Dog-Eared and Dispatched: October 26, 2014
This week in our rundown of book culture, we’ve got the latest on publisher/Amazon agreements (and we’re not talking Hachette, for once), a discussion of profits, and the what’s happening with Barnes & Noble. A modest collection of footnotes rounds things out.
The big news in publishing this week is that Simon & Schuster has reached a deal with Amazon, one which allows the publisher to set its own prices, while Amazon “will be able to discount titles in certain situations”: whatever that means. The agreement casts a long shadow, as the Wall Street Journal observes: “Amazon has argued that it is taking a stand to ensure it can offer consumers the best prices. Though precise terms of the deal with Simon & Schuster weren’t available, the fact that Amazon reached an amicable arrangement with the publisher could ratchet up pressure on Hachette. Sales of some Hachette titles have suffered as a result of the trade dispute with Amazon.” It is not clear whether the deal is more generous to the publisher than Amazon’s demands from Hachette, but it still puts pressure on Hachette to reach its own agreement with the online retailer. [WSJ, Mobylives!]
Amazon has just posted large quarterly losses – $260 million more than analysts’ predictions (there’s a handy graph of Amazon’s expenses vs. earnings at the WSJ) – which sent the company’s share prices down more than 10%. Coincidentally, there’s been another round of Amazon is a monopoly//no it isn’t technically a monopoly, really it’s just competitive or maybe a a monopsony. These things come around every four or five months, so enjoy (whether or not you think “Amazon is doing the world a favor by crushing book publishers” ). [NY Times, WSJ, New Republic, Vox, NY Times, NY Times, Vox]
Barnes & Noble has announced the new NOOK (aka the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook aka the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4). Pretty fancy. Could give the iPad (and the Kindle Fire) a run for its money, especially since they are including quite a bit of “Nook Content” for free. In other good news for the company, the Bronx location of the outlet – the only bookstore in the borough – will not be closing after all. [Galleycat, MobyLives!]
- Maybe you should rethink how you organize your books.
- Roxane Gay’s Theses on the Feminist Novel.
- On language, usage, and slurs: the douchebag.
- A terrifying video of the afterlife of books.