Also published on this date: Wednesday, July 16, 2014: Maximum Shelf: The Invention of Exile

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hampton Roads Publishing Company: Becoming Baba Yaga: Trickster, Feminist, and Witch of the Woods by Kris Spisak, Foreword by Gennarose Nethercott

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Severn House: A Messy Murder (Main) (The Decluttering Mysteries #4) by Simon Brett

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Chronicle Books: Taste in Music: Eating on Tour with Indie Musicians by Luke Pyenson and Alex Beeker


CBS's Moonves Says Amazon and S&S Are Negotiating

Amazon and Simon & Schuster have begun negotiating over terms, according to Leslie Moonves. CEO of CBS, which owns S&S, he spoke at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. (Fortune posted his panel, which is available here.)

Asked about Amazon in general, he said, "I heard the word frenemy before, and I think you could say that about lots of companies out there. I recently met with Jeff Bezos in Sun Valley, and we talked about our various businesses."

He noted that CBS and Amazon work together in a variety of ways but are also competitors, particularly in "original premium content." CBS, which owns Showtime, produces programming for Amazon and Netflix, for example, while Amazon creates its own programming. "That's the way of the world that most of the companies that you talk about today are our competitors as well as our friends," he added.

Asked how it would be if Amazon treated S&S authors the way it has treated Hachette authors, Moonves said, "We are negotiating with Amazon as we speak, so I don't want to get into too much detail about it. Obviously Amazon has a very definitive point of view on what should be done in the publishing business. Those in the publishing world are not totally copacetic with it because they do control an awful lot of the--a very high percentage of those books. It's going to be a very interesting thing to watch as we go down the future."

So far, there is no hint of the kinds of disagreements that led Amazon to take punitive measures against Hachette.

BINC: We want your feedback. Take the survey!

Bookstore Sales Down 7.6% in May

May bookstore sales fell 7.6%, to $794 million, compared to May 2013, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have fallen 8%, to $4.4 billion. Total retail sales in May rose 4.8%, to $464.4 billion, compared to the same period a year ago. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 3.5%, to $2,100 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."

GLOW: Sourcebooks Landmark: A Forty Year Kiss by Nickolas Butler

Hastings Entertainment 'Merger' Completed

At a special meeting, Hastings Entertainment shareholders yesterday approved its merger, announced in March, with subsidiaries of National Entertainment Collectibles Association, a major supplier to Hastings of movie, book and video game merchandise and collectibles that is wholly owned by Joel Weinshanker.

Immediately after the meeting, Hastings said that the merger has been completed: Hastings shareholders are receiving $3 per share, and Hastings has been merged with Hendrix Acquisition Corp. The resulting company, called Hastings, has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Draw Another Circle, which is owned by National Entertainment Collectibles Association.

Weinshanker commented: "It's an honor and a privilege to be able to be part of the next chapter of such an important American retailer as Hastings. We will continue to run the business with the same ethical standards and values that the Marmadukes founded and built the chain on."

Founded in 1968, Hastings sells new and used books, videos, video games and CDs, trend and consumer electronics merchandise, and rents videos and video games. The company has 126 superstores, averaging about 24,000 square feet, mostly in medium-sized markets. It also operates three concept stores: Sun Adventure Sports, in Amarillo and Lubbock, Tex., and Tradesmart, in Littleton, Colo.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, longtime Hastings chairman and CEO John H. Marmaduke and CFO Dan Crow are leaving the company and receiving payments of, respectively, $1.5 million and $750,000, "net of standard payroll deductions and withholdings." Both executives are waiving parts of their Hastings contracts that relate to severance and "change in control" of the company.

Shares owned by chairman and CEO John H. Marmaduke and related groups and people totaled 30.4% of Hastings stock and were held by Marmaduke, the John H. Marmaduke Family Limited Partnership and Martha A. Marmaduke. John H. Marmaduke's father, Sam Marmaduke, founded Hastings. John H. Marmaduke was named president of Hastings in 1973.

