Indies in Summer: 'Tall Cool Glass of Literary Lemonade'
"And don't run right back out there, stick around in the cool of the Booksmith for a while. Think of us as a tall cool glass of literary lemonade, relief from the coming heat wave."
"And don't run right back out there, stick around in the cool of the Booksmith for a while. Think of us as a tall cool glass of literary lemonade, relief from the coming heat wave."
Effective next month, HarperCollins is integrating marketing, sales and analysis better to "analyze complex sales data efficiently, to price our books intelligently and to understand market dynamics correctly," as president of sales Josh Marwell said in a memo to staff. At the same time, some sales managers are being let go to create a more "streamlined and flatter sales management team as we assess the radically changing book industry landscape."
A key change is the move of Frank Albanese to the sales department as senior v-p, market insight and sales operations, a newly created position, in which he will help the company "make sense of consumer behavior both digital and print, providing insight into sales and market trends, as well as take on the overall direction of day-to-day sales operations."
Dan Lubart continues as senior v-p, sales analytics and pricing, and he and Albanese now report to Marwell.
Among other changes:
Doug Jones has become senior v-p, group sales director for general books, an expanded role.
Mary Beth Thomas becomes v-p, deputy director of sales, with field force, telesales and adult national retail accounts reporting to her.
Kerry Moynagh becomes v-p, deputy director of sales, with children's national retail accounts and children's merch reps reporting to her.
June Geiger is now director of the customer service department.
Among the sales department retirements and departures: Jeff Rogart, v-p, director of distributor sales, is retiring, while Ken Berger; Mike Brennan, senior v-p of sales administration; Mark Hillesheim, v-p, national accounts, backlist sales and operations; Kathy Smith, senior v-p of sales administration; and Jeanette Zwart, v-p of sales, are leaving the company. In addition, Dan Holod, v-p of customer service, and Gail Kunda, director of customer service, are retiring.
Effective immediately, Shawn Morin has been promoted to chief operating officer of Ingram Content Group. He joined the company in 2009 as chief information officer. Before that, he was CIO and v-p of information technology at Bass Pro Shops, CIO of Royal Numico in the Netherlands, business analyst for Watkins Motor Lines and lead engineer for Lockheed Space Operations at the Kennedy Space Center.
Chairman and CEO John Ingram commented: "Over the past three years, Shawn has done a great job restructuring our systems, both to serve our customers ever-better and also help ensure Ingram's leadership position in an ever-changing industry. In particular, he has been our aggressive leader in the growth of VitalSource, which is the most utilized e-textbook platform in education today. Shawn is well prepared to help me and our leadership team execute the vision of where Ingram Content Group is heading in the next period."
Barnes & Noble plans to open five new bookstores with a "new merchandise format" this year and close 15 established stores, the company said in a conference call yesterday following its announcement of quarterly and fiscal year results. During the past year, B&N closed 14 stores and did not open any new ones, leaving it with 691 trade stores. (It also operates 647 college stores, after opening 32 and closing 21 stores during the year.)
In 2011, B&N made "more merchandising changes" in trade stores than it had in years, the company said. The changes included "a re-lay" of adult and children's book sections and the rollout of 1,000-sq.-ft. educational toy and game sections in most stores.
B&N is currently negotiating and renegotiating 125-150 leases for next year and expects to continue to wrest savings on the leases because, for many landlords, a bookstore is an important part of the retail mix in malls.
In the coming fiscal year, sales at bookstores open at least a year are expected to decline in the "low to middle single digits" because of comparison with unfavorable comparisons to increased sales this past year following Borders's closings as well as the growth of e-book sales.
While e-book sales have continued to grow, B&N has seen "a slight erosion" in e-book sales growth from the days of triple-digit growth, paralleling e-books sales results reported by the AAP and others, "a slight deceleration and move back to physical books."
Because results were below Wall Street analyst expectations, B&N stock closed yesterday at $14.63, down 4%.
Effective yesterday, the seven Harry Potter novels are now available to Amazon Prime members at the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish editions. Kindle readers may borrow as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. Amazon purchased an exclusive license from J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website for the books.
Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne told paidContent last month that this is "a commercial deal that makes sense even with a level of cannibalization of my sales, but I believe it will actually drive greater sales.... The way the deal is structured means that any lost sales are more than made up for. Yes, some people will borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and therefore not buy, but Amazon is paying us a large amount of money for that right, and I believe it's a commercial deal that makes sense."
