The Week Ahead 08.03.12

Rose FoxAndrew AlbaneseWhat did the bookstore clerk say to the customer? What are YOU doing here? The painful truth is that bookstores, and bookselling more generally, have never faced more parlous times than our own. But the business doesn’t lack for diehard loyalists and the battlefronts are many – from the virtual mall of Amazon, to the shopping centers of suburbia, and most recently, to the courtrooms of Manhattan.

“If you’re listening to us today, we can reasonably assume two things – one, you love books, and two, you’ve seen the number of places to buy books in your community shrink,” says Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly features editor. As he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, the upcoming PW will explore what’s driving the decline in in-store sales. “You can probably guess some of the factors at work here,” he says. “There’s no Borders, and fewer other stores carrying backlist titles;e-book sales are eating into sales; and sale terms from publishers actually seem to encourage indies to return books before they have a real chance to sell them.”

In her weekly review of reviews, Rose Fox, a PW reviews editor who blogs at Genreville, arrives with praise for the latest thriller by Dennis Lehane: A “masterful” Live By Night that chronicles the Prohibition-era rise of Joe Coughlin, an Irish-American gangster and son of a Boston cop. “This is a mature, quintessentially American story that has appeal beyond fans of crime fiction,” Fox reports.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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