Friday, January 29, 2010

Digital Platform for Campus Stores Announcement

Campus Stores Canada Announcement (January 29, 2010)

To All CSC Members:

In September 2009, an announcement was released regarding a digital platform being developed for Canadian and American campus stores. You can read about the announcement from CCRA and NACS Media Solutions at

Since this announcement the CSC has been actively working with the CCRA to make this digital platform available to its members. We are delighted to announce that an agreement has been reached and the first phase is now available to all CSC members. This phase will allow your store to provide free access to copyrighted Digital Study Versions of public domain books in ePub format free-of-charge. This will be a key first step in your efforts to retain market share with your students by being the source for free content. The digital platform can be accessed free of charge. As a result, there are no warranties, expressed or implied, and no technical support is being provided (and it is expected that none will be needed for the implementation of this phase).

Individual stores can sign up at:

Or, stores can place this link on their site:

This announcement will be posted on CSC’s blog as well, and members can post questions using the Comment feature.

CSC Digital Committee
Paul Wilde (Chair), Mike Zybala, Darrell Kane, and Scott Henderson

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Top Ten Books of Past Decade

Sure, the height of January Rush is in the air, and as campus booksellers we're franctically trying to stay on top of the needs of students returning to class after a holiday break. It's a fun, yet stressful time of year where we have too little space, too much stress over shipments of late-adopted and published out of stock books and more competition from more angles than ever in our history.

What better time, then, to escape into the land of "reading for the pleasure of it" with a look at an eclectic selection of the "Top 10 Books" of the past decade?

Appearing on The Mark News (A Canadian "News & Perspectives Daily" column) is my personal selection of my favourite books from the past ten years along with a 9 minute audio interview on the future of reading.

C'mon campus booksellers, pipe in on the comment section -- what would be YOUR top picks?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

eBook Piracy interview

On November 30, The Spark on CBC Radio 1 interviewed Gabriella Coleman, an associate professor at New York University. She believes that online book piracy will shake up the traditional book business and what smart publishers can do to combat it. Click here for the full interview.

Also, there is an article on the website entitled "Electronic Textbooks: Set to take over?" and CSC's own Mark Lefebvre in quoted in it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Suggestions For Holiday Gifts

Last week the folks from the McMaster Daily News came into Titles Bookstore with a camera and asked what book I'd recommend for holiday gift giving. I went with one fiction title and one non-fiction title both of which I believe would appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.

See video below, which not only includes my two selections, but great selections from McMaster University's Lorraine York, Professor of English and Cultural Studies and Associate University Librarian Vivian Lewis.

I selected these books for the following reason.

Lawrence Hill's THE BOOK OF NEGROES (Illustrated Edition)

This phenomenal story about one woman's life experience living through the slave trade is beautifully written and one that sticks with the reader long after reading. This is a great selection for a number of reasons. First, just on its own, it's a fantastic novel. Second, if you know someone who has already read the novel, this makes a great gift because the illustrated edition adds a whole new way for the reader to enjoy the novel. Because it includes much of the artwork that inspired Hill when he was researching for the writing of the novel, the additional layer of historical references are perfect. This new presentation of the novel would also be appealing for the history buff.


Everyone is connected. Everyone is talking about new media and social networking. But there are a lot of people out there who don't understand what it's all about nor how it can be used for the greater good. Joel introduces the worlds of social networking (such things as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs and podcasting) in easy to understand layperson's terms then runs through various examples of how this interconnectedness can help benefit a person, brand or business. Though written with a business reader's perspective in mind, Joel's approach is one that can easily be appreciated by someone simply wanting to understand more about the digital world. And the cool thing is that once you finish reading it, you can continue to enjoy learning more from Joel's blog or podcast in which he continues to advance knowledge and resources in these areas.

What two books would YOU suggest make great gifts this holiday season?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CSC Advisory: Debit/Credit card voluntary code code of conduct

On November 19, the Minister of Finance announced a proposed voluntary code of conduct governing debit and credit cards. It’s now open for public consultations. More information, including the press release and background information, is below. The focus of the agreement includes:

  • Ensuring that merchants are fully aware of the costs associated with accepting credit and debit card payments.
  • Providing merchants with increased pricing flexibility to encourage consumers to choose the lowest-cost payment option.
  • Allowing merchants to freely choose which payment options they will accept.

As you probably are aware, changes in the debit/credit card industry have created a situation where merchants pay a variety of different fees on the cards, and often the only time that they actually find out is when they get the bill in the mail. Criticism of this from retail groups has helped gestate this.

CSC will be making a submission in this public consultation process. Members will be advised when the document is available on the CSC site.

Government press release is here:

Backgrounder is here:

Brief globe story is here:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The EU and Digital Book Copyright

Below is a link to an article on that states the EU

"... will deal with the copyright aspects of digital publishing in the context of a new strategy on intellectual property rights in 2010."

click here to see the full article

Campus Chills

As if bookselling on campus isn't chilling enough in these times of dramatic change where everybody is wondering about the state of publishing, the viability of the printed textbook and emerging digital technologies . . .

But this time, the chills are fiction -- imaginitive tales born from the dark corners of campuses across Canada.

The time, it's a general interest book designed exclusively by campus bookstores and launching at four of them.

Campus Chills, premiering October 22, 2009 (just in time for Halloween) is an anthology of thirteen original tales of terror set on Canadian campuses and written by authors from across the country. The bookstores at University of Alberta, McMaster Univeristy and University of Waterloo joined forces to solicit fiction from some of the finest Canadian speculative fiction writers and have produced the trade paperback book on their Espresso Book Machines.

Including fiction by Kelley Armstrong, Julie E. Czerneda, Kimberly Foottit, James Alan Gardner, Sephera Giron, Michael Kelly, Nancy Kilpatrick, Susie Moloney, Douglas Smith, Brit Trogen, Edo van Belkom, Steve Vernon and Carol Weekes, this original anthology is edited by Mark Leslie and introduced by Robert J. Sawyer.

The book is being launched at four campus stores on the same day.

On October 22, 2009, author Steve Vernon will appear at a lunchtime reading and book signing at Dalhousie University bookstore in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Then, mid afternoon in Edmonton, Alberta, Susie Moloney and Brit Trogen will appear at the University of Alberta bookstore for a reading, signing and Halloween-themed event. Beginning at 7PM in Hamilton, Ontario, Titles Bookstore McMaster University will host Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Foottit, Sephera Giron, Michael Kelly and Edo van Belkom for a reading and signing combined with free guided ghost walks of the McMaster campus. And at 9 PM in Waterloo, Ontario, Waterloo Alumni authors Julie E. Czerneda, James Alan Gardner and Douglas Smith will meet registrants at the bookstore then lead them to a special secret location to haunt them with readings of their work.

11 of the 13 contributors will be at four locations in three provinces for this exclusive launch, which is something that has never been done before. What has also never been done before is the collaborative effort between 3 campus bookstores to produce a professionally authored general interest/trade book.

You can't get this book at WalMart, or Costco or Amazon.

If you want to get this book in time for Halloween, you need to get to your local campus bookstore to get one. The book is currently available at five campus bookstores -- the ones mentioned above as well as the Algonquin College bookstore in Ottawa (and the list continues to grow -- check out the following website for updates and links on where to buy it -- Where to buy Campus Chills)

Campus bookstores who are interested in carrying the book can order it from University of Alberta, McMaster or Waterloo bookstores. Check out the Campus Chills website for more information.

For a peek, check out the video book trailer . . .

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