Notes: PMA's Jan Nathan Dies at 68; Store Changes
We're deeply saddened to report that Jan Nathan, executive director of
PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association since its beginning in
1983, died on June 17 after a year-long battle with cancer. She was 68.
In 1983, after serving as president of Manhattan Publishing Company, which created inflight magazines for regional commuter airlines, Nathan established Jan Nathan & Associates to manage professional trade associations. Soon thereafter, a group of 15 Southern California publishers joined to send her to the old ABA, now BEA show, on their behalf. PMA, the organization that grew out of that trip event, now represents 4,200 book, audio and videotape publishers.
"Jan Nathan gave independent publishers a voice and support in an industry dominated by large publishers," Howard W. Fisher, president of PMA from 1989 to 1990, stated. "She was the right person for the time in creating a national vision. The beginnings of this group coincided with the first desktop publishing computers that created an explosion of publishers, all who needed help growing every aspect of their business."
Nathan was instrumental in all of PMA's accomplishments, including establishing the Benjamin Franklin Awards, the PMA/BEA Publishing University, the trade distribution program, advertising and marketing programs in major media and to major markets, regular exhibitions at major international book fairs and PMA Independent, the monthly newsletter. She also helped found Small Press Week, which has become Small Press Month, and has been involved with such industry groups as the Media Coalition and the Book Industry Study Group, where she was serving as treasurer at the time of her death.
Nathan's family is holding a private memorial service on June 28. Details about a public celebration, under the auspices of PMA, will be announced soon.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to a fund that is being created to honor Nathan's interests. For more information, contact Alice B. Acheson at AliceBA@aol.com or Florrie Binford Kichler, president, PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 1, Books Inc. plans to move its store in Palo Alto, Calif., to a 4,000-sq.-ft. space at the Town and
Country Center, which is undergoing a $25 million renovation. The Books
Inc. Palo Alto store opened in the Stanford Shopping Center 50
"Despite the well-known challenges to our industry, Books Inc. has proven that independent booksellers can thrive when we're in the heart of a community," Michael Tucker, president of Books Inc., said in a statement. "We belong here and we appreciate Ellis Partners [owners of Town and Country Center] for their commitment to create an atmosphere at T & C that is more about what the people of this community really want than their own bottom line."
Books Inc. has nine other stores in the Bay Area and one in Disneyland in Anaheim.
Barnes & Noble has announced another opening/closing combo. In April 2008, the company plans to open a new B&N in the Bradley Fair Shopping Center at 1920 North Rock Road in Wichita, Kan. The day before that store opens, B&N will close its current store at 3045 North Rock Road.
Rachel Bressler has been named associate publisher of Ecco. For the past year, she was Barnes & Noble national accounts manager for Ecco as well as for HarperCollins, HarperOne, Amistad and Harper Perennial. Earlier she was associate director of marketing for Morrow and before that was co-op account manager at B&N and manager of several B&N stores in New York City.
Mentioned here last Thursday, Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., is opening this coming Thursday, June 28, not on Saturday.
The black line that runs across the hardwood floor of the Haskell Free Library and Opera House may represent the subtlest international boundary anywhere, as it literally straddles the Canada/U.S. border.
But the library's calling card and tourist attraction may be endangered. According to the Associated Press (via the Worcester Telegram), the 103-year-old Haskell "has taken on added significance this year as border officials contemplate a crackdown on three unguarded streets linking Derby Line [Vt.] and Stanstead, Quebec. What many here fear is that border authorities will close the book on an unspoken agreement under which locals can come and go from the library without reporting to customs, even if they cross the border en route."
Dorothy Sim-Broder and David Broder recently held a preview party to showcase their new bookshop, Written Words Bookstore in Shelton, Conn., the Connecticut Post reported.
"This parking lot wasn't paved until a day ago," said Sim-Broder, who has already noticed great anticipation on the part of the community. "I had little old ladies braving the parking lot and dodging construction equipment to find out when we would be open. We finally had to put a note on the door."