BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

In arguably the week’s biggest piece of publishing news, Amazon registers and, but why? (hint: they’re probably not launching a new line of cookware). That revelation came as two equally persuasive cases were made for and against digital publishing: self-published American thriller writer Michael Prescott’s three 99-cent e-books hit the Best-Selling Books list, suggesting a healthy future for authors in the electronic age, whilst Ewan Morrison brewed a storm of controversy in Edinburgh by asking Are books dead, and can authors survive?

The summer of book bans continued this week after complaints from parents prompted a high school to take Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami off reading lists in New Jersey. Mind you, if things keep going the way they are, parents might not have any future Murakami left to ban, with concerns growing that the Digital shift is killing Japan’s best English books. Of course, that might not be such a problem for The Atlantic, which certainly didn’t beat around the bush when it asked point blank in an editorial Are There Too Many Books?

Still, it’s not all bleak – Books-A-Million bids for 14 Borders Leases, which certainly suggests that someone, somewhere, still sees a sustainable appetite in the market for flesh and blood bookshops. If anyone knows where it is, feel free to get in touch.

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