The 'Notting Hill' Bookshop is Closing

Plus: The author of 'The Shack' signs a deal to write a follow-up

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Today, in the book set: a readily identifiable landmark bookshop is closing, the author of the surprise mega-bestseller The Shack signs a deal for his follow-up novel, and five lawsuits have been filed over an alleged "horizontal conspiracy" to fix the price of ebooks.

  • The Travel Bookshop in West London is closing in two weeks, according to The Bookseller. The store lent its name and distinctive blue front door to 1999's Notting Hill, the bookseller-meets-biggest-movie-star-in-the-world romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. According to The Bookseller, the shop was founded 32-years-ago by European Estates Plc, "which has been looking for a buyer for the business since May." As of yesterday, the store began selling its inventory at 50 percent discounts. [The Bookseller]

Here it is in real-life:

And here's how Hollywood tells it:

  • Paul Young's Christian-themed novel The Shack has sold close to 15 million copies since he self-published it back in 2007. Now Young's signed a deal with Hachette Book Group for an untitled follow-up novel, described in the press release as “a compelling story that touches deeply felt emotions and needs, and questions of the heart." Since that same description could apply to a cookbook or a primer on how to make your own soap, we're guessing Young and Hatchette want a slow build similar to that of The Shack, which was in print for a year before creeping up the New York Times bestseller chart starting in the summer of 2008.[GalleyCat]
  • Five lawsuits have now been filed in California and New York against Apple and other publishers alleging there's "a horizontal conspiracy' to fix and increase the price of e-books in the US" among companies that use the "agency model" for selling digital books. That's where "publishers set prices on their e-books and keep 70% of the sale price, while digital book sellers keep the remaining 30%." Along with Apple, publishing houses Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster,  Amazon and Barnes & Noble have also been named in the lawsuits. There's already a push on to consolidate all the lawsuits into one class action suit, which, as The Bookseller noted, prompted Publishers Marketplace to observe: "All told, the timing and similarity of these filings more strongly suggests a conspiracy among lawyers than there ever was among publishers." [The Bookseller]
  • The 2011 Hugo Awards for best science-fiction writing have been announced, with Connie Willis winning in the best novel category for her very scary Blackout/All Clear novels, which once again make the compelling case that time travel is more trouble than it's worth. [Reading Copy Book Blog and the Hugo Awards]  
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