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06 Nov

Booksellers Challenge South Carolina Internet Statute

On Wednesday, November 6, booksellers and free speech advocates filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina a complaint asking that a South Carolina law be permanently enjoined. The statute criminalizes any work communicated on the Internet that is accessible in South Carolina and contains a depiction of nudity or sexual conduct considered to be "harmful to minors." Booksellers are concerned that the law could be construed to include material with sexual content sold on their Web sites.

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31 Oct

BookSense.com Welcomes New Member Stores

The BookSense.com free trial may have ended, but many trial participants are continuing with the BookSense.com program. Since September 30, over 20 bookstores that participated in the free trial have officially joined the BookSense.com program, and "we're expecting more than double that number to ultimately convert from the free trial to the official product," Len Vlahos, BookSense.com director, told BTW. These bookstores join an ever-growing BookSense.com family, which currently numbers more than 230 bookstores.

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30 Oct

Virginia Seeks to Reinstate Internet 'Harmful to Minors' Law

On Monday, October 28, Virginia's Internet "harmful to minors" statute was back in court. Before a three-judge panel in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, the state of Virginia asked that a U.S. District Court's judgment that permanently enjoined a statute criminalizing Internet communications deemed harmful to minors be overturned and the statute reinstated.

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24 Sep

Holiday Coupons Offer Barnes & Noble No Discount on Sales Tax

On Thursday, September 12, the California Board of Equalization (BOE) issued a Memorandum Opinion stating that Barnesandnoble.com was obligated to pay California back use taxes for a period of four-plus months -- from November 15, 1999, to March 31, 2000. BOE ruled that, because the bricks-and-mortar Barnes & Noble stores were offering customers coupons that discounted purchases made at its online store, Barnesandnoble.com had established a physical presence, or nexus, in the state of California.

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13 Aug

BookSense.com's New Inventory Upload Keeps Customers in Store

Recently, BookSense.com announced a new functionality that will allow bookstores to upload their store's in-stock quantities of items to the BookSense.com database. For participating bookstores, BookSense.com's new inventory upload feature creates an "On Our Shelves Now" inventory status for any book that the store has in stock. As a result, the customer knows not only that a title is available, but also that it is actually in stock.

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31 Jul

Low-Cost, User-Friendly Author Web Sites Offered by Authors Guild

Published writers who don't know HTML from a hole in the wall can now set up their own multi-service Web sites in a day or two at minimal cost under the auspices of the Authors Guild, according to Paul Aiken, the Guild's executive director.

Aiken told BTW that many authors are responding to the Guild's offer of individual Web sites with the capacity to feature up to 50 titles with links to online booksellers, to post book excerpts, to host discussions, and to send and manage e-newsletters.

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18 Jul

BookSense.com E-newsletter: Promoting Your Independents

Over the past year-and-a-half, BookSense.com's e-newsletter has established itself as a fun, promotional vehicle strengthening the bond between consumers and independent bookstores. "We get a lot of feedback from consumers," Linda Castellitto, BookSense.com's creative director, told Bookselling This Week. "And the newsletter will often prompt them to go look for books on their local independent bookstore's site, too. It's helped increase awareness [of independent bookstores]."

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09 Jul

BookSense.com Affiliate Program: Driving Web Traffic Home

For almost two years, the BookSense.com Affiliate Program has been successful on the national level, with currently close to 500 affiliations made up of a mix of authors, political organizations, and businesses. Now, the number of independent bookstores that are initiating their own affiliate programs through their BookSense.com Web sites is rapidly growing. A major reason for the burgeoning numbers is simple, according to Meg Smith, BookSense.com business development and marketing manager. "It's a great marketing tool," she summed up.

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25 Jun

BookSense.com Will Now Be Featured on Iowa Web Site

Dan Combs, director of digital government for the State of Iowa, has told Bookselling This Week that Iowa’s Information Technology Department (ITD) is in the process of moving the direct link to Amazon.com from the homepage of its official state Web site, www.iowa.gov. This feature will be replaced by a link directing consumers to a new page that will include links to both Amazon.com and BookSense.com, the e-commerce component of the Book Sense national marketing campaign.

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20 Jun

Iowa Booksellers Speak Out Regarding Amazon.com Link on State Web Site

On June 20, the owners and managers of nine American Booksellers Association member stores in Iowa mailed a letter to Governor Tom Vilsack and Iowa’s Information Technology Department (ITD) expressing their concern over an exclusive Amazon.com link on the official state Web site, www.iowa.gov.

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23 Apr

Judge Strikes Down Vermont Cyber-Censorship Statute

On April 19, in the case of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) v. Dean, U.S. District Judge J. Gavan Murtha enjoined a Vermont statute criminalizing any material posted on Web sites considered to be "harmful to minors." The complaint challenging the law was first filed on February 7, 2001, by a diverse array of individuals, businesses, and civil rights groups. The plaintiffs had claimed that the law violated constitutionally protected free speech rights and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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18 Apr

Browsing the Book Biz: E-Commerce Is Not Just for Dummies

Eric Frazier

Because BTW became an exclusively online publication in January, I can safely assume that if you are reading this column, you have Internet access -- or at least, you have a friend or associate with computer access.

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17 Apr

Authors Guild to Writers: De-Link to Amazon; BookSense.com the Way to Go

A long-simmering dispute between the Authors Guild and Amazon.com returned to the news when the organization e-mailed over 5,000 members encouraging them to remove links from the authors’ Web sites to Amazon.com. The Authors Guild acted after Amazon.com stepped up its marketing efforts for its "Amazon Marketplace" program, where consumers can sell used books, CDs, and other items. The guild has over 8,000 members, and more than 700 of them have Web sites.

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07 Feb

BookSense.com Is Better Than Ever -- And Offers Free Trial to Prove It

BookSense.com has begun a marketing program designed to encourage booksellers who may not have evaluated the program since its commercial launch in November 2000 to look again. Len Vlahos, BookSense.com director, told BTW that since BookSense.com first went online in the summer of 2000 in a live beta test "the product has experienced so much growth and development -- we really want stores to take another look."

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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