Monday, December 26, 2011

The Year in Book News, from Sheppard's Confidential

Another year comes to an end.  And what a year it has been!  National and international events aside,
the book trade is itself changing and it seems timely to review some of the major events in 2011 as we
have reported in this newsletter.  Here are some of the headlines:

Two companies received Royal Warrants: Blisset & Co., and Bibliophile Ltd. Twenty branches of
Waterstones to close… and UK Libraries came under more financial pressure – Devon Libraries started
to sell off valuable books. British Bookshops went into administration. Our business survey suggested
(from 400 who took part) that trade in 2011 would be much better about the same but 41 per cent
thought they would see an increase in their sales. World Book Market offered new Freeware. HD Fairs
went into liquidation. And major floods occurred in Brisbane (Australia).

WH Smith buys 22 bookshops. Canadian authors hire their own editors. Euro MP raises the Amazon
Price Parity issue; Delays in postage to USA. Borders book chain fails, and Australian book chain Angus & Robertson – and Whitcoulls went into voluntary administration. Books created from Wikipedia
entries by Alphascript and Betascript were exposed. Major earthquake hits Christchurch (New Zealand).  Several dealers lost their businesses and were lucky to get out of their buildings.

Abebooks acquires ZVAB. The ‘Bookdealer’ will not reappear in print. Devastation in Christchurch clear  for all to see – book dealers suffer. Another comic fetches high price: Archie Comics No 1 (1942) made $167,300.  Publishers in Europe raided by EU inspectors – all about the agency model for e-books. Whitcoulls in New Zealand for sale. Sales of books about Hitler boom. Google loses battle to create world’s largest library – US judge rules.  Michael Treloar launches ‘Books without Borders’ – to raise funds for dealers in Christchurch. Major earthquake and tsunami hits Japan.


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