Here's another example of a new route to opening an old-fashioned bookstore.
Reading Frenzy Bookshop, Zimmerman, Minn., which started last year as an online bookstore, is opening a bricks-and-mortar "branch" in September, according to the Elk River Star News.
Owned by Sheri and Mike Olson, the online store sells new and used books as well as music and movies. The real-world store will also sell art by local artists and a variety of gifts.
Sheri Olson told the paper that the store aims to "have a lot of different things to pull the community together" such as readings, book clubs, story hours and other monthly events for children. The store will open to the Dunn Bros. coffee shop next door.
River Lights Books, Dubuque, Iowa, is "de-emphasizing" the phrase "2nd edition" in its name and logo, according to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.
Owner Sue Davis told the paper that the phrase makes some people think the store is a used bookstore. She added: "We also want to simplify our identity as we expand our business to include online sales and publishing services."
Bookselling This Week talked with Allison Best-Teague and Jo Gilley, new owners of Blue Ridge Books, Waynesville, N.C., whose first purchase--besides the store--was a suggestion box. "We plan to listen to what the customers want and do our best to run a business that meets the needs of the community," Gilley said.
The pair became owners when Robert Baggett, who founded Blue Ridge in 2007, retired. He had bought Osondu Booksellers last year and merged it into Blue Ridge. Best-Teague was children's buyer, events coordinator and a bookseller at Osondu; Gilley was manager of Blue Ridge.
Andrew Wylie stepped up the rhetoric in his agency's battle with publishers over e-rights and royalties on books published before the era of e-books. He told the Financial Times
, "If we do not reach an accord, Odyssey will grow. It will not publish 20 books, it will publish 2,000 and have outside investors and make itself available to other agents."
Beginning in September, Barnes & Noble will build 1,000-sq.-ft. sections in each of its 720 stores that will be next to the stores' cafes and focus on the Nook, including "sample Nooks, demonstration tables, video screens and employees who will give customers advice and operating instructions," the New York Times reported. B&N will create space by shrinking music sections. The stores already sell Nooks, but in much smaller areas.
The company sees its bricks-and-mortar stores offering an advantage over Amazon. "American consumers want to try and hold gadgets before they purchase them," B&N CEO William Lynch told the paper.
Amazon has begun selling Kindles in Target and HMSHost stores.
According to the Times, Codex Group has estimated that Amazon has sold nearly two million Kindles and B&N has sold more than 600,000 Nooks.
Charles and Sam Wyly, billionaire brothers who were owners for many years of Michaels Stores, crafts stores that sell books, have been charged with securities fraud by the SEC. The allegations include Michaels as well as other companies, trusts and subsidiaries controlled by the Wylys. The Wylys' lawyer told the Wall Street Journal that the claims are "without merit."
Sam Wyly is also an author and bookstore owner. Two years ago Newmarket Press published his 1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire (Shelf Awareness, July 30, 2008), and in early 2007, he and his wife bought Explore Booksellers & Bistro, Aspen, Colo., from the family of the late longtime owner Katharine Thalberg (Shelf Awareness, January 30, 2007).
Book trailer of the day: ghostgirl: Lovesick by Tonya Hurley (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).
Using the example of Andrew Morton's new book, Angelina: An Unauthorized Biography (St. Martin's), the AP explores dropping sales of celebrity biographies.
"Sales of tell-all celebrity biographies have been negatively impacted by the information that is available on the Internet or in print," Patricia Bostelman, v-p of marketing for Barnes & Noble, told the AP. "The Morton book is also competing with all the press Jolie has been getting around the launch of Salt, in which she is deliberately staying on message about her life with Brad and the kids. The audience for the book has often read all the key revelations prior to publication."
For her part, Hope Dellon, Morton's editor at St. Martin's, commented: "There is much more competition from the tabloids and the Internet, so you have to go beyond the day-to-day gossip. It's got to go deeper than that. It's got to have some fresh insight and revelations, and we think Andrew's book does."
Even Kitty Kelley, the doyenne of celebrity bios, has been adversely affected. Her unauthorized biography of Oprah has sold about 115,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, way below the million-copy sales of her bios of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan.
On the other hand, celebrity memoirs--always authorized--continue to do well. B&N's Patricia Bostelman said they are "gaining sales depending on the strength of the author's platform and fan base."
On the Daily Beast, Ingram Content Group president and CEO Skip Prichard predicted a bright future for the book--in a variety of forms. Because of its "portability, durability, and flexibility," the printed book will endure, he wrote. "Though massive print runs will decline, today's print technology allows a book to be manufactured and delivered within 24 hours of placing an order. I foresee a future when all of the electronic devices will have a button to press when you decide you really want that hardcover or paperback copy mailed to your home. Because no matter how exciting the world of enhanced media books becomes, I suspect there will be some like me who want it both ways. I may love my new iPad, but I still look forward to reading that relic of the past, the good old-fashioned, printed book."
In fact, the future is now, Prichard said. He called this "the most exciting time to be involved in the book business. Not only are books receiving more media attention, the new technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to engage readers. Audio and video enhancements offer authors the ability to reach a reader like never before. Social networks allow readers the chance to discover books they would never have found. Touch screens let children interact with books or play games related to the story. Educators find that reading assignments come alive as all learning modalities can be engaged. Three-dimensional graphics and spoken text transform plain words into dynamic new worlds. The book itself is being reinvented. The future is here."
"Despite the rapid growth in the United States, in Germany,
one of the continent's biggest book markets, uptake of e-books has been
much slower," Deutsche Welle reported.
German Booksellers Association's online e-book shop Libreka lists about
25,000 titles. Roland Schild, Libreka's CEO, cited "two main reasons
why the German e-book market share is still well under one percent. The
first is that the range of e-book bestsellers is 'still not wide
enough.' The second is that 'for a long time we didn't have an adequate
reading device,' although 'now we have the iPad, and we know that this
year there will be several more coming out of the major suppliers'
development labs,' " Deutsche Welle wrote.
Warning: this news can lead to addictive behavior. Online retailer the Book Depository has launched a live buying map for book voyeurs. As David Barnett cautions in the Guardian,
"I'm going to show you something now. Are you ready? I'll wait
patiently here for a bit, because I guarantee that if you're anything
like me you'll be gone for a while. OK. Click HERE."
Ali Shaw, author of The Girl with Glass Feet, chose his top 10 "stories of transformation" for the Guardian.
Besting 123 other Papa wannabes, Charles Bicht won this year's Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest.
The Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy
blog featured an update on the saga of David Markson's personal
library, noting that the late author's "worldly possessions, more than
50 cartons--holding 50 books each--ended up at the Strand Bookstore in
Alex Abramovich, who discovered Markson's books at the Strand and wrote about it on the London Review of Books blog, has set up a Facebook group "as a way of putting Markson's library together again."
owner Fred Bass said, "David wanted the books recirculated at the
Strand. And really, if you face it, a university library, what are they
going to do with them? They end up storing them. I think he realized
that. This way, his books are in circulation."
Sherri Gallentine has been promoted to head book buyer for Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif. She has been book buyer since 2005 and earlier worked as bookseller, supervisor, book department manager and inventory manager at Vroman's. She joined Vroman's in 1993. Gallentine is also a former president of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association.