Also published on this date: Monday, March 19, 2018: Maximum Shelf: Sky in the Deep

Shelf Awareness for Monday, March 19, 2018


Freeform: Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, Book Two) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Workman Publishing: Halloween Titles by Various - Click here for more information!

Jackson University Press: The Papaya King by Adam Pelzman

Carolrhoda Books: Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen by Beth Mills

Sharjah Book Authority Publishers Conference October 27th-29th --Register Now!

Little Brown Books For Young Readers: Ping by Ani Castillo

Other Press: Labyrinth by Burhan Sonmez

News

SCIBA Spring Forum: ABA's New 'Year in Bookstore Profitability'

"I lied when I said that everything in here was optional about when you do it in the course of the year," said American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher during the new "A Year in Bookstore Profitability" education session, delivered at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Spring Forum in Los Angeles, Calif., last Friday.

"The first thing is not optional," continued Teicher. "If you are not doing your physical, in-store inventory in the first quarter of the year, you're failing to operate your business properly."

Teicher and ABA senior program officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger took turns giving the presentation, which showcased numerous bookstore best practices in a season-by-season breakdown of the year. The talk covered everything from holidays and literary prizes to the best time to start thinking about employee evaluations and budgeting for the holidays.

Also on the subject of taking inventory, Teicher noted that it can be done in-house or by third-party agencies, and acknowledged that some stores in resort locations prefer to do their inventories in September, after the summer rush ended. He added that the important point was doing inventory at a consistent time each year, preferably after the store has seen the greatest amount of turnover.

Below are a few more takeaways from the presentation, which will be featured at each of the regional spring forums in the upcoming weeks:

  • Teicher reported that from now on, Winter Institute scholarships will open much earlier, so that booksellers will know whether they've received one before general registration opens.

  • Commenting on the closure of many Toys R Us stores around the country, Teicher advised that while the company was not profitable, they were doing a high volume of sales, and booksellers in an area now vacated by Toys R Us may want to look into stocking some toys.

  • Dallanegra-Sanger reported that beginning in May, PBS will launch The Great American Read, a TV series and online voting campaign aimed at finding the country's favorite novel. The campaign will run until October, and Dallanegra-Sanger suggested booksellers keep an eye on it.

  • Dallanegra-Sanger also stressed the importance of annually re-evaluating credit card processing services and insurance providers. Teicher noted that it costs nothing to have a new provider bid on your business, and said: "Don't stay with the same processor just because it was the same processor you've had for the last five years."

  • The ABA suggests the summer as a good time to consider doing annual employee evaluations, and to set aside time to review the store's hiring practices, staff manual, and other staff-related things that are easy to let slip.

  • On the subject of fall literary awards, Dallanegra-Sanger noted that this year, there are four booksellers serving as judges for the National Book Award, and a new category for works in translation will make its debut.

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During the open forum portion of the day, booksellers asked about the feasibility of the ABA providing health insurance for booksellers. Teicher replied that the ABA continues to pay attention to it, but as health-care laws currently stand, the ABA does not have a high enough concentration in any single state to provide health care. He added that though the ABA has explored partnering with other independent business associations to provide healthcare, nothing has come of it as yet.

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Many booksellers at the forum expressed frustration with authors and publishers who insist on featuring Amazon links first, even when they are trying to promote events at independent bookstores. Teicher said that there is no single solution, but if publishers and authors continue to hear about it from indie booksellers again and again, the message will begin to get through.

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Brien McDonald, event director at ReedPOP, talked about a new BookExpo scholarship program conducted in partnership with the regionals called Introduce an Indie. The scholarship is open to any bookseller new to BookExpo and will provide $400 plus hotel stay. Any bookstore employee who has not been to BookExpo before can apply through an online form, and ReedPOP will work with the regionals to select two winners from each region.

McDonald also noted that this year "the show is all about the business of bookselling," and discussed some new initiatives, including a "Booksellers Bookstore" on the show floor featuring cool things from bookstores around the country and new, informal sessions for booksellers to chat with editors.

When asked if BookExpo might ever return to the West Coast or other parts of the country, McDonald said that he didn't think so. But he did say he thought "we can give you more in New York," with better access to publishers and authors. --Alex Mutter


Gallery / Saga Press: The Deep by Rivers Soloman, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes


Bookstore Opening in Morganton, N.C., This Summer

Adventure Bound Books, which aims "to be the premiere independent bookstore for Burke and surrounding counties," plans to open in late summer in Morganton, N.C., and will offer a range of books, book-related gifts and educational items; programming will include author events, "stay-at-home storytime," homeschool happenings, opportunities for book clubs to meet and space for local writers.

According to the Morganton News Herald, owner Angela Shores is opening the business with her husband, Jonathan. They and their two children moved to Morganton in 2010 and have lamented the lack of a bookstore in town for the past several years. "When we moved here, Muses was still open," she said. "But before we had a chance to really get acclimated to the community, they went out of business."

For the last 10 years, Shores has been a college professor (she started a Master's program at Montreat College) and a mental health counselor. In addition, she and her husband produce road races, including 5ks and 10ks. She noted that while she has no retail experience, "getting to know people and relationships and relationship building is not new to me. That's critical when you're going to do something like a bookstore because it's not just about transactional exchanges and here's your book. It's about building relationships with people and knowing what they like and what they're looking for and being able to make recommendations based on who they are and where they're at in their life and who their family is."

Adventure Bound Books had a meet and greet last Friday at the store location, which is currently empty, "to give folks an opportunity to come in and meet us in person," Shores commented. The event featured "ideas, goodies and snacks." On Facebook on Saturday, the store wrote: "We are full of thankfulness and appreciation for all the beautiful people who came to meet us and the fabulous ideas you shared at last night's #MeetAndGreet!"

Adventure Bound Books will be located at 134 N. Sterling St., Morganton, N.C. 28655.


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.19.19


World Editions Expands to U.S.

Founded in 2015 in Amsterdam and London "to bring translated international literature to a global readership" and headed by publishing director Judith Uyterlinde, World Editions has opened an office in New York City. Christine Swedowsky, most recently director of international marketing & sales at Penguin Random House, is U.S. director of World Editions, and Karin Wessel, formerly of Europa Editions, is business development director. World Editions is distributed in the U.S. by Consortium Books Sales & Distribution.

World Editions will launch with 10 titles in the fall; the novels will feature "a distinctive and attractive format with round corners, ideal for book-lovers seeking inspiring new additions to their collections and readers looking to expand their horizons globally." The first titles include Speechless by the Belgian author Tom Lanoye; Craving by Dutch playwright Esther Gerritsen, winner of the Dutch Bookseller Award; You Have Me to Love by Jaap Robben; and Always Another Country by South African writer Sisonke Msimang, whose TED talk on the power of the story was watched more than a million times.

Swedowsky commented: "There are countless books available in 20 or more translations--except English--which sell in the hundreds of thousands worldwide yet remain inaccessible to the American reader. World Editions is hoping to change that, building bridges across cultural divides and fostering international understanding through books."

World Editions was founded as part of the Dutch publisher De Geus. Since 2016, it has been part of the Libella publishing group, led by Vera Michalski, with offices in Switzerland, France and Poland.


Abrams Books for Young Readers: Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (Questioneers) by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts


Rescheduled: ABA/BookExpo Bookseller Finance Session for Publishers

The special education session for publishers about bookstore finances, sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and BookExpo, that was originally scheduled to be held last Tuesday, March 13, was postponed because of bad weather in the Northeast. It will now be held this Thursday, March 22, 9-11:45 a.m.

The session will be held at the Javits Center in New York City, and will be led by David Sandberg, co-owner of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass., and Greg Manns, senior v-p at Industry Insights, the firm the ABA partners with to produce ABACUS reports.

Plans for the session include detailed looks at business models and bookstore finances, featuring data from the most recent ABACUS reports, as well as suggestions for ways publishers can "more effectively interact" with booksellers at this year's BookExpo. Publishers and others interested in attending the session should contact BookExpo event director Brien McDonald via e-mail or by phone at 203-921-7628.


MPIBA Booksellers! Click now and sign up for your free holiday gift guides>


Obituary Note: Val Mulkerns

Author Val Mulkerns, "a unique figure in the world of Irish literature," died March 10, the Guardian reported, noting that "very few women, let alone young ones, played any sort of role in literary, academic or public life in the Ireland of the 1950s, but she thrived and enjoyed success." Mulkerns was 93.

Her first novel, A Time Outworn (1951), was published in London when she was 26. From 1952 to 1954 she was an associate editor of Ireland's most important and radical literary periodical, The Bell, befriending writers, including its founder, Seán O'Faoláin, its editor, Peadar O'Donnell, and the literary editor David Marcus.

Her books include Friends with the Enemy; Memory and Desire; Very Like a Whale; A Peacock Cry; and Antiquities.

"A feminist before her time--although she resisted all labels--Val was the last of the courageous generation of writers who wrote against the establishment in the days when new Irish fiction, far from being nurtured, was frequently reviled and banned in its homeland," the Guardian wrote.


Amulet Books: In the Hall with the Knife: A Clue Mystery, Book One by Diana Peterfreund


Notes

Image of the Day: Cork Dork

On Friday, author Bianca Bosker, author of Cork Dork (Penguin), was in Northern California's wine country and stopped in at Sonoma's Readers' Books for a book signing and lesson in wine tasting.


Happy 25th Birthday, Island Books!

Congratulations to Island Books, Middletown, R.I., which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week (starting this past Saturday and through Sunday, March 25), with a 25% discount on 100 staff favorites (through the end of the month), 25% discount on any book in the store or $25 off a purchase of $100 or more. There will also be daily raffles, refreshments and some giveaways throughout the week.

In the store's newsletter and on its website, Island Books owner and founder Judy Crosby wrote in part: "I have been blessed over these years to have the best booksellers around on my team and all for many years. Today Mimi keeps the store looking beautiful and well put together all the time, and picks out the best selection of greeting cards around. Nancy receives the books as they come in (a never-ending task), gets them out on the shelves for you to find, and selects the best books out there for our bargain table. Pat manages our incomparable local section, helps me in myriad ways behind the scenes to run a ship-shape shop and is a pro at finding you that perfect book. Rita has been a joy to work with... always going the extra mile to make you all feel right at home--we will miss her as she and her husband truly retire. And, last but not least, Sally makes me look good and sound smart week after week in this newsletter--it would not get done if left to me to do! A good bookstore has good books, but a great one has extraordinary booksellers! I am grateful to my team!

"You, our customers--what can I say but thank you, thank you thank you. Without you and your support over these 25 years we would not have survived the challenges we've faced in this business, and because of you we have truly thrived! I am extremely grateful for your loyalty and your business--you reinforce my belief that an independent bookstore is an important part of any community."


Bookshop Chalkboard of the Day: Sundog Books

"We may not be in Paris, but Hemingway’s quote sure rings true for Seaside in the spring!" Sundog Books, Seaside, Fla., noted in sharing a photo on Facebook of the shop's entryway chalkboard, which reads:

"When the spring came, there were no problems except where to be happiest."

Personnel Changes at Crown Publishing Group

At the Crown Publishing Group:

Diana Baroni has been promoted to v-p, associate publisher, editorial director, Harmony and Rodale Books. She was formerly v-p, editorial director for Harmony.

Following the January purchase by Penguin Random House of the book assets of Rodale Books, Crown has hired some former Rodale Books employees:

Gail Gonzales is now v-p, director, publishing strategy, Harmony, Rodale Books, and Clarkson Potter.

Dervla Kelly is now senior editor, Rodale Books and Ten Speed Press

Brianne Sperber is now senior marketing manager, Harmony and Rodale Books.

Holly Smith is now senior digital marketer.

Danielle Curtis is now editorial assistant, Harmony and Rodale Books.

Separate from the Rodale acquisition, Shauna Barry has joined the Harmony and Rodale Books team as a marketing assistant.
 
Courtney Mocklow has joined the publicity department as a publicity assistant.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jonathan Weisman on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Jonathan Weisman, author of (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250169938).

The Real: Val Chmerkovskiy, author of I'll Never Change My Name: An Immigrant's American Dream from Ukraine to the USA to Dancing with the Stars (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062820471).

Rachael Ray: Max Lugavere, co-author of Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life (Harper Wave, $27.99, 9780062562852).

Daily Show: Mitch Landrieu, author of In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History (Viking, $25, 9780525559443).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage: A Novel (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616208776).

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Katie Nicholl, author of Harry: Life, Loss, and Love (Hachette Books, $27, 9781602865266).

Fox & Friends: Mark Penn, co-author of Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781501179914). He will also appear on Fox Business's Mornings with Maria.

Dr. Oz: Naomi Whittel, author of Glow15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9781328897671).

The View: Charlotte Pence, author of Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President (Regnery Kids, $18.99, 9781621577768).

Watch What Happens Live: Erika Jayne, author of Pretty Mess (Gallery, $27, 9781501181894). She will also appear on Wendy Williams.


