The Nobel Prize for Literature will be awarded this week, and the literary world is placing its bets on who will be the next winner. Meanwhile, Andrew Wylie blasted Amazon in a new interview, and Atavist Books is staking its claim in the digital landscape. Read on for today’s top books headlines: READ FULL STORY
Tag: Amazon (21-30 of 56)
On the Books: Michael Hastings' novel to be published posthumously; 'Morning Joe' to announce National Book Awards finalists
Michael Hastings, the 33-year-old journalist who died in a car crash in June, will have his novel published. Meanwhile, Amazon is facing labor disputes overseas in Germany. Read on for more of the top books news from this weekend: READ FULL STORY
On the Books: Amazon updates Kindle, Fire OS; authors Karen Russell, Donald Antrim receive $625,000 MacArthur grants
What’s Amazon’s latest for the Kindle? Who received the MacArthur “genius” grants this year? Those books headlines and more questions for you to ponder below:
Amazon announced new Kindle tablets — the 7″ Kindle Fire HDX — will begin shipping October 18. The company will also release an updated Fire OS, dubbed “Mojito,” which includes new features like Second Screen and the Mayday button. [AllThingsD]
Authors Karen Russell and Donald Antrim are among 24 MacArthur “genius” fellows, each receiving $625,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to use however they like. [NPR]
In other awards news, poet Alice Oswald won the 2013 Warwick Prize for Memorial, her retelling of Homer. [The Telegraph]
William Boyd, author of the latest James Bond novel, says Bond Girls should be called “Bond Women.” Discuss. [The Telegraph]
Also up for discussion: Do fictional characters have to be likable for us to fall in love with them? Writers Mohsin Hamid and Zoe Heller tackle the question. [New York Times]
Speaking of formerly likable fictional characters, Walter White’s Walt Whitman book from Breaking Bad is up for auction. [LA Times]
Paris Review co-founder and novelist Peter Matthiessen’s book, In Paradise, about a group of people who “come together for a weeklong meditation retreat at the site of a World War II concentration camp,” will be published by Riverhead Books this spring, according to a press release.
No need to blush, romance novel readers. A study found that fans of romance novels are more sensitive, meaning they’re more capable of “reading subtle facial cues, and picking up on the emotions they express.” (And on a related note, ICYMI: E.L. James is producing a line of wines inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey.) [Pacific Standard]
Finally, are you keeping up with Banned Books Week? Join its Twitter party at noon with the hashtag #bannedbooksweek, and check out some other events on their site. [Banned Books Week]
For readers looking to expand their digital libraries, but are wary of paying full price for titles they already own, Amazon today unveiled a solution: the Kindle Matchbook. Through the program, Amazon users can buy discounted versions of print books they had purchased new from the site.
Depending on the title, electronic copies on Kindle Matchbook will cost $2.99 or less (some are even free). The option works for all print purchases dating back to 1995–when Amazon first opened its online bookstore — and offers users the option to review their order history.
“If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle Matchbook now makes it possible for that purchase–18 years later–to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost,” Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, said in a press release. “In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish.” READ FULL STORY
Minds might be in the gutter, but the sales of dirty e-books certainly are not. Book-selling powerhouses such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble are raking in major profits from the sleazier online titles and genres that readers can absorb behind the privacy of tablet screens.
In 2012, romance and erotica topped revenue charts with $1.4 billion in sales. However, the profit tactic has left the book retailers in one of those Fifty Shades of Grey areas. Despite the revenue benefits of the taboo genre, Amazon and B&N appear to be on the fence themselves in regards to the promotion of erotic fiction. A 2010 pedophilia guide sold on Amazon finally got pulled by the online retailer after the illicit subject matter sparked controversy. But in lieu of the book’s eventual removal from the site, Amazon released a statement shortly after defending its decision to offer the item:
Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.
The economics of erotica have never been a real question: sex sells. And maybe 50 Shades of Grey is to blame—the 2011 novel featuring a naive college graduate’s relationship with a BDSM-obsessed business mogul—as it sparked a more recent wildfire-like spread of naughty fiction fascination. But the levels of provocative seem to go way beyond the bondage/dominatrix realm; Amazon keyword searches reach the furthest ends of the sexual spectrum, including pedophilia, bestiality, and incest.
Although successful sales numbers might help disputable titles avoid a ban, they do not overpower the decision-making ultimately determined by retailer representatives. Both Amazon and B&N have appeared to strip their bestseller lists of several erotica books. As an alternative, erotic novels with warranting sales can appear in the top 100 online, a B&N spokeswoman told the New York Post.
Apple Inc. broke antitrust laws and conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, citing “compelling evidence” from the words of the late Steve Jobs.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said Apple knew that no publisher could risk acting alone to try to eliminate Amazon.com’s $9.99 price for the most popular e-books so it “created a mechanism and environment that enabled them to act together in a matter of weeks to eliminate all retail price competition for their e-books.”
The Manhattan jurist, who did not determine damages, added: “The evidence is overwhelming that Apple knew of the unlawful aims of the conspiracy and joined the conspiracy with the specific intent to help it succeed.”
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company planned to appeal.
“Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations,” he said. “We’ve done nothing wrong.”
Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer called the ruling “a victory for millions of consumers who choose to read books electronically.”
READ FULL STORY
2013 is about half over, and the books editors at Amazon have already chosen their top 10 books of the year so far, just in time for you to make a few additions to your beach bag. Unlike the film industry, there isn’t a clearly defined “prestige” season for book releases, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a lot of these titles popped up on year-end best lists as well — although there are still many highly touted titles yet to come in the fall, including ones from Donna Tartt, Amy Tan, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Marisha Pessl. Check out Amazon’s picks and snippets from EW reviews below: READ FULL STORY
George Orwell’s 1984 imagines a near-future dystopia in which all human activity is surveilled and most of it is controlled. Last week, the American government came under sudden, sustained scrutiny after several of its top-secret surveillance programs were revealed to the public. Today, 1984‘s sales are up 127 percent on Amazon while a two-fer of 1984 and Animal Farm is up 314 percent.
Coincidence? READ FULL STORY
Your favorite social reading experience is coming to Kindle.
Amazon.com announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Goodreads, a popular and social media-savvy book recommending site. Founded in 2007, Goodreads allows users to track books they want to read, read and write user reviews, and form book clubs. The aspect of seeing what your friends are reading — as opposed to strangers like with an Amazon review — is part of the appeal. Currently, the site has over 16 million members with over 30,000 books clubs.
“Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content in a press release. “Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike.” READ FULL STORY
Pretty much all of the big, important books of the year are already released or soon-to-be-released by now, so it’s not too soon for “Best of 2012″ lists to start rolling in. Amazon has made its choices — some bold, some expected — for its top 100 books of the year. Here is the top 10 — decide for yourself whether Amazon’s picks will make your holiday list. We’ll be coming out with our own list soon, so stay tuned! READ FULL STORY
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