Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 5, 2005


Inkyard Press: Ring of Solomon by Aden Polydoros

Chronicle Prism: Men in Blazers Present Gods of Soccer: The Pantheon of the 100 Greatest Soccer Players (According to Us) by Roger Bennett, Michael Davies, and Miranda Davis; illustrated by Nate Kitch

Neal Porter Books: I Don't Care by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal

Tor Nightfire: The Spite House by Johnny Compton

Candlewick Press (MA): Build a House by Rhiannon Giddens, illustrated by Monica Mikai

Popular Book Company (Usa): Complete Curriculum Success Series, Math Success Series, English Success Series, 365 Fun Days

Yen on: Fox Tales by Tomihiko Morimi, translated by Winifred Bird

Editors' Note

Milestones and Reminders

Dear Readers:

Shelf Awareness has marked many milestones in our three-month existence. Today we reach another: our first poem, a Wallace Stevens work about the act of reading. Read at last week's Book Industry Study Group as a kind of convocation, it appears at the end of today's edition, following a brief discussion of the Global Data Synchronization Network. . .

Tiny Reparations Books: Gone Like Yesterday by Janelle M. Williams


News

Bookselling Notes: NACSCORP's Bargain; Baird Dies

NACSCORP and Kudzu Book Traders, the bargain book wholesaler, have reached an agreement whereby Kudzu's 17,000 bargain titles from more than 1,500 imprints can be ordered directly through NACSCORP by customers using their NACSCORP account. In a statement, NACSCORP president and COO Len Jardine said that the agreement "will enable hundreds of college stores to break into this popular category easily and profitably, and will offer compelling benefits to college stores who already run a successful bargain book section."

Britt Hinton, president of Kudzu, said that "while Kudzu will continue to serve the college store market directly, we are honored and excited to be able to greatly expand our support of college stores through this arrangement with NACSCORP. We believe that a strong bargain book section is absolutely essential to any bookseller's overall strategy."

The program, similar to one NACSCORP adopted for new books with Ingram last year, should become effective in November.

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Jane Baird, who retired earlier this year as manager of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip's bookstore in Atlanta, Ga., died on Thursday. She was 72 and had worked at the Cathedral Book Store for 34 years, the last 12 as manager. She helped triple the store's size, was a founder of the Episcopal Booksellers Association and served as a consultant to other churches establishing their libraries.

"Anybody who can keep a not-for-profit going for 34 years is phenomenal," manager Sue Tierney told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "She saw the bookstore grow from the basement to one of the most beautiful retail spots in all of Buckhead."

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In August, consumer income dropped 0.1% and consumer spending declined 0.5%, according to several surveys. As noted earlier, consumer confidence also dropped--to its lowest level in 13 years. Of course, soaring energy prices, Hurricane Katrina and an erratic job market were leading factors.

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David Wilk, most recently senior v-p of client services of CDS, has joined Resolution, Inc., South Burlington, Vt., which provides back office and fulfillment services to media companies, PW Daily reported. He will be the company's liaison to the book industry and help develop e-commerce and content management services. Wilk was earlier head of LPC and Inland Book Co.

GLOW: Disney-Hyperion: Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Cynthia Lennon, Jillian Michaels

Today Jillian Michaels, author of Winning by Losing (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060845465), wins a spot on Imus in the Morning.

Imus also talks . . . to Andrea Mitchell, author of Talking Back: . . . to Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels (Viking, $25.95, 0670034037).

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Today on the Early Show, Ashley Smith, author of Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero (Morrow/Avon, $24.95, 0310270677), discusses her harrowing experience with courthouse killer Brian Nichols. She also appears tonight on Larry King Live.

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Today the Early Show is host to the delicious Nick Malgieri, author of A Baker's Tour: Nick Malgieri's Favorite Baking Recipes from Around the World (Morrow Cookbooks, $34.95, 0060582634).

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This morning on Good Morning America, Cynthia Lennon recalls some of her days in the life of her former husband, John (Crown, $25.95, 030733855X). She will also appear on the View Friday.

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Yesterday Fresh Air evolved with Edward Larson, whose most recent book is Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (Modern Library, $22.95, 0679642889).

Harper: Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes



Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 2

A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316738999) goes on sale October 10. A group of school friends reunite after 25 years for a wedding party at an inn in the Berkshires; haunted by a long ago tragedy, they examine their lives and try to recapture old loves.

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A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle (Dutton, $24.95, 0525948023) goes on sale October 11. Contemporary spiritual instructor Tolle teaches methods of finding peace in a chaotic world and ways to better humanity by changing our consciousness.

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The Planets by Dava Sobel (Viking, $24.95, 0670034460) is available October 11. In a series of essays, Sobel discusses each planet in the solar system.

