Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Clarion Books: Speak Up by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Ebony Glenn

Mira Books: The Wrong Kind of Woman by Sarah McCraw Crow

Del Rey Books: A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1) by Naomi Novik

Zonderkidz: Pugtato Finds a Thing by Sophie Corrigan

Disney-Hyperion: The Tower of Nero (Trials of Apollo, the Book Five) by Rick Riordan


Store Closings: Bennett Books; Franz Bader Books

Sad news about two bookstores. 

Bennett Books in Wyckoff, N.J., is closing at the end of the September, when its current lease expires, a store staff member confirmed.

Owners John and Betty Bennett are well known to many in the industry and have always been warm and helpful in our experience. John is a former ABA board member and Betty is a current member of the board of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. One of their children works at wholesaler Bookstream and another works at HarperCollins.

We wish them and the staff all the best.


Sabina Yanul, owner of Franz Bader Books, 1911 I St., N.W., Washington, D.C., plans to close the store this fall. As Chris Kerr of Parson Weems put it, "Beloved by university presses and art book publishers and supported for a generation by Washington's Embassy Row and traveling diplomats, Sabina and her husband, Richard, were an oasis of civility and culture in the desert of D.C. politics."

GLOW: Grand Central Publishing: We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper

Notes: Robert Gray Wins; A Lasting Birthday Present

We're so happy to announce that Shelf Awareness columnist and contributor Robert Gray won last week's New Yorker cartoon caption contest, which we mentioned here July 31. Congratulations!

P.S. It was the best, wittiest caption by far!


Some birthday gifts have a more lasting effect than others. In 1987, Toni Bruner received 600 romance novels from a friend, effectively doubling her collection and leading her to open New & Recycled Romances, Costa Mesa, Calif.

"So here we are, 20 years later," Bruner told the Daily Pilot, "still in the happy ending business. And we're getting busier and busier, because so many small bookstores are closing."


The Summit Daily News ran a brief "Bizline" Q&A with Jim and Karen Berg, owners of the Next Page, Frisco, Colo.


Gallimard Jeunesse, the French publisher of Harry Potter titles, will not seek damages from the 16-year-old boy who apparently translated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into French and posted it online, according to the AP (via the Washington Post). The boy spent a night in jail and could still be prosecuted in the courts.


A note about Brooke Astor, the New York City socialite and philanthropist who died yesterday at age 105: in May, Norton released The Last Mrs. Astor: A New York Story by Frances Kiernan ($24.95, 9780393057201/0393057208). A former editor at the New Yorker and author of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy, Kiernan painted what USA Today called "an intimate, 'sexy' portrait." 


"Can life's problems really be solved by reading a book?" The Hindu reported that Indian book buyers seem to think so: "The trend towards using self-help books for motivation, inspiration, spiritual guidance or just personality improvement has been rising over the years, according to booksellers in the city."

"People rely on self-study more now," said M. Raju, manager of the Oxford bookstore on Haddows Road, Chennai. "In terms of volume of sales, it's about 25 per cent of our total sales." The most popular titles include Who Moved My Cheese?, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  


Effective September 6, Maria Kjoller is joining Lerner Publishing Group as director of rights, special sales and international distribution, with the aim of strengthening rights sales and expanding the company's presence in educational and international markets. Kjoller was formerly subsidiary rights director at Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers.


Paul Feldstein, formerly managing director of Trafalgar Square, now part of IPG, and Susan Feldstein, most recently commissioning editor for Northern Ireland at Gill & Macmillan, have formed the Feldstein Agency, which will offer a variety of services, including agenting, scouting, right sales, editorial services, recruitment and international sales and distribution consulting to publishers and authors in the U.K., U.S. and elsewhere.

The Feldstein Agency is located at 47a Princetown Road, Bangor, Northern Ireland BT20 3TA; 011-44-2891-462662;


What does prime bookstore display space cost in Finland?

"Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, the largest Finnish bookstore chain, is selling prominent display spots to publishers in the same way as it is selling them advertising space," the Helsingin Sanomat reported. "Premium promotion spaces include for instance the reservation of a front-of-store table or a display window at each outlet. Another alternative is to buy a display stand outside a shop."
Kristiina Rantanen, who is in charge of purchasing at Suomalainen Kirjakauppa, said, "The promotion spaces at our stores are not automatically subject to a charge. We discuss them separately with publishers." The Helsingin Sanomat asserted that some spots have specific pricing, however: "For example, the hiring of a display spot for two weeks at the bookstore’s outlet in the Kamppi shopping centre cost EUR 700 [about $953] in 2006."


In a blog post for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Michael Lieberman, co-owner of Wessel and Lieberman Booksellers, Seattle, Wash., challenged the bookseller rating system now used by Abebooks, which, he argued, "has nothing to do with bookselling and everything to do with order fulfillment. The amount of stars you earn is based exclusively on your order fulfillment percentage. Nothing more, nothing less. The system is skewed toward failure for the bookseller."

Lieberman wrote that "at some point the tide is going to turn, and there are signs that is beginning to turn, where the negatives far outweigh the positives and it no longer makes sense to sell your books on these types of sites. It is always hard to jump out of a revenue stream but it sure beats being drowned in one."

Grand Central Publishing: The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Sales: Monthly Bookstore Sales Off Again

Bookstore sales in June were $1.13 billion, down 6.6% from $1.21 billion in sales in June 2006, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales were $7.33 billion, down 4.5% from $7.68 billion in the first six months of 2006.

By comparison, total retail sales in June rose 4.6% to $343.9 billion and 3.7% for the year to date.

Note: with yet another monthly decline in these numbers, we have to emphasize that under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales. Ah well, July should be an improvement.

