Shelf Awareness for Monday, September 12, 2005

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves


Hurricane Katrina: Costs

Hurricane Katrina has hit Books-A-Million, most of whose 207 stores are in the South, in the pocket book.

BAM temporarily closed "approximately 15 stores" for two to 10 days and had "significant" sales decreases at stores that stayed open based on a comparison to the same period last year. As a result, the company has lowered its earnings guidance for the third quarter and full fiscal year. It estimated that earnings in the quarter will be a net loss of between six and nine cents a share rather than the previously estimated one to three cents a share. For the full year, net earnings are estimated at 68 to 71 cents a share rather than 73 to 77 cents a share.

BAM president and CEO Sandra B. Cochran said that many company employees were "personally affected by the storm and its aftermath. We are going to do all we can to get them aid and back to work as soon as possible." In addition, the company is raising funds in stores for the Salvation Army to provide aid to victims of the hurricane.


Barnes & Noble's Carolyn Brown told Shelf Awareness that "a number of our stores in the Gulf Coast have been affected and we are still assessing the damage. Right now our main concern is the safety of our booksellers in that area, and we are working around the clock to assist them in any way that we can."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Hurricane Katrina: More Relief Efforts

A range of bookstores across the country are raising money in a variety of ways to benefit groups.

For example, Windows a Bookshop, Monroe, La., sponsors an American Girls Club that has moved up its annual food drive, which benefits the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. The Food Bank has been helping feed the many refugees in the area and has put out an emergency call, according to Windows's Elisabeth Grant-Gibson. Club members have been seeking donations, which will be dropped off at the store.

The current Bookselling This Week offers many other examples of booksellers and others helping victims of the storm.


Some have focused on helping book people and organizations hurt directly by the storm. One of the most notable: Michele Lewis whose home and Afro Bookstop in New Orleans were destroyed. Lewis wrote to Bev Robinson that "one of the things I will miss most is the book collection I had, so if you could send me a good book or two I would really appreciate that." Her e-mail is being forwarded through the industry; Lewis's address is 6201 Bert Kouns Loop Lot #309, Shreveport, La. 71129.

In a similar vein, Toni Causey in Baton Rouge, La., is reportedly distributing books to shelters in the area, including the Baton Rouge River Center. Write for more information.

The Louisiana Library Association is coordinating a similar effort and may be contacted at

In the Houston area, two women have organized a book collection drive for the thousands of people in the Astrodome and are using Borders and Waldenbooks locations as drop spots. Operation Books for Refugees from Katrina may be contacted care of Borders, 3025 Kirby, Houston, Tex. 77098; 713-524-0200.

Warren Cassell, former longtime owner of Just Books in Greenwich, Conn., and now a part-time bookseller at Broadway Books in Portland, Ore., suggested that booksellers send galleys in addition to books.


Pelican Publishing, located in Gretna, across the Mississippi from New Orleans, has fared better than expected. According to an e-mail to the Southeast Booksellers Association from Southeast sales manager Frank McGuire, damage wasn't "that bad," most of the staff is safely located and owner Dr. Milburn Calhoun is determined to rebuild the company. "We can't say exactly when Pelican can resume operations since so much depends on infrastructure."

The company is operating through its Web site and can be reached at 504-717-4131 or 770-535-6845. Pelican has formally thanked "everyone in the bookselling and publishing community who has shown concern and support for us dealing with hurricane Katrina. We ourselves are concerned about our many authors in the region and our retail and wholesaling partners; these are not only our business associates but our friends. We hope they, their families, and loved ones are safe."

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Bookselling Notes: Stores, Mags, ISBN-13

The Chronicle of Higher Education makes the argument that "used bookshops are as essential to scholarship as the availability of open stacks in campus libraries. "

At the same time, the Columbia Spectator notes that the Last Word, a 12-year-old used bookstore near the Columbia campus in New York City, is closing its storefront, although owners Dondi and Karen Clark will continue to sell on the Internet from their Long Island City warehouse. In recent years, Internet sales came to represent 60% of Last Word's sales.

Morningside Books, another used bookstore in the area, said that students have replaced many of the long-time residents in the neighborhood. Perhaps reflecting their online buying approach and time constraints, they tend not to browse and come into the store looking for a particular book.


The winner of the top prize at the Venice Film Festival was Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. About the love between two gay cowboys in the West in the 1960s, the film is based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx, which will be released in a tie-edition in November (Scribner, $9.95, 0743271327). Larry McMurtry was one of the two screenwriters; Brokeback Mountain will be released late this year.


