Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 10, 2006

Simon & Schuster: Launch a Reading Star With Ready to Read Campaign

Bramble: Pen Pal Special Edition by J.T. Geissinger

Sourcebooks Landmark: Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Soho Crime: Broiler by Eli Cranor

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Quotation of the Day

Going Where Customers Go

"Our positioning is independents can't build a destination store--we go where people are in their normal course of business."--Michael Tucker of Books Inc., in a San Francisco Business Times story (via MSNBC) about bookselling in the Bay Area, which explores how indies are adapting and moving. For the latest example, see our first story below about Modern Times.

Editors' note: today is the last day in business for the Cody's Books store on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. We thank Andy Ross and his staff and Pat Cody, too, for many happy memories and offer best wishes for the other Cody's stores!

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart


New Era for Modern Times: A Collective Collaborates

In a move that aims to ensure the "store's survival while expanding the school's presence in the community," beginning today, Modern Times Bookstore and the New College of California, two 35-year-old San Francisco institutions devoted to social change and progressive politics, are engaging in a wide-ranging partnership.

Under the agreement, Modern Times and New College will collaborate on "the production and publicity for larger and more diverse literary and authors events" to be held at both the bookstore and college as well as at the New College Roxie Theater; establish a joint fundraising campaign, which will include a joint 35th anniversary celebration in October; the expansion and fuller integration of Modern Times as the college bookstore for New College; and the renovation of space at Modern Times "to serve New College's expanding classroom needs."

In addition, Modern Times should benefit from New College's collaborations with the Roxie Cinema Center and KPFA radio, part of the Pacifica network.

Collectively owned and operated, Modern Times is located in the Mission District. On its Web site, the store notes that it has experienced sales declines in the past five years, but, it emphasized, "we have no intention of letting our doors close."

On the site, the store also offered recommendations, some of them quite modern, on how customers can support the store in ways other than simply buying more books:

  • Sponsoring a section of the bookstore. "For a set amount of money you can adopt one of our sections. In recognition, a plaque listing all donors will be hung in the store along with a personal nametag on your chosen section. All sponsors will be acknowledged at our 35th Anniversary Fundraising event. Through our new arrangement with New College, all donations are tax deductible."
  • Getting organizations to buy Book Sense Gift Cards in quantity. "These cards can be used at other independent bookstores in the Bay Area and around the country. They are an excellent way for your workplace to show appreciation to employees, volunteers, students, etc."
  • Joining the store's membership program. "Get 10% off all purchases and our events calendar in the mail for $25 a year. If you are already a member, please consider upgrading to a lifetime membership for $300 (which will also get your name on our plaque)."
  • Donating equipment. "Our wish list currently consists of a new PA system, new carpeting, a new paint job for the front of the store, a hanging sign for the front of our store, and another computer."
  • Renting the back room as a meeting space.
  • Getting organizations and businesses to buy in bulk.

Florida Bookstore for Sale: Email

Notes: Store Opening; Store Move; U.K. Alliance

Beaverdale Books has opened in the Beaverdale section of Des Moines, Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported. Owner Alice Meyer plans to specialize in "Iowa and Iowa Writers' Workshop authors, do-it-yourself, and health and fitness." The paper called the initial inventory "a reader's delight, from noted authors Tom Wolfe and Ian McEwan to mass market suspense and mystery novels, from the literary offerings of Annie Dillard and E.L. Doctorow to the mass-appeal novels of Stephen King and James Patterson."

A former social worker and state employee, Meyer said she had been planning the store--her dream--for two years.

Beaverdale Books is located at 2629 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50130; 515-279-5400.


Main Street Books, which opened in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 2002, has moved into a 4,000-sq.-ft. space--double its previous size--in a building owners Diane and Jerry Shepherd have bought, the Hattiesburg American reported.

The couple plan to recreate the ambiance of their cozy smaller store, which had "exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, prints of Hattiesburg scenes by local artists and a small coffee bar at the back of the shop." If a coffee shop opens in the old space, as is possible, the Shepherds plan to open a tea room in the new space.

Main Street Books is located at 205 Main St., Hattiesburg, Miss. 39401; 601-584-6960;


Book Sense inverted?

Faber & Faber, the independent U.K. publisher that earlier this year created an Independent Alliance of publishers--presses it represents to the trade--has expanded the alliance to include at least 58 independent booksellers, Publishing News reported.

Member booksellers will receive an improved discount, author tours and priority for receiving galleys. The publishers will contribute to in-store promotions and have account managers for every six or seven bookstores. "In return for these benefits, booksellers are expected to grow sales of the publishers' books," PN noted.

