black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             

"No company in American history has exerted the control over the American book market — physical, digital and secondhand — that Amazon does."

"Amazon, under fire in much of the literary community for energetically discouraging customers from buying books from the publisher Hachette, has abruptly escalated the battle.

The retailer began refusing orders late Thursday for coming Hachette books, including J.K. Rowling’s new novel. The paperback edition of Brad Stone’s “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” — a book Amazon disliked so much it denounced it — is suddenly listed as “unavailable.”

In some cases, even the pages promoting the books have disappeared. …

The confrontation with Hachette has turned into the biggest display of Amazon’s dominance since it briefly stripped another publisher, Macmillan, of its “buy” buttons in 2010. It seems likely to encourage debate about the enormous power the company wields.”

Amazon is reportedly using the same tactics in Germany, squeezing the publisher Bonnier by delaying shipment of its books.”

Amazon Neutrality  

Some art books skyrocket in value just a few years after they’re published. How much cash is sitting on your coffee table?

"After witnessing the staggering after-market success of “Helmut Newton: Sumo” — which cost $1,500 when it came out in 1999 and is now worth 10 times that much — the art publisher Taschen has invested in making more of its books good investments. The company’s gigantic limited-run “art editions,” many of which come with signed gelatin prints, are specifically designed to appreciate in value. Some, like Mario Testino’s 2010 book on Kate Moss — which had a $500 list price and currently resells for $2,000 — do this very quickly. […]

Charles Miers, the publisher of Rizzoli, attributes this new market dynamic to a “subliminal enthusiasm for bespoke books,” which he said is increasing just as Kindles and iPads threaten to make other printed books obsolete. “We just wish that enthusiasm reached a wider reader,” he said. “The funny thing with some of these books that double or triple in price is that they often didn’t retail well and only find a new value on AbeBooks or Amazon after they’ve been remaindered. It’s a kind of ironic devaluation and then hyperinflation.”

Left: “Sleeping by the Mississippi’’ by Alec Soth, Original Price: $40. Now: $1,500.

Right: ‘‘Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967’’. Original Price: $1,800. Now: $14,000.

The Bibliophile’s 401(k)

©2011 Kateoplis