Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 20, 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

Editors' Note

Welcome, Shannon!

With this issue, we welcome a new contributor to Shelf Awareness: Shannon McKenna.

Shannon spent 10 years working in book publishing, holding positions in marketing and promotions at several trade houses, among them HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. She is now a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Pages, Publishers Weekly, New Jersey Gateway Guide and other publications. She is the co-author of a column in Pages magazine, "In the Club," which features ideas and suggestions for book clubs; a contributing writer at Bookreporter.com; and a contributing editor at ReadingGroupGuides.com.

Shannon's first piece for Shelf Awareness, about an unusual and informal partnership between McSweeney's and the Downer Avenue branch of the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops in Milwaukee, Wis., appears below. We look forward to many more stories by her.

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Also please excuse any delays receiving this or any typos. Shelf Awareness's global editorial headquarters was in the path of a strong storm Tuesday night that knocked out power for more than 24 hours. Internet cable access is still out so we've resorted to a seemingly prehistoric system of dialing in to AOL.


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


Quotation of the Day

Books Becoming Less Static?

"Books are breaking wide open. Books are becoming vehicles that aren't static things."--Eileen Gittins, CEO of Blurb.com, one of several Web POD companies that deals directly with consumers, mentioned today in a New York Times article about how print on demand is spreading and is being or will be used by people for vacation photo collections, yearbooks, Junior League recipe books and more.


Florida Bookstore for Sale: Email bookstore4sale2023@gmail.com


News

Notes: New Booksellers; Store Changes; BEA Fundraising

In another major interview, George Jones, the new CEO and president of Borders Group and onetime Warner Bros. executive, told the Detroit Free Press that the company could use a touch of Hollywood to stand out from the crowd.

"If we think of ourselves as more than just selling books or music or movies but as being a provider of information and entertainment, then there are a lot of things we can do," Jones told the paper. "I have a ton of ideas of things I can do with the relationships I built over those years in Hollywood that I think I can tap into that could help differentiate us as a company and make us stand out versus our competitors."

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Borders is opening a two-level, 24,000-sq.-ft. store in the Newbry, the former headquarters of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Co., in the Back Bay area of Boston, according to the Boston Globe. The 10-story retail and office building will include a Citibank financial center, Guess and Victoria's Secret.

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Effective last Monday, Laura Norris is the new owner of Griffin Bay Bookstore in Friday Harbor, Wash., in the San Juan Islands, according to the San Juan Islander. She bought the store from Frank Eyerly of Vallejo, Calif., whose mother, Susan Eyerly, owned Griffin Bay Bookstore for more than 25 years before dying of leukemia in April.

Norris, a long-time resident of Friday Harbor, said she planned few changes, but "as part of a general sprucing up, the bookstore sign is being re-painted and new awnings are on order." The store now has a Web site--www.griffinbaybooks.com--and a frequent buyer discount card program.

"I look forward to serving the community by continuing the high level of service that Susan was known for," Norris said. "Supplying books for special orders has long been our specialty, and I am dedicated to meeting our customers' needs."

Amusingly Norris said that her favorite book is her passport--otherwise she enjoys "anything that is well-written," especially by British authors, both classic and modern. She is also a fiber artist and has owned thistledown designs for 14 years.

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Roger and Margy Layton are closing the Read Leaf, Springville, Utah, just south of Provo, in August, the Deseret Morning News reported. A local store that specializes in toys and children's books will move into the space.

The Laytons began the business eight years ago selling used books, then moved into the store's current space and focused on new books. They also started sponsoring events, including a Friday night concert series and children's story time.

The pair has plans for new careers. He is going to school to become a librarian and hopes to be a museum curator or work at a college library. She will be a guest curator at the Springville Art Museum.

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The Courier News profiles the new Family Christian Store branch that opened in June in South Elgin, Ill., and is having its grand opening on Saturday.

Manager Kerrie Vujnovich said an interest in "helping people in a Christian environment" led her to join the company. "It's a way I can give back to the community by helping people that are really connected with God."

