Dog-Eared and Dispatched: January 31, 2016
Most of this week’s book buzz centers around the 2016 Winter Institute, so we bring you a small selection of footnotes as dessert to the main course of the findings from the Denver meeting between publishers and independent booksellers. Ready? Set. Read!
This past week, publishers and booksellers gathered in Denver for the American Booksellers Association (ABA) 2016 Winter Institute (Wi11). Although of course an opportunity for networking and all the other conveniences of conference gatherings, Wi11 was also an opportunity for ABA members to reflect on the book business in 2015 through the speeches and panel presentations. Timed along with this week’s discussion hosted by Authors United, the Authors Guild, and the New American Foundation about the Amazon “monopoly,” it will surprise no one that the company also received its share of attention at Wi11 – in particular the joint ABA and Civic Economics report on Amazon and Empty Storefronts. The report details the unsettling impact of the company on state tax revenue, including $625.4 million in uncollected sales tax and potentially $420 million in property taxes “lost” due to decreased demands for retail space as a result of the internet retailer’s reach. How this will all play out in the long run remains to be seen, but the results from Winter Institute seem cautiously optimistic. [Shelf Awareness, LNL, Civic Economics, Publishers Weekly]
- Signature has compiled the list of book-based films that are part of Sundance Film Festival’s 120 feature program.
- Belgian cartoonist Hermann was awarded the Grand Prix, Europe’s most prestigious award for comics despite controversy that only male nominees were being considered.
- Penguin Random House is launching a book recommendation-driven website to tie current events with books releases.
- Abe Books released a list of the most expensive rare books sold in 2015 with Natural History of Birds breaking past records at $191,000.
- The Sendak Foundation is under scrutiny about the withholding of rare books from the Rosenbach Museum and Library in slow-moving preparation for a museum honoring Maurice Sendak in his hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut.
- Amazon is testing title-specific Kindle gift card sales in Washington State Bartell Drug stores.