This year's Children's Art Auction, held during BookExpo America to benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and its defense of the free speech rights of young readers, raised nearly $30,000. More than 300 booksellers, publishers and artists attended and bid on 100 original works by many of the leading artists and illustrators in the children's book industry.
ABFFE is currently planning its next auction of children's art for Banned Books Week (September 29 to October 6). Any artist or publisher interested in donating to the online auction may contact ABFFE president Chris Finan for details.
On Monday, author Seth Godin launched a Kickstarter project for The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art, which he described as "a book about the mythology of success (and failure) and how our economy rewards people who are willing to stand up and stand out." Public response has been immediate and profitable. As of 7 a.m. today, 3,018 backers had already pledged $208,423 (the original goal was only $40,000).
Godin called his project "an experiment in publishing, an opportunity for real growth, an invitation to challenge your friends and something you can touch.... If this Kickstarter campaign reaches the minimum, then the publisher has agreed to launch a major retail campaign to introduce the book to readers in bookstores. They'll also publish V is for Vulnerable (an illustrated ABC book) as well as a smaller, significantly-abridged version of the bonus 'big' book. If it doesn't reach the minimum, none of the backers will be charged and the book doesn't get published." He did not name the publisher involved.
It's safe to say the minimum was reached.
Last Saturday, Alafair Burke, author of the new Ellie Hatcher novel, Never Tell (Harper), helped serve gelato at Otto Enoteca & Pizzeria's "Gel Otto Cart" in Washington Square Park in New York City and gave away some copies of her previous Ellie Hatcher novel, 212, which, like Never Tell, features Otto in its pages. A former prosecutor who teaches criminal law, Burke often writes her thrillers at Otto.
Celebrating its first anniversary, the Wild Fig Bookstore, Lexington, Ky., is "a comfort zone for page-turners," according to the Herald-Leader, which reported that a sign on the shop's front door "announces 'Friends gather here,' the first clue that people are about to enter a nostalgic comfort zone where pages are turned and not swiped."
In a digital-trending age, Crystal Wilkinson, co-owner of the bookstore with Ron Davis, said, "As quiet as it is kept, people do still pick up books."
Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple (Little, Brown), via Entertainment Weekly, in which Semple, an Arrested Development writer, tries pitching her upcoming book to Seattle booksellers and others. Includes appearances by actor Tom Skerritt and cameos by Elliott Bay's Rick Simonson and Karen Maeda Allman, University Bookstore's Stesha Brandon and Matthew Simmons and Hugo House's Brian McGuigan. Hilarious.
This morning on Imus in the Morning: Monica Crowley, author of What the (Bleep) Just Happened?: The Happy Warrior's Guide to the Great American Comeback (Broadside, $27.99, 9780062131157).
Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Richard Ford, author of Canada (Ecco, $27.99, 9780061692048), in the first of a two-part interview. As the show puts it: "When Dell Parsons, the 15-years-old narrator of Richard Ford's new novel, Canada, discovers that his parents are bank robbers and then witnesses two murders, his life flies apart. We examine the oppositions that define his experiences: America versus Canada, male versus female, family love versus abandonment."
Tomorrow on NPR's All Things Considered: Manuel Roig-Franzia, author of The Rise of Marco Rubio (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781451675450).
Tomorrow on E!'s Chelsea Lately: Zach Wahls, author of My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family (Gotham, $26, 9781592407132).
Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (Free Press, $24.99, 9781451624458).
Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Michael Ian Black, co-author of America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom (Da Capo, $26, 9780306821004).
Indiewire featured "blink-and-you'll-miss-it footage" from Life of Pi, Ang Lee's film adaptation of Yann Martel's novel. "With Oscar already in their eyes, 20th Century Fox has begun the long marketing road" for the project, which will be released November 21, Indiewire wrote. The movie stars Irrfan Khan, Gérard Depardieu, Tobey Maguire, Adil Hussain and Shravanthi Sainath Tabu.
Six new clips were released from Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed film version of Don Winslow's novel that hits theaters July 6. Indiewire wrote that the clips "nicely lay down the film's plot involving Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, and Blake Lively as the central love triangle. We also get some absolutely bug-eyed scene-chewing from Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro and John Travolta as the main antagonists."
