Today in publishing and literature: The company is rumored to be opening a "small boutique" store in Seattle later this year, Jonathan Franzen praises The House of Mirth author in a very long New Yorker essay, and more hand-wringing about the popularity of "genre fiction" on e-readers.
Citing a "source to the situation," the blog Good E-Reader reported over the weekend that Amazon is planning to open a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle within the next few months. Per the source, the company plans to take the "small boutique route" and sell e-readers, tablets, and various accessories, plus books from their newly-launched Amazon Publishing imprint. If the store clears a profit, others would apparently follow. If nothing else, the timing would be appropriate, since Books-a-Million and Indigo, a Canadian bookstore chain, both announced they'd be taking Barnes & Noble's lead and refusing to stock Amazon Publishing titles in their stores. [Good E-Reader and The Bookseller]
Faber paid a "six figure sum" for the U.K. rights to Birth School Metallica Death by music writers Paul Brannigan and Ian Wood. The planned two-volume (!) text is being touted as the "definitive" history of the thrash metal trailblazers, and will apparently hit stores next year. [The Bookseller]
It's no secret that "genre fiction" titles (read: horror, romance, erotica) sell well on e-readers, but what does that mean? Nothing, publishers insist: customers who would be buying pulpy paperbacks have just switched over the pulpy e-books. That doesn't stop The Guardian from fretting that the anonymity of e-readers (no racy covers!) and the ever-improving search function may be enough to usher in a golden age of "downmarket fiction." [The Guardian]