Notes: $15K Toward a Brooklyn Bookstore; Pohrt Panel
Congratulations to Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, who won this year's PowerUP! Business Plan Competition sponsored by Citigroup Foundation and the Brooklyn Public Library's Business Library. The grand prize is a $15,000 grant to help entrepreneurs start a business in Brooklyn--in her case, a bookstore. A major part of the competition was submission of a business plan and consultation with business experts.
Read Jessica's blog for an account of the evening when she was presented with the award. She noted, "Kathleen, the Citibank rep responsible for creating the contest and the head judge, told me that it was my presentation that made the difference--that the judges were skeptical about the wisdom of opening an independent bookstore given all they'd heard, but I sold them on the idea with my data and my passion."
Jessica works at McNally Robinson bookstore in New York City, at BookStream, the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., wholesaler and writes an occasional column for Shelf Awareness about graphic novels.
In honor of Karl Pohrt, founder and owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, Mich., the University of Michigan's department of English is holding a conference March 6-7 called Writing in Public: A Celebration of Karl Pohrt that consists of a series of author readings and panel discussions.
Panels will address "subjects near to Pohrt's heart," including literary publishing, writing in the schools and transforming books into films. Readers include poet Gary Snyder and author Andrea Barrett. Panelists include critic and author Sven Birkerts and author Charles Baxter.
The organizers wrote: "Karl Pohrt, founder and owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop, has offered the book-loving citizens of southeast Michigan a vital center for conversation and contemplation. He has celebrated the publication of books by current and former members of the University of Michigan; has hosted hundreds of readings and book signings, all of them free to the public; has offered hospitality and visibility to hundreds of visiting authors, editors, and illustrators; and has nourished a vital ongoing exchange between students, faculty, and readers of all kinds. With passion and unfailing generosity, and quite without official obligation or support, he has provided the circumstances in which the University of Michigan can make good on its promise as a public institution."
News Corp. and Judith Regan, former publisher of the ReganBooks imprint at HarperCollins, have settled her $100 million lawsuit and issued the following joint statement: "The parties are pleased that they have reached an equitable, confidential settlement, with no admission of liability by any party." For more about the apparent end of a story that had the potential to generate many more reams of seamy copy, see the AP account.
Books-A-Million has opened a store in Meridian, Miss. The store is in Meridian Crossroads and is BAM's 12th store in Mississippi.
Super Bowl countdown.
Thanks to coach Carl Lennertz of HarperCollins for the following titles could star in a football-book display:
- Patriot Reign: Bill Belichick, the Coaches, and the Players Who Built a Champion by Michael Holley (Harper, $13.95, 9780060757953/0060757957)
- I Dream in Blue: Life, Death, and the New York Giants by Roger Director (HarperCollins, $24.95, 9780061209130/0061209139)
- The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam (Hyperion, $14, 9781401308797/1401308791)
[Editor's note: But after the Giants win, will anyone be interested in Patriot books?]
Described by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle as a "bookstore that binds a community," Burlingham Books, Perry, N.Y., will celebrate its second anniversary January 31.
"I want the kind of store where people find what they didn't expect to find," said owner Ann Burlingham. "A store that's got depth as well as breadth."
The Bookloft, Great Barrington, Mass., and owner Eric Wilska were profiled by the Advocate Weekly for an ongoing series showcasing indie bookstores in the Berkshires and southern Vermont.
The article noted that Wilska's "commitment to local authors, both living and deceased, is evidenced by an entire wall devoted to their work." He is also co-owner of a POD press, Troy Book Makers, which "employs new printing technology that Eric thinks will revamp the bookstore experience in the near future."
"Say you come into the Bookloft five years from now and ask for a book we don't have in stock," he said. "I'll suggest that you go finish your errands and come back in 20 minutes. I'll push a button on a fancy machine in the back room and 20 minutes later it will have downloaded the book and spit out one copy. The customer will literally get it hot off the press."
Wow. "I was working here when the ballpoint pens came out," Vera Wilson of Roseburg Book & Stationery, Roseburg, Ore., told the News-Review. In fact, Wilson, who is 90, has worked at the shop for 73 years.
The closing of Jackson's Books, Salem, Ore. in December, 2006, "sent out a wake of disturbance in the Salem book world that is still reverberating," according to the Statesman Journal.
"Almost every day we're touched by Jackson's demise," said Tim Hannan, co-owner of Readers Guide to Recycled Literature, West Salem, Ore. "This community needs to know what Jackson's did, what they did over the last 20 or 25 years."
Blog watching: RevMutha's World planned an indie bookstore visit last weekend.
Sadly we have learned that Henry Hirsch, head of Como Sales for more than 40 years, died last Wednesday.
Memorial contributions in Hirsch's name may be made to the Food Bank for New York City, 90 John Street #702, New York, N.Y. 10038 or City Harvest, 575 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 or the American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, New York, N.Y. 10014.
Notes of condolence may be sent to Henry's sons, David and Johnathan, and his daughter Judy, c/o Judy Hirsch, 123 E. 37th Street, Apt. 3B, New York, N.Y. 10016.
Linda Magram has been named v-p, director of marketing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group. She was most recently v-p, director of marketing for the Houghton Mifflin Children's Book Group and earlier was head of children's marketing at Little, Brown.
Sanj Kharbanda has been named director of e-marketing strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In this newly created position, he will support e-marketing initiatives and work with sales, e-licensing and electronic development departments to make and expand partnerships. He was formerly senior marketing manager and manager of e-marketing initiatives. Before joining Houghton Mifflin in 2005 as a marketing manager, he was a bookseller at WordsWorth Books for more than 15 years and developed the independent bookstore besteller list that was a forerunner of the Book Sense bestseller lists.