Monday, August 06, 2007

Link-Mad Monday: Links on the fly

I'm trying really hard to buckle down on the business plan this morning, so here are some quickie links.

* HarperCollins CEO Jane Friedman is optimistic about the future of publishing. Here's a sample of her interview in Forbes:
I think the book business is the healthiest I have seen it in a very long time. We are seeing a breadth of titles selling in many different channels of distribution. We are no longer publishing for the independents only, the chains only, the big box merchandisers only, the online sellers only. We are selling across the board. The health is the breadth, diversity and range. That's good for business, and more importantly, it's good for society.

*I so totally want to go the New York Public Library and print a free instant book on the Espresso Book Machine -- especially after the great stories about indie bookstores doing great business with Print on Demand I heard at the Digital Task Force.

*A victory for shopping local: thanks largely to the efforts of booksellers, Arizona has passed legislation which will penalize townships that give outlandish tax breaks and subsidies to massive retailers and big box stores. We could use a little of that playing-field-leveling around here.

*Independent booksellers are having a polite disagreement with National Public Radio over their Amazon affiliate program, which doesn't point NPR website-goers to Booksense despite indies strong support of NPR. Read a letter from ABA President (and Montana bookseller) Russ Lawrence about the issue here in Bookselling This Week.

* Huffington Post blogger Lissa Warren has a great piece on "voting independent" by supporting local bookstores (and she mentions McNally Robinson -- cool!)

* And the wonderful Maud Newton (who I get to meet next Friday!) is running a series of guest posts on favorite independent bookstores (you can read all the ones so far in the Bookstore archives). Great to read about beloved places -- consider contacting Maud to write up your own.

* Speaking of beloved local places, the ALP and I spent Sunday with some friends at Coney Island. With imminent development by Thor Equities (which sounds like a supervillain corporation from the Justice League cartoon), there's a sense that this may be the last summer to experience Coney as the slightly seedy, small-town boardwalk and midway of the big city that it's been for so long. The ALP took a lot of pictures yesterday and there are some great ones of the Wonder Wheel and other Coney classics, but it's this little picture (of a coin-op panorama of the park in the olden days) that serves as a charmingly poignant reminder of what stands to be lost. For a little while longer, it doesn't cost much to have a good time.