Anna Funder won the $50,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award, which recognizes a novel of the highest literary merit that "presents Australian life in any of its phases," for All That I Am.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Gillian Whitlock said the jury "admired this ambitious novel that moves across continents and decades to remind us that experiences of exile and dislocation have long been part of Australian life."
British historian Sir Max Hastings won the 2011 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The award, carrying a $100,000 honorarium and sponsored by the Tawani Foundation, recognizes a living author for "a body of work that has profoundly enriched the public understanding of American military history."
Hastings is the author of 23 books, including Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945; Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-45; Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45 and Nemesis: The Battle for Japan 1944-45. The award will be presented October 27 at the Pritzker Library's Liberty Gala in Chicago.
Finalists for this year's British PEN/Ackerley Prize for Memoir are:
Cables from Kabul by Sherard Cowper-Coles
How to Disappear by Duncan Fallowell
The Horseman's Word by Roger Garfitt
The Rain Tree by Mirabel Osler
The Outsider by Brian Sewell
The winner will be announced July 18.
From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Chaperone: A Novel by Laura Moriarty (Riverhead, $26.95, 9781594487019). "Silent film star Louise Brooks was accustomed to being the center of attention, but that is not the case in this exquisite novel about the summer of 1922 when 15-year-old Louise traveled to New York for dance training. At the center of this story is her chaperone, 36-year-old Cora Carlisle, who has reasons of her own for traveling to New York that fateful summer. Cora's story is one of casting after the classic American dream with a few unexpected twists, and Moriarty's writing captures it perfectly." --Katherine Osborne, Kennebooks, Kennebunk, Me.
The Watchers: A Novel by Jon Steele (Blue Rider Press, $26.95, 9780399158742). "Set in the gothic Lausanne Cathedral, this is a haunting and beautiful tale of fallen angels, the innocents and the not-so-innocent who fall prey to them, and those who are there to defend against evil. Steele offers a terrifyingly suspenseful yet mystical and extremely tender story, and the reader will wonder who and what are real and who and what they can trust." --Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Joy for Beginners: A Novel by Erica Bauermeister (Berkley, $15, 9780425247426). "Kate has conquered cancer, and now she has the goal to ride the white-water rapids in the Grand Canyon. During a celebration dinner, she gives each of her six friends an equally personal challenge. Bauermeister masterfully weaves the stories of the seven women together, allowing the reader to empathize with and root for each one as she jumps her own personal hurdle. A great selection for book clubs!" --Sam Droke-Dickinson, Aaron's Books, Lititz, Pa.
For Ages 4 to 8
Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi (Charlesbridge, $16.95, 9781580894340). "Skye is a soccer-loving American girl, whose relatives are moving to the U.S. for her grandfather's cancer treatments. In order to help the grandfather whom she has never met, she will have to take a Japanese-language course on Saturdays, and that means losing her place on the all-star soccer team. Skye's cousin, Hiroshi, has to leave his home in Japan, move to America, and take English lessons. As the cousins struggle with change, their language barrier, and a rivalry for their grandfather's affection, training for rokkaku--competitive kite fighting--brings them together and helps them find the strength and courage to overcome the obstacles they both face." --Amy Hussin, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, Wis.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]
Katy Derbyshire was born in London in 1973. After studying German at Birmingham University, she earned a Diploma in Translation from the University of London. In 1996, she moved to Berlin. She works as a freelance translator of contemporary German literature and writes a blog called lovegermanbooks. That's an imperative.
On your nightstand now:
All About Love by Lisa Appignanesi, which does what it says on the tin and I've been dipping into for about a year; Is that a Fish in your Ear by David Bellos, a very thought-provoking, iconoclastic look at translation that I treat myself to in small chunks; The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon, although that's accompanying me everywhere I go too because I'm hooked; and the German writer Benjamin Stein's new novel, Replay.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Probably Diana Wynne Jones's Charmed Life. I remember painstakingly relating the rather complicated plot to my mother, and now I've just re-read it with my daughter. Lots of magic, brilliant characters and what turns out now to be excellent, quite challenging language.
Your top five authors:
At the moment: Inka Parei, Clemens Meyer, Selim Özdogan, Olga Grjasnowa and Jan Brandt. They're all German, and I've translated at least extracts from all their work. But it varies from week to week.
Book you've faked reading:
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann. I watched the miniseries.