Disney-Hyperion: The Tower of Nero (Trials of Apollo #5) by Rick Riordan

Cool Idea of the Day: Borders Seeks Submissions In-House

Borders employees, dust off those MS's! 

Borders Group is looking in-house for manuscripts for its new proprietary publishing program, State Street Press, which launched in June. The company is holding a fiction writing contest open to all its more than 30,000 employees in the U.S.--the winner will receive a book deal with State Street that includes "the full support of Borders merchandising and marketing arsenal." A panel at the corporate office in Ann Arbor, Mich., will judge the contest. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2008.

"Our employees are talented and creative individuals who have a tremendous passion for books, and we believe that there are many who also have undiscovered writing talent," Rob Gruen, Borders Group's executive v-p, merchandising and marketing, said in a statement. He added that the company is "anticipating multiple winners and hope[s] to publish fictional works ranging from mysteries and thrillers to romance and historical novels."

The first State Street title is Slip & Fall by Nick Santora. Forthcoming are a 50th Anniversary of the Grammy Awards book and a John Legend Tour book.

IPG Adds Five Publishers

Independent Publishers Group is now distributing the following publishers:
  • Visible Ink Press, which for 17 years has published titles in popular culture, science, history, religion and phenomena. Visible Ink bestsellers include Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunt Places by Brad Steiger and Black Firsts by Jessie Carney Smith. Upcoming titles include The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book by David L. Hudson (October), part of the Handy Answer Book Series, and The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena by J. Gordon Melton (September).
  • Johnson Publishing Company, the world's largest African American-owned and operated publishing company best known for Jet and Ebony magazines. Bestselling titles from the JPC Book Division include the autobiography of company founder John H. Johnson, Succeeding Against the Odds, and Before the Mayflower by Lerone Bennett, Jr. Upcoming titles are paperback editions of Before the Mayflower and Forced Into Glory, both by Lerone Bennett, Jr. (October), and a revised edition of Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968, a Picture Biography by the editors of Ebony (October).
  • Black Belt Communications, publishers of Black Belt Magazine and a variety of martial arts titles, including Tao of Jeet Kune Do by the master Bruce Lee, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu by Helio Gracie, the creator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and The Ultimate Guide to Knife Combat by world experts Ernest Emerson, Hank Hayes, Jim Wagner and David E. Steele, among others.
  • Amber Communications Group, founded in 1998, the African American publisher of self-help books and celebrity biographies. Bestsellers include Beautiful Black Hair by Shamboosie, The African American Guide to Real Estate Investing by Larryette DuBose, The 2007-2009 African American Scholarship Guide for Students and Parents by Dante Lee and Your Body's Calling Me by Jake Brown. Upcoming titles are the autobiography The Confessions of Rick James (September) and African Americans and the Future of New Orleans by Philip S. Hart, Ph.D. (September).
  • Panache Partners, which publishes coffee table books showcasing luxury travel, custom home building, interior design, design professionals and leisure design topics, such as golf courses and vineyards. Publisher of the Dream Homes, Spectacular Homes and Spectacular Golf series, Panache titles for the fall include City by Design (November) and Spectacular Wines of Napa Valley (October).

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Tracking Boys Adrift

This morning on Good Morning America: David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power (Amistad, $25.95, 9780060858209/0060858206). Mendell will also be on Fox's Hannity & Colmes today.

Elyn R. Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness (Hyperion, $24.95, 9781401301385/140130138X), also appears on GMA.


This morning on NPR's Morning Edition: presidential hopeful Senator John McCain, author of Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them (Twelve, $25.99, 9780446580403/0446580406). 


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Dr. Leonard Sax, author of Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men (Basic Books, $25, 9780465072095/0465072097).


Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Robert H. Frank, author of The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas (Basic Books, $26, 9780465002177/046500217X).

Also on Talk of the Nation today: Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (Picador, $16, 9780312425074/0312425074).


Today on NPR's All Things Considered: George C. Halvorson, author of Health Care Reform Now!: A Prescription for Change (Jossey-Bass, $27.95, 9780787997526/0787997528).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 1

Selected new hardcover titles appearing on Tuesday, August 21:

Away: A Novel by Amy Bloom (Random House, $23.95, 9781400063567/1400063566) is the story of Lillian Leyb, a Jewish immigrant who arrives in New York in 1924 only to travel back to Russia in search of her sister, who survived the pogrom that killed their parents.

The Chicago Way
by Michael Harvey (Knopf, $23.95, 9780307266866/0307266869) follows PI Michael Kelly as he investigates a rape and unwittingly finds himself on the wrong end of a conspiracy involving cops and criminals.

The Sanctuary by Raymond Khoury (Dutton, $25.95, 9780525950295/052595029X) is a thriller about a centuries-old conspiracy surrounded by death and destruction.

Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson (Morrow, $25.95, 9780060527334/0060527331) is the 14th culinary mystery featuring Goldy Schulz.

Power Play by Joseph Finder (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312347482/0312347480) follows a group of business executives as hunters attack their lodge during a retreat.

Knit Together: Discover God's Pattern for Your Life
by Debbie Macomber (FaithWords, $22.99, 9780446580878/0446580872) uses the metaphor of knitting to persuade Christian women to tie together their lives together.

Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol (Crown, $19.95, 9780307393715/0307393712) gives solutions to some of the gravest problems in the American education system through this memoir of 16 letters written to a first grade teacher in an inner city public school.

Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda (HarperCollins, $34.95, 9780060756659/0060756659) chronicles the leadership of Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II and his presidency.

Appearing on Wednesday, August 22:

Hard Row by Margaret Maron (Grand Central, $24.99, 9780446582438/0446582433) is the 13th mystery starring Judge Deborah Knott.

Appearing on Thursday, August 23:

Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Grand Central, $24.99, 9780446578769/0446578762) follows four women lost at sea in the Caribbean.

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