Dog-Eared and Dispatched: April 12, 2015
As AWP rumbles on in the background providing comedic fodder for Melville House and McSweeney’s, Kobo and Oyster expand their offerings. We take a quick break from talking about Amazon this week to discuss the controversy around the Maya Angelou Forever Stamp, and provide footnotes on airline book readings, We Need Diverse Books, and the return of Rizzoli Bookstore. Ready? Set? Read!
Subscription ebook service Oyster announced on Wednesday that individual titles will be available through in-app or web purchases for both members and nonmembers. Although Oyster’s subscription service will still draw from their current pool of publishers, digital titles from publishers including all of the Big Five, even frontlist and pre-orders, are being sold at competitive prices under retail terms that include both the agency and wholesale pricing models. This departure from the backlist-focused, unlimited access for $9.95 each month signals an ambitious step into the ring with retailers like Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, as well as the subscription/bookstore competitor, Scribd. [Publisher’s Weekly, New York Times, PC Magazine, Melville House]
Although the quotation featured on the US Postal Service’s forever stamp honoring Maya Angelou has often been attributed to memoirist and poet, it was discovered on Monday that the line first appeared in poet Joan Walsh Anglund’s 1967 publication, “A Cup of Sun.” Oops. The stamp was unveiled as planned in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, and by Wednesday the USPS announced there would not be a reissue. After hearing that a version of her work was being attributed to Angelou, Anglund graciously said, “I don’t know about the stamp and I hope that it’s successful.” [The Washington Post, Time]
On sale at $130 starting May 1st, Kobo is offering the Kobo Glo HD, a high-resolution e-ink ereader that will compete directly with the similarly priced Amazon Kindle Voyage. The 6-inch Kobo Glo HD screen boasts the highest ereader resolution at the lowest price currently on the market. In tandem with the product launch, Kobo is bundling a phone service for technical support which may be later expanded to other products. The Glo HD release also comes at a time of growing popularity for the self-pub service, Writing Life, and the upcoming acquisition of OverDrive. It is an exciting week to be reading on or about Kobo. [Publisher’s Weekly, GalleyCat, Kobo]
- Southwest Airlines hosts an in-air book reading with Eric Greitens.
- George R.R. Martin is developing a new TV series with Z Nation’s Michael Cassutt.
- A Seattle artist brings “something discarded back to life” by repurposing old books.
- VIDA explores the male-dominated arenas of literary criticism and book review.
- Boston will start hosting Hubbub, a festival for children’s books this June.
- We Need Diverse Books achieves nonprofit status.
- Chronicle Books expands into the Japanese market.
- The iconic Rizzoli Bookstore will reopen in a new location this June.