Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bookseller for sale/Castro gives his book away

It seems that one of the world's largest booksellers is been put on the block. Not a good sign for an industry that suffers the same woes as other media, yet more quietly.

Higher book prices (a mere pocket-size one will make you nearly $10 poorer these days), as well as a more dispersed audience, may be the cause. But no one seems to understand urgent action -beyond e-book gadgets- is needed.

The book industry's present model -printing thousands of copies on the prospects of profitable sales figures- is no longer a viable option. Print on demand is, but no one seems to understand this except Lulu.com.

Hopefully for writers and book lovers alike, someone among publishing executives will catch on.

And speaking of books, Fidel Castro recently published his own version of the revolution in the Sierra Maestra mountains -almost 900 pages worth of it. Being the quintessential self-published author that he is (all printing presses in the island formerly known as Cuba belong to him and his brother), he started by giving a signed copy of his work to Chinese premier, who happened to be visiting.

Sets a bad a example, of course. If books were meant to be given away, writers would have given up long ago. But who's brave enough to complain?

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