BOREDRS STILL TROUBLED - Today AnnArbor.com broke the news that Borders Group had cut more employees at the bookseller's corporate headquarters in Michigan. A spokesperson declined to say how many people were laid off.
"we have made changes to our staffing levels so that the right people are in the right positions and that those positions are aligned with our strategic objectives." Borders commented.
DIGITAL SUPPLIER SMASHWORDS HUGE DEAL - Digital publishing platform Smashwords has partnered with independent retailer Diesel eBook Store.
The agreement includes two components. First, Smashwords will distribute its more than 11,000 Smashwords eBooks through the Diesel eBook Store beginning August 25th.
For the second part of the agreement, Smashwords will power the new Diesel Publishing Portal, where indie authors, and publishers with less than 100 published titles, can self publish their books to Diesel.
Books published through the new Diesel Publishing Platform are sold in Diesel, as well as other Smashwords retailer partners.
HOTEL CHAIN ARE OFFERING GUESTS FREE E-BOOK -
Book publishers and e-reader manufacturers continue to aggressively push out e-books over a variety of platforms and through stores and wireless channels.
Today, Toronto-based Kobo announced that Kobo eReaders loaded with some new and bestselling Random House books will be available free of charge to guests staying at 10 Fairmont hotels in the U.S. and Canada.
In a promotion geared to appeal people who don't want to carry heavy books on vacation, Kobo will provide e-readers to Fairmont hotels and the hotels will make the devices available to loan to people who stay in their exclusive Fairmont Gold sections.
WIRED ARE REPORTING ON THE DORCHESTER E-BOOK MOVE -
E-books are becoming more popular by the minute thanks to devices like the Kindle, Nook, and iPad, but major dead tree publishers have been hesitant to go all in—until now. Dorchester Publishing, which describes itself as the “oldest independent mass market publisher in America,” has decided to ditch its mass printing business to go digital- and print-on-demand only.
Unsurprisingly, Dorchester had a little nudge in that direction: the publisher said that sales of its books had declined a whopping 25 percent in just the last year, while its e-book sales are expected to double in 2011. The company specializes in romance, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy novels and sells directly to major retailers like Wal-Mart.
“It wasn’t a long, drawn out decision, because we’ve been putting in the effort but not getting the results,” Dorchester CEO John Prebich told the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon recently said that Kindle book sales had surpassed the company’s sales of hardcover books in the last three months—a trend that many expect to continue now that the Kindle is even cheaper than before. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even made the bold prediction that Kindle book sales might eclipse paperbacks within the next year.
NEW YORK TIMES - Readers have gone from skipping small bookstores to wondering if they need bookstores at all. More people are ordering books online or plucking them from the best-seller bin at Wal-Mart.
But the threat that has the industry and some readers the most rattled is the growth of e-books. In the first five months of 2009, e-books made up 2.9 percent of trade book sales. In the same period in 2010, sales of e-books, which generally cost less than hardcover books, grew to 8.5 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers, spurred by sales of the Amazon Kindle and the new Apple iPad. For Barnes & Noble, long the largest and most powerful bookstore chain in the country, the new competition has led to declining profits and store traffic. After the company announced last week that it was putting itself up for sale, Leonard Riggio, Barnes & Noble’s chairman and largest shareholder, who has declared his confidence in the company’s future, hinted that he might make a play to buy the company himself and take it private.