Category Archives: Bookstores

News about The Mirage paperback, the Queen Anne Book Company, and Clarion West

  • Matt Ruff‘s latest novel, The Mirage, will be published in trade paperback on February 12, 2013. (The hardcover and ebook editions were published in February 2012.) Matt will be doing some readings/signings in Seattle and Portland over the next few weeks.

mirageps

  • Queen Anne Books, the beloved independent bookstore that closed on Halloween, will soon be reincarnated in the same location as the Queen Anne Book Company. The new store, with new owner/managers and some of the booksellers from the old store, will hold its grand opening on March 1st. You can follow the Queen Anne Book Company on Twitter @queenannebookco or on Facebook.
  • March 1st is the deadline to apply to the Clarion and Clarion West writers workshops for science fiction and fantasy. The instructors this year include Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Samuel R. Delany, Joe Hill, Nalo Hopkinson, and Karen Joy Fowler (see my previous blog post for the complete list and more information). Clarion West has just announced that Margo Lanagan will be teaching instead of Justina Robson.
  • Clarion West is offering a series of special one-day workshops in Seattle from February to May, taught by Molly Gloss, John Crowley, Mary Rosenblum, and Daryl Gregory. Each workshop is limited to only 14 students, so don’t wait to sign up.

UPDATE, 2/26/13: For more information about the Queen Anne Book Company’s grand-opening weekend (March 1st to 3rd) and their “Authors in the House” events, see this article from the Queen Anne View blog.

Advertisements

Seattle’s Queen Anne Books is up for sale again

Queen Anne Books, the independent bookstore at the top of Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill, is up for sale again. The store was sold only six months ago, but on Friday the owner posted this announcement on the bookstore’s website:

To the Queen Anne Book Store community:

I am writing today to let you know that I will be leaving Queen Anne Books as of the end of November. This has not been an easy or hastily made decision, and I thank all of you for your loyalty and your commitment to Queen Anne Books during the period of time that I have been a part of the store.

I would like to find a buyer for the store from among the wonderful community of people who have supported Queen Anne Books over the years. I encourage anyone who is interested to contact the store in person, by phone, or via e-mail at queenannebooks@queenannebooks.com.

I will keep you posted as more information emerges regarding the future of the store.

~ Katharine Hershey

Queen Anne Books is a great neighborhood bookstore, full of helpful, enthusiastic, and well-read booksellers. Queen Anne Books has always been very supportive of Matt and other local authors, and event coordinator Tegan Tigani makes every book event memorable and fun.

I do hope the store finds a buyer, as I’d really hate to see Queen Anne Books close.

UPDATE, 10/22/12:  A new announcement from the staff of Queen Anne Books:

Last week owner Katharine Hershey sent a notice announcing her intention to leave Queen Anne Books at the end of November. We want to provide you with some helpful information to assist you in the coming weeks.

Officially, the store will be closing Wednesday, October 31. However, our owner is actively seeking a buyer for the store. We remain hopeful that Queen Anne Books will be purchased and continue serving our wonderful community.

In the meantime, we want you to know:

  • Queen Anne Books will operate as usual through Oct. 31.
  • As has been our long-standing tradition, we will participate in Queen Anne’s neighborhood Trick or Treat festival from 3-6 on October 31.. Be sure to bring the kids to our store.
  • We are no longer issuing gift certificates. If you have gift certificates, we encourage you to bring them in before our closing on Oct. 31.
  • We will continue to add purchases to your Book Saver plan, and issue rewards.
  • We will no longer be placing special orders as we cannot guarantee arrival before our anticipated closure. If you have special orders in the pipeline, we will do our best to get those to you. Not yet released books dated after Oct. 31 may not arrive in time, and we apologize for that.
  • Though our website will remain functional, we are no longer offering online web ordering. Please call or come in the store for all your book needs. The website will be a good source of information regarding the future of the store, so please check in there.

Thank you for your many years of loyal commitment to Queen Anne Books. We have the best customers in the world, and we hope to have positive news for you in the coming weeks regarding the store’s future. If you know of interested parties, please have them contact us at our email queenannebooks@queenannebooks.com.

UPDATE, 10/30/12:  According to a new message on the website, Queen Anne Books will be closing its doors on October 31st at 7pm.

FINAL UPDATE:  Queen Anne Books is gone.

UPDATE, 2/5/13: Queen Anne Books is being reincarnated in the same location as the Queen Anne Book Company, with new owner/managers and some of the booksellers from the old store. Their grand opening is March 1st. See my blog post for more information.

One of my favorite Seattle used bookstores is closing

Abraxus Books, one of my favorite used bookstores in Seattle, is closing and everything is 50% off. Their shop is in a building that’s going to be torn down and they have to vacate by February 12th.

Abraxus Books has a very large and deep inventory of high-quality used books in many fields. It’s a great place for browsing, as I always find interesting and unusual books that I haven’t seen in other bookstores. Yesterday I spent two hours browsing and never made it out of their excellent and extensive history sections– I left when I reached the limit of what I could carry on the bus. I’ll be back, and I recommend that you visit before they close.

Their address is 524 1st Ave. N. (in lower Queen Anne near Seattle Center), and their new hours are:

  • Tuesday through Friday, 12 noon to 8pm
  • Saturday, 11am to 8pm
  • Sunday, 12 noon to 6pm
  • Monday, closed

Here’s the link to their Facebook page and here’s the link to their location on Google Maps.

Libraries and the Espresso Book Machine

I’ve written before about bookstores using the Espresso Book Machine to print books on demand. Thanks to Resource Shelf, I just learned that the Grace Mellman Library in Temecula, California has purchased an Espresso Book Machine with grant money as part of a program to study “the usefulness of on-demand printing to enhance library collections”:

Library patrons will now have the option to request titles, have the book printed for free, read it and return it to the library collection, or they may choose to keep the book and pay a printing fee. If the requesting patron is at the Book Espresso location and wants to pay for the book, it can be printed immediately while they wait.

“Growing our collections based upon patron on-demand choices is a new concept for our library system,” said Jan Kuebel, Manager of Grace Mellman Library. “Rather than relying solely on interlibrary loan, we now have a way to immediately respond to patron requests for materials outside of our current collection.”

Available book titles will be obtained from Lightning Source, with over 500,000 titles available, and Google Books, who has partnered with over 20,000 publishers to make their content available for on-demand printing….

I think this is great, and I only wish more libraries (and independent bookstores) could afford EBMs, as they provide instant access at a reasonable cost to a wide range of material not currently on their shelves.

I still haven’t tried out the EBMs in Seattle at the University Bookstore or Third Place Books, but I will report back when I do.

Day 5 of Amazon’s boycott of Macmillan books (and authors)

This is day 5 of Amazon’s boycott of Macmillan print books and ebooks. (See my two previous blog posts if you are still catching up.) There has been no statement from Amazon other than Sunday’s unsigned post on the Kindle forum, and the “Buy” buttons have still not been restored.

John Scalzi’s new post, “A Call for Author Support,” highlights the damage this is doing to authors and notes that the best way to support authors is to buy their books. You have lots of choices as to how/where to do this.

Dennis Johnson at MobyLives has a good roundup of the latest reactions to the ebook war.

Kassia Kroszer at Booksquare continues to post new links of interest.

K Tempest Bradford has a post about “ebooks, eReaders, and why you need to keep up with the tech.”

And be sure to read Laura Miller’s excellent Salon piece on some of the less-understood elements of all this.

Update 1: The New York Times “Bits” blog has a new post titled “Macmillan Books Still Mostly Absent from Amazon.com,” which notes that “the battle is still raging… ‘We are talking,’ said John Sargent, chief executive of Macmillan, of discussions with Amazon. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment. Amazon is most likely withholding the books to maintain its leverage in negotiations, trying to get the best possible terms under the new agency model. Stay tuned.”

Update 2: Nicola Griffith has commented below that “Amazon wins, no matter what,” and she has linked to an interesting paidContent.org article by James McQuivey titled “In Amazon vs. Macmillan, Amazon is the Winner.

Agent Nathan Bransford’s new post, “What Should an E-Book Cost?“, discusses in detail the costs of producing ebooks and print books and various pricing issues.

Update 3: Tech writer Glenn Fleishman’s article, “Is the iPad a Kindle Killer?“, directly compares the Kindle and the iPad. Here’s his take on the Amazon/Macmillan ebook war:

For major publishers, Amazon pays 50 percent of the list price of the current cheapest print format book. If a book is only in hardcover – a new release like a Dan Brown blockbuster – the cover price might be $30 and Amazon pays $15. When that book goes into paperback format and sells for $12, Amazon pays just $6.

