“…loath to say good-bye to a thing so every way brimful of every interest to him, — poor old Bildad lingered long…”—From Moby-Dick, obviously. Loath though I may be to say good-bye to the store, I won’t linger long. Dustin takes control after this post. Gird yourselves!
“At the Philip Levine reading we chatted for all of a minute about Geoff Dyer until the point when, you know, the reading began. I wish I’d approached you sooner, and that we had the chance to talk longer about literature, life, whatever … Hope you’re doing well with your studies, and that we might cross paths again.”—
I’m very sad to let you know that I’m leaving the bookmongery—and, sadder still, this tumblr. It’s been fun, tumblring the things with you—jokes about Moby-Dick, Salivagate, Funbruary and Funch, answering questions about what books to get your dads, the great American Sad Keith Gessen discount, liking all your guys’s stuff.
It’s been a weird last couple weeks for bookselling: Google soon won’t let us sell their ebooks, the DoJ gave Amazon a colossal tugjob, and nobody won the PulitzerThe Great Night won the McNallitzer. So, one last time: Amazon is an ugly corporation hellbent on profit alone, and anything they say they’re doing “in the interest of the consumer” is really only in the interest of itself: slowly choking publishing and bookstores to death so it can keep track of all your reading and buying habits. Books cost a certain amount of money when they’re not loss leaders in a monopsonized, bullied market.
But you know that. If working at McNally Jackson has taught me anything, it’s that people—you guys—still care, and care deeply, about books. And the internet is helping, not hurting, that.
Though I’m sad to leave the store, I head happily to Norton to become an editorial and digital marketing assistant, working under the great Matt Weiland and the great Steve Colca. Next week is my last week, and after that the tumblr will be in the very capable, very hilarious hands of Dustin. Anyway, onward!
Our own Kate Milford—kid section guru, author of The Boneshaker—is kickstarting (kickstartering?) a novella she’s written to accompany the release of her other new book, The Broken Lands. How does she do it? With many fancy pens, that’s how. The novella’s called The Kairos Mechanism (!), and she’s publishing it on our book machine and on something called the internet. Go to!
Given the industry’s fears about Amazon’s increasing monopoly on talent and market share, coupled with its ability to drive prices, you’d think publishers would be hesitant to do anything that would make it easier for Amazon to maintain its dominance. Instead, by insisting that e-booksellers implement DRM, publishers are essentially handcuffing themselves to the train tracks and giving Amazon the key.
Emily Books has gotten around this problem, so far, by selling great books published by smaller companies who either agree with us about DRM’s uselessness or can’t afford to care about it. And we’ve experienced exactly zero problems with piracy so far. We still dream of rescuing neglected books from major publishers’ backlists and using our unique platform to introduce these books to a new audience of eager readers. That major publishers currently can’t allow a small bookstore to do something that’s in their own and in their authors’ best interests means the system is broken.
”—Ruth wrote a great op-ed about how publishers are sabotaging themselves by requiring booksellers to apply digital rights management to the books they sell. You might think you don’t care about this issue, but if you like books, writing or reading, you care about this issue. (via emilygould)