New Executives at 800-CEO-READ

Business book retailer 800-CEO-READ announced several changes in the company's leadership structure in response to the retirement of company founder and president Jack Covert.

Sally Haldorson is 800-CEO-READ's new general manager. She has been with the company in multiple roles since 1998 and also served as in-house editor of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

Aaron Schleicher, who is becoming sales group leader, had been the author services sales specialist since 2004.

Meg Bacik is now customer service group leader. She was first hired in 1997 to assist the accounting department before moving to customer service.

Dylan Schleicher, who will lead the marketing and editorial department, joined 800-CEO-READ's shipping and receiving department in 2003, and worked in customer service and accounting before moving into his current role.

In addition, Ryan Schleicher is returning to the company to work with both the sales and marketing teams, as well as handling press relations; Mike Shauwitzer is joining the logistics and special projects teams; Roy Normington is adding social media to his customer services duties; and Stephanie Grzona joining the customer service team, in addition to IT support.

"These are the people who have helped me grow the company for the past decade or so," said Covert. "I was never a micro-manager; the staff has always been empowered to lead and to generate and execute ideas, and they've always had a voice at the table when trying to figure out what the company would become. Really, this is not just the right time for me to step into retirement personally, it is the right time for the business. We're talking about a group of good, smart, hard-working people. I'll still be around to consult Sally and Aaron and everyone else, but 800-CEO-READ is in a good place and I'm fully confident the kids will continue to grow what I put a lot of passion into building."  

800-CEO-READ began in 1984 as a part of the former Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops. Its owners are CEO Carol Grossmeyer, wife of the late David Schwartz, and Rebecca Schwartz, daughter of David and granddaughter of Harry.

After Major Layoffs: Plans for Globe Pequot Press

More on the changes at Globe Pequot/Lyons, where some 25 people were let go on Monday, a move came less than two months after Rowman & Littlefield bought Globe Pequot from Morris Communications.

Noting the Globe Pequot has had "its own warehouse in Tennessee and its own sales force, including many in-house sales reps, accounting and royalty departments, etc.," Rowman & Littlefield president and CEO Jed Lyons said that most of the positions eliminated were "in these departments" as well as overlapping positions in departments like convention management, rights and permissions and some management jobs. Rowman & Littlefield did, however, hire four of the in-house sales reps, increasing its sales representation.

"Falcon and Pequot were unaffected except for the departure of two managers," Lyons continued. The company promoted Katie Benoit to editorial director of Falcon and Amy Lyons to editorial director of Globe Pequot. The two cartographers who make maps for both imprints were retained. Four Lyons Press editors and a manager have left. Keith Wallman was promoted to editorial director of Lyons; he will hire editors to help in "rebuilding the Lyons program in its traditional areas of strength. These include fishing, outdoors, nature, history and biography." Lyons said that the imprint had "lost its way and was no longer focused on what it has always done best."

Lyons said that 42 employees remain and no more changes are planned other than hiring Lyons Press editors. He added that the imprints will publish more titles and remain in Guilford, Conn., "for the foreseeable future."

Scholarship Will Honor Hachette's Matt Richel

A scholarship or foundation benefiting talented Australian authors will be established in the name of Matt Richell, the CEO of Hachette Australia and chairman of Hachette New Zealand who died earlier this month in a surfing accident. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hachette Australia said it wants to honor Richell's "fierce love of books, his openness and drive for innovation and his unique ability to turn professional relationships into lasting friendships." The announcement was made at a solemn memorial for Richell in Sydney last Friday, "near the venue of the recent Sydney Writers' Festival, attended by Richell's widow Hannah, his brother Martin, father Peter and 200 industry colleagues," the Herald wrote.

Obituary Note: Isabel de Madariaga

Isabel de Madariaga, an expert on Russian history whose works included acclaimed books about Catherine the Great and Ivan the Terrible, died June 16. She was 94. The Guardian noted that until she wrote Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great, "relatively little attention had been paid to what was achieved during the empress's reign.... However, Isabel demonstrated the central importance of the period--from 1762 to 1796--for modern Russian history." 


