June 01, 2008

May Bestsellers

1) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
2) House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
3) Line War by Neal Asher
4) The Golden Cord by Paul Genesee
5) Passage: The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold
tie with The Dreaming Void by Peter F. Hamilton
6) Matter by Iain M. Banks
7) The Starry Rift edited by Johnathan Strahan
8) Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton
9) Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin
10) Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon

1) Cruel Zinc Melodies by Glen Cook
2) Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey
3) Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds
4) Snake Agent by Liz Williams
5) One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
6) KOP by Warren Hammond
7) Mainspring by Jay Lake
8) Axis by Robert Charles Wilson
9) Natural Ordermage by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
10) Legacy: The Sharng Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold

Trade Paperback
1) Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow tie with
Steampunk edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer
2) Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams
3) World War Z by Max Brooks
4) The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
5) Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Hi, I'm From Amazon and I'm Here to Help

by Alan Beatts

This is the third in a series of articles about current changes and trends in the book business. The last one looked at Borders Books and Music's financial woes and the possible consequences for authors and readers. The final article in this series will take a look at eBooks and the possible effects of that technology. This installment is going to consider Amazon.com's recent business moves and where that might lead the book business and the book-loving public.

Last month I started with a long disclaimer about my built-in bias as an independent bookseller when it comes to chain stores. I need to mention something like that this month as well but not as strongly. Compared to Borders and Barnes and Noble, many booksellers are even more upset about the effect that Amazon has had on their business, but I'm not one of them. Amazon started the same year as Borderlands and many times since then I've pointed out that what Amazon does is very different from what we do. I think that, in general, ecommerce is a great thing. I shop on the internet with some frequency (though not for goods that I can buy from a local business) and I think that the overall effect of ecommerce has been positive. But shopping on-line is no substitute for actually going into a store, picking out what you want, and walking out the door with it. And this goes double for book-shopping. When it gets down to it and no matter how hard Amazon and other vendors have tried -- browsing on-line is deeply unsatisfying. So, although Amazon does compete with my shop, I have enough faith in the unique qualities that my physical store offers that I don't bristle and shake my head when I see an Amazon box being delivered.

And what's Amazon been up to recently? Quite a lot, actually. I'll run down the list in no particular order.