Category Archives: eBooks

Why the Bookshop Will Never Die

BookshopKicking the slush off my boots (which I had discovered, to my dismay, had holes in them), I walked in to yet another branch of Waterstones. I’ve visited dozens of branches across the UK, and while none of them are very surprising to behold, they are all very comforting, and this one was no different. This time, I was in Belfast, and had braved the snow and wind in my ill-chosen boots and not-quite-up-to-scratch-against-the-cold coat because I was running out of reading material (you know it’s dire when I’m under 100 pages from the end of the book and don’t have another one set up) and I had two more days to fill before I would be anywhere near my local bookshop (another Waterstones). Continue reading

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Print is Fighting Back

ereader-and-books… or is it?

This Christmas has been hailed as the proof of the fightback against digital. The print book sale has reached a three-year high, and perhaps the hopeful excitement of this news should be more obvious, but it’s not.

The bookshops and online stores took £75.4m in sales in the week running up to the 22nd December – figures not seen since 2009’s £75.7m [figures provided by Nielsen BookScan]. Popular books included those with films – Life of Pi and The Hobbit – the usual celebrity biographies* (Miranda Hart’s Is It Just Me? and Bradley Wiggins’ My Time taking 2nd and 3rd on the charts respectively), and Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals sealing top spot, making it a 5th year as Christmas Number One for the chef. Continue reading

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New Stephen King

If you haven’t heard… one of my favourite writers of all time Stephen King is writing a new book! In fact, two new books!

Joyland is due out in June 2013 and it looks like he’s back to his top form. Set in 1970s North Carolina, the novel tells the story of college student Devin Jones, who comes to work as a carny and instead finds himself in the middle of a whodunit. Not forgetting his horror roots, the grisly murder in a small-town amusement park is both dark and emotional.

Editor Charles Adai told We Love this Book:

“It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time. Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.’ “

Titan Books’ pulp press imprint Hard Case Crime will publish the book, and Stephen King has promised an eBook version – but not quite yet…

“[I]  loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being.”

Stephen King is a well-known advocate of digital print, publishing Riding the Bullet in 2000, making it the first mass-market eBook, and selling half a million copies of it in two days. Later that year, he posted instalments of The Plant on his website, charging a dollar for each download. Going back to good old paperbacks might seem like a step away from digital publishing, but he has already put that to rest – promising next year’s sequel to The Shining will be available as an eBook as well as a hardback.

Doctor Sleep revisits a now adult Danny Torrance as he tries to move on from the nightmare of the Overlook Hotel. Settling in a New Hampshire town and getting a job in a nursing home, he meets gifted young girl Abra Stone. But rather than having a normal life, Danny Torrance soon becomes involved in a battle to rescue her from a tribe of semi-immortal people, who torture and sacrifice children who have the Shining.

Reviewers are already doing backflips over both the books, and I am itching to get my hands on them! What do you think of the upcoming Stephen King novels?

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Amazon on Fire

Can’t get an iPad? Either you don’t want it, can’t afford it, or you’re trying to avoid the Apple Generation. No problem.

Still want a tablet that you can get Facebook on, browse the internet, but most importantly, read a book?

Amazon have let slip that the 7-inch touchscreen Kindle Fire will be available in the UK in January 2012.

It comes with all the usual newspapers, magazines and books available. Plus all sorts of apps, thanks to Android, including TV shows. Excited? I am. Time to collect the pennies for January. And the best bit? The rumour is that it’s going cheap – according to all accounts, Amazon can afford to sell it at a loss as it will be essentially a “shop front” for films, music, books and apps. Even better. Enjoy, everyone, this is the tablet to contend with the iPad.

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Coates and Bilbary

Once the Managing Director of Waterstones, Tim Coates has now announced the imminent launch of his brainchild – Bilbary. Bilbary.com is an international online consumer site dedicated to the sale and lending of eBooks. He said of the venture:

“Readers are going to be the obsessive focus of this site. It won’t sell anything else. It’s the site to come to for everything, for readers’ groups, for recommendations, and it will be linked to Facebook. The student can get hold of a book you can’t get from the university library direct from the publisher. Academic publishers see real potential.”

Coates describes the site as bringing together the skills of the bookseller and the librarian on the internet, with “shop window” recommendations and librarians available for consultation. The idea is that by the time Bilbary.com launches, the website will be offering upwards of 300,000 titles for 20-day loans at 25% of the RRP.

What do you think of an eBook “library”? Is Coates on the right track?

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