icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Good News Bad News

I got a Kindle for my birthday a couple of years ago and have been enjoying it and worrying about it all at the same time. Not the device itself—that is more than fine—but what its purchase signified—Amazon’s initial monopoly on e-books, and the danger to local booksellers. Then, sometime last year, it was announced that more e-books were being sold than hardcover books. And, in January of this year, the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble closed. Borders at the Time Warner building will soon follow, if it hasn’t already. I began to miss these stores almost immediately. I went into them to browse, have a coffee, sit and read, make lists of books I want to read, some available on Kindle, some not.

In the midst of all these very rapid changes, the Authors Guild (which hosts this site) was paying deep attention and getting involved-legally-in the fray. If you are a writer reading this blog, you’ll want to understand this gripping legal saga which includes Amazon’s blackout of Macmillan books, how the launch of the iPad changed everything, and the acceptance of the “agency model,” as follows:


Yesterday, an email arrived from the Guild announcing Random House’s acceptance of the agency model: "Book retailers have faced extraordinary challenges in recent years a double whammy of recession and a shift to digital books that had cut many stores out. For anyone who loves bookstores, this is the best news out of the publishing industry in a long time. Random House's move may prove to be a lifeline for some bookstores."

With this news, I began to wonder if the book-seller landscape will change again. Maybe, as the mega chains fold-up, the small, independent bookstore will rise again. I can see it now: shelves of book covers with ISBN numbers and a cash desk where we can order either print-on-demand copies or e-books.

Be the first to comment