Shelf Awareness for Friday, September 16, 2005
Quotation of the Day
Booksellers Beware: Rogue Publicist on Loose
Cohen first learned of the bogus signings when the "publicist" left a message saying a Columbus, Ohio, Barnes & Noble had called wondering why Whalen hadn't appeared yet at an event. The woman said she had scheduled other signings, but won't say where. Cohen was able to find out about a second event, in Louisville, Ky., but is worried that other booksellers might find themselves waiting for Whalen way too long.
Because the subject of the book murdered his 59 victims in hospitals in Ohio and Kentucky, it's most likely that signings would be made in those states.
"This is kind of damage control and pre-damage control," Cohen told Shelf Awareness. "It's among the craziest things I've ever heard of." Anyone with a Whalen signing planned should confirm with Cohen at 513-861-4045 ext. 14 or email@example.com.
Bookselling Notes: Closings; the Blog from New Orleans
Ariel Booksellers in New Paltz, N.Y., plans to close sometime later this year, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported today. Owners Dean and Susan Avery cited Internet competition, a relatively new Barnes & Noble in Kingston and commercial zoning restrictions in New Paltz that force "anyone who wants to buy forks or sheets or towels to a place where they can find a Wal-Mart or Bed Bath & Beyond. And what's next door to all of those stores? A Barnes & Noble," as Dean Avery put it.
The Averys' leasing of part of their space to Starbucks five years ago was not the synergistic push they hoped for; Susan Avery told the paper, "Honestly we've been on life support for three years."
The Buckhill Book Shop in Lititz, Pa., is closing on September 24, hurt this year by several extended slow periods. The store, which is having a 40% off sale, had been the site of many writers workshops, readings and other literary events.
HarperCollins is instituting a backlist program that rewards booksellers who agree to keep certain amounts of bestselling adult and children's backlist in stock. Under the program, called Harper Essential Backlist, the booksellers will earn a rebate on direct shipments of the titles. Accounts will sign up annually and provide an inventory report three times a year.
To help administer the program, Harper is working with Above the Treeline, the online company that helps independents, Christian bookstores and university stores track inventory (and founded by John Rubin, son of Roberta Rubin of the Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, Ill.). The two companies are setting up a Web site called www.essentialbacklist.com that will allow booksellers and their Harper reps to review stock quickly.
Some of the most fascinating reporting from New Orleans is appearing in blog form on Salon.com. The author is Josh Clark, publisher of Light of New Orleans Press, distributed by Independent Publishers Group, who has stayed in the city since Hurricane Katrina hit and lives with nine others in a kind of commune in a friend's complex in the French Quarter. There's a pool for bathing and keeping beer and wine cold; privacy in the inner courtyard so that curfew doesn't rankle as much as it might in a small apartment; and despite the death and mayhem, the group feels "a certain thrill to thriving among the ruins. Daily life as we knew it is gone."
In yesterday's blog, Clark noted that "Katrina has screwed the release dates for our next three books," but it's "given me more material than I need for another." Clark is interviewing survivors; their stories and his will "make for one hell of a book, the proceeds of which will go to a relief fund."
More hurricane help. Through its NACS Foundation, the National Association of College Stores is contributing $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity and is establishing the Hurricane Relief Effort Fund, which will aid the college store community. For more information, go to CM Bulletin's report.
The ABA happily and appreciatively has noted that because of sponsorships from BEA, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, it will be able to hold down costs for its Winter Institute, to be held in Long Beach, Calif., Jan. 26-27. Rooms will be available for $89 a night.
The Book Standard is holding a summit and presenting the first-ever Bestseller Awards this coming Thursday, September 22, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Afternoon panels focus on the state of the industry, new technologies, alternative sales and marketing channels and bookselling trends. In the evening, awards will be given in 100 categories, based on sales during the year as measured by Nielsen BookScan.
For more information, contact Tim O'Brien, associate publisher, VNU US Literary Group, at 646-654-4703 or go online.
Business Edge gives the lowdown on Books for Business, the bookstore in the center of Toronto's financial district that was founded by former corporate librarian and business information specialist Jane Cooney 15 years ago.
The store stocks some 11,000 titles in 1,800 square feet of space. Cooney's favorite business book of all time is Customers for Life by Carl Sewell. She told the business journal: "[Sewell] says do what you say you're going to do at the price you said you'd do it for in the timeframe you promised it. I think if every business does those three things, they're going to be as successful as ours is."