Image of the Day: Great Greene Challenge Winner

Forget the World Cup. Results are in from the Great Greene Challenge and Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass., has emerged victorious over Eight Cousins, Falmouth. Inspired by author Kate Messner's blog post "More Than Words: A challenge for everyone who's been asking for more diversity in kids' books," bookseller Sara Hines of Eight Cousins challenged Odyssey's Hannah Moushabeck to a hand-sell off of Varian Johnson's The Great Greene Heist. Soon the movement gained national momentum, but the original bookseller-to-bookseller competition remained intense.  

"It was never about winning," said Hines, "No, really. What's important is that we all loved Varian Johnson's The Great Greene Heist. As long as kids are reading it, aren't we all winners?"

"Right, right," Moushabeck agreed. "It's about celebrating diversity in children's books, sharing a great story and of course, bragging rights."

"We regret nothing," Hines declared, "The challenge offered so many opportunities to have conversations about diversity with staff members, customers, and librarians at our local schools. We even have plans for ongoing programs. Look, just because we publicly embarrassed ourselves, doesn't mean we didn't hand-sell our hearts out."

Moushabeck added that the project "not only introduced our customers to a wonderful book with diverse characters, but it gave people instructions on how to make a difference. We've all been demanding diverse books but here was a simple, easy way to help. Plus, we got to show off our butt-kicking bookselling skills"

The competitors also noted that "no booksellers were injured in the making of the Great Greene Challenge."

Lena Dunham's Tour: 'Absurdly Amazing' Guests + 'Local Talent'

Lena Dunham announced dates and locations for Not That Kind of Tour, her upcoming bookstore road trip to promote Not That Kind of Girl (Random House). Describing the pre-tour hype as "the bookstore equivalent of a Beyonce and Jay-Z stadium concert tour," Entertainment Weekly reported that "the lineup of special guests is absurdly amazing. Certain stops will feature local talent (you can apply to an open call on Dunham's website), but others will feature well-known women, including fellow Apatow collaborator Amy Schumer, poet and memoirist Mary Karr, Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, filmmaker Miranda July and novelist Zadie Smith."

Perseus to Distribute Highlights for Children Books

Effective November 1, Perseus Distribution will sell and distribute books published by Highlights for Children, Inc., in the U.S. and Canada. Best known for Highlights magazine, Highlights for Children has four book imprints: Highlights Press, Boyds Mills Press, Calkins Creek and WordSong. It bills WordSong as "the only imprint in the United States dedicated to children's poetry."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dan Riskin on the Late Late Show

Tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Dan Riskin, author of Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World (Touchstone, $24.99, 9781476707549).

Books & Authors

Awards: Caine Prize for African Writing

Kenya's Okwiri Oduor won the £10,000 (about US$17,165) Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "My Father's Head." The winner is given the opportunity to take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. Chair of judges Jackie May praised Oduor's work as "an uplifting story about mourning--Joycean in its reach. She exercises an extraordinary amount of control and yet the story is subtle, tender and moving. It is a story you want to return to the minute you finish it." Author of the novella The Dream Chasers, Oduor is a 2014 MacDowell Colony fellow and is currently at work on her debut novel.

Book Brahmin: Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. His American Born Chinese (2006) was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the ALA's Michael L. Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album--New. His two-volume graphic novel about China's Boxer Rebellion, Boxers & Saints (2013), was nominated for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His new graphic novel, The Shadow Hero (First Second/ Macmillan, July 15, 2014), illustrated by Sonny Liew, imagines an origin story for the Green Tortoise, a 1940s character created during the Golden Age of American comics who may well be the first Asian American superhero. Yang lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

On your nightstand now:

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi; Box Brown's biography Andre the Giant; Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss. I admit, I loved the idea of getting all those crazy presents. But the book also has this existential passage that both fascinated and terrified me when I was a kid: "Why, you might be a WASN'T! A Wasn't has no fun at all. No, he doesn't. A Wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present."

