Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the US, has been sold to Elliot Management Corporation, the same hedge fund that purchased leading UK bookseller Waterstones in June 2018. Waterstones CEO James Daunt will take over as CEO of B&N when the deal is complete and plans to relocate to New York. The all-cash transaction is valued at around $683 million — $6.50 a share, plus the assumption of ...Read MoreRead more
San Francisco specialty shop Borderlands Books closed their adjacent Borderlands Café on April 30, 2019. Alan Beatts cites difficulty finding and retaining staff in a booming job market, declining sales, and the demands of running the bookshop as causes for the decision. The bookstore will continue as usual. For details: <borderlands-books.blogspot.com/2019/04/borderlands-cafe-to-close.html>.
While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. We rely ...Read MoreRead more
NPD Bookscan released their final statistics for 2018, counting 696 million print books sold in the US, up 1.3% over last year’s 687 million – the smallest gain seen over the past five years of steady print growth. Adult hardcover sales went up 1.3%, while YA and juvenile sales rose by fractions of a percent. Trade paperbacks declined slightly, and mass-market paperbacks continued to shrink, down to 52 million copies ...Read MoreRead more
Barnes & Noble has announced its 25 title list of Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2018, with an additional 12 “Alternate Universe” Picks of “books that could just have easily been included” in the list of 25, and their Year’s Best Collections & Anthologies list for the same genres:
Favorite SF&F:Senlin Ascends, Josiah Bancroft (Orbit) Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown) The Only Harmless Great Thing ...Read More Read more
Books Inc. in Burlingame CA will close in early 2019, with CEO and president Michael Tucker saying, “We are saddened to leave our long term customers in Burlingame, but changes in the retail environment on Burlingame Avenue have made it untenable to remain.” The local chain has ten other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will attempt to transfer affected employees to other locations when possible. They will ...Read MoreRead more
Terry Gilman and Maryelizabeth Yturralde are seeking new owners for Mysterious Galaxy, their San Diego CA bookshop:
When we opened Mysterious Galaxy in 1993, we did so with the belief that it was essential to create a sustainable environment for years to come. Mysterious Galaxy and its immensely qualified and experienced booksellers are well-positioned to ensure that books and author events will remain a vital part of our community. The ...Read MoreRead more
UK bookstore chain Waterstones has acquired Foyles, a family-owned chain of seven bookshops first established 115 years ago. The acquisition is expected to be final by the end of 2018; terms were not disclosed. Waterstones’ head James Daunt said, “Together, we will be stronger and better positioned to protection and champion the pleasures of real bookshops in the face of Amazon’s siren call.” Christopher Foyle said, “My family and I ...Read MoreRead more
Amazon has announced a new imprint, Topple Books, to “spotlight the voices of women of color, gender non-conforming, lesbian, bisexual, and queer writers.” Jill Soloway will serve as editor-at-large, with Carmen Johnson helping to oversee the line. Soloway says, “We live in a complicated, messy world where every day we have to proactively re-center our own experiences by challenging privilege. With Topple Books, we’re looking for those undeniably compelling essential ...Read MoreRead more
Barnes & Noble is laying off many of its most experienced workers following a disappointing holiday season (down 6% from the year before), with lead cashiers, receiving managers, and other seasoned employees being let go company-wide. Employees were given little to no notice of their termination, with many showing up for work only to find their jobs had been eliminated. A B&N spokesperson said the company “has been reviewing all ...Read MoreRead more
A water main burst in front of bookstore Gerald Winters & Son in Bangor ME, flooding the basement and soaking dozens of rare Stephen King works, including first- and limited-edition copies, galleys, foreign editions, ephemera, and seven original manuscripts. Winters, who opened the store a year ago, was a devoted collector of King’s work, and kept most of the rarer items for display, and not for sale. He lost about ...Read MoreRead more
Alan Beatts, owner of San Francisco specialty bookshop Borderlands Books, announced on October 31 that he had secured enough funding to buy the building at 1373 Haight Street as a permanent home for the bookstore. Beatts had previously sought funding from the local community, and within 18 days raised $1.9 million dollars from 49 lenders. The sale closes on November 15, 2017. Borderlands plans to move from their current location ...Read MoreRead more
Alan Beatts, owner of San Francisco genre bookshop Borderlands Books, announced on October 13 that he “made an offer on a building that is meant to be a permanent home for Borderlands. On Wednesday that offer was accepted by the seller.” The deal will move Borderlands from its Mission neighborhood location at 866 Valencia St. to 1373 Haight Street, currently the home of Recycled Records. Beatts said, “It’s a little ...Read MoreRead more
Jack Rems, owner of Dark Carnival Bookstore in Berkeley CA, has announced the store will be closing due to declining sales. No date has been specified, but Rems told Berkeleyside, “I need to pay bills, so as long as by selling off stock we are generating more than it costs [we will stay open].” He also expressed his gratitude for all his long-term customers and encourages people to partake in ...Read MoreRead more
Online retailer Amazon.com opened a brick-and-mortar bookshop, Amazon Books, on November 3, 2015 in Seattle’s University Village. Amazon’s corporate headquarters is located in the same city.
