and decided that the 24-hour mode was not viable commercially.)
It’s still sexist. Women rape and assault as well: other women, children, men.
@P. J. Dean I don’t recall saying that it was commercially viable in the US. Since I’m not American, that wasn’t really what I took away from the article. There is just something about being in a bookstore at 2am and plunking your ass down to read.
@ohhellsyeah: I like the idea. Would like to see in the States.