You would be forgiven if you read this piece and thought afterwards that the only print books sold in bookshops were literary fiction and non-fiction and the bulk of them Booker prize winners. Of course we know this isn’t true and just as readers of digital books like their genre fiction, so too do print book readers.
I honestly struggle to see the point of such articles. Shock horror they seem to say, people read the same crap they read in print form in this new digital form:
There is a literary snobbishness at play here, clearly. Reading has always been a competitive sport. Why else would anyone have read Ulysses? Consider those boys who read ostentatious poetry to pull winsome girls; the girls who read Vanity Fair to let the poetical boys know that they are clever and minxy.
The reading public in private is lazy and smutty. E-readers hide the material. Erotica sells well. My own downmarket literary fetish is male-oriented historical fiction histfic. Swords and sails stuff. Im happier reading it on an e-reader, and keeping shelf space for books that proclaim my cleverness.
via Ebook sales are being driven by downmarket genre fiction | Media | The Guardian.
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.
Don Linn reminds us that it’s ALL ABOUT THE BOOKS:
Those of you who know me are aware that I seldom gush over anything, but allow me to gush over this fine literary novel. I hesitate to use that term since (a) for some, it implies the preciousness or elitism along the lines of the current Franzen-Stein masturbatory frenzy and (b) this book has all the adventure and excitement of a Jack London story, which I’d hardly characterize as exclusively literary. But the writing and the stories are masterful, the characters (and I include the Lake as a character) are as fully drawn as in the most literary of novels. It’s a stunning debut from a Minneapolis native.
via Let’s Talk About Books, Bay-bee | Bait ‘n’ Beer.