The store has 5,500 square feet of retail space and another 2,000 for storage, and stocks between 5,000 and 6,000 titles, mostly Amazon bestsellers and books rated highly by website customers, an approach Amazon Books vice president Jennifer Cast calls “Data with a heart… ...Read MoreRead more
On Feb. 22, 2015 Borderlands Books announced that they reached their goal of 300 sponsors, just two days after announcing a plan to offer sponsorships to keep the store open, on Feb. 19, 2015. Borderlands will remain open until at least March 31st, 2016.
The survivability of the sponsorship program depends upon continued participation. More sponsorships will help stabilize the future of the store. In order to stay open the ...Read MoreRead more
San Francisco specialty bookshop Borderlands Books is going out of business. The store will close its doors no later than March 31, 2015, but may close earlier, depending on how quickly the inventory can be sold. Owner Alan Beatts explains:
The recent change in San Francisco minimum wage law will prevent the store from being financially viable no later than July of 2018 (at which point our payroll will have ...Read MoreRead more
Author James Patterson has given away the third and final round of grants in this year’s “Saving Bookstores, Saving Lives” campaign. In this round he donated $473,000 to 81 independent bookstores. He has given away a total of $1 million to indie stores this year, all funded by the author personally.
For more information, including the list of grant recipients, see Patterson’s website. ...Read MoreRead more
During a discussion in the French National Assembly about prohibiting free shipping by Amazon in order to preserve the competitiveness of bookstores, a counter-proposal to grant a tax reduction to non-DRM or proprietary e-books was introduced. Isabelle Attard, the French deputy and member of the Europe Ecology Green Party who suggested the idea, made the distinction between the right to possess a digital e-book file and the right to read ...Read MoreRead more
Bookstore chain Barnes & Noble has cut back orders of new Simon & Schuster titles — to “almost nothing” for some books — during an ongoing dispute over financial terms. Refusing to sell books is a new negotiating tactic for B&N, though not unheard of in the industry; Amazon.com famously removed “buy now” buttons from Macmillan titles during a dispute over terms. The refusal to stock S&S books will certainly ...Read MoreRead more
Tom Doherty Associates, publisher of Tor and Forge Books, has announced that it will launch an online store to sell DRM-free e-books directly to readers. Opening summer 2012, the Tor/Forge DRM-Free E-book Store will be hosted at www.tor.com. It will sell all Tor, Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen, and Orb e-book titles, and plans to eventually offer titles from other publishers as well. ...Read MoreRead more
The Science Fiction Writers of America plans to remove many of its links to Amazon.com, following Amazon’s decision to remove 4,000 books distributed by IPG in the aftermath of a pricing dispute between the two companies. When possible, SFWA volunteers will redirect links to indiebound.org, Powell’s, and Barnes and Noble. From the SFWA website:
“While Amazon has the right to decide with what company it does business, its removal of ...Read MoreRead more
Esteemed Minneapolis, MN bookstore DreamHaven announced that they are closing their retail location at the end of January 2012. In a note sent to the DreamHaven Catalog email list, owner Greg Ketter described the situation:
“It’s been a tough decision but in-store business has all but disappeared. Mail order shouldn’t change too much because of this but there definitely will be changes — different phone number, different hours, more used ...Read MoreRead more
Following in the footsteps of Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million announced they will no longer sell print versions of the 100 graphic novel titles that DC plans to release exclusively in digital form on the new Amazon Kindle Fire next month.