Your top five authors:

Is it okay that they're mostly cartoonists? Osamu Tezuka, Art Spiegelman, Lynda Barry, Lloyd Alexander, Shusaku Endo.

Book you've faked reading:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. When it was assigned in my eighth grade English class, I could not force myself to get through it. Years later, I read it on my own and loved every page.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. Jason is a genius. That word gets thrown around a lot these days, but I really think he is. Meanwhile is his signature work. Everything about it is amazing, including the format. If a comic book and a maze had a baby, the result would be Meanwhile.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Robin Vol. 1, #1 (1991). I always thought the Boy Wonder was a stupid character, but Brian Bolland made him look awesome.

Book that changed your life:

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. If I hadn't read McCloud's book when I was in my late teens, I probably would not be doing comics today. Every time I have trouble making my mortgage payment, I blame McCloud.

Favorite line from a book:

"DESTROY!!" --from DESTROY!!: The Loudest Comic Book In the Universe!! by Scott McCloud

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. But I would need to be 15 again.

Book Review

Children's Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin, $16.99 hardcover, 336p., ages 10-up, 9780399252518, August 28, 2014)

In Jacqueline Woodson's (Locomotion; Feathers) inspired new memoir, told entirely in verse, the author brings readers into her family's most intimate moments. She begins with her birth in Columbus, Ohio, in 1963 and continues through the North and the South in the 1960s and 1970s.

After her parents' separation, Jacqueline's mother moves her to her own girlhood home in Greenville, S.C., along with her older siblings: her quiet, shy big brother, Hope, and brilliant big sister, Odella. Life in South Carolina is filled with wonder, faith, family and laughter. Even after Jacqueline's mother journeys to New York City to begin a life in anticipation of sending for the children soon, Jacqueline and her siblings adjust and find love and comfort despite missing their mother. When Jacqueline's mother returns for them, she has found them a home in Brooklyn and tells them of another surprise: a new baby, "Still in her belly but coming soon." Woodson delicately weaves into these familial stories her own path to becoming a writer, painting them into the context of historical events that simmer alternately in the background and foreground: the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the Black Panthers. "This is the way brown people have to fight," her grandfather tells her during the Greenville sit-ins, "You can't just put your fist up. You have to insist/ on something/ gently. Walk toward a thing/ slowly./ But be ready to die,/ my grandfather says,/ for what is right.

Brown Girl Dreaming offers readers an accessible, first-hand look at African American childhood in both the North and South during decades of tremendous turmoil and change. Woodson records her careful observations like a child who's trying to make sense of the things she's witnessing: her neighbor Miss Bell opening up her living room for sit-in training and march planning; her grandmother avoiding the five-and-dime, "where a woman is paid, my grandmother says,/ to follow colored people around in case they try to/ steal something." The form may make the timeline confusing at a couple of points for some readers but, overall, it serves Woodson well in keeping the tone of the book authentic and keeping her audience in the moment.

Readers will appreciate the breadth of Woodson's experiences and her observations. From the wonder of a beloved grandmother's kitchen to the comfort of the front stoop of a friend's house, Brown Girl Dreaming successfully transports readers from Columbus to Greenville to Brooklyn, to experience childhood-defining moments. Woodson's beautiful words and fantastic characterization make this story a true gem. --Kyla Paterno, trade book buyer and blogger, Garfield Book Company at PLU

Shelf Talker: This poetic memoir describes growing up in the 1960s and 1970s in the North and the South, and how these turbulent times shaped a young woman and a budding writer.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Spice Box by Various
2. Pulse (Part Four) by Deborah Bladon
3. Little Black Book by Tabatha Vargo and Melissa Andrea
4. Rhett by J.S. Cooper
5. Taming the Storm by Samantha Towle
6. Red Hot Obsessions by Various
7. A Shade of Vampire 7 by Bella Forrest
8. Where I Belong by J. Daniels
9. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
10. Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels

[Many thanks to!]

Powered by: Xtenit