Quick Link | News « Quercus Books

Wow, big move this. I’ve a sense that Sci-Fi and Fantasy will be a hotbed of new things for some time to come!

Quercus Publishing is delighted to announce that Jo Fletcher is joining the company in January 2011 to launch a new fiction imprint, Jo Fletcher Books.

The new imprint will enhance Quercus’ award-winning fiction programme and is expected to quickly become a leader in the field of SF, fantasy and horror. Jo Fletcher is Associate Publisher of Gollancz, the fantasy and science fiction imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, where her authors include Sir Terry Pratchett, the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Charlaine Harris, Stephen Donaldson, Robert Rankin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joe Hill, and Polish superstar Andrzej Sapkowski.

via News « Quercus Books.

Go Read This | Book battle: Dymocks considers offshore option – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Fascinating story this. I’ve heard and been part of a few conversations about this phenomenon for some time. It is interesting both from the perspective of the booksellers and the publishing, and the state’s perspective. It demonstrates the way that external actors can undermine a state’s tax base. I wonder if, like in some US states, the government will actually start imposing a sales tax on foreign/non-state based outlets?

Take Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller, The Millennium Trilogy The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Even on sale, they’re still $16 more expensive in store than from the UK, including delivery.

That is the dilemma for one of Australia’s biggest book sellers. Dymocks is considering moving its online business offshore because it says it cannot compete with cheap, online sales.

Dymocks chief executive Don Grover says overseas retailers have an unfair advantage because they do not pay GST.

“Dymocks has been in the business for 130 years, and we’re actually now having to make a decision about whether or not to move our online business offshore,” he told the ABC.”

It would actually make more sense for us to send books from an overseas location back into Australia and avoid the GST. To give a competitive advantage to overseas web sites of 10 per cent is just unsustainable.”

Don Grover says his company is already trimming its margins, and the success of cheap, international web sites is making it hard to compete.

via Book battle: Dymocks considers offshore option – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

GO READ THIS | Gifting Comes To Kindle

Amazon has just announced that you can now give Kindle ebooks as gifts to anyone with an email address. This is kind of amazing and represents a huge shift in the ebook ecosystem. Given that kindle ebooks can be read on nearly any platform that allows app downloads (PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, etc.) you’ll never have to worry about what platform someone is one, a small download will resolve the issue:

Kindle is the most gifted item in the history of Amazon.com and millions of people around the world are reading Kindle Books on Kindle devices and free Kindle apps. Beginning today, just in time for the holiday season, customers can give Kindle Books as gifts to anyone with an e-mail address–no Kindle required. Kindle Books can be read on Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. For more information or to give a Kindle Book as a gift, go to http://www.amazon.com/givekindlebooks.

“We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We’re making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone – not just Kindle owners.”

To give a Kindle Book as a gift, customers simply choose a book in the Kindle Store, select “Give as a Gift” and send their gift to anyone with an email address. Notifications of Kindle Books gifts are delivered instantly via e-mail and the recipient redeems the gift in the Kindle Store to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app.

via Amazon Media Room: News Release.

Quick Link | I was wrong about the golden age. But we are in a literary boom | Books | guardian.co.uk

This is an interesting perspective. I suppose that like all booms, there will be big winners in small numbers and big losers in much larger numbers!

But if it’s not appropriate to speak of a golden age, there’s certainly some kind of boom going on. Ben Johncock’s recent Guardian blog on contemporary magazines illustrates how vital the print culture remains. Who could have predicted, in the age of the worldwide web, that so many little magazines would be flourishing so vibrantly? This goes to show, I’d say, that we are living through an age of almost unprecedented literary activity. Never before have so many been writing emails; blogs; texts; tweets; novels; poems, etc and never before has so much of this transmission been so widely received – globally, in fact. Never mind the quality that’s a later judgment, feel the width.Consider, too, the explosion of literary activity: from prizes hardly a week goes by without the announcement of yet another shortlist or the fall-out from some literary prize jury, to festivals hardly a town in Britain that’s not involved in, or affiliated to, some kind of literary programme, to ebooks annual sales in the US now soaring close to $1,000m. Audiobooks are booming; writing schools are springing up like mushrooms; any amount of excellent self-publishing is happening. The big book chains are in trouble, but several small independent bookshops are defying both gravity and austerity and doing very nicely, thank you. If this – as some commentators like to predict – is the end of civilisation as we know, bring on the Dark Ages.

via I was wrong about the golden age. But we are in a literary boom | Books | guardian.co.uk.

Go Read This | Amazon Media Room: News Release

As well as being a distributor and retailer Amazon IS a publisher of size and merit. Just in case that wasn’t obvious before, they made it so with the announcement today:

Amazon  and The Toby Press today announced that Amazon plans to acquire the publication rights of up to 121 books currently published by The Toby Press. The books represent the works of 61 authors and include diverse fiction titles and works in translation.Amazon’s publishing imprints, AmazonEncore and AmazonCrossing, will re-publish the works as print editions and Kindle editions in the United States and globally in cases where authors choose to make their works available. Kindle editions will be available for Kindle devices and Kindle apps, and print editions will be available on http://www.amazon.com and its websites worldwide, as well as in bookstores throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.”Matthew Miller and his team at The Toby Press have done a wonderful job of building a first-class list of literary fiction. We’re excited to expand the audience of these titles, some of which have never been published digitally before, and introduce them to readers everywhere,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President, Amazon.com Books. “We admire the great books that The Toby Press has published and are proud to now be associated with this distinguished group of authors.”

via Amazon Media Room: News Release.