Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We Love Bookshops!

In the past Amazon has been very supportive of Renata's books, but unfortunately if you try to purchase Renata's recent picture book Once Upon a Memory on Amazon.com you may have a bit of difficulty. Amazon and the publisher Little Brown/Hachette are currently embroiled in contract negotiations, and Amazon is limiting availability and price discounts for books from that publisher. This puts authors and illustrators in a really tight spot, I recently read an estimate that Amazon accounts for 40 percent of all book sales, and illustrating a picture book is a huge commitment. To finish a book can take upwards of a year of an artists life! It does for Renata anyway and getting good at illustration doesn't make drawing any easier, each book is a near insurmountable challenge.

As consumers ourselves, we were not aware there was an embargo when we recently ordered a Little Brown published book - Malcolm Gladwell: Collected, a lovely hardcover book set illustrated by Brian Rea - I admit we ordered it most of all for the amazing abstracted illustrations! (see below). But we ordered it from our local bookshop instead of Amazon. We've never ordered a book from Amazon, although I do like it for other things we can't get at local stores. But we so much prefer the experience of going into a bookshop, we've spent countless hours browsing bookstore shelves. When we first started hanging out, going to the bookstore was often what we considered a good date night. We now have a wonderful bookshop only a block away from our studio -  Renata maybe likes it a bit too much as our overcrowded bookshelves and credit card might suggest! 

 So perhaps in the end our thoughts on this unfortunate situation really comes down to one heartfelt sentiment - support your local booksellers! They have always been there for those of us that create and/or read - or just look at the pictures.

Some other folks have done a superb job of discussing this issue and we urge you to check them out:

Nina Laden, the wonderful author of Once Upon a Memory, has been one of the most engaged artists on this subject having been featured in articles and TV interviews from the NY Times to NPR

Peter Brown, the amazing author and illustrator has written a powerful post on his blog:
In independent booksellers we trust! Here are a few of the books Renata picked up in the last couple of weeks. The Brooklyn publisher Enchanted Lion Press is a publisher Renata loves because they publish english translations of amazing titles such as these new ones The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc and Coyote Run by Gaëtan Dorémus. Another beautiful title A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna is published by Tate/Abrams, and the fun Murilla Gorilla and the Lost Parasol written by Jennifer Lloyd and illustrated by Jacqui Lee is published by Canadian publisher Simply Read Books.

These are some of our local booksellers we are aware of: Shelf Life Books, Monkeyshines, Pages, and Owl's Nest Books.


Josepha said...

Marianne Dubuc is Canadian. She lives in Montreal, Quebec :)

wronghand said...

Sweet, that's good to know. So many great artist from Quebec!

Reminds me of the story of the first time we went to Europe. We were in Brussels the first week and found an amazing illustrated book, the only problem was that it was hardcover and a little heavy. But it was just too good, so I lugged it around in my backpack across Europe for another month. When we finally got a chance to get a better look at it when we returned home we noticed on the credit page the good old Canada Council logo - it was a Canadian book!