Notes: Oprah-Tolle Webinar Hiccup; Store Changes
Noting that "interactive Internet broadcasting to a mass audience is still an emerging medium," the producers said, "We're proud to have been pioneers in pushing the industry forward."
The class is available as a podcast on Oprah.com/ondemand or iTunes.
Tolle's publishers, using old-fashioned print technology, have had no trouble supplying the masses. Penguin shipped 3.45 million copies of A New Earth in four weeks, a record for the publisher. And after Oprah's announcement, New World Library, publisher of Tolle's The Power of Now, went back to press for 600,000 copies of the book and other Tolle book, audio and card deck titles. Already New World had 2 million copies of the 1999 book in print.
To date, no copies of A New Earth or The Power of Now have crashed.
"The more people reading my book, the happier I am," Charles Bock, author of Beautiful Children, told USA Today
in reaction to last Friday's free download offer of the book in
cooperation with Random House, Amazon.com, B&N.com, Powells.com and
Northshire.com (Shelf Awareness, February 27, 2008).
USA Today also noted that M.J. Rose, novelist and owner of AuthorBuzz.com, said it was "about time publishers tried new ideas to attract readers. She and other authors, notably science-fiction writer Douglas Clegg and business writer Seth Godin, have offered free samples or distribution of their books starting nine years ago."
"We found we were selling more, not less, copies of the books we were giving away," she added. "Anyone who really wanted the book will buy the book. But there are so many more people who think, 'Hmmm, it looks interesting, but I'm not sure.' And this is how to go after them."
Along the lines of Quick Books, mentioned here yesterday, TCU Press is launching a line this spring called Texas Small Books--all 4.5 x 6.5, 96 pages long and priced under $10. The first three titles are Extraordinary Texas Women, Texas Country Singers and State Fare: An Irreverent Guide to Texas Movies. Fall titles are Great Texas Chefs and Texas Football Legends: Greats of the Game. Director Judy Alter says, "We hope these books, geared to increasing the average reader's knowledge of our state, will be 'pick-up' purchases, displayed at point-of-sale locations."
Books-A-Million plans to open two new stores in Virginia, where it already has 19 stores. One is in the Waynesboro Town Center in Waynesboro, near Charlottesville, and the other is in Landstown Commons in Virginia Beach.
The Graduate Theological Union Bookstore, Berkeley, Calif., is closing by the end of the semester. The store stocks more than 12,000 titles ranging from scholarly books to books serving pastors and congregations to general religion titles.
In an e-mail announcing the closing, manager John Seal said, "We fought the good fight against the chain stores and deep discount online competition and outlived many of our independent book-selling brethren, but our sales base has continued to slowly erode, and we can go on no longer."
The Next Chapter Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Woodland, Calif., will be closing after more than two decades in business, according to the Daily Democrat. "It's just been a step forward here, a step back there, a step forward here, a step back there," co-owner John Hamilton said. "We have not lasted 21 years for not trying."
Nicole and Jim Hayes, who own a gift and home decor store and a wine and martini bar, have just opened their third business, Cafe Book, a coffee shop and bookstore, in Antioch, Ill., the Chicago Daily Herald reported.
As in the case of their previous two businesses, "we saw what Antioch was lacking and decided to do something about it," Nicole Hayes told the paper.
Cafe Book has "plenty of tables and oversized chairs, perfect for people who want to spend a lazy morning sipping and browsing books," the Daily Herald continued. There is also a fireplace.
A customer commented: "I think with so many new subdivisions and younger people moving into Antioch we needed something like this. It is a big improvement for Antioch."
Calling Abunga.com "a kind of Facebook meets prayer book," ABC News
reported that the online retailer is using "a clever strategy that has
pit Christian readers against anti-censorship intellectuals."
Abunga.com "allows its buyers to ban saucy books from their accounts. What's more, if enough customers block a certain book, the company removes it from the site altogether. . . . The site launched in the fall and initially blocked 65,000 titles; since then, another 100 to 200 books have been dropped."
"It is truly a free country, and I'm not the public library or the forced education system," said Lee Martin, the company's chairman. "I believe in free enterprise, and I think people care what we are about."