Book you're an evangelist for:
At the moment, Jan Brandt's Gegen die Welt. It's 927 pages of a North German youth in the 1980s, including lists of products sold at the drugstore, heavy metal reminiscences, experiments with fading type and parallel narration, alien abduction, Jeopardy! as a metaphor, neo-Nazis, bullying.... Actually I'm a terrible book evangelist, there's always at least one German book I'm crazy about and convinced it absolutely has to be translated. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
Book you've bought for the cover:
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. It has cakes and a quote from Gwyneth Paltrow. What more can you ask?
Book that changed your life:
The first German book I loved so much I wanted to share it with the English-speaking world was Selim Özdogan's Die Tochter des Schmieds, a really warm portrait of a girl growing up in 1950s Turkey. And so I translated various parts of it and put together a dossier and sent it out to publishers and--not surprisingly really--nobody wanted to commission an inexperienced translator they'd never heard of to work on a book they'd never heard of. But maybe one day. Anyway, that made me realize what I really wanted to do was translate literature.
Favorite line from a book:
A man in a bar, a woman tries to pick him up and he ignores her approaches until she suddenly blushes. And then comes the gut punch: "Sometimes I think, and sometimes I know, that all she did was give a stupid grin, that moment next to me, her head leaning forward into the red light of the lamp above the bar." From Clemens Meyer, All the Lights. So cynical and whimsical at the same time, and so simply put. And it's on this one moment that the whole ending of the short story pivots. Spine-tingling genius.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter. Because then I'd be instantly 15 again. I must have read it a dozen times--I was so overjoyed by her adult portrayal of a teenage girl. It was almost like all those Francis Hodgson Burnett children's tales of spoilt brats who turn good under tough circumstances, only deliciously naughty.
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin E. Stead (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, $16.99 hardcover, 32p., ages 2-up, 9781596437456, September 4, 2012)
The husband-and-wife team behind the Caldecott Medal–winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee presents another inspiring tale of friendship and collaboration.
As the book begins, Bear rubs his eyes while autumn leaves float down around him: "It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy." Against a spare white background where birch tree trunks and golden-leaved maples stretch off the top of the page, he walks with a mission: "Bear had a story to tell." One by one, the ursine hero asks his friends if they want to hear his tale. "I am sorry, Bear," says Mouse, dwarfed by Bear's height and girth, "but it is almost winter and I have many seeds to gather." Bear helps Mouse gather seeds, then bids his friend farewell as Mouse tunnels underground "to wait for spring." He helps Duck find a southerly wind, and digs a "frog-size hole" in which to tuck Frog safely for the winter.
Erin Stead alters her style here. Instead of pencil and woodblock prints, she uses a pencil and watercolor wash technique that allows her to add detailed touches such as pine needles on a bough, and the light and dark patches of Bear's chocolate brown coat. Thus she gives Bear an emotional richness. He appears pensive as he looks off in the distance and thinks, "I wonder if Mole is awake?" As the story progresses, the pencil drawings of naked trees make winter look imminent. As Bear calls down Mole's hole, readers must turn the book to appreciate the vertical orientation of the composition, and the depths of Mole's tunneling. At the bottom, Mole is already asleep. (" 'Good night, Mole,' said Bear with a sigh.") The first snowfall fills the entire horizontal spread, a vision in cornflower blue and violet with white (and a few yellow) circles dotting the sky. Bear's skyward look of wonder mirrors our own, and on the next page Bear himself is sound asleep.
With the first signs of spring, Bear rolls on his back in the sunshine and the sky is a teal green. As he welcomes his friends back, he gives each a gift--an acorn for Mouse, a muddy puddle for Duck, a sunny patch for Frog. And each, in turn, gives Bear a gift. Erin Stead's visual clues to the cycles of the seasons echo Philip Stead's lilting circular construction of the narrative. Together they celebrate the ebb and flow of friendship and its endless gifts. --Jennifer M. Brown
Shelf Talker: The Caldecott Medal–winning team behind A Sick Day for Amos McGee creates a new tale of friendship and togetherness through the changing seasons.
We didn't go back quite far enough in bookstore history in yesterday's item about Barbara's Bookstore opening a small shop in Macy's in Boston. As several readers reminded us, Barbara's first store opened in the 1960s on Wells Street in Old Town in Chicago. Barbara's Oak Park store opened in the mid-1970s.