In support of his Affordable Books for College Act bill, Senator Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.) has issued a study that found textbook rental programs would save students in New York state as much as $266 million a year. The Senator has also re-introduced a bill providing income tax deductions for college textbooks. For more information, see CM Bulletin.
Movie reviewers just seem to hate Just Like Heaven (adapted from Marc Levy's If Only It Were True), but amusingly Jon Heder, whose screen claim to fame was playing Napoleon Dynamite in the eponymous film, gets credit for a dynamite performance as a bookstore owner. Reviewers describe the store variously as "spiritual," "metaphysical," "occult" and in one case, "afterlife/conspiracy/UFO."
Media and Movies
Media Heat: Fear Itself
Yesterday Fresh Air spoke with Chris Mooney whose book The Republican War on Science (Basic Books, $24.95, 0465046754) needs no subtitle.
Yesterday Talk of the Nation talked about interpretations of the birth of the nation with Garry Wills, author of Henry Adams and the Making of America (Houghton Mifflin, $30, 0618134301).
Rose Cottage, 'A Cozy Place to Browse and Buy'
Some 32 years ago, Roberta Cashwell left Tarboro, the historically minded town of 11,000 between Raleigh and the coast, to go to Vassar College. Since then, she worked at Merrill Lynch and a bank, was able to retire at age 45, did some theater and writing and lived most of the time in New York City and Pennsylvania's Bucks County. Then, several years ago, she decided to move back to her home town and set up a theater group and a bookstore. The bookstore, called Rose Cottage Books, opened its doors officially August 14.
Housed in a historic building that dates to 1870, Rose Cottage Books is a "charming" store whose tagline, Cashwell told Shelf Awareness, says it all: "a cozy place to browse and buy."
The store offers some 4,000 volumes in 1,000 square feet of selling space. The "small great room" has current bestsellers from the New York Times, Book Sense and the Southeast Booksellers Association as well as fiction, science fiction, poetry and plays, among other titles. The next room contains children's books. The third room is a café, where the store serves coffee, tea and lemonade gratis, with plenty of cookbooks, decorating titles, self-help, gardening and more. Along the hallways are shelves with nonfiction, biography, history, sports, reference and other titles. Because the store has high ceilings, Rose Cottage uses the extra space above for displays of art by manager Teresa Muse, who paints watercolors of scenes in the area.
The store aims to be especially strong in regional titles and have representative samplings from the University of North Carolina Press, for example. Already the store is "molding inventory with special orders," Cashwell said. "Because we're small we advertise special orders, which is working well. We want to be a community resource and give reasons for customers not to drive 30 minutes to the big chain stores in Rocky Mount or Greenville."
The building, which Cashwell bought in February, has three restrictive covenants. She was not allowed to alter the pressed tin ceiling, the wainscoting or the rose pink trim. But this was no hardship. "There's no way I'd want to change any of those," she said cheerfully. Because of the wainscoting, she had a carpenter build custom shelves. The building also has a front porch on which Cashwell has put rocking chairs.
Tarboro had not had a bookstore in 15 years, about the same amount of time that business downtown had begun "losing some of its luster," Cashwell said. But in the last few years, that situation has been reversing itself, and after Cashwell decided to open the store, a survey found that residents most wanted a bookstore and coffee shop in downtown. (Java Time, an independent café, opened in July.)
The "town has been so responsive and supportive from the moment I announced I was opening," Cashwell said. "It's even better than I dreamed. It's the perfect venue: as if it were waiting to be a bookstore."
For her bookselling education, Cashwell thanked Karen and Terry Beem of Newtown Bookshop in Newtown, Pa., saying, "All I learned about bookselling, I learned from helping them." She worked for them part time, led storytelling sessions at the store, helped with several Harry Potter events and taught creative writing classes to younger children. "They continue to be my mentors," she said.
Cashwell has yet to open a Web site, but plans to. Appropriately for someone who took her time returning home, "we haven't rushed on some things," she said.
Rose Cottage Books is located at 107 West St. John's St., Tarboro, N.C. 27886; 252-824-7673.
