Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
  Pride, Prejudice and Book Store Closings
Image: Stock Montage/ Getty Images

From Parade.com: To celebrate the publication of Pride and Prejudice 200 years ago this week, Paula Byrne, author of the biography The Real Jane Austen, offers these facts about the novelist: 

 1. Her original draft of Pride and Prejudice was titled First Impressions and was rejected by a top publisher. 

2. She accepted a proposal from her best friend's brother, but changed her mind the next morning. 

3. Her deep dislike of the French was fueled by her cousin's husband's death by guillotine during the Revolution. 

 4. The publisher of Pride and Prejudice was Egerton’s Military Library, which specialized in military history—not romances. 

5. A character in Sanditon, one of Austen's two incomplete novels, is homeopathic health nut who wants to swim in the sea in a bathing machine with a mixed race girl. 
 
6. Austen's other unfinished novel is called The Watsons. The heroine's name was Emma Watson. 

You can download a free digital copy of Pride and Prejudice from iTunes or Amazon.

More interesting facts can be found on the Jane Austen Society of  North America website, including a bit that caught my attention. In World War I, soldiers read "Pride and Prejudice" for comfort and distraction. Rudyard Kipling later published "The Janeites," a short story about a group of soldiers who shared a passion for Jane Austen.

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From Shelf Awareness and the Wall Street Journal (Jan 28):

Over the next decade, Barnes & Noble will likely close a third of its 689 general retail stores, or about 20 a year, Mitchell Klipper, CEO of B&N's retail group, told the Wall Street Journal. Slimmed down to 450 to 500 stores, the retail stores represent "a good business model," he said, emphasizing that today only about 20 B&N trade stores--3% of the total--lose money...

I hate reading about any bookstore closing--but it's not just because of the obvious.  As an author, fewer stores mean fewer advance sales--already down because we lost Borders last year. It also means less shelf space and with their new policy, Barnes and Noble no longer carries the extended back list it used to.  I'd like to think as more and more big box stores close, readers would turn to their independents but many smaller stores cannot match the price points of the big box stores. And like it or not, price does matter. It's a problem that affects us all and it's only going to get worse.

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Let's end with something more pleasant than bookstores closing. I'm not impressed by most book trailers but this is a good one! Enjoy!

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Comments:
Jeanne,
I, too, hope fewer chain stores means more independents. The ABA reported this year that their numbers actually went up, when for so many years, the numbers of independent booksellers went steadily down. Fingers crossed.

Love the idea of a soldiers' Austen bookclub. Sounds like a great idea for a movie.
 
Great trailer. Jenna reminds me of the comments you make in critique.
 
Chris--Let's hope.

Mario--Maybe it's because so much of your writing makes me shake my head. And who's Jenna?
 
Jeanne --

It is sad to hear B&N is closing stores, but I think we've seen it coming.

This might cause a small uptick in indie bookstores - perhaps if they sell used or used+new books.

I think it's more likely that sales will more and more be online, and more electronic than print.

For good or bad.
 
I think you may be right, Gina. I haven't gotten an ereader yet, but I've been thinking about it more and more.

There will always be books I want in print, though, and that's where the Indies come in--if they can survive.

J.
 
I have both a Nook, and an ipad that I primarily use as a Kindle reader. I love them! It's actually improved my reading experience in some ways.

Working towards a goal of having only the most important books in paper, even if I read the book initially in paper.
 
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