In Daily Finance, Sarah Weinman noted that Borders's new "customer satisfaction initiative" has so many limitations as to make it "another Hail Mary pass that's doomed to fail."
Among those limitations: the "low price promise" match applies only to "a local competitor's advertised, in-store price on items that are in-stock" at Borders. So "if a customer asks for a price-match on a deal that's available only on the Web--say, at Amazon or Wal-Mart online--they won't get the price matched. Likewise, if the low price isn't offered in a printed ad, the match offer won't apply."
Existing Borders discounts won't apply, and "if you're a customer hoping to use the price match program at a Borders Express, one of the temporary stores opening up only for the holidays, you're out of luck. For that matter, you're also out of luck if you want to price match on Thanksgiving weekend, so Black Friday shoppers won't benefit either."
Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio will kick off the 2011 annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers next March 9 at the Yale Club in New York City.
AAP president and CEO Tom Allen called Riggio "one of the most innovative and dynamic people in the book world... Barnes & Noble's position as a leader in bringing books and readers together, through its brick-and-mortar stores, its online retail operations, and most recently through its family of e-book readers give Mr. Riggio a unique perspective on where we are and where we may be headed."
Congratulations to one of our favorite booksellers, Michele Filgate, events coordinator at RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H., named by New Hampshire Magazine to its annual "it list" for the state. This year's "it list" includes "16 people who have become, at least for now, New Hampshire's face, heart, mind and imagination." The magazine wrote:
"It could be a plot line in a book, though it does stretch credulity a bit. An indie bookstore employee reads a little-known book that becomes her favorite book ever. Soon after she's at a book reviewers workshop and mentions the book (nay, sings its praises) to the workshop leader. It just so happens the workshop leader is the chairwoman of that year's Pulitzer Prize jury in the fiction category. The book wins the Pulitzer. It's a true story--the 2010 prize-winning book is Tinkers by Paul Harding; the bookstore, RiverRun in Portsmouth, and the protagonist, Michele Filgate. She is, indeed, a bookstore employee, the events manager. She's also a young (just 27) writer with a lot of credentials for her age: freelancer, book reviewer, social media maven and a tireless worker in making books hip and relevant."
Google's famous algorithm for searching web pages can't be applied simply to the titles on Google Books. The Atlantic looked at how Google deals with this problem, particularly Rich Results, which has just been launched.
Rich Results, the Atlantic wrote, is "the latest in a series of smaller front-end tweaks that have been matched by backend improvements. Now, the book search algorithm takes into account more than 100 'signals,' individual data categories that Google statistically integrates to rank your results. When you search for a book, Google Books doesn't just look at word frequency or how closely your query matches the title of a book. They now take into account web search frequency, recent book sales, the number of libraries that hold the title, and how often an older book has been reprinted."
Book trailer of the day: Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina (Pear Press).
Hachette Book Group will now use NetGalley to distribute digital galleys and digital press kits (including video, audio, tour schedules, author Q&As and photos) to reviewers, bloggers, media, booksellers, librarians and educators. The galleys and kits can be downloaded onto a range of devices, including the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Readers and desktops.
Hachette hopes to expand its reach into the review and blogger communities, delivering digital galleys to their lists. The first Hachette titles available on NetGalley include new books from Brad Meltzer, Lawrence Block, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Darren Shan, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Don Winslow, Michael Koryta, Tom Holt and Nic Sheff. The catalogue will be expanded in coming months.
NPR is asking what booklovers really want. It's a year-long project to expand and improve NPR's books coverage. The online survey includes such questions as "What makes a book review worth reading? What type of books should NPR cover more? What do we write about too much? Who are you people, and what do you want?" Here is the survey.
A Huffington Post slideshow featured "21 of the Coolest Book Covers This Year."
"What's a good hero without a trusty sidekick?" asked Flavorwire, then offered its choices for the Top 10 Sidekicks in Literature "based on loyalty, friendship, and overall awesomeness."
Trafalgar Square Publishing, the IPG company that specializes in distribution in the U.S. of U.K. and Australian publishers, has added the following publishers:
Atlantic Books UK, London, founded in 2000 and the British subsidiary of Grove/Atlantic. The press won Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2009 British Book Awards and publishes mainly literary fiction, history, memoir and current affairs. The company includes the new imprint Corvus, the reissued crime fiction series called Crime Classics as well as titles from Tindal Street Press, which Atlantic Books UK distributes. Among titles on the spring list: Yoga for Real Life by yoga guru Maya Fiennes and Last Train from Liguria by Christine Dwyer Hickey.
Peter Owen Publishers, London, which publishes fiction, reissues of modern classics and nonfiction, specializing in bringing international works to the British market. Among titles are The Samurai by Shusaku Endo and Birdbrain by Johanna Sinisalo.
Beautiful Books, London, which publishes Joseph D'Lacey's horror books Garbage Man and Meat in its Bloody Books imprint as well as titles about current events, pop culture, memoirs and historical mysteries.
Bene Factum Publishing, London, publishes biographies, company histories, cookbooks, business, travel and illustrated books, including the photography book Bride Ideas & Frock-Ups: A Book of Wedding Tips & Slips by Susannah Frieze, Sim Canetty-Clarke and Amanda Lockhart.
Elliott & Thompson, London, founded in 2001, which publishes fiction, biographies, history, music and sports titles. Upcoming titles include The Classical Music Map of Britain by Richard Fawkes and The Golf Delusion by Steve Gould and D.J. Wilkinson.
Pitch Publishing, Sussex, focuses on sports titles, particularly golf, soccer, rugby and cricket. The list includes The Golfer's Manual by Paige Warr and Waste of Money! Overspending in Football: A Tragic Loss to a Beautiful Game by Paul Stenning.