January 9, 2011 in Features

Book Notes: Auntie’s makes e-books available

By The Spokesman-Review

Independent bookstores, including Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., are jumping more deeply into the e-books business, in partnership with Google eBooks.

Here’s how it works at Auntie’s: If you want to buy an e-book you can either go to the Auntie’s website (www.auntiesbooks.com) and search for a book using the “Google eBook” option, or you can use the e-book kiosk in the store.

It works for people with Sony Readers, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, Androids and other e-reader platforms. It does not work with Kindles, because Amazon retains the exclusive right to sell content for Kindle.

What’s the advantage of buying an e-book through an independent bookstore?

The main one is simple: You’re helping to support your local, independent bookstore.

Also, Auntie’s manager Melissa Opel says that you can also be sure that authors are getting their proper royalty, “because Google has worked hard to make sure e-books are priced fairly.”

Opel said the selection is excellent, since Google eBooks has what it calls the world’s largest selection of books.

Auntie’s has sold e-books for years, but it has so far amounted to only 1 percent of the store’s business. Opel hopes to bump that up to 15 percent with this new Google partnership.

Auntie’s is one of about 200 members of the American Booksellers Association participating in this new initiative.

Used bookstores aren’t jumping into this quite as quickly, mainly because “used book” and “e-book” don’t exactly mesh.

However, Deborah Brooks, manager of the thriving 2nd Look Books, 2829 E. 29th Ave., said that they, too, are looking into ways to add an e-book option.

Meanwhile, the old-fashioned book still rules the market – and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

“To us, print is king,” said Opel. “Of course, I’m biased.”

‘Thin Ice’

Local author Phill Jones has a new mystery/sci-fi book, “Thin Ice” (L&L Dreamspell, $11.95) on the market.

It’s set in Seattle in the year 2037 and features police investigator Thadeus Rede, who has figured in previous Jones stories.

Jones is a former medical school instructor and patent attorney who also writes nonfiction books and articles on forensic science and other scientific topics.

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