A federal judge in Bridgeport, Conn., has lifted a gag order that kept a local library from revealing that the FBI is trying to obtain the records of one of its customers. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression said that the judge ruled on Friday that the gag order violated the librarian's First Amendment right to participate in the current debate over the re-authorization of the USA Patriot Act and did not pose a danger of exposing the FBI's counter-terrorism investigation. Still, another judge has temporarily stayed the order, allowing the government to appeal.

The case came to light in August when the ACLU challenged a national security letter that had been issued to the librarian to obtain records of a patron's use of the Internet during a visit to the library.


Yvonne Russell, the business travel editor of BellaOnline: The Voice of Women, offers a love letter to Barefoot Books in Cambridge, Mass., which she calls "children's book heaven masquerading as a bookstore." The store features titles and artwork by publisher Barefoot Books.


Scan and register this. On Thursday, September 15, at 2 p.m. EDT,  the Book Industry Study Group is holding another Webinar on the transition to the 13-digit ISBN
. The combined conference call/Web presentation costs $35 and will cover all the basics. Previous such Webinars have drawn hundreds of participants. For more information, go to BISG's Web site.


Chris Dismukes has been appointed director of sales for Ingram Periodicals, the direct magazine distributor to booksellers and specialty retailers. He was formerly national accounts manager for Comag Marketing Group (the old Hearst Distribution Group), where he started nine years ago as territory sales manager.


The Plymouth Observer noted the opening last month of the Book Cellar & Café in downtown Plymouth, Mich. Continuing a trend that seems to be growing, the store is owned by people from outside the book business, in this case, a chiropractor and GM engineer.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

The Great Lakes Book Award Winners

Congratulations! The winners of this year's Great Lakes Book Awards are:

  • In fiction: An Unfinished Season by Ward Just (Houghton Mifflin)
    General: Bound for Canaan by Fergus M. Bordewich (Amistad/Harper Collins)
    Mystery/Intrigue: Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's)
    Children's: Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House)

The awards, recognizing "excellence in the writing and publishing of books that capture the spirit and enhance awareness of the Great Lakes region," will be presented at a luncheon on Friday, September 30, during the GLBA fall trade show in Rosemont, Ill. Winners will receive $500 and an award designed and produced by Pewabic Pottery, a Detroit maker of art tiles, ceramics and glazes. Winning titles are also featured in the association's holiday catalogue, From Our Shelves to Yours: Books for Giving.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: 'Softcover' Dr. Phil

Step by step, Dr. Phil McGraw is making the rounds of talk shows this week on the occasion of the paperback publication of Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family (Free Press, $15, 074327377X) and The Family First Workbook: Specific Tools, Strategies, and Skills for Creating a Phenomenal Family (Free Press, $13.95, 0743280733). Today he appears on the Early Show, the View and the Late Show with David Letterman.


This morning Imus in the Morning declaims with Caroline Kennedy. Her new book, A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Hyperion, $19.95, 0786851112), consists of her family's favorite poems with introductions. Official pub date is Wednesday.


This morning the Early Show hooks up with Sabrina Weill whose new book is The Real Truth About Teens & Sex: From Hooking Up to Friends with Benefits--What Teens Are Thinking, Doing, and Talking About, and How to Help Them Make Smart Choices (Perigee, $23.95, 039953198X).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show, Chris Roberts, author of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme (Gotham, $25, 1592401309), gracefully tosses around a few ideas.


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:

  • George Saunders, whose new allegorical novella is The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (Riverhead, $13, 1594481520)
  • Brian Murphy, author of The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery, and Lore of the Persian Carpet (S&S, $25, 0743264193)


Tonight Charlie Rose quizzes Chris Whittle, founder and CEO of the Edison Schools and author of Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education (Riverhead, $24.95, 1594489025).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 1

The following are a few major titles appearing next week. We'll have more titles tomorrow.

Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown, $24.95, 0316073024) is the tenth entry in the Easy Rawlins series. Easy's daughter is sick with a mysterious illness that requires a Swiss clinic and $35,000 to cure. To raise the funds, Easy takes a missing persons case: his employer puts him on the trail of a wealthy eccentric lawyer and the lawyer's exotic lover, a girl known as . . . Cinnamon.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate: The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375422994) is the second book in the Sunday Philosophy Club series. Isabel Dalhousie meets a man who recently underwent a heart transplant and seems to be remembering things he has never experienced. Her curiosity drives her to uncover this and other mysteries, against the warnings of Grace, the no-nonsense housekeeper.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Morrow, $26.95, 006051518X). Charlie, a discontent workaholic, discovers his dead father was a human form of Anansi, the African trickster god, and that Spider, Charlie's brother, inherited some of their father's godlike abilities. Spider visits Charlie and turns his normal disgruntled world on its head--in a bad way.

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