However, Amazon wants ebooks to be cheap, and thus charges $10 for books still available only in hardcover. It subsidizes the price of these books to set the overall price low, and reaps its profit margins from cheaper books for which it makes its full 100-percent markup – or even more. Since Amazon is the dominant ebook seller, it may be marking up books higher that are cheaper for it to license…

As I write this, Amazon is fighting a public battle with Macmillan… Macmillan wants to set a higher list price for newly published books as they appear in electronic form (that $13 to $15 mentioned earlier) and give Amazon 30 percent of that list price. If Amazon doesn’t want the new terms, Macmillan would offer a far smaller catalog than it currently provides when it starts its new ebook pricing system in March 2010…

Macmillan is in part trying to prevent the erosion of revenue from the big push for new big books in hardcover. If Amazon can sell such titles for $10, even at a loss, even if Macmillan makes $15 from Amazon selling at that price, it sets the wrong expectation, and overturns some of the economics for both blockbusters and mid-range books. (The blockbusters’ margins make possible more interesting books that sell vastly fewer copies.)

Amazon balked, and not only pulled Macmillan’s ebook titles, but also stopped selling all Macmillan print books temporarily. That’s the biggest hissy fit I’ve ever seen a company pull…

On the face of it, this seems like a bad deal for consumers. Wouldn’t you rather pay $10 than $15 for a book? Absolutely. But in the long run, Amazon would achieve a de facto control over book pricing, which would hurt small and large publishers.

But it’s not that Macmillan wants to sell books for $13 to $15 forever; rather, “Pricing will be dynamic over time.” That is, Macmillan can price books in response to demand, instead of being stuck either in whatever pricing system Amazon wants to impose, or the heavily discounting books off cover price in print.

With more control on the supply side, Macmillan can reduce prices as demand lessens. Those who desperately want a book immediately might pay $15 at its launch; Macmillan would also guarantee print and ebook editions would be issued at the same time. If you can wait, you might pay less and less…

This is good for readers, writers, and publishers, as well as the ebook distributors including Amazon and Apple. More books will be sold this way, and more revenue directed at the creators, not the middlemen….

110th birthday of the University Book Store and more on the Espresso Book Machine

On Sunday, January 10th, the University Book Store in Seattle is celebrating its 110th birthday with a party and a book created for the occasion titled 110/110:

To commemorate our first 110 years as an independent bookstore, we are pleased to present this book of 110 original 110-word compositions by a group of authors we consider members of our University Book Store family….

Beginning January 10, 2010, copies of the book will be available to all who purchase any single title by a contributor to the collection. Click here for a full list of contributors and see below for a sneak peek at the book!

Contributors include a wide and interesting range of local authors, including Matt Ruff, Greg Bear, Tom Robbins, Terry Brooks, Molly Gloss, Nancy Pearl, Dan Savage, Wesley Stace, Maria Dahvana Headley, Matt Briggs, Ivan Doig, David Guterson, Stephanie Kallos, Jess Walter, and many others.

There will be cake. If you can’t visit the bookstore in person, you can still get a copy of 110/110 by ordering online any book by one of the contributors using the promo code posted on the website.

By the way, the arrival of the University Book Store’s Espresso Book Machine has been delayed until February. For those who can’t wait, Ginger, the Third Place Books Espresso Book Machine, is up and running. Here are some related links:

I have treats for you…

* Last night I spoke with Stesha Brandon, the events manager of the University Book Store in Seattle, and she told me that they are getting an Espresso Book Machine in January. (See my post “…an ATM for books” for more about the Espresso Book Machine, including video of it in action.) That makes a total of three EBMs in Washington state (University Book Store, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park and Village Books in Bellingham), more than any other state. Decisions, decisions…. Which public domain work should I print first?

* Thanks to the LiteratEye blog, I’m having great fun browsing through LibraryThing’s “Legacy Libraries” project, in which members of the “I See Dead People’s Books” group enter the libraries of famous dead people as LibraryThing catalogues. There are nearly 70 completed libraries, including  John Adams, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Katharine Hepburn, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Johnson, T.E. Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and George Washington. There are also over 50 libraries in progress, including  Charles Darwin, John Dee, Emily Dickinson, C.S. Lewis, Mary, Queen of Scots, Herman Melville, Adam Smith, Leonardo da Vinci, and William Butler Yeats.

* For those who are total Shakespeare geeks like me, behold the new Shakespeare Quarto Archives, containing digital reproductions and transcriptions of 32 copies of the five earliest editions of Hamlet published before 1642. Here’s a video introduction to the Shakespeare Quarto Archives:

* There are lots of end of the year lists, but I always look forward to those by Craig Silverman on his Regret the Error blog. For your reading pleasure:

Crunks 2009: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections

2009 Plagiarism Round-Up

* And finally:

Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

Ceiling Cat creats teh universes and stuffs

Yes, Virginia, there is a LOLCat Bible. I discovered the LOLCat Bible Translation project through Steve Wiggins (Neal Stephenson’s brother-in-law), a scholar of ancient and modern religions with a blog named Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.