Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘bookselling’

Shop Talk |

Thursday Morning Candy: Bookseller Chick

After a long hiatus, the blog Bookseller Chick is back, providing thoughts on bookstores, publishing, and all things literary. Writes Linsey, the “Bookseller Chick” herself: A lot has been happening in the book world lately—the flood of great Young Adult books, the rise of the self-publishing success, the increased sales of ebooks, Borders’ bankruptcy, HarperCollins’ new electronic policy for libraries, and Apple’s new reading app requirements—and these things are really starting to make fundamental changes in publishing. Regardless of whether Old School wants it to or not, publish or perish has taken on a whole new meaning. These shifts from […]

Shop Talk |

"Find it here. Buy it here."

One of my favorite bookstores, Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, MA, has a new sign up: The sign is intended to remind patrons that buying books in indie bookstores—not just browsing there—is what keeps those stores alive. Explains the bookstore’s email newsletter: The sign is in response to a growing trend at Harvard Book Store (and indeed at bookstores around the country). Folks come in, browse our shelves, get help from booksellers, attend our free events–but then make their purchases online at Amazon. If you like our store and enjoy our services, we’d ask you to think about the power of […]

Shop Talk |

Trade your books with BookMooch

How have I not heard of this site before? BookMooch allows you to trade books you don’t want for books you do—by mail, with a little help from the internet. Here’s how it works, according to the site: You earn points when you: Type books in: enter books you own and want to give away. Each book typed in gets you 1/10th of a point. Give books away: respond to a mooch request, and send your book to them. 1 point awarded, 3 points if sent to another country. Acknowledge Receipt: after you receive a book, leave feedback for the […]

Shop Talk |

Amazon offers Bookscan data

I first heard about this via Stephen Elliott’s very fine Daily Rumpus newsletter, then tracked down some more info via TechCrunch. Amazon has begun to offer Bookscan sales tracking data to authors for free. Stephen Elliott writes: If you’re an author you can now see how many books you’ve sold through They’ll connect you to the Book Scan database, you’ll see how new copies of your book moved in retail stores across the country. This used to take longer. You would ask your agent, who would ask your publisher. You had to trust people. Once in a while you […]

Shop Talk |

Writer, Sell Thyself

On the NYTimes‘ Opinionator blog this weekend, Dick Cavett reflects on the role of author as salesman in “I Wrote It, Must I Also Hustle It?” Cavett writes: I just did 12 — or was it 14? — back-to-back radio interviews from New York to Seattle and, so it seemed after five of them, all points in between. Somewhere around number eight you begin to lapse into a kind of dream state, wondering if what you just said was something you had said to the same person 10 minutes ago; or was that said to the previous host? Maybe he […]

Shop Talk |

Tomatoes, Basil… Books?

Boston author Jonathan Papernick has found a new market for selling his fiction: the farmer’s market. Reports the Boston Globe: [W]orking as a character he calls Papernick the Book Peddler, the Brandeis University writer-in-residence fills a neon-painted shopping cart with copies of his newest work, a collection of short stories called “There Is No Other,’’ and walks through local farmers’ markets offering his wares. […] “I call it market-fresh fiction for the people,’’ Papernick said. “I don’t need to rely on good reviews if I can show readers my book, talk to them about it, let them flip through it, […]

Essays |

Shop Talk: From the 2010 AWP Panel "Evolution of the New Media"

“During my years as a bookseller, I cherished the opportunities to talk with fellow readers who were enthusiastic about books: how we read them, why we read them, where we read them—you name it. And whether mysteries or metaphysics, non-fiction or nature writing, Chaucer or children’s literature, there was a world of writing to discuss, much of which I had never heard of. I loved nothing more than learning and contributing to that community. It is this same sense of community that we try to foster at Fiction Writers Review. One that is made up of tastes and interests as divergent and varied as our contributors. But if there’s one unifying element, I have to say it’s that very same enthusiasm for books. An unabashed, unapologetic, earnest love of ‘shop talk.'”

Shop Talk |

P&W's Inside Indie Bookstores: Women & Children First

In the newest installment of Poets & Writers magazine’s Inside Indie Bookstores series, FWR Associate Editor Jeremiah Chamberlin profiles Chicago’s fabulous Women & Children First bookstore, featuring an interview with the bookstore’s co-owner Linda Bubon. The online version (along with a slideshow of images from the store) is available at no cost on P&W‘s website…but if you want a print copy, Poets & Writers‘ special offer to Fiction Writers Review readers (only $12 for a year-long subscription) is still up for grabs; if you order through this page before May 15, you’ll get the current issue featuring Women & Children […]

Shop Talk |

Are Books Recession-Proof?

A recent poll of 3,000 people made a surprising find: books are an indulgence many people can’t live without. Three-quarters of adults questioned in an online poll said they would sacrifice holidays, dining out, going to the movies and even shopping sprees but they could not resist buying books. Dining out came in a far second with only 11 percent of Americans naming it their top indulgence, followed by shopping at 7 percent, vacations at four and movies, which was chosen by only 3 percent of Americans. “The recession highlighted the downside of greed, indulgence and giving in to temptation, […]

Shop Talk |

Bestselling authors speak out against big-box discounting

For the past few months, writers at FWR — like those across the literary blogosphere–have been responding to and critiquing the Target-Walmart-Sears-Amazon price-war kerfuffle. Yet outside the publishing and writing worlds, it’s not clear if anyone sees big-box discounting as a Bad Thing; maybe people are too excited about snagging $9 hardback new releases. Recently, though, two big-name authors spoke up about the scary ramifications for emerging writers. In a Big Think talk, John Irving discusses how much harder it is for first-time novelists to get started today, admitting that his first novel would not have been published today. (The […]