Will Atkinson, Faber's sales director, told PN that indies represent 25%-30% of the house's business, "and if you take them as one customer, they would be our largest. It's time for the independent retail sector to have their place in the sun."


Sadly a group of some 15-20 anti-gay protesters have gathered in front of Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Atlanta, Ga., at least three Saturdays in a row, according to the Southern Voice. A few customers and activists have staged smaller counter-protests. A store e-mail said the protestors have vowed to demonstrate every Saturday through election day in November.

Owner Philip Rafshoon told the Voice that local police said the protestors have a right to free speech; he is seeking help from the city council. Besides its business impact, Rafshoon said he is concerned about a possibly "volatile situation."

In its e-mail, Outwrite said, "We are grateful to everyone that flocked to the store during these demonstrations and showed these protestors that their fear tactics will not work in our community."


Paz & Associates' Bookstore Training and Consulting Group will hold one of its bookstore workshops for prospective booksellers--Opening a Bookstore: The Business Essentials--October 3-9 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Booksellers Association, the intensive workshop, which many new booksellers have considered essential in the process of founding their stores, will continue at the GLBA trade show in Dearborn. This will be the last of these workshops to be offered this year.

The week-long program includes discussions of marketing competitive advantages, understanding financial dynamics, store design and merchandising, computerized management systems and selecting an opening inventory. Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman are the facilitators. For more information, go to or call 800-260-8605.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

The Venus Fix's Vidlit Flix

For her latest novel, The Venus Fix, author and marketing maven M.J. Rose is going "all video," as she put it to Shelf Awareness. She will release four vidlits for the book over the next eight weeks and is inviting booksellers to link to them on their Web sites and blogs. She also offers an interview, a book group meeting and teenagers talking about the book. "The idea," she continued, "is to give readers several different looks at the book in blog ads, on my Amazon blog, in AuthorBuzz, on my own blog, at a dedicated myspace The Venus Fix page, at and via bloggers." She hopes to get 500 blogs to write about the book and link to the vidlit or interview. To help the process along, Rose is offering to donate $5 for each link to a charity that the bloggers choose.

A tale of psychological suspense, The Venus Fix features Dr. Morgan Snow working with a group of teenaged boys addicted to Internet porn and the girls who are affected by it. As Rose put it, "When a 15-year-old boy can find thousands of beautiful women willing to perform porn 24/7 via Web cams, how can a 15-year-old girl compete? This is a huge real life issue."

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

More Niche Marketing For Fiction

Speaking of marketing, today's Wall Street Journal has a long story about publishers who are using viral and targeted marketing techniques usually associated with nonfiction for novels. Among examples:

  • Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts Novels about fans of quilting, appearing on a cable TV show about quilting, where she discussed her patterns--and her books.
  • The campaign aimed at ad execs on behalf of The Futurist by James P. Othmer, a satirical novel about a consumer prognosticator who tries to sabotage his career by telling a convention crowd that his work is bogus--"but ends up being hailed as a visionary as a result."
  • Ballantine dealing out copies of Loaded Dice by James Swain, whose thrillers are set in casinos, to all the attendees of the World Gaming Protection Conference in Las Vegas.
  • S&S's campaign to introduce Seven Deadly Wonders by Matthew Reilly to videogame devotees, in part by having the books distributed as gifts at the Blizzard Entertainment videogame convention.
  • Doubleday's cooperative efforts with groups involved in autism research, counseling and support on behalf of Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: I.O.U.s on Oprah All Week

This morning on the Early Show: Fouad Ajami, author of The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq (Free Press, $26, 074323667X).


This morning on the Today Show: Leslie Goldman whose new book is Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image and Re-imagining the "Perfect" Body (Perseus, $23, 0738210420). The segment will include taped interviews with women from the book, conducted in the Chicago gym locker room where Goldman conducted the original interviews.


For a series on debt, Oprah will feature two experts in the area each day this week:

  • Jean Sherman Chatzky, author of Make Money, Not Excuses (Crown, $24.95, 0307341526).
  • Glinda Bridgforth, author of Girl, Make Your Money Grow!: A Sister's Guide to Protecting Your Future and Enriching Your Life (Broadway Books, $12.95, 0767914260).

Deeper Understanding

Revelations About Neil Baldwin's American Revelation

For Neil Baldwin, author of many biographies and history titles--including Henry Ford and the Jews and Edison: Inventing the Century--and former executive director of the National Book Foundation for 15 years until 2003, his latest title has been an unexpected talisman. "The book has created the path for my next life," Baldwin said. "At 59, I feel I'm starting all over again."

The book is The American Revelation: Ten Ideals That Shaped Our Country from the Puritans to the Cold War (St. Martin's, $24.95, 0312325436), which was published in hardcover in May last year and appears tomorrow in paperback (St. Martin's Griffin, $14.95, 0312325444).

