Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Quotation of the Day
Bookselling Notes: Buys, Bundling, Basketball
Who said the Internet contributes to the
commoditization of books?
Buy.com said yesterday that it would offer
in-stock books at 10% off Amazon.com prices, effective immediately
through the end of the year. The company already offers free shipping
on book orders over $25. President Neel Grover said that Buy.com is
considering making the promotion "a permanent fixture" since it will
make Buy.com "one of the 'must check' sites before any final buying
decision is made."
As if anyone might be confused, the
release specified that Amazon.com is "not an affiliate, partner or
sponsor of Buy.com."
Split at the top. The independent directors of Ottakar's are supporting the 440 pence-a-share bid of HMV, owner of Waterstone's, to buy the U.K. bookstore chain. Ottakar's founder-managers James Heneage and Philip Dunne are also trying to buy the company; their recent offer was for four pounds a share. The Times Online reported today that the independent directors had waited for anti-competition clarification and this announcement "strongly suggests they received the reassurances they had sought."
Yesterday, the first trading day after Books-A-Million said it was lowering earnings estimates because of Hurricane Katrina, the company's stock closed at $9.60 a share, down 4% on a flat day on Wall Street.
In appropriate picture book format, a forthcoming book, written up in today's New York Times, tells the curious, fascinating story about how the creators of Curious George, both German Jews, were able to escape the Nazis. The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden (Houghton Mifflin, $17, 0618339248) appears September 26. The Reys' Brazilian citizenship (a story in itself) helped them obtain the visas they needed in 1940.
The board of trustees of the National Association of College Stores has issued two policy statements addressing aspects of the current heated debate about textbook prices. As CM Bulletin noted, one statement "encourages publishers to provide faculty and stores the opportunity to acquire reasonably priced individual components of bundles for adoption and resale." This would help address students' complaints that "bundles cost more than textbooks alone; bundles are not effectively used in classes; bundles are not easily resold during buyback; and bundles eliminate students' options to purchase items individually."
The other statement noted that NACS does not support new legislation that would require and dictate when and how schools and college stores supply textbook adoption information. Among particulars: it does not want information to be released prematurely, when it may be inaccurate, and it does not approve of efforts to encourage students to buy from online and out-of-state retailers first.
Fulcrum Publishing has warmed up for the fall regionals with an unusual contest: booksellers at each of the six regional booksellers association the Golden, Colo., is attending can win four tickets to an NBA game of their choice (worth $200). Interested booksellers must dribble to the Fulcrum booth, hear a brief pep talk on the company's fall titles and then go out and sell the most Fulcrum titles in the next 30 days based on orders shipped less returns.
The first regional, PNBA, is already past, but the other five regionals Fulcrum will attend--NEBA, MPBA, MBA, NCIBA and NAIBA--are still open dates on the schedule. For more information, contact v-p Mike Dyer at 303-277-1623 ext. 242 or Mike@fulcrumbooks.com.---
The ABA has more details about its first Winter Educational Institute, which will be held Thursday and Friday, January 26-27, in Long Beach, Calif. Free to all ABA member bookstore owners and staff, the Institute includes all ABA programming from June's BEA and several new sessions. For a program, registration and more information, go to the ABA's Web site.
The booksellers hotel at BEA in Washington, D.C., May 17-21, will be the Doubletree Crystal City in Arlington, Va., minutes by Metro or cab and bus from downtown Washington.
The fourth annual such hotel,
sponsored by the ABA, costs
$129 per night and includes a hospitality suite, receptions each
pillow drops every night, a dedicated shuttle service to and from the
convention center and a concierge table. Booksellers will be able to
Afrocentric Books: Opportunity and Challenge
A profile in Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times traces the challenges and achievements of Afrocentric Books in Chicago, which began its bricks-and-mortar life in the back of a beauty supply store in 1990. Owner Desiree Sanders said having major authors appear is crucial for the bookstore's health; reporting to the New York Times bestseller list helps, too.
The Sun-Times offers these observations about the market: "Black communities in the U.S. have seen the number of shops that cater to them dwindle even as the sum African-Americans spend on books rises. Blacks spent $326 million on books in 2003, up from $258 million in 1996, according to Chicago-based Target Market News."
One of Afrocentric Books bestsellers is Bronzeville: Black Chicago in Pictures, 1941-1943 edited by Maren Stange (New Press, $25, 1565849000), a book popular with tourists about the part of Chicago the store is located in. The store also sells many "urban, hip-hop-themed novels of street life such as those by Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim."
Media and Movies
Everything Is Illuminated Up in Lights
Everything Is Illuminated, directed by Liev Schreiber and starring Elijah Wood, opens in theaters this Friday. Jonathan, a Jewish American, travels to a Ukrainian village to find the woman who saved his grandfather during the Holocaust. Everything Is Illuminated is based on Jonathan Safran Foer's 2002 bestseller (Perennial, 0060529709, $13.95).
Media Heat: Vonnegut, Rushdie, Kozol
On Fresh Air yesterday, Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan, who also writes about mysteries for the Washington Post and is a professor at Georgetown University, discussed her own new memoir, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books (Random House, $24.95, 0375504257), which chronicles her lifelong love of reading. Listen to the reviewer turn the tables on herself on NPR.---
Today on the Today Show:
- Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of TLC's What to Wear give fashion advice from their new book, Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body (Three Rivers Press, $18.95, 0307236714).
- Daisy Martinez cooks up some Mexican in her new book, Daisy Cooks!: Latin Flavors That Will Rock Your World (Hyperion, $29.95, 1401301606).
- Dr. Marianne J. Legato remembers to mention her new book, Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget (Rodale, $24.95, 1579548970).
This morning on Good Morning America, Jessica Canseco, former wife of baseball player Jose Canseco, dishes about being married to an adulterous, steroid-using pro athlete in her new book, Juicy: Confessions of a Former Baseball Wife (Regan Books, $25.95, 0060889454).
Also on Good Morning America, Bruce Feiler cites chapter and verse biblical explorations from his new book, Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion (William Morrow, $26.95, 0060574879; HarperAudio abridged CD, $29.95, 0060823852).
Today All Things Considered meets Steven D. Stark, author of Meet the Beatles: A Cultural History of the Band That Shook Youth, Gender, and the World (HarperCollins, $26.95, 006000892X).
Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show hosts Salman Rushdie, whose new title is Shalimar the Clown (Random, $25.95, 0679463356).
Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show, Jonathan Kozol reveals the shocking backward spiral toward segregated schooling in his new book, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (Crown, $25, 1400052440).
Also on the Lopate Show, Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign correspondent for NBC, gives advice on Talking Back: . . . to Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels (Viking Adult, $25.95, 0670034037)--but maybe not to the chairman of the Fed.
Man with a guest appearance: Kurt Vonnegut Jr., author of A Man Without a Country (Seven Stories, distributed by Consortium, $23.95, 158322713X), appears on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight.
Books & Authors
Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 2
Don't miss them: the following titles appear next week:
The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation's Greatest Magazine (Random House, $100, 1400064740) really is complete: every New Yorker magazine issue, including covers, cartoons, articles and more. The book comes with eight DVDs.
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner (Atria, $26, 0743470117) features Kate Klein, suburban mother of three, who investigates the death of a fellow mother while her children are in preschool. With the help of her best friend and a former flame, she uncovers dark truths behind her seemingly perfect Connecticut town.
The March by E.L. Doctorow (Random House, $25.95, 0375506713) is set during Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas, following many characters as they struggle with the drama of the war and the changes it brings to their lives.