Losses at Amazon and Library Services Swell; Best Bookstores Announced

For current news on the literary world, I bring you a variety of news stories around the country. Even though Amazon is still in the news, I don’t want to focus entirely on them. I want to give attention to other news in the book world. We’ll focus on Amazon, library services and best bookstores today to give you a broad view of what’s going on.

Since Amazon is always in the book publishing world news, let’s take a few minutes to talk about them. Since the Amazon versus Hachette standoff, customers have taken notice of Amazon’s attempt to squeeze profits from book publishers. So now not only are writers irritated at Amazon, so are investors. Amazon announced second-quarter losses nearly double what Wall Street predicted. The article said, “Skepticism is increasing,” said Colin Gillis of BGC Partners. “It’s hard to have $20 billion in revenue and not make any money. It’s a real feat.”

The Digital Inclusion Survey, taken from a sample of public libraries between September 3 and November 30, 2013 is out. Here are some of the results (Results summarized by Shelf Awareness):

  • 98% of libraries provide free public access to wi-fi, up from 89% in 2012.
  • 98% provide technology training, ranging from internet safety and privacy to coding to using social media.
  • 98% provide assistance completing online government forms.
  • 97% provide online homework help.
  • 95% offer workforce development training programs.
  • 56% offer health and wellness programs regarding developing healthy lifestyles.
  • 50% offer entrepreneurship and small business development programs.
  • Average number of computers provided by libraries is now 20, up from 16 in 2012

USA Today came out with a list of 10 bookstores that are thriving despite the threat of Amazon. Independent bookstores continue to live on, even when people predicted their death. Some on the list: Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Calif, Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore. and Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, Minn.





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