Baldwin spoke with Shelf Awareness last week over breakfast and was, as usual, amusing, witty and incisive. Unusually he sounded awed--by the biggest change to occur. Just before the 230th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Baldwin was named Distinguished Visiting Professor of History at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., where he will teach two classes this fall and create an American Studies program. The American Revelation will be the basis for the classes and played a part in him taking the job, which comes 33 years after he received his Ph.D. in modern American poetry from the State University of New York at Buffalo. "It must be a record for time between getting a Ph.D. and taking a full-time academic job," he said with a smile. "My knowledge is finally being brought to bear in academia." It's a job he relishes because he believes in the power of learning from history: "It is the place for a careful examination of the past to understand what's going on now."

The teaching offer developed after he talked with the president of MSU, whose library he has used for research for all his books. (He lives in nearby Glen Ridge.) She put him in touch with a dean who suggested he develop an American studies program.

Baldwin is quickly adapting to academia. Initially believing he could put an American Studies program together in a month or two, he was persuaded by the university to take his time and is currently surveying other schools' American Studies programs and trends in the field. "There are a lot of different ideas about what to teach," Baldwin said.

The American Revelation has also led to a gig in Minnesota. This Thursday, July 13, Baldwin will give a talk as part of the Minneapolis Public Library's new Talk of the Stacks speakers program that explores contemporary literature and culture. Sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library and U.S. Trust, the event includes a reception and signing at the library's new main building. Recent speakers include Nancy Pearl and Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club.

One of the organizers, a bank underwriter, "a guy who likes history," read The American Revelation and "loved it," Baldwin said. His recommendation led to the invitation to Baldwin.

The speech, Baldwin said, will talk about the ideals surveyed in the book and "to what degree they've been upheld or corrupted or spun in a different direction or used for ulterior purposes." (One example, he said, was the Bush Administration's effort to compare what it is doing in Iraq with the Marshall Plan, one of the ideals. Among other ideals: John Winthrop's City on a Hill, Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance.)

Last but not least in his "new life," Baldwin is writing his first novel, a thriller that is two-thirds completed. He said it is remarkably "liberating" to write fiction after years of writing nonfiction. Marveling, he explained, "I get to a point on a page and wonder where I'll go next and then I say, 'I'll make it up!' "

The hero of the book, he said, "is sucked into a maelstrom of events he can't control." The book involves "secret societies and intrigue" and is set in Brooklyn, Tsarist Russia, Israel, Weimar Germany, the Costa Brava. He was reluctant to tell more--and won't have his agent shop anything around until the manuscript is completed. But one can assume it will be as entertaining and thoughtful as its author.

The Bestsellers

Above the Treeline Bestsellers: Top Mass Markets

Many shades of Brown, some student reading classics and thrills and chills! The following are bestselling mass market titles during the past month at the more than 160 independent bookstores who are members of Above the Treeline:

  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Anchor, $7.99, 1400079179)
  2. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524797)
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Warner, $6.99, 0446310786)
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Little, Brown, $6.99, 0316769487)
  5. Deception Point by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524800)
  6. Digital Fortress: A Thriller by Dan Brown (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312995423)
  7. One Shot by Lee Child (Dell, $7.99, 0440241022)
  8. 1984 by George Orwell (Signet, $7.95, 0451524934)
  9. The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312991193)
  10. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, $7.50, 0877799296)
  11. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Anchor, $7.99, 0307275558
  12. 4th of July by James Patterson (Warner Vision, $9.99, 0446613363)
  13. Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon (Penguin, $7.99, 014303698X)
  14. The Innocent by Harlan Coben (Signet, $9.99, 045121577X)
  15. The Closers by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616443)
  16. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Del Rey, $6.99, 0345342968)
  17. Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312985347)
  18. The Giver by Lois Lowry (Laurel-Leaf Books, $6.50, 0440237688)
  19. With No One as Witness by Elizabeth A. George (HarperTouch, $7.99, 0060545615)
  20. State of Fear by Michael Crichton (Avon, $7.99, 0061015733)
  21. Black Wind by Clive Cussler (Berkley, $9.99, 0425204235)
  22. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (Tor, $6.99, 0812550706)
  23. The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312939132)
  24. Broken Prey by John Sandford (Berkley, $9.99, 0425204308)
  25. Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts (Jove, $7.99, 0515141399)
  26. Velocity by Dean R. Koontz (Bantam, $7.99, 0553588257)
  27. The Broker by John Grisham (Dell, $7.99, 0440241588)
  28. Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent (Dell, $7.99, 0440136482)
  29. Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King (Bantam, $6.99, 0553583417)

[Many thanks to John Rubin and Above the Treeline!]

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