The Bookseller reported on Tuesday that HarperCollins has launched a new service for readers and authors called AuthorAssistant:
AuthorAssistant allows authors to create and post personalized information and gives readers a chance to learn more about their favorite authors….On the author pages, readers can see comprehensive biographical information, links to press and articles, author blogs and favorite websites, photo albums, news, essays and more.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 8:46 am, Comments (0)
Simply Audiobooks announced on Tuesday that they are now selling DRM-free titles:
Simply Audiobooks, the second largest player in the audio book download market, after Audible/iTunes, today announced that they now support DRM-free (digital rights management-free) audio book content and plan to eventually become altogether DRM-free.
They take a jab at competitor Audible.com at the end of their press release:
[Vitaly] Petritchkovitch [Director of Simply Audiobooks Digital] added that Simply Audiobooks’ competitors, most notably Audible.com, are coming down on the wrong side of technological history by continuing to tie their service inflexibly to DRM audio files. "Being controlled like that is simply not what our customers want, and we are among the first to respond to consumers’ demand for DRM-free content.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 8:33 am, Comments (0)
Shelf Awareness, in partnership with Unshelved, has announced a new service for publishers with drop-in titles (or crash titles):
Drop-in titles (also known as crash or add-in titles) continue to grow–and getting the word to booksellers and librarians about these sudden new books or titles with major last-minute changes is ever more problematic. Publishers send the information via reps, faxes and e-mail, a process many of them admit is cumbersome. Sometimes the message makes it through, but booksellers and librarians often feel deluged by the material and can’t keep track of it all. Opportunities are lost…. For a small fee, announcements about drop-in titles will appear in the Shelf Awareness and Unshelved newsletters–and then reside in our drop-in title database web site. The web site is fully searchable and will archive all drop-in listings.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 8:26 am, Comments (0)
From USA Today:
Bookworms north of the border are likely to ratchet up their complaints about the U.S. imports, now that the shrinking U.S. dollar and rising Canadian dollar met at value parity last week.
Prices there have been a lightning rod for scrutiny, partly because both U.S. and Canadian prices for the same book typically are on the dust jacket. While the U.S. dollar historically has had a higher value than Canada’s, Canadian prices for books typically have been higher than exchange rates alone could explain…."Before, when there was a 5% or 10% difference (in the currencies), people would … accept that the Canadian price was higher without making a calculation," says Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "Now that we’re spot-on parity, it’s tougher to explain away that difference."
Posted by Laura Dawson, 9:45 pm, Comments (0)
Luke Johnson, the new Borders UK owner, is full of new plans – in addition to taking the online business back from Amazon, he’s planning on closing a few stores in the UK – as quoted in a number of sources (Publishers Lunch, Book Standard, etc.): "We will probably shut a few of the shops that are not contributing, but we’re talking about a handful."
Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners purchased Borders UK for about 10 million pounds cash plus another 10 million if performance improves. Which is, all things considered, pretty cheap. At least the Oxford Circus store is staying open, which is what we care about most.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 9:32 pm, Comments (0)
The Forbes 400 apparently had listed Ingram Books as having a pretty awful year – down 48% in book sales. However, John Ingram begged to differ, as PW reported:
He said that sales in the book division rose modestly in 2006 and are up significantly in 2007….“Not only is our core book wholesaling business steady, but our Lightning Source business continues to grow rapidly, and our Ingram Digital opportunities are extremely exciting,” John Ingram said.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 9:28 pm, Comments (0)
Life just gets more meta. In the words of LibraryThing, they’ve just launched a search program that runs through Google Book Search – they call it a "bookmarklet":
Last week Google introduced an interesting "My Library" feature, allowing people with Google accounts to list some of their books. A few tech bloggers saw an attack on LibraryThing.
LibraryThing members were quick to dismiss it. It wasn’t so much the lack of any social features, or of cataloging features as basic as sorting your books. It wasn’t even the privacy issues, although these gave many pause. It was the coverage.
Google just doesn’t have the sort of books that regular people have. Most of their books come from a handful of academic libraries, and academic libraries don’t have the same editions regular people have. Then there are the books publishers have explicitly removed from Google Book Search. Success rates of below 50% were common. Of these a high percentage are only "limited preview" or "no preview."
The Google-kills-LibraryThing meme has another dimension. We WANT people to use Google Book Search. It’s a great tool. Being able to search your own books is useful, and LibraryThing members should be able to do it. Call us naive, but we aren’t going to be able to "pretend Google isn’t there." And we aren’t convinced that Google is going to create the sort of robust cataloging and social networking features that LibraryThing has.
Our bookmarklet works by transcending ISBNs, using what LibraryThing knows about titles, authors and dates to fetch other editions of a work. In limited tests I’ve found it picks up around 90% of LibraryThing titles.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 9:55 pm, Comments (0)
MyiLibrary has added 12 new publishers to its program, bringing the total number of publishers working with MyiLibrary to 350. The new publishers are:
- Bit 10
- Council of Europe
- Eleven International Publishing
- G7 Books
- How to Books
- Insomniac Press
- M&M Scrivener
- Opera Journeys Publishing
- Policy Press
- Scion Publishing
- Tottel Publishing
- University of Calgary Press
Posted by Laura Dawson, 9:50 pm, Comments (0)
Well, TurnHere.com is all over the news lately (its CEO, Brad Inman, was quoted in New York Magazine’s article on real estate this week), and today GalleyCat got all book video on us. Check here for a trailer of Naomi Klein’s new book by Alfonso Cuaron (of Harry Potter III and A Little Princess). And other tasty amusements.
Posted by Laura Dawson, 9:45 pm, Comments (0)