The Book Sense/PNBA List
1. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)
2. A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher (Random House, $24.95, 1400063221)
3. Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie (Random House, $25.95, 0679463356)
4. The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060515104)
5. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385504209)
6. The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch (Bloomsbury, $23.95, 1582346054)
7. Straken by Terry Brooks (Del Rey, $26.95, 0345451120)
8. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, $24.95, 0670033944)
9. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, $24.95, 0375406778)
10. Long Time Gone by J. A. Jance (Morrow, $24.95, 0688138241)
11. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $21.95, 1400060281)
12. Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb (Eos, $25.95, 0060757620)
13. Polar Shift by Clive Cussler, with Paul Kemprecos (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152717)
14. Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis (Knopf, $24.95, 0375412913)
15. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (FSG, $23, 0374153892)
1. You: The Owner's Manual by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. (Collins, $24.95, 0060765313)
2. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884)
3. On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (Princeton, $9.95, 0691122946)
4. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)
5. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
6. Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance, $29.95, 0975599518)
7. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Viking, $29.95, 0670033375)
8. Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich (Metropolitan, $24, 0805076069)
9. Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins (Bantam, $25, 0553804510)
10. Burning Fence by Craig Lesley (St. Martin's, $24.95, 0312318464)
11. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324)
12. Room Full of Mirrors by Charles R. Cross (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401300286)
13. It's Not Easy Being Green by Jim Henson, the Muppets, and Friends (Hyperion, $16.95, 1401302424)
14. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $30, 140004006X)
15. New Rules by Bill Maher (Rodale, $24.95, 1594862958)
Trade Paperback Fiction
1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
2. Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos (Grove, $13, 0802142109)
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12.95, 1400032717)
4. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, $15.95, 1582346038)
5. The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95, 0060557559)
6. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
7. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest, $14, 015602943X)
8. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0142001740)
9. Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95, 0375706860)
10. An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg (Vintage, $13.95, 1400076145)
11. I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (Picador, $15, 0312424442)
12. 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $13.95, 1400079446)
13. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $12.95, 1400077095)
14. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (Plume, $14, 0452286530)
15. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (Anchor, $11.95, 1400034779)
Trade Paperback Nonfiction
1. Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green, $10, 1931498717)
2. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (Anchor, $14.95, 1400032806)
3. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
4. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552)
5. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
6. Bad Cat by Jim Edgar (Workman, $9.95, 0761136193)
7. What's the Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank (Owl, $14, 080507774X)
8. Moyers on America by Bill Moyers (Anchor, $13.95, 1400095360)
9. Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner, et al. (Three Rivers, $12.95, 1400082315)
10. In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore (HarperSanFrancisco, $14.95, 0060750510)
11. Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett (Perennial, $13.95, 0060572159)
12. It's Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong (Berkley, $14, 0425179613)
13. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (Nelson, $13.99, 0785263705)
14. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, $14.95, 0316776963)
15. 501 Spanish Verbs by Christopher Kendris (Barron's, $14.95, 0764124285)
1. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $7.99, 0671027360)
2. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (Dell, $7.99, 0440241359)
3. Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson (HarperTorch, $7.99, 0060527307)
4. A Taint in the Blood by Dana Stabenow (St. Martin's, $6.99, 0312985657)
5. Hour Game by David Baldacci (Warner, $7.99, 0446616494)
6. Dune: The Battle of Corrin by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Tor, $7.99, 0765340798)
7. Trace by Patricia D. Cornwell (Berkley, $7.99, 0425204200)
8. The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston, M.D. (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312991193)
9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Warner, $6.99, 0316769487)
10. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312995423)
Children's (Fiction and Illustrated)
1. Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $21, 037582670X)
2. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, 0439784549)
4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $9.99, 0439358078)
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99, 0439139600)
6. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
7. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (Delacorte, $6.99, 0553494791)
8. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (Random House, $4.99, 0375822747)
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $7.99, 0439136369)
10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Puffin, $6.99, 0142403881)
11. Rakkety Tam by Brian Jacques (Ace, $7.99, 044101318X)
12. Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes (HarperTrophy, $5.99, 0060535458)
13. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Scholastic, $7.99, 0439709105)
14. Life of Pi (Student Edition) by Yann Martel (Harvest, $8.99, 0156030209)
15. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Yearling, $6.50, 0440498058)
[Many thanks to Book Sense and PNBA!]