The book seller has been searching for months for a potential buyer, and the search will likely continue for a couple more weeks, but people close to the bidding process have stated that it looks unlikely that the company will be able to find a buyer.
The market is getting gently hammered today, but that only presents more opportunities from my perspective.
I am in Ixtapa, Mexico, nearing the conclusion of my first ever week long rest during a 35 year working career ... and counting. In some ways I am hoping to mold my future working environment from seashore to shining seashore -- all around the world -- taking advantage of modern technology. I am thinking of it as "have beach (+Internet), will travel."
James Altucher is a financial journalist for The Wall Street Journal and founder of Stockpickr.com. His articles cover every angle of the market; he also stars in feature videos with other financial luminaries. He is the author of Trade Like a Hedge Fund, Trade Like Warren Buffett, SuperCa$h, and The Forever Portfolio.
He has taken a controversial path lately with numerous articles in the New York Post and Huffington Post. Some articles include: "Global Warming Is a Myth," "Should Insider Trading Be Made Legal?" "School of Hard Cash," "The Internet Is Dead (as an Investment)," and "5 Myths the Recession Taught Us."
Rumors of a new addition to the James Altucher library have entered the blogosphere, so I met with James to discuss a possible new book and the response from his recent aggressive views on finance and the stock market.
Want that brand-new Stephen King or Anita Shreve novel beamed to your Amazon (AMZN) Kindle? Well, you may be waiting a few months. In a preemptive strike against e-reader technology, publishers Simon & Schuster - part of CBS Corp. (CBS) and Hachette plan to delay the electronic-book editions of about 35 popular titles by four months. The supposed strategy is that desperate readers will pay the full retail price for these volumes, rather than the discounted $9.95 for the electronic version.
E-readers are a hot gift item this holiday season, and products like the Kindle and the soon-to-be-released Nook from Barnes & Noble (BKS) don't seem to be a flash in the pan. E-book retail sales are expected to hit $201 million in 2010, up from $150 million this year. While this is still a fraction of actual, tangible book sales, the growth rate cannot be ignored.
Small book retailers were buying in bulk from major online booksellers because they could really save some money. One was buying up to 70 copies of a particular title -- it was $5 less a pop from the big guys than it would have been from the publisher. Finally, however, the big retailers have become wise to the trend and taken action, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Target (NYSE: TGT) have decided to cap the number of books customers can buy online, a measure intended to prevent smaller competitors from treating them as partners. Walmart is limiting customers to two copies of a particular book, with Amazon placing the border at three and Target at five.
Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) was a crown jewel in the retail world in 2008. It was seen as a more upscale and clean alternative to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) but with the same discount strategy. It was winning customers for most of last year.
Then the economy went south (almost to the South Pole). Customers immediately flocked to save as much money as possible and obtain everyday staples as cheaply as they could. Target got whacked by reality. It's been playing catch-up to Wal-Mart ever since.
HarperCollins has elected to push up the publication of Sarah Palin's memoir to November 17 -- it had originally been planned for the spring, but now you'll have time to get it for the holidays.
The book, which is titled Going Rogue: An American Life, is highly anticipated because it's special on two counts. It's the first book Sarah Palin has ever written and perhaps the first book she's ever read. It's currently the number six best-selling book on Amazon.com (Glenn Beck is number two, so lock your doors).
The New York Post reports that former Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld "was so perturbed over the contents of a book on the demise of his beloved bank that he angrily phoned up a pair of traders he believed helped secretly contribute to the account of Lehman's stunning collapse last September."
The book in question is Lawrence McDonald's A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, a former executives view of what went wrong at Lehman. Fuld called up former traders Michael Gelband and Alex Kirk and accused them of helping McDonald with background for the book.
Marc Benioff, the founder and CEO of Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), has a new book coming out in November: Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Companyand Revolutionized an Industry.
I actually got an advance copy of it -- and it is awesome. In great detail he provides the strategies for building a game-changing company. And based on Salesforce.com's latest earnings report, the momentum seems unstoppable, despite the recession and tight information technology (IT) budgets.
While in an airport bookstore recently, this title caught me eye: How to Build a Business Warren Buffett Would Buy: The R.C. Willey Story.
How could I resist? I bought a copy and read the whole thing on my flight (OK, the book is only 192 pages).
The author of the book, Jeff Benedict, tracks the entrepreneurial career of Bill Child, who transformed a furniture business -- R.C. Willey -- into a retailing giant (he came on board the company in the mid 1950s when his father-in-law died).
So William D. Cohan's more rigorous account of Bear Stearns has a pretty easy act to follow. Still, House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess is one of the best corporate failure books I've ever read, taking its place alongside Kurt Eichenwald's Conspiracy of Fools, a meticulous recounting of the collapse of Enron.
"I want people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions. I want people to get a sense of how decisions were made and I want people to understand the options that were placed before me," he told the Associated Press.
If by witnessed, you mean created, then yeah. Illinois state representative Jack Franks moved to preempt Blagojevich's effort cash in on his infamy by introducing a bill that would require politicians convicted of corruption charges to turn over the proceeds from any related book or movie deals to the state.
The publishing industry might be in the toilet, but former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is doing just fine.
The Associated Press reports that the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has signed a three-book deal with Crown Publishers that guarantees her at least $2.5 million. The first book will be a memoir of her years in the Bush Administration, followed by a book about her family, followed by a young-adult version of her life story.
Arkansas Business writer Jeff Hankins read the book again to see how the companies profiled have weathered the downturn. The companies profiled were Abbot Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Kroger (NYSE: KR), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB), Walgreens (NYSE: WAG), Altria (NYSE: MO), Nucor (NYSE: NUE), Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and tragically, Fannie Mae and Circuit City. Gilette was eliminated from contention because of a merger.