Barnes & Noble lost its bid to dismiss an investor lawsuit filed during August 2009 in Delaware Chancery Court by the Louisiana Municipal Police Employees Retirement System, which claimed the $596 million payment by B&N for Barnes & Noble College Booksellers--formerly separate companies--was "well beyond" a fair price, and that some board members were conflicted by long-term friendships with B&N chairman Leonard Riggio, who also owned B&N College and allegedly "used his influence" to facilitate the buyout, Reuters reported.
Judge Leo Strine Jr. said the process "gives off a very fishy smell."
Walmart has raised the e-reader marketplace competition stakes: it will sell Kobo's digital book
readers in 2,500 U.S. stores beginning next week. Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis
said he is "thrilled to see the Kobo Wireless eReader receiving
mass distribution. This partnership further validates our promise and
vision of making eReading available to everyone."
In addition, Walmart will start selling Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reading devices as early as this Sunday, October 24.
Bookselling This Week interviewed several indie booksellers who discussed "how a café can benefit the entire bookstore, its effect on the bottom line, and whether--after tallying all the added responsibilities and costs--the booksellers still think adding a café was a good idea."
"It has dramatically broadened our local customer base, and has brought in tourists who come in for coffee, but stay to buy a book,” said Mary Wolf of Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Santa Fe, N.M.
Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan., said, "The café is an integral part of our business plan. We continually cross market. Someone called the store the real city hall. The café brings in hundreds of people, and they buy books and coffee.” Bagby also noted, however, "that adding a café is hard; the work load is very different than running a bookstore; and there are lots of ways to succeed... and fail. I could go on with many, many reasons why someone might not want to add a café, but I would not go back."
"We try to remember that the coffee shop’s primary purpose is to add value to the bookstore to increase the overall revenue, even on the days when it doesn’t turn a profit,” Wolf added.
Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, Fla., celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, and Chad Leonard, whose parents, Tom and Linda, opened the shop in 1975 "with a staff of avid readers, hoping to cater to the residents of the seaside city," told Bookselling This Week "a combination of self-publicity and a full schedule of events has been key to keeping customers coming back."
"Word of mouth is always the best," he said, "and we've done a lot with our website recently, which keeps people informed, especially people outside of the area. Our e-mail list is definitely one of our best tools."
The It Gets Better Project, a viral video campaign intended to speak directly to gay youths who are subjected to bullying and homophobia, will be adapted as a book and published by Dutton. The New York Times reported that the book, a "collection of essays from celebrities and ordinary people who want to share their stories," is scheduled for publication next March. Dan Savage, who started the project, said he will contribute proceeds from the book to organizations supporting gay youth.
Former President George W. Bush talks about his upcoming book, Decision Points, in this video from Random House. Crown will publish the book November 9.
Obituary note: Author and screenwriter Robert Katz, who "incurred the wrath of the Vatican by accusing Pope Pius XII of failing to act to stave off a Nazi massacre of Italians in 1944," has died, the New York Times reported. He was 77.
NPR featured "Three Grisly Tales of Love And Death in Tinseltown," including The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh and The Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder by Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss.
"Classic Kids Book Covers Then and Now" were showcased by Flavorwire, which was "thinking about some of our favorite childhood books’ recent cover design transformations."
Book trailer of the day: Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God by Greg Graffin and Steve Olson (It Books). Graffin is lead singer of punk band Bad Religion.
Sterling will launch a new YA imprint called Splinter with the three-book Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck. The first title, Tiger’s Curse, will be published January 11, 2011, in both hardcover and $9.99 e-book editions. The story features American 17-year-old Kelsey Hayes, who discovers an Indian prince trapped in the form of a white tiger, and only she can free him.
Sterling plans a 250,000-copy printing for Tiger’s Curse, which Houck self-published and which rose to the top spot on the Kindle children’s bestseller list for seven weeks. The other titles in the series will be Tiger’s Quest (June 1, 2011), and Tiger’s Voyage (November 1, 2011).
Splinter will kick off with a $250,000 Tiger marketing campaign with digital teaser chapters, book trailers, its parent company’s "More in Store" features at Barnes & Noble, and a dedicated interactive website with quizzes, music playlists, sweepstakes and exclusive "behind the scenes" material. Embedded codes on the books will permit anyone with a smartphone to access web-only features. The series has also been optioned for feature film development.