BTW News Briefs

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Boston’s “Holidays on Main Streets” Encourages Shoppers to Support Small Business

On Saturday, November 21, Mayor Martin J. Walsh kicked off the City of Boston’s annual “Holidays on Main Streets” campaign, a small business initiative to encourage Boston residents to shop local this holiday season.

At the celebration, Mayor Walsh said, “I’m challenging every holiday shopper to enjoy what our Main Street Districts have to offer this holiday season by participating in the ‘5 on Main’ challenge. Our Main Street districts are an important part of our local economy. Out of every dollar spent in a local business district, 58 cents will be returned to that community, fueling our local economies and contributing to more vibrant neighborhoods.”

Participants in the challenge pledge to support local businesses at least five times during the holiday season, either purchasing gifts, dining, or participating in local holiday events in Main Street districts. Holiday shoppers are encouraged to accept the challenge via social media, using the hashtag #5onMain.

NetGalley Shows Support for Indies First

This week, NetGalley will lend its support to Small Business Saturday by promoting the Indies First campaign on many of its category pages, where each publisher-nominated book will direct readers to IndieBound.

A tag on entries states, “Help us celebrate indie bookstores this week! We support Indies First, a national campaign on Small Business Saturday!”

NetGalley Community Manager Tarah Theoret said the hope is that this effort will help drive new customers to indie bookstores on Small Business Saturday and beyond.

New Zealand to Start Taxing E-books From Overseas Retailers

Starting October 1, 2016, New Zealand government will collect a goods and services tax (GST) on e-books and other digital products purchased online from overseas retailers.

The government expects the bill, which was introduced to New Zealand Parliament this week, to raise $NZ40 million ($36.45 million U.S.) in revenue by having customers pay a 15 percent GST on all digital products and services purchased from overseas retailers.

Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould said in a statement that “the bill goes only halfway to rectifying the GST problem with foreign retailers and benefits only big businesses engaged in selling videos, music, and e-books.” In addition to digital products purchased online from overseas retailers, Gould called for the GST to be extended to physical books as well.

Sales of A Moveable Feast Spike After Paris Terrorist Attacks

Following the November 13 attacks on Paris that killed 130 people and injured more than 300 others, American author Ernest Hemingway’s Paris memoir A Moveable Feast is flying off the shelves at bookstores across the French capital, according to

A Moveable Feast, “Paris est une Fete” in French, is currently the fastest-selling biography and foreign-language book at, and daily orders of the 1964 memoir by the author of For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms have risen 50-fold to 500 since Monday, publisher Folio told Bloomberg.

Copies of the book, which Hemingway wrote about his time as an expatriate in the cafés and bars of Paris in the 1920s, have also been laid among the flowers and tributes at the sites of the attacks, and many people are reading the book in bars and cafés, said Folio spokesman David Ducreux.

Bookbuilders of Boston Blog Series Spotlights Indie Bookstores

Bookbuilders of Boston, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing, has debuted a blog series featuring Q&As with prominent members of the New England independent bookstore industry. The series is based on the Bookbuilders’ educational panel “Independent Bookstores: Alive and Kicking!,” which was held in October at the offices of Beacon Press.

The panel featured owners and managers from Harvard Book Store, Porter Square Books, Brookline Booksmith, and Papercuts J.P., who discussed the state of independent bookstores in the industry today.

In a November 3 blog posting, readers met bookseller Josh Cook at Porter Square Books, who highlighted how changes in social media have brought about richer, more diverse literary discussions with consumers. On November 16, the blog featured Kate Layte, owner of Papercuts J.P. in Jamaica Plain, who described how her store was built from “my imagination, hard work, and the support of a community that wanted a bookstore.”

Forthcoming Q&As in the blog series will feature Brookline Booksmith and the Harvard Book Store.