As the Book World Turns….

Hands down the biggest piece of news this week is Amazon’s decision to pull thousands of e-Book titles distributed by IPG (Independent Publishers Group) from its online store as a result of a break down in contract renewal negotiations. In an email that’s made the rounds of industry blogs and newsletters this week (not to mention the New York Times and papers in the UK, Canada, Toronto, Italy and Russia), IPG President Mark Suchomel explained:

“ is putting pressure on publishers and distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be more favorable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both. It’s obvious that publishers can’t continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins….I’m not sure what has changed at Amazon over the last few months that they now find it unacceptable to buy from IPG at terms that are acceptable to our other customers.”

Melville House has a thorough round-up of reactions throughout the industry. Also helpful in understanding the situation is a December PW article, Is Amazon Pushing Publishers to Brink on Terms, Co-Op?


More news:

A new study shows that re-reading a book is good for your mental health.

The 2011 Nebula Awards were announced this week.

J. K. Rowling announced that she’s been writing a book for adults. Rumor has it the novel may be crime fiction.

Imagine cleaning out your great aunt’s house and finding this – your late great uncle’s comic book collection from the 1930s and 1940s. Then imagine that collection going for $3.5 million at auction.

This week Salon asks, Is Chick Lit dead?

Freshly minted indie bookseller Ann Patchett appeared on the Colbert Report. And it was fabulous.

Moira Buffini, who wrote the script for ‘Jane Eyre’, will also write the script for the film version of Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus.

The “Amazon loophole” closes in the state of Virginia – the online retailer will soon collect sales tax on items purchased by Virginians. If Amazon collected sales tax on items purchased by Texans, the state of Texas would receive an estimated $269 million dollars in revenue.

Legendary publisher & film distributor Barney Rosset passed away this week. He is an instrumental figure in the history of the industry, publishing such works as Waiting for Godot, and going to bat for books like Tropic of Cancer and Lady Chatterly’s Lover when threatened by obscenity laws. The linked article has a thorough and fascinating look at his influence.

David Foster Wallace would have celebrated his fiftieth birthday this week. In honor, The Awl has a round-up of 50 articles, interviews, etc. for DFW fans.

The big news that blew up the BP blog this week: Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess, will be here April 25th.


That’s it, kids. Enjoy the beautiful weekend. Time to get back to Zilker and Barton Springs, lie down in the sun and read a few books. Swing by here first. We have a few to offer.


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