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My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror by Louis J. Freeh (St. Martin's, $25.95, 0312321899) goes on sale October 11. Written by the director of the FBI from 1993 to 2001, this is the definitive account of the country's largest law enforcement agency during the '90s and through September 11.

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One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story by General Janis Karpinski with Steven Strasser (Miramax, $24.95, 1401352472) goes on sale October 12. Attention!

BINC: Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship


Deeper Understanding

BISG Makes, Meets Higher Standards

The Book Industry Study Group's annual meeting and conference last Wednesday was full of good news about the organization, which in the past three years under executive director Jeff Abraham has gone from a sleepy, near-bankrupt entity to a busy, financially sound group that acts as a forum to debate and deal with many book world issues, do research as well as create and maintain standards for the book industry--all with the aim of improving efficiency and reducing costs. It is composed of and represents broad sections of the industry, from publishers, distributors and wholesalers and retailers to manufacturers, associations, consultants and technical companies. Interestingly BISG is set up to reach consensus. As Abraham said, a single "person, whether a corporation or sole proprietor, can object to and derail" initiatives--and force compromises.

By one measure alone--attendance at the annual meeting--the change in BISG is striking. In 2002, all of 17 people attended BISG's annual meeting. The following year the group grew to 46. Last year, 105 were on hand, and this year 226 people came. Active membership has grown to 163 as of the end of the fiscal year, and 175 through last week; about 1,000 people participate in the organization on some level. In addition, finances have turned around dramatically. In 2002, BISG had a deficit of $97,800. Each year since it has had a growing surplus, and this year it will have net income of $178,789.

Among the accomplishments in the past year:

  • BISG has formed a task force and undertaken an array of programs and publicity to help the industry make the transition to ISBN-13, including creating a "readiness directory," staging informational Webinars, printing an ISBN-13 for Dummies brochure and more.
  • It launched the Manufacturers Executives Interest Group, which aims to improve communications--electronic and otherwise--between publishers, printers and manufacturers.
  • BISG issued several major studies, including one earlier this year of small and midsized publishers called Under the Radar and the used book study (Shelf Awareness, September 29), which was previewed at the conference after the annual meeting.
  • It continues to work on a "warehouse benchmarking initiative," under which companies can compare the performance of their book warehouses with others'.
  • BISG has been surveying members as part of the process of developing a strategic plan for the next three to five years for the organization. (BISG has grown and developed so much that is at a "turning point," as Abraham put it. "Clearly during the last three years the organization has fundamentally changed.")
  • The group continues to monitor and address new technology that the book industry will need to deal with in the near future, including the Global Data Synchronization Network and RFID.
  • BISAC moved forward on a variety of issues, "the stuff," Abraham said, that "makes it all worth it." BISAC initiatives had saved "millions of dollars, he added. "It all goes directly to the bottom line."

Other news from the meeting:

Reporting on the EAN Transition Task Force, Random House's John Bohman had mostly positive news but said that despite assurances, the "mass merchandising channel has not been embracing change" in using Bookland EAN.

The board approved revised guidelines for shipping container labels in an effort to alleviate a multitude of labels. This entailed extensive negotiations with UPS on the structure and design of shipping labels.

Jim Lichtenberg of LightSpeed and self-described "RFID dork" said that privacy continues to be a major issue for the book industry in the development of RFID, which will consist of a "tag the size of a postage inserted in the book at the point of manufacture." Some libraries have introduced RFID, which has proven amazingly fast and efficient in checking books in and out.

FYI: GDSN

The latest supply chain/tech world acronym to learn is GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network), which one BISG member described as "Books in Print on steroids" The data information exchange is being pioneered by some retailers and their suppliers and the book industry will need to plan for it, according to Abraham.

Al Garton, director of chain management, retail, at GS1 US, the former Uniform Code Council, said that GDSN helps "match supply and demand" and that "a lot of standards [needed for it] are in place already," including EAN and ISBN. The key is data synchronization, which he described as allowing business partners "to exchange information with each other continuously with common standards."

Jerry Lynch, group manager, general merchandise, of Wegmans Food Markets, discussed his company's experience implementing GDSN, which once done, is used with all partners who themselves use GDSN. It was a painful process, in large part because the company was a "trailblazer." He compared the system's effect with the ability today for anyone to check UPS's internal shipping information to locate in real time a package in transit. Lynch considers GDSN particularly important for the book industry because of "the sheer number of items, new items and outlets" and because of returns.

Perhaps it's the subject matter, but Book Industry Study Group participants often have some of the best jokes of industry meetings. They can also be poignant. Case in point: BISG president Joe Gonnella of Barnes & Noble started off the meeting paraphrasing a line about not asking vogons about their poetry, from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe: "Don't let a supply chain guy read poetry to you." Then, reminding participants of the ultimate beneficiary of what they do, he read "The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm," from an ancient volume of Wallace Stevens (so old the book had no bar code).

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night
Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,
Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.
The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.
And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself
Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

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