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Rare Books Dealer Abe Books Reveals Its Most Expensive Books Sold This Year a site that sells used and rare books has revealed its list of the 50 most expensive books sold this year.

The most that fetched the most money was Les Maîtres de L’Affiche (5 vols) which sold for $43,450, followed by a copy of Das Kapital by Karl Marx which went for $40,000. Call for the Dead by John le Carré  sold for $22,500. A copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll & illustrated by Salvador Dali brought in $20,000. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway went for $18,000 and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling earned $15,956 for the bookseller.

The list also includes rare books from Hemingway, le Carre, Steinbeck and Frank Herbert. Follow this link to see the whole list.


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Jeff Bezos Feels That Books Should Be Less Expensive

jeffbezos304Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sat for an interview Business Insider.

Throughout the conversation, some of the topics that came up included the Fire phone, how his role at Amazon has changed over the years, and his personal vision for bookselling. He revealed that the aim of the Kindle team is to make books as accessible as possible. For him, part of that means reducing the current $30.00 price point that is typically assigned to hardcover books. Bezos explained:

“Books are the competitive set for leisure time. It takes many hours to read a book. It’s a big commitment. If you narrow your field of view and only think about books competing against books, you make really bad decisions. What we really have to do, if we want a healthy culture of long-form reading, is to make books more accessible. It takes many hours to read a book. It’s a big commitment. If you only think about books competing against books, you make really bad decisions. You’re competing against Candy Crush and everything else. If we want a healthy culture of long-form reading, you have to make books more accessible. Thirty dollars for a book is too expensive. Part of that is making them less expensive. Books, in my view, are too expensive.”

How Publishers Can Create a Virtual Book Tour

Looking for ways to promote your books without leaving the office? Shindig has Virtual Book Tour Platform that allows publishers to promote a book to by hosting virtual bookstore events with authors or people from your publishing team.

The platform allows hundreds of people to video chat in a virtual bookstore. As they would in a real book store setting, readers can interact with the authors who are featured and ask questions to a live group. There is even an e-commerce feature so that readers can buy the book from the event.

Bloomsbury Press recently hosted a Shindig event to promote some new titles to book bloggers. We’ve embedded a video demo from the Bloomsbury event above.

Indie Bookstores Compete to Win a Visit With Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman OceanA group of independent bookstores are competing against one another to win a visit with Neil Gaiman. The shop that sells the most copies of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by the end of this year will come out on top.

According to Gaiman’s Tumblr page, the actual event will take place in February 2015. The participating stores include: 57th Street Books, The Book Cellar, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Anderson’s Bookshop, Bethany Beach Books, Chapter One Book Store, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Green Apple Books, Kepler’s Books, Village House of Books, Main Street Books, Watermark Books & Café, Maria’s Bookshop, Moravian Book Shop, Mostly Books, Octavia Books, Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop, Old Firehouse Books, Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery, Rediscovered Books, St. John’s Booksellers, and the Strand Book Store.

The Economist Reveals Best Books of 2014

imagesThe Economist joins other media outlets in revealing its list of best books of the year list. The list is broken up into seven categories including: Politics and current affairs; Biography and memoir; History; Economics and business; Science and technology; Culture, society and travel; and fiction.

Titles on the list include: The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited By Louisa Lim; Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Concise Life By John Röhl; The English and Their History By Robert Tombs; Capital in the Twenty-First Century By Thomas Piketty; Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family By June Carbone and Naomi Cahn; and The Narrow Road to the Deep North By Richard Flanagan.

To explore NPR editors’ favorite books of the year, follow this link. The New York Times’ best books of the year can be found here.

Waterstones Has High Hopes For Sales This Holiday Season

waterstonesAfter a couple of tough holiday seasons, the British book chain Waterstones has high hopes for fourth quarter sales this year.

The firm’s managing director James Daunt told The Guardian that the chain already almost broken even for the year, and a good Christmas season, could push them over the edge, a huge success for the business’ recent history.

The store is not banking on eBook sales to do the trick. In fact, eBook sales are flat among Waterstones customers and the company’s founder has even predicted the end of eBooks in the UK. Instead, the retailer is focusing the in-store experience on tailoring to local tastes.

Bookseller Mary Stuart Kellogg Has Died

history07Mary Stuart Kellogg, the co-founder of the New Orleans-based indie bookstore Maple Street Book Shop has died. The 89 year-old suffered complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Kellogg opened the bookstore in a house with her sister Rhoda back in 1964. “Because Mary and Rhoda Norman felt like fish out of water in mostly conservative New Orleans, the bookstore became a place the left wing and avant garde could depend on as a source for their books and as a meeting place,” explains the store’s website. “They would hang out on the screened side porch—where the travel section is today—schmoozing until after dark, sometimes well after closing hours if anyone had enough pocket change to run down to Bruno’s and buy a few beers to fuel the conversation.”

The Times-Picayune has more: “Over the years, the independent bookshop at 7529 Maple St. in the Carrollton neighborhood has been the site of signings by authors such as Walker PercyWilliam Styron and Willie Morris.”

The store celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

The Obamas Go Book Shopping on Small Business Saturday

President Barack ObamaPresident Obama made his annual trip to the Washington DC based indie book store Politics and Prose over the weekend to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

On the outing with his daughters, the president purchased 17 books, according to reports. National Book Award winners Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Age of Ambition:Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos, as well as NBA Finalist All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr were on his shopping list.

The New York Times has more about the shopping trip:

Mr. Obama spotted a new book behind the register, “The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House,” by Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The president noted that he looked “lonely” on the cover, and Malia asked, “How is he already writing a book?”

A 24-Hour Bookshore Thrives in Asia

esliteThe Eslite, a 24-hour bookshop based in Asia, “has more night owl visitors than most Western bookstores could dream of during their daytime hours.”

The Eslite Group has designed its stores to cater not only to bibliophiles, but also to people who appreciate fashion, home styling, and restaurants. The company owns 42 stores in Taiwan and 1 store in Hong Kong; the executives plan to open new locations in China.

According to CNN, the organization “reported revenue of around $425 million in 2013, with books accounting for some 40 percent of sales, according to company spokesman Timothy Wang. Sales are expected to increase by almost eight percent this year.” What do you think?

100 Authors Sign Books to Help Boost Holiday Sales at Barnes & Noble

barnes-noble-logo11 (1)Barnes & Noble asked 100 authors to sign 5,000 copies of their latest books. Some of the participants include The Goldfinch author Donna Tartt, Inferno novelist Dan BrownFifty Shades of Grey trilogy writer E. L. JamesHumans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton, and children’s book creator Jeff Kinney.

These 500,000 autographed books will be made available at Barnes & Noble’s 650+ brick-and-mortar locations. The data from the previous two holiday seasons show that the retailer’s sales figures have been in decline for both the digital store and physical shops.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Drawing customers into its physical stores has become an urgent priority for Barnes & Noble. The chain has been battered in recent years by competition from Amazon and by a sluggish book market. It has closed more than 20 stores since summer 2013 and will spin off its money-losing Nook division into a separate company next year…Some authors said they hoped the new campaign would help the struggling chain.”