“This Week’s Fish Wrap” is an on-going series of posts summing up the news of the previous seven days in the publishing industry, and appears here each Monday. It’s also quite possible that the posts merely serve as a dumping ground of links so that Atomic Fez Proprietor Ian Alexander Martin can find articles later to include in his occasional rants about how ‘EVERYONE ELSE IS ENTIRELY WRONG’ about various things.
Before we get to the ‘meat’ of the matter this week, let’s have a little something else first.
Last week may have been the first mention of Carol Weekes’ Terribilis here, but the raves are already in!
Terribilis is Incredibilis!
Carol Weekes has produced a most impressive novel with Terribilis and displays an expert mixture of great characterization and a fascinating, intricate, and very well-developed plot – and a deft touch with humor as well. I couldn’t put this novel down once I’d started it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended – a vastly enjoyable read from a gifted author. Fans of good mysteries and “who-done-its” will love this novel.
–Norman L. Rubenstein; Macabre Musings
Terribilis combines elements of a tight police procedural mystery with all the plot-twists and chills of a knock ‘em dead suspense thriller. Fans of Dean Koontz, Michael Crichton or Linwood Barclay would be delighted to discover this novel by Weekes.
–Mark Leslie, editor of “Campus Chills”
If you’re interested in learning a bit about Carol, you could scratch that itch by reading this short Q&A–style interview with her: CLICK HERE. If that’s not enough, then follow the links below to win a copy of the novel in ARC format!
But lest you fear that Chris Rothe was getting left-out already, FEAR NOT! Here’s a link to the interview with him: CLICK HERE. Then, if you so desire, head over to Goodreads and win a copy of his novel in ARC format!
Sell More Books Than Ever! Close the Door Quicker, Too!
Well… poop. It seems that Borders USA is definitely not going to continue business after last week’s auction. For those of you just joining this saga, Borders USA has been battling the “Going Out of Business Sale” demons for nearly a year. Borders UK folded a couple of years ago, then the Australian version a few months ago, but the American chain looked like a solid contender for continuing life; especially when reports of Barnes & Noble were filled with stockholder revolt at its president. Thus, it seemed only a matter of time before B&N would be gone and the other players could sit back and count all that phat cash! Sadly, nope: as you’ll find from the first link there, it’s gone as of pretty much now and 11,000 people are to be laid off.
What with many independent, long term businesses finding it impossible to operate and pay ever-increasing costs for city property and commercial business taxes, adding the above events to the mix makes one wonder “will I ever walk into a book shop again?” When it comes to pass that, as is the case with Borders’ auction last week, no one is even interested in placing a bid for a multiple-location, national chain of stores – no matter what those stores happen to offer – you really have to wonder about things.
AND YET, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has sold over 2m copies in the UK alone,¹ and the latest in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin (no relation to this publisher) has also done quite well, thank you. How in blazes can a store specializing in books go out of business when books are selling so damned well?
As noted above, yes, much of the predictable reason for this is taxes. Additional problems are the ludicrous deep discounts of popular titles, offered by non-bookshops such as Tesco (and see the UK article above for confirmation of that). Another retailer guilty of absurd deep-discounting is Amazon.com/.co.uk/.ca/.de/.fr/.jp². The one way the large publishers attempt to off-set the loss of revenue is the avaricious prices of the eBooks, plus ever-increasing RRP for titles which everyone knows will never be referred to without a massive “% OFF!!” slapped on top of it.
Part of the solution, as far as publishers are concerned, is to try and reach the readers as directly as possible, though their own web-sites such as you see here. However, if you’re an average reader, your first instinct is not to ask the question “who is publishing that new book by my favourite author?” but actually “does my favourite author have a new book out?” So, where does the person wanting that alleged book go to find out what the title and cost of it go…? Possibly the author’s web-site, but probably one of the Amazon sites. The only other location might be, oddly, their discount grocer or Brobdignagian-sized box of natchos retailer. that seems to be the way things are going, anyway.
Sorry, no answers here, nor even much in the way of hope, just a post to note the placing of another brick in a construction of something. I’ve no idea even what that construction is shaped like, but one does feel a tad that the final form will look a bit dreary. Blast.
Thoughts…? Hope for the future…? Anyone…? Anyone…?
¹ By the by, Bookseller.com, you need to fix the links in your e-mailed daily summary of articles, because the only way I could locate a link to that piece that worked was using the Publishers Weekly newsletter’s link that they got via Twitter somehow. [ BACK ↑ ]
² …and soon to add Australia to the mix, apparently; just in time to wave good bye to the last Borders Aus/NZ sign to be removed! [ BACK ↑ ]