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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for the 'Bookselling' Category

Tue, September 23rd, 2008
Quickly: Adichie, Brisingr, Handey, Rapunzel, Blurbs!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun, 2006) is a genius (“25 Receive $500,000 ‘Genius’ Fellowships,” by Patricia Cohen, New York Times): Ms. Adichie was celebrating her birthday and taking a bath when the phone call came. “I was thrilled and grateful,” she wrote in an e-mail message from Lagos. “I like to say that […]


Wed, April 2nd, 2008
How about a “Netflix for DVDs”? Could that work?
Posted by: Keir Graff

OK, let’s see: there’s booksfree.com… BookSwim… Paperspine… and the newest “Netflix for Books,” NovelAction.com, which adds, ahem, a novel twist: instead of just sending them money and getting books on loan, you send them money and books. When I was growing up, there was something like that, but I forget what it was called. Oh, […]


Thu, March 13th, 2008
Seattle Helps You Decide What to Read
Posted by: Keir Graff

Seattle’s influence in the world of books looms large of late, but Nancy Pearl can’t take all the credit–no, she has to share it with Amazon, Starbucks, and Costco. In the New York Times (“Book Lovers Ask, What’s Seattle’s Secret?”), Julie Bick examines the retail giants’ bookselling strategies: microlevel, one-book-fits-all, and by-the-pallet. Perhaps because it’s Seattle, the executives speak of “ideals,” “an […]


Mon, March 3rd, 2008
Yet Another Free Book–Sort Of
Posted by: Keir Graff

More free-book madness. For the next month, you can read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for free–as long as you don’t mind sitting at a computer with a live internet connection. On Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Overclocked) gives it a bad review (the interface, not the book). Gaiman responds to that and another charge, as well: I was surprised […]


Wed, February 27th, 2008
Another Free Book
Posted by: Keir Graff

February must be Give Away a Book Month. Why, here’s another one: Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children (Random House). But is free publicity worth a potential drop in sales? And did I really just display their whole ad in my blog post? Why, it must be worth it! Giving something away for free in order to help you […]


Wed, February 20th, 2008
I’m Too Depressed to Write a Headline for This
Posted by: Keir Graff

Poor James Patterson. His last book for young adults, Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, only sold 192,000 copies. He doesn’t feel badly for himself, mind you–he feels badly for all the unfortunate youngsters who somehow didn’t get the opportunity to read his book. From the New York Times (“An Author Looks beyond […]


Tue, January 29th, 2008
Internet Use Competes With, Enables Act of Reading
Posted by: Keir Graff

So Internet use is allegedly dominating people’s time and causing them read fewer books. But an awful lot of people are using the Internet to buy books. (Although U.S. online shoppers don’t crack the top 10.) From BBC News (“Books ‘most popular online buy’“). More books are sold on the internet than any other product and the number is […]


Mon, January 28th, 2008
The Man Who Would Be Harriet Klausner
Posted by: Keir Graff

In Slate, Garth Risk Hallberg asks, “Who Is Grady Harp?” I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had imagined Amazon’s customer reviews as a refuge from the machinations of the publishing industry: “an intelligent and articulate conversation … conducted by a group of disinterested, disembodied spirits,” as James Marcus, a former editor at […]


Fri, December 14th, 2007
There’s an Amazon Reference Here, Too
Posted by: Keir Graff

Before there was Radiohead, there was Jeff Kinney (“Crossover Dreams: Turning Free Web Work Into Real Book Sales,” by Motoko Rich, New York Times): That a book derived from free online content has sold so well may allay some fears that giving something away means nobody will want to pay for it. It also encourages […]


Fri, December 14th, 2007
(Offer Not Valid in France)
Posted by: Keir Graff

More news about Amazon. The French have found a distinctly un-American way of protecting small bookstores (“Amazon Ordered to End Free Delivery on Books in France,” by Peter Sayer, IDG News Service): Amazon.com may not offer free delivery on books in France, the high court in Versailles has ruled. The action, brought in January 2004 […]





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