Shelf Awareness for Friday, April 1, 2016


Aladdin Paperbacks: Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8) by Shannan Messenger

Flatiron Books: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Sleeping Bear Press: Back Roads, Country Toads by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers

St. Martin's Griffin: The Truth about Magic: Poems by Atticus

Tor Teen: This Light Between Us: A Novel of World War II by Andrew Fukuda

St. Martin's Press: Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer

For Fun

Coloring Books to Fill in 80% of Book Trade Sales

With the soaring growth in coloring book sales--jumping to 12 million units in 2015 from one million units in 2014--industry experts are predicting that coloring books could make up as much as 80% of the total book trade by 2020. This will have consequences as far-reaching as those predicted five years ago when the industry was about to become all-digital.

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"A small subset of people may keep conventional books around for sentimental reasons, or for the sake of displaying them on their bookshelves, but the average book buyer will consume only coloring books," concluded a recently published Book Industry Study Group report. Conventional books may also assume a role something like the current status of vinyl records in the music industry--enjoyed and in some cases preferred by enthusiasts, but impractical and not used by the average consumer.

In order to stay relevant, bricks-and-mortar stores will have to dedicate an increasingly large amount of retail space to coloring books, as well as colored pencils, markers and crayons, and remove increasingly unnecessary sections like literature, poetry and history. The traditional author event as we know it may go extinct, replaced by group coloring sessions.

The implications of the coloring book craze are making some book people see red. "I thought it was neat at first," said one independent bookseller, who wished to remain anonymous. "The Game of Thrones coloring book made a fun Christmas gift. But this is too much."

In yet another sign of how coloring books are changing the industry, F+W is redrawing Digital Book World. As of next year, it will be called Coloring Book World and have all the "panels, roundtable discussions and networking opportunities that publishers need to survive and thrive in the coloring revolution." --Alex Mutter


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters


Perseus Sale Off Again...No, Wait, On Again...Done!

In a startling development, earlier this week, the two deals whereby Perseus Books Group was to sell its publishing operations to Hachette Book Group and its distribution business to Ingram Content Group collapsed.

Less than two years ago, a similar deal, under which Perseus was to sell all of its operations to Hachette, which would then sell the distribution business to Ingram, also collapsed.

But yesterday, a third deal was reached, and the Perseus-Ingram component was completed within hours. The Hachette closing is expected as early as today.

Perseus CEO David Steinberger confirmed the rollercoaster series of events, saying that while the 2014 deal fell apart because it was "too complex," the second deal, announced early in March, collapsed because it was "too simple." He explained: "After all the turmoil of the earlier deal, the second deal seemed unearned, like a promising novel that has an abrupt, pat ending." But then, he continued, all sides realized that the two failed deals had "covered all the bases" and it was "time to get the damn thing done."

Hachette Livre chairman and CEO Arnaud Nourry confirmed Steinberger's account, although in different terms, saying, "In 2014, our pursuit of Perseus was a complicated frolic à trois whose bittersweet end made us yearn all the more for a consummation of the deal. But then we had a situation where if we simply paid a certain amount, then all that we desired was ours. Trop facile!" But Hachette, too, rereconsidered and will soon be the proud owner of Perseus's publishing operations.

For his part, John Ingram, CEO of Ingram Content Group, said, "Third time's the charm! Only a few days ago, we were licking our wounds again, but in our heart of hearts, we knew the end was at hand."

Steinberger added that he's relieved Perseus no longer has to do what it's done for the past couple of years: "work hard for our clients and publishers and reassure staff that they have jobs--for the time being." --John Mutter


Andrews McMeel Publishing: Zweihander Grim & Perilous Rpg: Player's Handbook by Daniel D Fox


Patterson to Acquire Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Author James Patterson is in "late stage negotiations" to purchase Joseph-Beth Booksellers, which operates five bookstores in Kentucky and Ohio. A source with direct knowledge of the talks told Shelf Awareness that Patterson, who has donated millions of dollars in recent years to independent bookstores, frontline booksellers and libraries, "caught the bookselling fever" and decided to become more actively involved in the retail side of the book trade. He plans to change the name to James-Beth Booksellers, honoring both its old and new incarnations.

According to the source, Patterson's decision was in part inspired by other writers who have made the successful transition from bestselling author to indie bookstore owner--and gotten excellent press attention--including Jeff Kinney of An Unlikely Story in Plainville, Mass.; Ann Patchett of  Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn.; Louise Erdrich of Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, Minn.; and Garrison Keillor of Common Good Books in St. Paul.

Patterson's move into retail may also be influenced by his own personal book inventory, which includes  more than 150 titles (most with co-writers), as well as the children's imprint JIMMY Patterson and the recently announced BookShots, "a new line of short novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting." A James Patterson aisle is not out of the realm of possibility. --Robert Gray


Chronicle Books: Redwood and Ponytail by KA Holt


Targeting Toddlers: NRA Expands Children's Book Program

Granny's got a gun.

The National Rifle Association's reimagined Brothers Grimm fairy tales--"Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun)" and "Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns)," published online earlier this year--have been so successful that the gun organization is expanding the program to include a range of full-length children's book classics retold in a way more suitable for 21st century America.

Upcoming titles, with NRA catalogue copy, include:

  • Little Ammo Shop on the Prairie ("a cozy, modern-day family of weaponry")
  • James and the Giant Pistol ("better than vegetables of any size")
  • Harold and the Purple Claymore ("when drawing becomes explosive fun")
  • Harriet the Armed Spy ("people are more forthcoming when you're packing")
  • Make Way for Duck Hunters ("time to do something about those damn traffic blockers")
  • Charlie and the Shotgun Factory ("more powerful than anything derived from the cocoa bean")

"Lots of other title ideas have been shot down," said NRA executive v-p Wayne LaPierre. "But these are the ones that hit the bull's-eye." He added that, as a newly minted publisher, he's looking forward to attending his first BEA--although with a bit of trepidation. "We really don't expect any trouble from the generally pinko book world, but rest assured," he said, winking. "We'll be prepared for any eventuality." --John Mutter


New Press: Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America by Erik Nelson and Andrea Dennis, foreword by Killer Mike


Abracadabra: Amazon Seeks to Re-Join PNBA

After opening Amazon Books, its first bricks-and-mortar bookstore, in Seattle last fall, Amazon is looking to renew its long-lapsed membership in the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association.

According to highly placed sources, Amazon wants to rejoin PNBA at the 1995 membership rate of $40, when it was last a confirmed member. It also is demanding a discount on the $40 because of having just one bricks-and-mortar location, arguing that it shouldn't have to pay as much as area "behemoths" like University Bookstore, which has eight stores in Seattle and nearby, and Third Place Books, soon to open its third store in Seattle.

"It's bad enough that near-monopolist indie stores surround our lone outpost," an Amazon spokesperson said. "But effectually subsidizing their memberships is over the top."

Apparently this isn't the first time Amazon has sought special deals: in 1995, the company, originally known as Cadabra, changed its specialty for PNBA to general bookstore from mail-order bookstore in the belief that having status as a full bookstore would give it more leverage to demand a discount on dues.


Guest Editorial: 'I'm Not Saying We Should Burn Books, But…'

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A guest editorial by presidential candidate Donald Trump:

First of all, I have to say, book burning is terrible, okay? I don't support book burning. I'm totally opposed to it. But some in our country, they want to burn books. And can you blame them? I mean it, folks. Have you seen some of these books? They're disgraceful, a lot of them. Really disgusting stuff. I'm not talking about The Art of the Deal. It's a book for all time. It's bigger than the Bible--bigger than anything! But the other books. They have so many lies. And they're not writing about Trump, unfortunately. So they're not very interesting. So maybe they should be burned, but I would never burn them. If other people want to burn them, that's okay. I would support that, I have to say. They can even burn them at my rallies. I would pay for the matches. But I'm against it. I'm against book burning.

You know, it's very politically correct to say we shouldn't burn books. But we have to stop with political correctness. It's killing our country. If we burn a few books, maybe it's good for the country. Have you seen the flames on those piles? It's a beautiful sight. People say, "Why won't you disavow it?" I disavow. Okay? I don't support burning books. But I'd like to see how high a stack of books could burn at my rally in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Bring as many books as you can. I'm not saying you should have a book burning, you understand. I'm just saying light the suckers on fire. It's time to take a stand against political correctness.

I have many great friends who are authors, and some of them--not all--have called me and said, "Thank you for saying what no one else had the courage to say. We need to burn some books." That's not me saying it, it's them. They want to see their books burned--they'll be relieved, quite frankly. Because they know it will be good for the country.

Many people at my rallies have tremendous passion and love for this country, a love for burning books, and they're very angry when they see what's going on in this country. When was the last time you saw a good book burning? We don't burn books anymore. It's sad. Another great part of America that we don't have anymore. A raging book fire is a beautiful thing in many respects. But I certainly don't condone it. I only ask that you bring as many books as you have, some of the really bad ones, to Pittsburgh on Saturday or Wisconsin this weekend or Connecticut in a couple of weeks when I'll be there. And let's light the night on fire. Burn 'em! Burn 'em! Burn 'em! I'd like to see that. Let's make our country great again by burning the crap out of a whole lot of books. I won't be a part of it, but if people want to do it, who am I to stop them?

Please, go out there and torch some books, which again I have come out very strongly against, let me be very clear about that.

--Scott Dikkers

Scott Dikkers, author of Trump's America: The Complete Loser's Guide (Micro Publishing Media, distributed by IPG), is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author who founded the TheOnion.com and served as its owner and editor-in-chief for much of the last 28 years. He's the recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, a Peabody and more than 30 Webby Awards.


'Alexa, What Do Books Smell Like?'

Amazon's Alexa Voice Service, which the company describes as "always getting smarter and adding new features and skills," will make a dramatic sensory leap next year with the recent acquisition of Scentee, a Japanese company that markets a "groundbreaking olfactory device" called Balloon, which attaches to the headphone jack of a smartphone and sprays scents-on-demand, including strawberry and coffee. According to industry sources, Amazon plans use Scentee's technology to create "virtual aromatherapy immersion" for Amazon Echo. This will enable the device to "fill a room with immersive, 360º omni-directional scent." A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment. --Robert Gray


Great Leaf Forward: China Founds Booksellers School

After "borrowing" five publishers and booksellers from Hong Kong to impress upon them the concept that any books critical of the country's leadership and Communist Party must have been "fabricated," the People's Republic of China has decided to formalize and expand its efforts to improve book retailing standards by founding a booksellers school.

The Great Leaf Forward Booksellers School will be located in Inner Mongolia at the site of a former Cultural Revolution reeducation camp. The first order of business, according to the school warden, is to freshen up the long-abandoned school buildings, including painting over blood stains and removing stray skulls.

In contrast to some Western booksellers schools, whose programs last only a day or two, the new Chinese booksellers school will have an extended calendar whose length will be flexible, depending upon the amount of time and encouragement students need to master the subject matter. "We are very patient," a government spokesperson said.

The school's curriculum will include group self-criticism sessions and an emphasis on dealing with the physical challenges inherent in bookselling. Through boulder smashing, railroad construction and coal mining, school graduates, if they survive, should be able to lift any box of books, no matter how heavy.

Tuition, room and board will be free, courtesy of the state. Travel costs are included and feature middle-of-the-night pickups and flights on unmarked planes.


Image of the Day: A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

To promote National Geographic Kids Books' Real or Fake, the publisher's publicity and marketing team mailed out a bunch of coconuts to media and influential bookstores.
 
Apparently the United State Post Office views coconuts as a "self-contained unit," and will accept the fruit for mailing with proper postage affixed. One store posted this video of booksellers making use of the gift.
 

Cash Mob Makes Offer Bookstore Can't Refuse

What began last Saturday as a show of community support for Bailey's Book Shoppe in West Surrey, N.J., devolved into a buying frenzy when a cash mob event went rogue, resulting in the unintended sale of the business and unplanned retirement of longtime owner Carl Bailey, the NorthJersey Bulletin reported.

The promotion, which had been set up by a new area organization called Families Shop Local, strongly encouraged West Surrey citizens to spend at least $50 at the bookstore, and dozens of customers jammed the aisles during the first two hours. "We couldn't have asked for a better morning. Then it got weird," said Bailey in an e-mail response from an undisclosed location.

New owners of Bailey's Book Shoppe

Shortly before noon, he noticed three large men in dark suits browsing the sports section. "They seemed a little out of their element, so I asked if they needed assistance. One of them said his boss was the head of Families Shop Local, which--and I didn't know this--also raises money through a distributorship that wholesales books at less than cost. When I asked how that was possible, he made a joke about how perfectly good inventory sometimes just falls off trucks."

At this point, with the store still crowded, the man handed a mobile phone to the bookseller and said a "Mr. C." wanted to have a word. "It all happened so fast," Bailey recalled. "He made me a cash offer on the spot for the building, fixtures and inventory. It wasn't a great deal, but he said 'it would be a shame' if I turned him down. I tried to negotiate, but this Mr. C. insisted I just take the money. 'It's not personal,' he told me. 'It's strictly business.' "

Families Shop Local did not respond to a request for comment. --Robert Gray


Pop-Up Bookshop at NYC's Museum of Sex

The Museum of Sex in New York City has come to the rescue of an Oxfam charity bookshop in Swansea, South Wales that was inundated with so many donated used copies of E.L James's Fifty Shades of Grey they had started "begging women to stop bringing them in" and "built a fort out of them."

photo: Goldstone Books

Katherine Eilbeck, deputy manager of the shop, said the copies at her store represent just a fraction of the "thousands" being warehoused for charity shops in the area. "They have built up an amazing amount. So many that I really wouldn't like to say how many, but a lot."

MoSex is currently making arrangements to have a substantial number of them shipped to the U.S., where renowned book artist Clayre Jones will create an installation that is at once a statement on "mass market sexuality" as well as an interactive Fifty Shades of Grey pop-up "bookstore," where visitors can pick up a copy stamped with the official MoSex logo and make a donation to Oxfam or the museum.

A spokesperson for the museum said, "With millions of copies of the Fifty Shades trilogy out there in circulation--or no longer circulating, as the case may be--it's possible this 'bookshop' could become part of our permanent collection." --Robert Gray


Cereal Comma: Oxford Dictionaries' Innovative Words

The editors at Oxford Dictionaries have weighed in with some new words today, noting that social media continues to be a "catalyst for linguistic innovation," as Oxford lexicographer Richard Snary put it. Among the newly acknowledged words:

Autocorreck. verb. Cause to contain mistakes by means of an autocorrect or autocomplete function: "I wrote a great text to her, but 'love' was autocorrecked to 'move.' " [Blend of autocorrect and wreck]

Instayam. noun. A Thanksgiving photograph shared on social media: "Before we ate, we had to send an Instayam." [blend of Instagram and yam]

Leo. verb. To achieve something after years of trying: "I feel like I've Leoed this morning; I finally passed my driving test." [from Leonardo DiCaprio, who won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Actor after six unsuccessful nominations.]

For more entries, click here.


Easy Bookup: New App for Book Matches

In the spirit of spring, Quirk Books is launching an app allowing readers to find their perfect book match. Called Binder (pronounced BIN-der, rhyming with cinder), the app aims to allow readers to stop "cruising bookstores" and is simple to use: "If you're interested in connecting with a book on Binder, then just anonymously Swipe right to Like it; or Swipe left to Pass. (Remember: R to L or L to P.) If the book likes you back, then it's a match! You're set for some happy reading--for a lifetime, or maybe just for the night. We won't tell! Every book and person on Binder is real, probably, and has been authenticated through Bookface, the social network for books."

Already some users have been wildly satisfied. Bookluvva commented: "I was new to the city and didn't know ANY bookstores. Binder helped me find the perfect book. We're still together today! Though we only met yesterday."


Awards: Mansbach Redacted Book Title

Sarah Knight has won the inaugural Adam Mansbach Redacted Book Title Prize, which honors the best use of asterisks in an obscenity-laced book title, for The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like. The judges praised the winner for its "creative and discreet new twist on traditional phrasing."

The award was founded to honor Adam Mansbach, whose 2011 mega-bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep (illustrated by Ricardo Cortés) set a new standard in the growing field of masked obscenities in book titles. The other shortlisted titles were F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems by Michael Bennett & Sarah Bennett; and Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said: Wit & Wisdom from America's Finest by Dan Caddy. --Robert Gray



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