When Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co announced a freeze on the purchase of most new manuscripts (story here) and Harper Collins and Pearson, parent company of Penguin Group (USA), announced they were freezing wages and considering layoffs (story here), we knew times were tough.
The bad economy has hurt us all and unfortunately another bookseller has been forced to close...
Stacey's Bookstore, the iconic San Francisco shop that called Market Street home for all of its 85 years and had carved out a niche for technical publications, announced Tuesday evening that it would close in March. (read story) And Murder One, One of the most famous bookshops on London's Charing Cross Road will close within weeks following declining sales brought on by the credit crisis. (story here)

And this morning David Fulmer wrote saying that, "Yesterday brought the announcement that the entire staff of the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta was laid off. It appears that this is terminal. In addition to the site of dozens of A-List author events every year, the literature center at the MMH hosted writing classes and workshops for adultsand writing camps for kids, including my Fiction Shops. I'm working on a way to keep the classes going elsewhere, but the loss of this facility and its programs is a blow to the book community in this part of the world."

We are feeling the ripples at the Poisoned Pen with fewer ARCs, posters and author tours. This morning Harper Collins wrote to say they had to shorten some of their author's tours and drop several cities, Scottsdale being one.

The New York Times has announced that they are facing dire circumstances and "that it is possible that The Times and other newspapers will have to move to digital-only distribution."(read story)
For the past five hundred years, humans have used print to archive ideas. So what’s next in the life and future of books and just what would a post-book world be like? Will we be doomed to a electronic future?

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Comment by I. J. Parker on January 10, 2009 at 4:48am
Thanks for the link. Can't say I like everything there. Kindle seems to do well. I have one title there and hope others will join it. As I said elsewhere, I don't like the libraries getting in on the free download business. That will hurt authors, publishers and bookstores badly.
Congrats on the success of PP Press. I've watched its reputation growing by leaps and bounds. Not sure why my agent balks at submitting.
Comment by The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on January 10, 2009 at 4:08am
I hope Penguin is sound. The PP Press had an outstanding year as well. Unfortunately the AZ library system has not faired as well and announced they must cut their hours and their staff. I found this list of PW's2008 predictions. (click here to read)
Comment by I. J. Parker on January 10, 2009 at 1:02am
Being a Penguin author, I'm happy to say that my editor has assured me that Penguin remains sound in these troubled times.

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