Amazon has "rolled out a new social feature" that integrates Facebook into customers' recommendations, according to TechCrunch, which reported: "If you go to your recommendations, using Facebook Connect, Amazon will now serve you social recommendations based on information in your Facebook profile.... So when you activate the feature, you'll see a dedicated Amazon Facebook page within the recommendations section of your account."
TechCrunch also noted that Amazon "explicitly says that it will not share your Amazon account history with Facebook nor will it share your purchase history with Facebook. And Amazon will not contact your Facebook friends."
Fast Company observed that the partnership between Amazon and Facebook "manifests itself in a totally opt-in system on Facebook, which is a good choice, seeing as how Amazon will have access to all kinds of information about you if you opt in, which not everyone will want. Amazon is being very careful about privacy here, saying that they will neither contact any of your Facebook friends nor reveal account (purchasing) history."
No sex please. We're Apple. The Telegraph reported "Apple has been accused of censoring the iPad book chart after four pornographic titles mysteriously disappeared from the bestseller list."
On Wednesday, the erotic quartet--led by Blonde and Wet, the Complete Story, which had been ranked first on the iPad top-10 list--"disappeared simultaneously and had been replaced with less risqué books, such as Peter Mandelson's autobiography, by the afternoon. Book chart analysts said it was unlikely that all the erotic titles could have dropped out of the list at the same moment without being deliberately removed."
It is the question of our times (or at least our industry): "Are e-books killing 'real' books?" KXLY-4 asked a writer and a bookseller in Spokane, Wash.
"You've known it was coming and the technology is catching up with that pretty quickly," observed author Jess Walter. "The delivery system is less important than the ideas themselves. I know people who bought e-readers and read twice as much as they used to, so I don't necessarily think its an awful thing."
Mary Jo King, general manager at Auntie's Bookstore, which is selling e-books on the shop's website, said, "It's probably going to pan out to, wisdom is, 10% to 15% of market penetration for e-books. We couldn't afford to give up another 10% or 15% of our business, so we joined." King added, however, that "we think it's a certain majority of book readers that will always want to hold a book in their hand. Try cuddling up with an iPad at night in bed, you know, it's just not the same effect."
And Walter offered a confirming anecdote: "I remember when my daughter was a newborn when I was very young and I was reading 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. And, I had just a small break in my college classes and I would go home and be with my daughter and she would stretch out on my chest. She was a baby and her arms would only go to there. I would lie down and read and she would nap on my chest and that book is as connected to that moment and the feel of the pages and the look of the cover."
In a recent Web Faceoff poll, Mashable readers cast a decisive vote in favor of traditional books, with 41.9% (898 votes) for the printed book and 23.24% (498 votes) for e-books. "Interesting enough, a lot of you voted that you like both formats for reading your favorite novel; 34.86% of you (747 votes) said that it was a tie between the e-book and the print book," Mashable wrote.
Style Maniac showcased the new, Northeast branch of Miami's Books & Books, located on Main Street in Westhampton Beach, N.Y.. Style Maniac praised the store's "fresh, inviting modern interior; well-edited selection of new fiction, local authors and stylish coffee table books (many of which have been or will be featured on this blog); a helpful staff, robust events calendar and charming children's section--plus locations near some wonderful beaches."
The late Stieg Larsson is the first member of the Kindle Million Club, according to Amazon, which announced that the Millennium Trilogy author has become the first writer to sell more than one million Kindle books.
NPR's Morning Edition profiled Concord Free Press, noting that under "the publisher's generosity-based publishing model, patrons can take the book for free, but they're asked to make a donation to charity."
"We just ask people, one, make a voluntary donation to a charity or person in need; two, chart your donation on our website. And three, pass the book along to someone else so that this project keeps going," said Stona Fitch, founder of the press.
The Huffington Post featured nine of "the most amazing bookstores in the world--the places that would make any reader shut their laptop, put aside their eReader, and go out to buy a book. From New York to Portugal to China, we've picked the most beautiful, impressive, and inspiring."
Dublin, Ireland, has become the fourth city to be designated "a city of literature" by the cultural arm of the United Nations, UNESCO. The Irish Times reported that Mary Hanafin, Minister for Culture and Tourism, said Dublin was chosen "because of the rich historical literary past of the city, the vibrant contemporary literature, the variety of festivals and attractions available and because it is the birthplace and home of literary greats." The other three cities of literature are Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa City.
"Literature has the unique power to distinguish us as a culture and as a people. It helps us understand what it means to be human. In Dublin, the city has been defined by its writers, and continues to be remade and discovered through their words," said Arts Council director Mary Cloake.
Book trailer of the day: Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach (Norton), which will be published next Monday.
Obituary note: Les Pockell v-p and associate publisher at Grand Central Publishing, has died, the Associated Press (via ABC News) reported, noting that he "brought a deep and unpredictable intellect to projects ranging from the mystery novels of Donald Westlake to poetry and short story anthologies." Pockell was 68.
Susan Kamil, senior v-p, Random House editor-in-chief, has been promoted to the
additional position of publisher of the Random House and Dial Press
imprints. In a memo to staff, Random House Group president and publisher Gina Centrello also announced the following changes:
Tom Perry, executive v-p., deputy publisher, joins Kamil at the Random House imprint and will also be publisher at the Modern Library imprint.
Theresa Zoro has been promoted to senior v-p., director of publicity for the entire Random House Publishing Group.
Susan Corcoran is now v-p, director of publicity for Ballantine Bantam Dell.
has bought all assets of Arcade Publishing, which was founded in 1988
by Richard and Jeannette Seaver and has been in bankruptcy since shortly
after Richard Seaver's death last year.
Arcade's list includes
works by Ingmar Bergman, Octavio Paz, Umberto Eco, Samuel Beckett,
Ismail Kadare, Elie Wiesel and many more.
Skyhorse was founded in
2006 by Tony Lyons, former president and publisher of the Lyons Press,
and has more than 500 titles in print, primarily in history, politics,
sports, memoir, true crime, business, reference and self-help.
commented: "We believe that the timeless quality of many of the books
on the list fits nicely into the Skyhorse model of finding great books;
producing well-priced, handsome packages; finding the customers who will
read and love them; and keeping them in print year after year."
"Opening a Bookstore: The Business Essentials," an intensive workshop
retreat for prospective booksellers conducted by the Bookstore Training
Group of Paz & Associates, is scheduled for September 13-17 on
Amelia Island (near Jacksonville, Fla.). The workshop, which is
co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, is facilitated by
Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman and held every spring and fall. For more
information, go to PazBookBiz.com or call 800-260-8605.
The next Book Industry Study Group online webcast, called A Further
Conversation on the Agency Model: Before, During and After the New
E-book Selling Model, takes place next Tuesday, August 3, 1-2 p.m.
Eastern time. Presenters are Michael Cader, founder, Publisher
Marketplace.com; Bob Kohn, chairman and CEO, RoyaltyShare; Dominique
Raccah, CEO, Sourcebooks. All three spoke on the topic of the agency
model at BEA.
For more information, go to bisg.org.