I’ve been predicting this for a while, and still think a Spotify for ebooks would be a $1million idea. (Or a $1million bankruptcy. Whatever.) Anyway, from today’s Publishing Perspectives:
Everything you can read in a month for just €9.99 sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? That is what Booquo, the new digital venture of Circulo de Lectores — the book club owned by publishing giants Planeta and Bertelsmann — is offering, making them among the few brave enough to tread the forbidden path of access vs. ownership that frightens so many print publishers in this digital age. [. . .]
Booquo has two business models — conventional and subscription. The first allows you to rent movies (from a selection of 1,000) and buy e-books (some 10,000 titles are on offer) that is open to anybody who visits the site. This shop, which functions like any other e-retailer, has a partnership with Filmin for the movie rentals and uses the e-distributor Libranda (of which Planeta and Bertelsmann are main shareholders) for downloadable e-books, which are sold at the same fixed price that anybody will find at Amazon Spain or Casa del Libro. The second is the “club,” which offers a one month trial subscription of € 0,99 in an opt-out system that will charge your credit card €9,99 per month thereafter till the account is cancelled.
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .