Notes: New Borders Concept Store; New PMA Executive Director
As part of its strategic plan announced last year, Borders Group has unveiled a new "concept" superstore near its Ann Arbor, Mich., headquarters and will open 14 of them this year, the AP reported. A key element in the store is a "digital center."
USA Today described the new store this way: "themed book islands are built around lifestyle genres, including travel, cooking and health. The digital centers, meantime, are geared to welcome people of all levels of tech know-how. Staffers will guide customers through the process of burning music to CDs, downloading songs to most digital music players (except iPods, which, for now, work only with Apple software) or books to a Sony digital reader. They'll even print the cover art and fold it into a CD cover for you." At the digital centers, customers may also print pictures, order photo albums, buy digital cameras and more.
USA Today also lists the locations of the new stores.
Books-A-Million plans to open a store in Greensboro, N.C., in Jefferson Village, a development whose construction begins this spring. The BAM store will be "coupled with small shops and a day spa on the main plaza next to the fountain," according to a development company official. This will be BAM's 18th store in North Carolina.
Terry Nathan has been named executive director of PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. He worked for more than 15 years with the previous executive director, his mother, Jan Nathan, who founded the association and died in June 2007. Since then, Terry Nathan has been PMA's director.
In a statement, Nathan said he looks forward "to building upon the legacy of the past 25 years to insure that PMA continues as the leading voice and advocate for the independent publishing community."
PMA president Florrie Binford Kickler, publisher of Patria Press, Indianapolis, Ind., said that the board "is pleased to be working with Terry as our association moves into a new era of growth and development."
Incidentally Nathan will be interviewed today on the Writer's Roundtable, which covers the art, craft and business of writing and can be heard on the new San Diego Union Tribune radio station and at signonradio.com. The host is Antoinette Kuritz.
The Book Shop, Beverly Farms, Mass., celebrates its 40th anniversary this week and the Beverly Citizen reported that the bookshop "reads its customers like a book."
Manager and co-owner Pam Price purchased the business in 1997. "I started as Christmas help and now I'm in pretty deep," she said.
According to the Citizen, Price and her business partners "met while working at the store and have remained co-owners the entire time." Loyalty has played a big role in the store's success: "Some of the store's former employees--many of whom worked there part-time while in high school--remain loyal to the store and have established the, 'I love the Book Shop,' group on the social networking Web site Facebook."
Funny Valentine's? Andy Graves, owner of the Happy Bookseller, Columbia, S.C., told the Charlotte Observer he was a bit shocked that his city was listed among the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in America as ranked by Amazon.com.
"I'm as surprised as you are that we came in that high," he said of Columbia's 16th place finish, just behind Seattle and San Francisco. Amazon based the list on sales of romance novels, relationship and sex books since January 1.
"Relationship books are very strong sellers," Graves noted. "We don't sell a lot of bodice-ripper type books, but we do sell a lot of historical fiction, which has some romantic elements to it. We don't sell a lot of sex books. You see the occasional high school boy stealing back to that section."
And the romantic top 20?
- Alexandria, Va.
- Cambridge, Mass.
- Miami, Fla.
- Irvine, Calif.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Berkeley, Calif.
- Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Arlington, Va.
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Washington, D.C.
- Pasadena, Calif.
- Bellevue, Wash.
- Seattle, Wash.
- San Francisco, Calif.
- Columbia, S.C.
- Tallahassee, Fla.
- Austin, Texas
- Richmond, Va.
- Knoxville, Tenn.
The Salinas City Council has recognized Libreria México, Salinas, Calif., "for its literacy promotion during the past quarter-century," according to the Californian.
"The idea about our store was because my father believed in education," said owner Stella Sanchez. "He tried to get books for people who couldn't read in English, so they could read in Spanish."