Friday, February 18, 2011

Bye Buy Books

Digital Books Pushing Print Toward the Grave

As e-readers' prices plummet, sales of digital books have taken off. Anthony Mason asks, "Is this trend the end of print publishing?"

While Amazon reported higher profits and a 36 percent increase in net sales for the fourth quarter of 2010, troubled times have hit a more traditional bookstore chain competitor hard.

The Borders bookstore chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to restructure... Minus about a third of the company's stores.
Going Bust with Bricks & Mortar
Audio Embed: Morning Edition 2/17/11,
Reporter: Lynn Neary.
Bloomberg News reported:
Borders, whose market value shrank by more than $3 billion since 1998, racked up losses by failing to adapt to shifts in how consumers shop. Its first e-commerce site debuted in 2008, more than a decade after revolutionized publishing with online sales. The world’s largest online retailer beat it again by moving into digital books with the Kindle e-reader in 2007, a market Borders entered in July (2010).
Among previous genius moves, Borders convinced stores would win, gave up on its online business and sold it all... To Amazon in 2008.

Google Digitizes Back Issues of 'Spy' Magazine

Spy magazine (1986-1998), the defunct satirical publication that launched a thousand magazine careers and dodged a thousand lawsuits, is now available digitally from Google.

Spy was a mixture of satirical reporting and edgy (targets say "vicious") humor directed toward celebrities, who were often tagged repeatedly with pejorative epithets... And sometimes "punked" by elaborate stings and hoaxes.

Although it'd have some more serious investigative journalism, Spy's popular regular features included snarky sight gags "Separated at birth?" (side-by-side photographs of two different celebrities, similar to Private Eye's "Lookalikes") and "Celebrity Math," which presented thumbnail head shots atop mathematical models of simple equations (for example: Fabio minus Catherine Deneuve equals Billy Ray Cyrus).


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