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All stories by Katie Gowrie

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Book links roundup: Margaret Atwood publishes serialized work, Zadie Smith’s defence of libraries, and more

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Kobo teams up with ABA to offer ebooks to U.S indies

The American Booksellers Association has partnered with Kobo to sell ebooks and e-reading devices.

Kobo will now provide ABA members nearly three million ebook titles, as well as ereaders and accessories. The company will also support 400 member stores with training, merchandising, marketing, sales, and logistics.

Publisher’s Weekly quotes ABA CEO Oren Teicher:

We are pleased to offer our ABA members a competitive e-book retailing solution uniquely crafted to meet the needs of independent booksellers and their customers. Through this partnership with Kobo, indie bookstore customers will have access to a broad and diverse inventory of e-books.

The deal comes after Google terminated its reseller program for ebooks in April. That decision was met with surprise by many indie booksellers in Canada and the U.S. who saw the plan as a chance to launch themselves into the digital world – it would have allowed thousands of booksellers to take digital books from Google’s store and sell them for a commission.

Several Canadian independent retailers had signed on to the program through a partnership between the Canadian Booksellers Association and Campus eBookstore.

After the cancellation, the CBA looked to Login Canada, Transcontinental, and Enthrill Entertainment as potential providers. Christopher Smith, vice president of CBA says the organization has plans in the works and will make an official announcement in early September.


U.S. attorneys general and major U.S. publishers reach settlement

Details on the settlement have been released concerning Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and 55 attorneys general from throughout the U.S. in the ongoing lawsuit over ebook pricing.

The terms of the deal state that consumers who bought ebooks from the five publishers involved (the aforementioned three, as well as Penguin and Macmillan) between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012 will receive reimbursement in the amount of more than $69 million (U.S.).

The publishers will also pay $7.5 million (U.S.) to the states to cover costs, and have agreed to change their pricing structures moving forward. The publishers agreed to settle with the U.S. government earlier this spring, and announced in April they would drop the agency model for a period of two years.

In one of today’s press releases on the subject, Connecticut attorney general George Jepsen states:

While publishers are entitled to their profits, consumers are equally entitled to a fair and open marketplace. This settlement will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the eBook market for consumers’ long-term benefit.

Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple have not agreed to settle, and the cases are still pending.

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Book links roundup: Kobo to stock Amazon ebooks, Anaïs Nin on self-publishing, and more

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Book links roundup: Kobo partners with American Booksellers Association, Amazon’s effect in India, and more

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Edna Staebler Award shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 21st annual Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction has been revealed. The $10,000 prize, administered by Wilfrid Laurier University, recognizes a first or second published work of creative non-fiction by a Canadian author that has a Canadian setting or significance.

The award was established in 1991 by literary journalist Edna Staebler to encourage Canadian talent.

“Creative non-fiction … is becoming a very popular genre. The jurors worked extremely hard, and in the end had to make a tough decision,” says award juror and Laurier professor Ute Lischke in a press release. She adds this year’s submissions were “extremely rich and varied.”

The shortlist for 2011 is as follows:

The winner will be announced on Sept. 19, and the award will be presented at a dinner and reading on Nov. 13 in Waterloo, Ontario, and again on Nov. 14 in Brantford, Ontario.

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Book links roundup: James Franco casts As I Lay Dying adaptation, LeVar Burton on the future of print, and more

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Betty Waterton, 1923-2012

(Photo: Canadian Children's Book Centre)

Betty Waterton, celebrated children’s author and illustrator, passed away on Aug. 7, according to a press release from her publisher, Fitzhenry & Whiteside. She was 88 years old.

The author of nearly 20 children’s books, she is best known for the classic A Salmon for Simon (illustrated by Ann Blades), which received the Governor General’s Literary award for children’s illustration, and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award.

Waterton, a seventh-generation Canadian, was born in Oshawa, Ontario, in 1923. By the 1930s, her family had already lived in Manitoba and B.C. due to her father’s work with the Star Weekly.

Waterton was renowned for her interactive readings and presentations for children across Canada. Among her other reader favourites are Pettranella, Mustard, A Bumblebee Sweater, and the Quincy Rumpel series.

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BookNet bestsellers: Children’s fiction

Great adventures and dystopian settings dominate this week’s bestsellers list with The Hunger Games and Divergent series taking the top spots.

For the two weeks ending Aug. 19:

1. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, $19.99 cl, 9780439023511)

2. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, $19.99 cl, 9780439023498)

3. Insurgent, Veronica Roth
(Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, $19.99 cl, 9780062024046)

4. The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set, Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, $59.97 cl, 9780545265355)

5. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, $9.99 pa, 9780439023528)

6. Divergent, Veronica Roth
(Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, $10.99 pa, 9780062024039)

7. Nevermore, James Patterson
(Little, Brown and Company/Hachette, $19.99 cl, 9780316101844)

8. The Hunger Games (movie tie-in edition), Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, $13.99 pa, 9780545425117)

9. The Maze Runner, James Dashner
(Ember/Random House Canada, $10.99 pa, 9780385737951)

10. National Geographic Kids Almanac 2013 (Canadian edition)
(National Geographic Society, $16.99 pa, 9781426309274)

11. Dork Diaries #4: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess, Rachel Renée Russell
(Simon & Schuster, $15.99 cl, 9781442411920)

12. The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries, Rick Riordan
(Hyperion/HarperCollins, $13.99 cl, 9781423163008)

13. The Kill Order, James Dashner
(Delacorte/Random House Canada, $20.99 cl, 9780385742887)

14. Between the Lines, Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
(Atria/S&S, $22.99 cl, 9781451635751)

15. The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, Tom Angleberger
(Abrams/Canadian Manda Group, $13.95 cl, 9781419703928)

16. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
(HarperCollins Canada, $9.99 pa, 9780007458424)

17. The Berenstain Bears: All in the Family, Jan and Stan Berenstain
(Random House Canada, $11.99 cl, 9780307930682)

18. Bound to You, Christopher Pike
(Simon Pulse/S&S, $11.99 pa, 9781442459717)

19. Little Critter: Just a Storybook Collection, Mercer Mayer
(Festival/HarperCollins, $12.99 cl, 9780062134523)

20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4: Dog Days, Jeff Kinney
(Abrams/Manda, $16.95 cl, 9780810983915)

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Toronto Book Awards shortlist unveiled

Toronto Book Awards 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Toronto Book Awards has been announced. The annual awards, established by the Toronto City Council in 1974, recognize authors who evoke Toronto in works of literary and artistic merit.

The winning author receives $10,000, and the other nominees are awarded $1,000 each.

The judging panel for this year’s awards is comprised of Michael Booth, Julia Chan, Tina Edan, Diane Spivak, and Kristine Thornley. The shortlist, culled from 75 submissions, is as follows:

  • Dave Bidini, Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972
    (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Andrew J. Borkowski, Copernicus Avenue
    (Cormorant Books)
  • Farzana Doctor, Six Metres of Pavement
    (Dundurn Press)
  • Michele Landsberg, Writing the Revolution
    (Second Story Press)
  • Suzanne Robertson, Paramita, Little Black
    (Guernica Editions)

An evening with the shortlisted writers will take place at the Yorkville branch of the Toronto Public Library on Oct. 3, and the winner will be announced at a gala on Oct. 11, to be held at the Toronto Reference Library.

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Kaie Kellough


Hall of Honourers

Brandon Wint

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