First signs of a Christmas e-bonanza: of the top six titles on USA Today
's bestseller list that appears tomorrow, e-book versions outsold the print versions. Of the top 50 titles on the list, 19 had higher sales of the e-book than the printed version. This marked the first time that USA Today
's top-50 list had more than two titles whose e-book version outsold the print edition.
"Lots of consumers woke up Christmas morning with new e-reading devices ready to load them up with e-books," Paul Bogaards of Knopf commented. Last week Knopf sold about 165,000 e-book versions of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson and 155,000 print copies. The Larsson books held three of the top four spots on USA Today
Saying the e-jump in sales is not sustainable, Kelly Gallagher of Bowker nonetheless predicted that e-book sales could double this year from their level of about 9% of trade sales last year.
Congratulations to Nancy Pearl, one of our favorite librarians (as well as authors and action figures!), who has been named 2011 Librarian of the Year by Library Journal. Here's part of what LJ had to say about her:
"No one other than Nancy Pearl has so convinced Americans that libraries, books, and reading are critical to our communities. Her passionate advocacy has done that nationwide for thousands of individual readers and library workers in the trenches at the local level. She has spread book lust via broadcasts to the nation on National Public Radio's Morning Edition and from local radio and TV outlets and through her blog posts and tweets. She has done it in hundreds of workshops and performances for library patrons, library staff at all levels, and small groups of readers who want to be with her to discuss what they've read and what they have written. She has taught the skills and techniques of collection development, readers' advisory (RA), and booktalking to the LIS students at the University of Washington Information School, and honed RA skills across staffing lines in the public libraries of Detroit, Tulsa, and Seattle.
"Her work has reinforced reading via libraries as essential and empowering for all people. Her innovation in training has deepened the book skills of library workers. Her public outreach has effectively promoted libraries well beyond library walls, broadening the public's perception of the purpose of libraries."
On January 15, Books-A-Million is closing its 24,000-sq.-ft. store in the Houston Pavilions in downtown Houston, according to Swamplot, a local real estate site.
The store was an anchor of the development, which has had trouble expanding clientele beyond weekday office workers. The mall owners reportedly had lowered BAM's rent to $3,000 a month in an effort to keep it as a tenant. While the store was not a "flop," sales at a BAM in suburban Katy of the same size were five times as great.
Amazon revenue could hit $100 billion in 2015 (it's currently $32 billion), a rate of growth much faster than Wal-Mart, Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt wrote in a research report (via ZDNet). Wal-Mart's current revenues are $416 billion.
Among areas that should fuel the growth: international expansion, increasing sales to its 121 million existing customers and digital sales via Kindles--oh, and groceries.
ZDNet noted that other analysts have estimated Amazon sold four million Kindles in the last quarter of 2010, may sell 10 million more this year and sold $184 million in e-books in the fourth quarter.
Half Price Books has launched an online shopping site
that allows customers to search its inventory of used books, including
"more than 120 million titles sold through Half Price Books and other
independent booksellers," the Dallas Morning News reported.
is a cost effective way to get us online under our own brand and
provide our customers with a way to search our inventory," said the
company's executive v-p Kathy Doyle Thomas.
Half Price Books is
also exploring the possibility of selling e-books on its new website
"through a partnership formed in December between Google and Alibris. At
the same time, the 38-year-old company is growing its brick-and-mortar
business with three new stores opening in the next couple months,
including a new store in Mansfield," the Morning News wrote.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul region is "rich in second-hand bookstores," according to the Twin Cities Daily Planet,
which noted the "good news is that Minnesotans have near infinite
options for second-hand books. There are used book chains, thrift
stores, garage sales, friends' hand-me-downs and, best of all, a
magnificent mix of committed independent booksellers who know and love
their books and their customers with equal passion."
Fast Company's "Best Books for Business Owners 2010" includes Life by Keith Richards.
The Guardian's Robert McCrum selected his choices for best boring books,
noting that "there are times when dullness is exactly what you want
from a book.... Here's my top 10 of favorite dull books (obviously, a
highly subjective choice), with 'dull' being almost a synonym for
Flavorwire's literary mixtape series,
which takes an imaginative "look at the hypothetical iPods of some of
literature's most interesting characters," focused on Tintin, whose
parents "definitely played baby Tintin some Mozart. Or fed him lots of
spinach, or something. Because for a terminal goody-two-shoes, he's kind
of a badass. Here are the songs he might explore, sneak around, and
outsmart the enemy to." Topping the list, naturally enough, is Willie
Nelson's "On the Road Again."
Also featured was a literary mixtape for one of Vladimir Nabokov's signature characters: "No matter his (considerable) faults, Humbert Humbert
is a hopeless romantic. And a fairly pathetic one too, it would be fair
to say.... Now, while we are mightily tempted to proclaim that Humbert
Humbert would only listen to Man Man, Frou Frou, Mother Mother, Xiu Xiu,
Motel Motel and of course, Duran Duran, we think he's a little more
complex (and self-conscious) than that." Topping Humbert's mixtape song
list: Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen."
Book trailer of the day: Set the Night on Fire by Libby Fischer Hellmann (Allium Press), which includes 30 seconds of footage taken by artist and filmmaker Tom Palazzolo during the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
Ingram Publisher Services has added three new publisher clients:
ArtsMemphis, founded in 1963, which raises funds for the arts and aims to build a vibrant cultural community in Memphis, Tenn. Its titles include First Shooting and the newly released cooking anthology Wild Abundance: Ritual, Revelry & Recipes of the South's Finest Hunting Clubs.
The Cooking Lab, which was founded last year by inventor and culinary and food science expert Dr. Nathan Myhrvold. Coming in March: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, a six-volume work by Dr. Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet.
Tharpa Publications, which specializes in books on meditation and Buddhism. Its new title is Modern Buddhism, the 21st book by Buddhist monk Geshe Kelsang Gyatso whose previous books have sold more than 800,000 copies.
Amy Rhodes has been named a partner in Market Partners International. She has been a consultant at MPI for the past two years and earlier was publisher and general manager of Watson-Guptill, trade publisher at Rodale Books, and worked in sales and marketing at Abrams, Little, Brown and Random House.