Notes: Oz Government to Review Parallel Importation
An Australian government commission will review the country's laws governing the parallel importation of books, Bookseller & Publisher Online reported.
Under current law, in order to secure copyright in Australia on a new book published abroad, an Australian publisher must make the title available in Australia within 30 days of its publication. The law restricts bookseller sales of foreign editions of books during that period and once the book is published in the 30-day period.
The Australian Booksellers Association supports an open market, and critics of the current law argue that booksellers lose out in an era when readers can easily buy new titles from abroad online.
A group representing more than 20 independent bookstores in New York City held their second meeting on June 26. The booksellers have decided officially to call themselves the Independent Booksellers of New York City and have formed committees to work on a website, create a logo and develop a map that includes all independent bookstores in the city. Stores have agreed to make founding contributions to the association, which will provide seed money for those projects. Bookstores interested in more information and participating should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In May, Vincent Bugliosi, former Los Angeles County prosecutor and author of Helter Skelter, among other titles, published another book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (Vanguard Press), a title that has landed on the New York Times bestseller list despite being ignored by the mainstream media, the Times reported. ABC Radio did not run an ad, and neither MSNBC nor the Daily Show booked Bugliosi. Amusingly the Times's own Book Review still has the book "under consideration" for attention.
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder apparently has benefited from radio interviews, online interest and Internet ads. Vanguard publisher Roger Cooper told the Times, "Using the Internet has been an integral fact in the success of this book."
Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek, said that the book might have not received the expected attention because "there's a kind of Bush-bashing fatigue out there." But he noted that its apparent success is "another sign that the traditional channels of commerce have been blown up. If a dedicated part of the Internet community wants to move something, it doesn't need a benediction from the mainstream media and might benefit from not having one."
And Sara Nelson, editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly, noted that if the book takes off, "the same people who didn't want to give [Bugliosi] publicity in advance would give him publicity after the fact."
Calling Asheville, N.C., "a book lover's paradise," the Citizen-Times profiled several local bookshops--the Captain's Bookshelf, Malaprop's, Once Upon a Time, Accent on Books, Barnes & Noble and the Reader’s Corner.
"We are lucky in Asheville," said Chan Gordon, co-owner of the Captain's Bookshelf. "We are an art destination and the prevalence of bookstores here goes hand in hand with the notable artists. When we opened [in 1976], there were tumbleweeds blowing down Haywood Street. We have become a destination simply because we've been around so long. In many ways, we are fueled by the book-minded tourist coming from Charlotte, Atlanta, Knoxville, even Washington, D.C."
"Asheville is unusual from what I hear from other booksellers across the Southeast," said Linda Barrett Knopp, general manager of Malaprop's Bookstore. "Our sales are up, and Asheville's local economy seems pretty healthy. People are very supportive of us."
Considering the number of independent bookstores located in the city, Stan Collins of Once Upon a Time bookstore suggested that "Asheville may be unique. People are really committed and dedicated readers have a tendency to patronize us independents. They know when they come into an independent store, that the people there really know the books."
Lawrence, Mass. (birthplace of Shelf Awareness's editor-in-chief), will soon have its first general English-language bookstore in years, according to the Boston Globe. Got Books Inc. is moving its warehouse and used bookstore to South Lawrence from North Reading. The city of 72,000, which is 70% Hispanic, has a small community college bookstore and a Spanish-language bookstore. Got Books, known for its pick-up vans and some 275 drop-off locations, donates many titles to libraries and schools. In the new facility, it will stock some 60,000 books.
"Owners of local bookstores and galleries have noticed a decline in artistic indulgences," the Whittier, Calif., Daily News reported in a piece on the current economic slowdown.
"It's had a serious effect on sales," said Little Old Bookshop owner Bret Brezniak, who cited the decline in arts education as another factor. "There's always been a shortage of funds on the educational level, which is really where it starts. Kids don't appreciate good music and literature. They sort of live in a disposable pop world.
vote with their money every day," Brezniak continued. "People are
shooting themselves in the foot . . . by not going to local shops. If
you sustain the small businessman, that builds up the economy."
Kim Hunt and Ken Wytsma opened Kilns Bookstore, Bend, Ore., over the Fourth of July weekend. The Bend Bulletin called Kilns "a nonprofit bookstore, no double-entendre intended. It will be run entirely by volunteers, and the money will go right back into the store and toward the causes it supports."
"Nobody takes a profit on it, so we're not driven by the same market forces as, say, Barnes & Noble," said Wytsma. "So we can get a more eclectic mix of books."
Book Bank USA, Largo, Fla., "swims against tide," according to the St. Petersburg Times, which profiled owner Amy Schmaedeke and her efforts garner "more support from area readers to stay afloat."
"I want to tell the community to buy locally,'' she said, noting that her average customer is over 50 years old and her most loyal customers are to be found in the used book section. "It is sad that people have lost the idea of going into a neighborhood bookstore.''
A customer who seemed at first supportive of the store, then less so, was city mayor Pat Gerard, who said, "I've bought paperbacks there. I see where Book Bank has a niche, particularly with its used books."
But Gerard also suggested that she would like to see a larger bookstore at the Largo Town Center, which is to be built in 2010. "Personally, I'd like to see a big store like a Borders or a Books a Million in Largo Town Center. Certainly with the bigger store there's advantages. It would be great to see bookstores at both ends of Largo."
Under the possibly sacrilegious headline, "What Would Jesus Read?" the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune featured a beach reader's "guide to what's hot at religious bookstores."