The Filming of The Art of Racing in the Rain

Finally, it appears that filming of The Art of Racing in the Rain, based on the bestseller by Garth Stein, will begin in April. For Fox 2000 Pictures, with Simon Curtis (Goodbye Christopher Robin) directing, Neal Moritz, Tania Landau and Patrick Dempsey (yes, McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy) producing, and starring Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls, This Is Us) as Denny. Here's a clip from this weekend's IMSA Sebring race, where they did some racing recon in preparation for the movie. No word yet, on who will play Denny's wife, Eve, or daughter Zoë. Shelf Awareness publisher Jenn Risko (who, with her daughter, Lily, stars as them in this trailer of the book) says, "I'm simply shocked that Hollywood has yet to call."



Books & Authors

Awards: Jhalak Winner; LBF International Excellence

Reni Eddo-Lodge won the £1,000 (about $1,390) Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour, which celebrates works by British/British resident BAME authors, for Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury Circus). This year's winner also received a trophy designed by ceramics artist Chris Bramble and made possible by the support of novelist Dorothy Koomson.

Sunny Singh, Jhalak Prize co-founder and judging panel chair, commented: "The final decision was very difficult and we went back and forth right to the end. The entire shortlist is so extraordinary that any and all of them are deserving winners. But Reni Eddo-Lodge's Why I 'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race stood as an essential for Britain today."

Judge Vera Chok commended the book's "balance between important social impact and personal account." Catherine Johnson said: "Reni's is the book I want to put in everyone's hand right now. It's as simple as that. What a timely and important read."

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Among the many businesses and individuals shortlisted for the London Book Fair's 2018 International Excellence Awards, the Bookstore of the Year finalists are:

Carturesti (Romania)
Timbooktoo (Gambia)
The Uppsala English Bookshop (Sweden)


Book Review

Review: The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison (Little, Brown, $30 hardcover, 544p., 9780316259613, April 3, 2018)

The recovery memoir has been a genre unto itself since James Frey's controversial bestseller A Million Little Pieces hit shelves in 2003. Some of the heaviest hitters include Mary Karr's Lit, Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking and Augusten Burroughs's Dry, and they follow similar arcs: a slippery slope of intoxication snowballs into a tailspin toward rock bottom, where the author gathers support to choose sobriety and pull her life back together. The goal isn't perfection, it's stability.

While Leslie Jamison is on very much the same journey in The Recovering, her scope is significantly broader. Uninterested in telling her own story as if it occurs in a vacuum, she draws together several others', as well as their contributing social forces. What does it mean to be a white woman struggling with addiction? What does it mean for a writer to be an alcoholic? The result is a staggering investigation into cultural assumptions about addicts, and a necessary critique of a literary scene that idolizes the drunken genius.

In her essay collection, The Empathy Exams, Jamison more than proved herself as an incisive witness to the complicated, messy lives people lead. Her blend of reportage and personal insight, in the tradition of Joan Didion, is on full display here. At the Iowa Writers' Workshop, "I spent my days reading dead drunk poets and my nights trying to sleep with live ones." As her life spirals into dark places, Jamison contends with the legacies of other literary lushes.

Charles Jackson with The Lost Weekend and John Berryman with The Dream Songs--these men, among many others, garnered reverence for their vices. Meanwhile, women such as Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea) and Billie Holiday (Lady Sings the Blues) drew only scorn for theirs. "Dogged by the justice system's double standards all her life," Jamison notes about Holiday, "she wasn't granted the same unfettered access to the same addict mythologies as windblown Berryman."

Moreover, Jamison digs into Bill Wilson's history and the 12-step program he spawned. Alcoholics Anonymous becomes a touchstone for her, although like many a writer, she balks at its reliance on truisms to offer hope. "Perhaps this resistance to cliché was just one symptom of my refusal to accept the commonality of my own interior life." Later, however, when challenged during her dissertation to present a case for addiction as a creative force, she breaks through to something fresh: "Thinking of addiction in terms of generative variation is the luxury of someone who hasn't spent years telling the same lies to liquor-store clerks."

At times, the book gets mired in overly repetitive dramas with thinly drawn boyfriends, but perhaps even here readers can gain insight into how everything else pales in comparison when the alcoholic needs another drink. More than most, The Recovering focuses on the aftermath--the frustrating realities and surprising joys of staying sober. And in this way, it ultimately transcends the genre. Instead of shaping her story into a predictable arc, Jamison emphasizes the perennial nature of recovery. Stability is indeed a humble, messy persistence within a culture that craves simple narratives about addiction and sobriety, genius and madness. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

Shelf Talker: Empathetic and unflinching, The Recovering offers a refreshing antidote to narratives that would marry substance abuse to creativity.


AuthorBuzz: Revell: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels
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