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Robert and Kay McDaniel, owners of the BlessingWell gallery and frame store in downtown Paynesville, Minn., took an extra room in their building and opened a new and used bookstore, Been Around Books, in it, according to the Paynesville Press. Their daughter, Monica Moore, is the general manager of the store.

The family plans to involve town book clubs in the store, put up book reviews written by local children, invite area writers and poets to sell their work in the store, have book signings by local authors and offer a writing workshop.

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Some $30,477.50 was raised for the Book Industry Foundation during BEA, mostly from BEA's Saturday night comedy event, the author autographing Gold Pass plan and individual donations made in the author autographing area. The proceeds will be divided equally between the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the AAP's Get Caught Reading campaign, the two groups that comprise the Book Industry Foundation.

BEA event director Lance Fensterman commented: "Censorship and literacy are two of the most critical issues affecting the book industry, and both ABFFE and the AAP are recognized as industry leaders in promoting their causes. I am very pleased to see that we could help raise such a significant amount of money for these causes." He also lauded "the many attendees who willingly contributed to our fundraising initiatives and who participated in BEA's Saturday Night charitable event."

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Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, Minn., has become the exclusive distributor of all titles published by Kane Press, New York City, founded by Joanne Kane, whose more than 100 paperbacks support curriculum standards in all subject areas for grades K-3. Titles include Math Matters, Math Matters en Español, Social Studies Connects, Science Solves It! and Let's Read Together.

"Kane Press has high-quality curriculum-oriented titles that perfectly complement our own offerings for the educational market," Adam Lerner, president and publisher of Lerner Publishing Group, said in a statement. "In turn, Lerner Publishing Group offers Kane Press a broader reach into the marketplace through our established, successful sales and distribution channels."

Lerner's divisions and imprints include Lerner Publications, Carolrhoda Books, Millbrook Press, Twenty-First Century Books, Graphic Universe, ediciones Lerner (a Spanish-language imprint), First Avenue Editions, LernerClassroom and Kar-Ben Publishing. Since 2003, Lerner has been distributing fiction and nonfiction titles from Darby Creek Publishing, Columbus, Ohio.

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Larry Stevenson, who headed Chapters in Canada until the bookseller's hostile takeover by Indigo, has resigned as CEO of Pep Boys--Manny Moe and Jack, the U.S. auto-parts retailer, after some stockholders pushed for him to be ousted because of the company's poor performance recently, the Wall Street Journal reported.


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


AMS Sets Free Bluefin

Advanced Marketing Services has launched a new division, Bluefin Global Logistics, which will provide what it calls "world-class third party logistics"--services that include warehousing, order fulfillment, transportation and returns management and light assembly--to clients in the retail and publishing markets.

"For more than two decades, AMS--along with our Publishers Group Worldwide (PGW) and Advantage Publishing divisions--has developed a strong and solid supply chain infrastructure," Jack Dollard, AMS's COO, said in a statement. "We believe the time is right to take these capabilities to the market and offer that same reliability and cost savings to other customers. It's really a function of leveraging our scale and technology to help companies drive costs out and stability in to their supply chains."

Bluefin Global will operate in the U.K. and Australia as well as the U.S.


Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland



Media and Movies

Book TV This Weekend: Harlem Book Fair Live

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's Web site.

Saturday, July 22

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Live coverage of the Harlem Book Fair. Featured authors include Al Sharpton, Dick Gregory, John McWhorter, Paul Robeson, Jr., Salome Thomas-El and Cupcake Brown. Panels are:

  • Black Media and Black Stereotypes (11 a.m.)
  • Assuring Fair Elections (12:45 p.m.)
  • Literacy and African-Americans (2:15 p.m.)
  • Biography and Memoir (3:45 p.m.)


6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. First aired in 1996, this segment featured Glenn Simpson, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author, with Larry Sabato, of Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics.

