Amazon is jumping on New York’s same-day-delivery bandwagon with Prime Now, a new service promising one-hour delivery of a number of products to Prime members in Manhattan. From 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day of the week, customers can order through the Prime Now mobile app—opting for one-hour delivery at the price of $7.99 or two-hour delivery for free. The orders will be filled at Amazon’s new center at 34th street, its first brick-and-mortar retail location. “There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go,” said Amazon’s SVP of worldwide operations, Dave Clark. “There are so many reasons to skip the trip and now Prime members in Manhattan can get the items they need delivered in an hour or less.” The service is only available to Manhattanites for now, but Amazon expects to roll out Prime Now in other cities next year. [GalleyCat]
Tag: Amazon (1-10 of 91)
A new short story by Philip Pullman returns readers to the world of the classic His Dark Materials trilogy for the first time in six years. Pullman wrote “The Collectors” for exclusive digital distribution by audiobook publisher Audible—available in the U.K. this week, and out in the U.S. in January. Set at his alternate version of Oxford, the story follows the early life of Pullman’s villain Mrs. Coulter. The author last visited the fictional world in his novella Once Upon a Time in the North.
Pullman may be using old characters, but writing “The Collectors” was a new experience for him. “I find it very difficult as a form,” the author said of short story writing. “With a novel you can sprawl out, go down blind alleys—it’s a much bigger, looser thing. With a short story, you have to be tight.” [The Guardian]
-The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd topped the 2014 Amazon bestsellers list, which the e-giant released this morning. The selection is composed of the frontlist titles published in 2014 that moved the most copies, including both ebook and print edition purchases. John Grisham’s Gray Mountain nabbed second place, followed by Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See—also the most wished for book this year. Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel, Twenty Seconds Ago and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies rounded out the overall top five. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan was the number one bestselling kids/teen book, and the children’s hit Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney was most-gifted overall. [Publishers Weekly]
-45 years after Toni Morrison, 83, published her groundbreaking debut The Bluest Eye in 1970, the visionary author’s 12th novel will hit shelves. Set to be published by Knopf in April 2014, God Help the Child will—like many of Morrison’s works—tell the story of a strong African American woman battling personal hardships and the social constructs of race. Knopf describes the book:
“Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child is a searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult. At the center: a woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish…”
The bestselling writer of Song of Solomon (1977) has received accolades including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Presidential Medal of Freedom over the course of her career. Just a couple of weeks ago, she sat down with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
- Renowned American poet Galway Kinnell died of leukemia last week at the age of 87. Kinnell received numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for 1982’s Selected Poems—as well as a MacArthur genius grant, a poet laureateship in Vermont, a chancellorship at the American Academy of Poets, and, most recently, the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The World War II vet, anti-Vietnam War activist, and civil rights champion infused his verse with the gritty social issues pervading the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Los Angeles Times writes that the Kinnell is celebrated for his “forceful, spiritual takes on the outsiders and underside of contemporary life,” and how he “blended the physical and the philosophical, not shying from the most tactile and jarring details of humans and nature.” His work reflects the influence that Walt Whitman and friend W.S. Merwin had on him. Kinnell—who also taught at New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Reed College before retiring in 2011—is survived by his wife, two children from a former marriage, and two grandchildren.
- Barnes & Noble has reversed this week’s decision to close its Bronx branch, the only major bookstore in the neighborhood. Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. led the fiery local campaign to keep the shop open, brokering a compromise between B&N and the the property’s landlord. Mr. Diaz told the crowd at a press conference yesterday that “this is more thatn just a bookstore… This is where kids read and broaden their minds and do their homework.” [The New York Times]
- The first-ever Kirkus Prize-winning authors were announced in Austin, Tex. last night. Writers Lily King, Roz Chast, and Kate Samworth took home the brand-new $50,000 prizes in the fiction, nonfiction and young readers categories, respectively. King’s novel Euphoria, the story of three intertwined rival anthropologists, stood out “for its perfect construction, its economy and originality, and its fearlessness.” Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, won for her illustrated memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, the story of the last few years of her parents’ lives—also up for a National Book Award later this year. Samworth’s Aviary Wonders Inc. is a a strange, funny, dark young adult tale about a world where birds are extinct. [NPR] READ FULL STORY
Simon & Schuster has signed a new multiyear contract with Amazon that gives the publisher nearly full autonomy over ebook pricing. Both dealmakers appear to be pleased with the agreement, going into effect Jan. 1, 2015. S&S chief executive Carolyn Reidy said in a letter obtained by The New York Times that the deal “is economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors and maintains the author’s share of income generated from eBook sales.” The publisher will gain control over determining the prices of its authors’ ebooks, “with some limited exceptions,” according to the letter. Amazon, for example, can still offer some discount deals.
- We know how much Tom Hanks loves typewriters—but since he co-wrote 2001’s Band of Brothers, the actor hasn’t had much original writing to show. Maybe he wiped the dust off his favorite typing device for “Alan Bean Plus Four,” a fictional story he penned for the new issue of The New Yorker.
The humorous story, about four buddies who journey to the moon in a capsule made from duct tape, is positively Hanksian. As an author, Hanks uses similar themes to the roles he has championed—limitless ambition, vivid detail, and emotional depth. Or maybe that could all stem from the 18-minute recording The New Yorker provided of Hanks reading the story himself. [The New Yorker] READ FULL STORY
- Bestselling young adult author John Green unveiled the cover of a special 10th-anniversary edition of his debut novel Looking for Alaska via Twitter yesterday. Green said on his Tumblr that the new cover was designed by Rodrigo Corral, the man behind the now ubiquitous cover of his young adult sensation and The Fault in Our Stars. He also shared that the new edition of the award-winning book—which became a bestseller in 2012, seven years after its release—will include a new introduction, an in-depth Q&A, editor notes and a few scenes that were cut from early drafts of the work.
“It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed,” Green wrote. “I feel so lucky that Alaska is still in print and still finding readers (some of whom were in preschool when it was first published). Thanks to everyone who has read it and shared it this past decade, and I hope you enjoy the anniversary edition,” currently available for preorder. Alaska is the coming-of-age story of new boarding school student Miles Halter who falls in love with a girl named Alaska. Green announced this spring that Alaska was being developed for the big screen by Sarah Polley, several weeks after the release of Josh Boone’s smash-hit adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. READ FULL STORY
- Amazon is coming to Midtown. The The Wall Street Journal reports that the online giant is set to open its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 W. 34th St. in Manhattan, directly across the street from the Empire State Building. Herald Square, Madison Square Garden, Penn Station—major hubs for locals and tourists alike—are all a block or two away from the retailer-savvy location. In addition to the nearby stores (like the Macy’s flagship location, Forever 21, and H&M)—as well as a smartly timed opening just in time for the holiday shopping season—Amazon’s first serious venture into face-to-face consumer interaction is poised to bring in a lot of foot traffic. (They experimented with a popup Kindle shop in San Francisco last year.) In August, a peak number of about 6,000 people per hour passed in front of the H&M on the same block. Amazon has declined to comment on the story. [The Wall Street Journal]
- Girls actress and creator Lena Dunham is the kind of girl to top bestsellers lists with her debut book. Dunham’s collection of personal essays, is currently second on The New York Times bestsellers list for nonfiction, print and ebook sales combined—and No. 1 on the ebook-only nonfiction list. The book sold about 38,000 hardcovers in the week following its release on Sept. 30, according to Nielsen Bookscan (whose data covers approximately 85 percent of all book sales). READ FULL STORY
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