Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Great Regulars: Book lovers keen to enjoy an Amazon-free

Christmas but unable to tear themselves away from the online retailer's cut-throat pricing can breathe a sigh of relief: a new study has found that Amazon is only the cheapest option on its top 20 bestsellers, with books further down the chart costing 14% more than competitors.

The survey, by global marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher and Partners, analysed the prices of the top 100 print books in the UK between 30 October and 9 November, at Amazon and seven other online booksellers: WH Smith, Blackwell's, Alibris, Kennys, BookFellas, the Amazon-owned AbeBooks and the Book Depository.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Amazon beaten on price for books outside top 20 bestsellers


Readers should prepare for plunging ebook prices after the European Commission yesterday accepted commitments from Apple and four major publishers to stop restricting the sale of cheap ebooks.

The commission has been investigating the publishers Hachette Livre, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan, together with Apple, over "a suspected concerted practice aimed at raising retail prices for ebooks in the European Economic Area", in breach of EU antitrust rules.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: European commission and Apple reach settlement over ebook price fixing


Not content with conquering the acting world, the musical world, the directing world and the art world, James Franco is continuing his bid for world domination with the news that he is set to publish his first poetry book.

Ideally suited to the world of poetry--he has an Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, and played Allen Ginsberg in the film Howl--Franco has been signed by small Minnesota publisher Graywolf Press for his debut collection, Directing Herbert White.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: James Franco to publish book of poetry


Mo Yan, who days earlier had been slammed by Salman Rushdie for being "a patsy of the regime" because he declined to sign a petition asking for the release of Liu Xiaobo, said on accepting his prize last night: "I want to take this opportunity to express my admiration for the members of the Swedish Academy, who stick firmly to their own convictions. I am confident that you will not let yourselves be affected by anything other than literature."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Mo Yan accepts Nobel prize, defends 'necessary' censorship


A message to subscribers on Puffin Post's website said: "Firstly, thank you for all your support and apologies for any disappointment the closure of Puffin Post may cause . . . At the end of December, The Book People will cease to have use of the Puffin Brand and so will no longer run Puffin Post. As a result, subscriptions to Puffin Post will no longer be available and unfortunately Penguin are unable to offer the service into 2013."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Puffin Post to become extinct


Salman Rushdie and Pankaj Mishra have clashed over the controversial Chinese Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan, with Rushdie defending himself over what he called Mishra's "latest garbage".

An article by Mishra in the Guardian this weekend responded to Rushdie's condemnation of Mo Yan as a "patsy" for declining to sign a petition calling for the release of the imprisoned Chinese Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Salman Rushdie defends his right to call Mo Yan a 'patsy'


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