Book Biz: What Went Wrong at Borders, Clemens Library Gets 1851 Press

RR Donnelly Closing OR Book Plant

RR Donnelly has announced it is closing its Gresham OR commercial and book printing plant August 1, leaving 113 workers unemployed. In 2006 Gresham gave Donnelly a 5 year tax exemption for a $30 million facility expansion.

B&N Founder Stepping Aside

After purchasing a single Barnes & Noble on Manhattan in 1971, and eventually managing a chain of 640 national bookstores, Leonard Riggio is retiring and remains optimistic about book retailing.

5 Years Later Borders CEO Lays BlameBorders-Closing-cartoon

Although he was only CEO of Borders for 19 months, Mike Edwards analyzes Border’s bankruptcy in which Edwards and his board were financially rewarded ($8.3 million) while the store employees (who were the best thing about Borders) got unemployment benefits. Worse, top managers right to the end caused the bankruptcy.

DK_Publishing_0756617456_Book_NASCAR_Best_Shots_521949Dorling Kindersley For Sale

When our children were small their favorite books were DK. They were generally oversized and very colorful and covered everything from planets to insects, anatomy to ocean life. Penguin has announced DK is for sale.

2015 Book Sales Up, Revenue Down

Trade book sales increased by just 0.8% last year while overall revenue fell 2.6%. Children’s ebooks fell 43% while adult ebooks declined 9.5%

elearningtjpgAmazon Takes on eLearning

Despite the fact that most studies indicate children learn best from ink and paper books, the NYC school system inked a $30 million contract with Amazon to design digital educational products.

Reviving the Failing eBook Subscription Model

Apparently what’s been missing all along for ebook subscription providers (besides profits) is curated content! Who knew?

Designing Covers 101

Admittedly designing magazine covers has different strictures than designing book covers, but there are enough thoughtful ideas here that’s it’s definitely worth a read.

1851 Printing Press at Clements Libraryhiw-news-clements-library-videelink

Like many manufacturing products, there was a time when printing presses not only reproduced art, they themselves were handsomely styled and elaborately decorated. This one’s gorgeous.

Printers Victims of New Scam

While just a variation on previous scams involving checks that can’t be cleared overnight, this one involves production and shipping. Printers write off too much debt every year in their zeal to keep the presses producing.

apple v chinaChina Reigns in Apple

With iPhone sales faltering and stock prices tumbling, the last thing Apple needed was increased scrutiny from the Chinese government. Last month China halted sales from iBooks Store and iTunes Movies 6 months after each opened.

A B&N “Concept” Store

After announcing that B&N hopes to have 4 “concept” stores opening in 2017, details are emerging of the first in Eastchester, NY. It is designed around a former Border’s store and hopes to “encourage customers to buy products online”.

At Last, A Self Deleting Book

I know artists shouldn’t be concerned about making a buck, so Stefan Ahnhem won’t be too discouraged when the reader reaction to his disappearing serial crime ebook is underwhelming.

Final Thought

He wins every hand who mingles profit with pleasure, by delighting and instructing the reader at the same time. Horace


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I've worked in book manufacturing for over 30 years, closing my company Baker Johnson, Inc. in 2005. Currently I work freelance with a large group of publishers, advising them on the printing options available to them as the book industry endures major restructuring.
My wife Cathy is a retired psychologist and spent most of her career working with the youth at Maxey Boys Training School. She is a small mammal rehabilitator with Friends of Wildlife.
Our daughter Whitney is a PharmD working in the Denver area evaluating the pharmaceutical requirements of nursing homes. Our son Eliot lives in Waterloo and is an editor at Mathematical Reviews in Ann Arbor.