Book-related news for the week of 11/21/2022
Happy Saturday, book friends! Thanks so much for all the positive feedback on this new weekly column. I’m glad that folks seem to be enjoying reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together each week.
With the Thanksgiving holiday here in America, it’s been a relatively slow news week (or at least, slow for the kinds of book news I’m interested in). But we’ve got a few highlights for you nevertheless!
TikTok Wants to be Your Bookstore of Choice
In a move that both does and does not surprise me, TikTok announced that they are going to start selling books direct to cosumer. BookTok has made huge waves in terms of book sales in the last couple years, so it makes sense that the platform wants to get a cut of the profits.
As of now, it looks like the sales will be limited to the UK, but if that goes well it isn’t a far leap to imagine it’ll eventually go worldwide. Considering I got overwhelmed and ran away from TikTok after 48 hours, it’s safe to say I won’t be using this as my new bookstore any time soon.
Black Friday — Cyber Monday: Bookish Sales
Sales in the name of Black Friday seem to come earlier and earlier each year, and bookish goodies are no exception. Here are a few of the Black Friday sales spotted by Your Book Friend throughout the week, most of which are slated to continue at least through Cyber Monday. (Links with an asterisk are affiliate or referral links).
Bookshop.org* has free shipping site wide through Cyber Monday, plus 15% off their gift picks. (Source: Email from Bookshop.org)
Out of Print, who sells bookish t-shirts and other accessories, have a code out for buy one t-shirt, get one free on their website 11/21–11/26. The sale ends today, so if you’re in the market for some book-branded merch, now is the time! (Source: Email from Out of Print on 11/21)
Book Outlet* is offering an extra 25% off their already discounted books (exclusions do apply). The sale ends on November 28th. This news may or may not have led to me adding three books to my ever-growing witchy stash… (Source: Multiple emails from Book Outlet. They’re very excited about this sale).
Blissfully Bookish, a small company that makes bookish clothes and other goodies, has a variety of sales going on. They’ve also got some special-edition holiday items and plenty of restocks. (Source: Instagram)
Little Free Library is offering 15% off a library/post combo, or 10% off site wide if you’re looking for accessories or merch. Sale goes through November 29th. (Source: Email from Little Free Library)
Penguin Random House Merger With Simon & Shuster Officially Not Happening
Earlier this year, Penguin Random House (PRH) made an offer to buy out fellow Big 5 publisher Simon & Shuster. The move would have further condensed Big Publishing under one roof, which spurred an anti-monopoly lawsuit. The judge ultimately ruled against the merger because it would decrease competition in the publishing market.
PRH had planned to appeal this decision to try and make the merger a reality, but that required Simon & Shuster to extend the deadline for the deal (originally set as November 22nd) first. And they didn’t. Which means PRH and Simon & Shuster will not become one. According to Book Riot, S&S is still looking for a buyer and some of the other Big 5 publishers may be interested.
Debate rages about whether allowing big publishers to merge would have significant impact on things like book deals for authors and diversity of available titles for readers. Another consideration: a bigger share of thhe market might allow publishers to better compete with the Big A (that’s Amazon, who holds a lot of power over publishers as one of their primary retailers… not to mention a good chunk of publishing itself these days).
Personally, I’m weighing in with “I don’t know enough about the industry to say.” My main opinion on this matter is that I’m still mad the Penguin & Random House merer didn’t give us the Random Penguin we deserved.
(Source: Book Riot Rundown newsletter, linking to this article)
That’s it for this week’s Book News Corner! Did I miss any big book news? Let me know!