Winners & Losers in Book World

Andrew AlbaneseNational Book Award winners celebrated their prizes this week, even as employees at college bookstore chain Follett Higher Education Group consoled hundreds of colleagues who were pink slipped.

“We have a great piece in Monday’s issue by Judith Rosen as to why fewer college students are likely to buy those great new books at the campus bookstore,” Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.“Hint—it has something to do with online selling, and the new and growing device market.”

On Saturday, November 23, at the 30th annual Miami Book Fair International, Albanese and Kenneally join Oren Teicher, Chief Executive Officer of the American Booksellers Association to lay out the landscape of the new world of book publishing and book selling, particularly in the wake the Apple e-book price-fixing case.

“As a reporter who covered the case closely, I saw a revealing portrait of an industry still struggling with market-changing technological innovation,” says Albanese, who is author of The Battle of $9.99. “Incredibly, the Apple litigation may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the publishing industry. By intervening, the U.S. Department of Justice may very well have saved the publishers from themselves.

“After all, the publishers’ hastily launched scheme with Apple in 2010 at best represented a stop-gap solution to what the defendants perceived as their biggest problem: Amazon’s low e-book prices,” he explains. “But in 2013, publishers face an even greater challenge: the iPad they so enthusiastically embraced as a wedge against Amazon’s Kindle – as well as its ever-expanding tablet competitors – have ushered in an era of never-ending competition for consumer attention, and all on a single device. Yes, you can read an e-book on your tablet, but that isn’t why you buy one.”

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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