Books-A-Million president Terry Finley said, “We will not promote titles in our stores… if publishers choose to pursue these exclusive arrangements that create an uneven playing field in the marketplace.” ...Read MoreRead more
Barnes & Noble yanked physical copies of 100 DC Comics titles from shelves after the publisher cut its first digital rights deal exclusively with Amazon for those books. The titles are scheduled to be released in conjunction with the launch of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, their first color e-reader. B&N said it is following company policy for dealing with publishers that release digital versions of titles without making them available to ...Read MoreRead more
Borders will not emerge from bankruptcy successfully, but will instead be liquidated.
With no bidders interested in keeping the bookstore chain as a going concern, Borders chose to cancel the planned July 19 auction, and instead announced plans to submit a liquidation plan from Hilco and Gordon Brothers to the bankruptcy court for approval. Assuming approval goes smoothly, liquidation is set to begin July 22, 2011. The company’s remaining 399 ...Read MoreRead more
Australia’s dominant bookselling organization REDgroup Retail has been placed into voluntary administration by its owner, private equity group PEP, just a day after Borders Group filed for bankruptcy. The group includes Angus & Robertson, Borders in Australia, and New Zealand’s Whitcoulls, with a combined staff of about 2,500. Angus & Robertson’s history in Australia dates back to 1886, and Whitcoulls dates back to 1882.
Ferrier Hodgson partners were appointed as ...Read MoreRead more
Borders has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing a debt of $1.29 billion and assets of $1.275 billion, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. They expect to “finalize and implement a store closure, store liquidation and lease modification plan” as approved by their board, closing about 30 percent of their 642 stores, or approximately 200 locations, over the next few weeks. Creditors, including book publishers and distributors, are owed about $230 ...Read MoreRead more
Borders Bookstore announced on Sunday, January 30 that it would delay January payments to some landlords and vendors (including major publishers) for the second month in a row, causing speculation that the company may have to file for bankruptcy. According to a company statement, the payment delay “is intended to help the company maintain liquidity while it seeks to complete a refinancing or restructuring” of existing credit and obligations. Borders ...Read MoreRead more
Borders Group, Inc. has announced it will be delaying payments to some vendors — including major publishers — while they try to refinance their considerable debt. This follows a warning on December 9, 2010 that the company might have a “liquidity shortfall” in early 2011. They will likely attempt to “restructure their payment arrangements” regarding money owed to publishers and other vendors.
The company’s share price fell by more than ...Read MoreRead more
Amazon has made some Nielsen Bookscan data available free to authors via their Author Central program. Authors who sign up for the free program can see geographic weekly sales data for their print books.
Amazon vice president Russ Grandinetti said, “Authors are an important community for us … We’re really happy to make it easy and free for them to see geographical BookScan data updated weekly, as well as historical ...Read MoreRead more
Google launched its new Google eBookstore on December 6, 2010, also offering a new Google web reader with free apps for Apple and Android.
Google has also partnered indy bookstores Powell’s, Alibris, and set of participating members — currently 220 stores — of the American Booksellers Association, allowing the booksellers to sell Google eBooks on their own websites. Publishers will get 70% of revenue, and sellers will share the remaining ...Read MoreRead more
In the wake of disappointing sales for the second quarter, Borders Group has announced plans to expand non-book products in many of their 679 stores.
CEO Mike Edwards said, “We are taking steps to transform our retail model, in part through high-impact strategic partnerships, like Build-A-Bear Workshop, that enable us to offer a compelling mix of lifestyle focused products. By offering a rich and relevant selection of product – both ...Read MoreRead more