9 p.m. After Words. Edna Medford, a professor of history at Howard University, interviews Columbia art history and history professor Simon Schama about his new book, Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution (Ecco, $29.95, 006053916X). The book focuses on slaves who fought for their freedom on the side of Britain during the Revolutionary War and chronicles the lives and journeys of those freed, first to Nova Scotia and London, then to a colony in Sierra Leone. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, July 23

7 p.m. Panel discussion featuring Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, authors of The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, and former Speakers of the House Newt Gingrich and Tom Foley (Oxford, $26, 0195174461).


Media Heat: David Mitchell; Pamela Glen

Today on KCRW's Bookworm: David Mitchell, author of Black Swan Green (Random House, $23.95, 1400063795). As the show put it, "David Mitchell, one of the younger generation of British writers, provides a jolt of energy to the coming-of-age novel. First off, this novel ends just when the rite-of-passage traditionally begins. Here, we discuss those familiar curses of adolescence--the bully, the stammer, the fearful first kiss--to all of which Mitchell brings his special luminosity."

Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Pamela Gien, author of The Syringa Tree: A Novel (Random House, $24.95, 0375507558).


Deeper Understanding

Schwartz and McSweeney: Bookseller-Publisher Partnership

When book buyer Jay Johnson received a pizza delivery at the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops branch on Downer Avenue in Milwaukee, Wis., one afternoon earlier this year, he nearly sent it back. "I didn't order a pizza," he said, but it turned out the pie was from an admirer: McSweeney's Books. The order for the long-distance delivery was placed by the San Francisco publisher as a gesture of thanks for the enthusiastic support its books and journals have received at the store.

That support, "born of bookseller enthusiasm," Johnson said, started when Johnson and Joe Lisberg, the assistant manager of the Downer Street store, created a display table devoted to the house.

The booksellers sent McSweeney's a picture of the display and inquired about marketing materials, a request that was "met with equal enthusiasm," Johnson said. Now the bookseller and publisher have a close relationship that Lisberg described as "super informal" and "high-spirited."

A permanent fixture in the store, the display includes copies of McSweeney's Books frontlist and backlist titles, the literary journals McSweeney's Quarterly Concern and The Believer, and the company's recently-launched DVD magazine, Wholphin. Also featured are books by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's founder and editor) and works by writers associated with the literary journals, such as Michael Chabon and T.C. Boyle. "The cross-marketing with how they set up their display helps draw attention to us," said Heidi Meredith of McSweeney's. For example, "if someone knows Michael Chabon, they'll also be able to check out McSweeney's books." The publisher also finds regular bookseller feedback invaluable. "We get to find out what's been selling well or what we can do better," she commented.

The display has become a destination stop in the store. "We're championing their backlist," Lisberg said, "and we can reliably sell new books that they bring out." Along with the chance to introduce customers to "exciting new fiction, humor, and essays" from established and new writers, this initiative "has translated into increased sales of McSweeney's titles," Johnson added.

One such title was Yannick Murphy's Here They Come, published in March of this year and read not only by Johnson and Lisberg but many of their colleagues. "We all loved it," Johnson said, and that in turn "made it really easy to recommend to customers."

McSweeney's is also using the shop to try out new ideas, one of which is the formation of a discussion group called McSweeney's Book Klatch, a program for booksellers. The first meeting of the Book Klatch at the Schwartz store will take place this evening, and Johnson and Lisberg will lead a discussion of Icelander by Dustin Long (who will later answer participants' questions via e-mail). Future events being planned at the store include a screening of the DVD magazine Wholphin, which features short films, documentaries, animation and instructional videos, with local filmmakers in attendance.

As a thank you to all of the booksellers with whom it's worked, McSweeney's recently created and mailed posters featuring the company's logo (a chair) and the message "McSweeney's thanks you." According to Johnson, McSweeney's authors who visit the Downer Avenue store will be asked to sign the poster--which will no doubt be on display as more evidence of a strong bookseller-publisher connection.

Booksellers interested in starting a McSweeney's Book Klatch can contact Heidi Meredith at heidi@mcsweeneys.net for more information.--Shannon McKenna


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