Shelf Awareness for Monday, October 24, 2005

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves


Wholesale Change: Koen and Levy Team Up

Bob Koen is back in business--with a major partner.

Levy Home Entertainment, the Chas. Levy Co. subsidiary that supplies books to such mass merchandisers as Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart, among others, is teaming up with Koen, former head of Koen Book Distributors, which declared bankruptcy and closed this summer, to create a new organization called Koen-Levy Book Distributors.

The new company aims to service the former Koen's many independent bookstore accounts, primarily in the Northeast and along the Atlantic Coast but also as far south as Florida and as far west as Chicago.

At the same time, Koen-Levy will service some of Levy's customers. "Levy is very good at supplying a limited number of high velocity titles (by book standards) of about 8,000 in any given month," Levy president and CEO Howard Reese explained to Shelf Awareness in an e-mail. But Koen-Levy, with its "greater depth of selection," can provide "community-specific titles" that most of Levy's larger customers want and Levy has difficulty supplying. In addition, Reese indicated that Levy can't meet all the needs of some specialty retailers, an area in which Koen-Levy will be able to help.

Bob Koen, who will be general manager and v-p of Koen-Levy, put it this way to Shelf Awareness: "Besides getting back our old customer base, we'll be able to get business from the Levy side of it, which will help us keep going and be profitable."

This marks the first time that Levy will sell to traditional independent booksellers. If the approach is successful, Levy may "have [Koen-Levy] open similar operations in other parts of the country," Reese indicated.

Koen-Levy headquarters will be in the old Koen offices and warehouse in Moorestown, N.J. Levy has bought some physical assets of the old Koen company but did not buy the receivables or assume its liabilities. Baker & Taylor bought the book inventory and is nearly finished removing it. "We have to reconnect the phone, but we're mostly set to go here," Koen said. "It's almost a turnkey operation."

Starting today, the company's sales force will begin calling accounts. Buyers have been putting orders together for three weeks. Full operations will begin when Baker & Taylor is finished, which should be early this week. The new company plans to be fully in stock and shipping to customers by mid-November.

So far, Koen-Levy has brought back some key employees and is making commitments for now to about 20-30 people, according to Koen. Once the operation is fully running, he wants to add more people from the old company, which earlier this year numbered about 150.

Among the people already back or who have signed on to do so:

Jim DiMiero is head of sales and marketing. Walter Fox will be head of operations. Chuck Lehman, Koen's MIS director, will have similar responsibilities and wants to be called "the IT guy," according to Koen. Sheila Kowalsky will be in charge of purchasing. Keith McCabe, one of the old buyers, is expected to return, and Koen is "negotiating" to bring back other buyers. Barbara Baltimore will return as human resources manager.

Koen has talked to some customers and has gotten "a very good response," he said with obvious happiness. He's also talked with some publishers and has been "thrilled" by their reactions. "I've called credit people, who were all gracious and very nice to me."

Koen added that he has met with Levy staff and was "very impressed with their buyers. They have a lot of ideas, and I think I can get ideas from them to service independents better and they can get help from us doing deep backlist bookselling. It could be really good synergy."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Sarasota Store Sold; Building Brings Big Return

Dick and Caren Lobo have shown yet another reason for booksellers to own their own buildings.

The couple, who started Sarasota News & Books at the site of the former Charlie's News in Sarasota, Fla., have sold the building the store is in--a seven-story, 30,000-sq.-ft. office building--to Bon Eau Enterprises for $6.6 million.

At the same time, two members of the Real Estate Law Firm, Bon Eau's lawyers in the transaction, are buying the assets of Sarasota News & Books and will operate the store through their new entity, One Three Four One, Inc.

The new owners, Derek Filcoff and Thomas Coelho, plan to implement an employee stock ownership and profit-sharing plan "to demonstrate our philosophy of the power of entrepreneurship."

Over the years, Sarasota News & Books has attracted a variety of major authors, including Jimmy Carter, Dave Barry, Molly Ivins, Amy Tan, Sue Monk Kidd and others. Dick Lobo, who had been a broadcaster, became president and CEO of WEDU in Tampa, Florida's largest public television station. He also is on the boards and advisory councils of several arts institutions.

Caren Lobo co-founded the Sarasota Reading Festival, the Palm Literary Society and the Forum, a lecture series. She is also a board member of the Florida Humanities Council.

The Local Report

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Lobos bought the building for $2.2 million 18 months after they moved in. Caren Lobo told the paper that the couple hadn't planned to sell the business until Filcoff and Coelho approached them.

The store's new owners plan to remodel after Christmas, Coelho told the paper. "The business will still have several niches--gifts, cards, books and the cafe, but we're planning a greatly expanded children's section and a gallery where we can show some of my photos and artwork."

Filcoff said that he had gone to Charlie's News with his father when he was a child. "I love the experience of Sarasota News & Books. Now Thomas and I are enthusiastic and proud to be the owners of this landmark institution and the next generation to represent it."

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

Notes: Store to Close; New Cafe and Soda Bar

The Las Vegas Business Press traces the story of Native Son Bookstore, founded in 1991 by Sam Smith in Las Vegas's Westside neighborhood, which will likely close by the end of the year. Smith blames the store's demise in part to the exodus of a black middle class from the area.


NACS's CM Bulletin delivers the goods on a new company, One Click Grocery, that has opened in three university towns, offering students the ability to order groceries, toiletries, stationery items and more online and have them delivered for free. Minimum orders are $25; One Click employees shop at local stores for the ordered items.


Nice retro touch: Julie and Orville Huber, owners of the Karios bookstore and gift shop in Freeman, S.D., will add a 24-ft.-long soda fountain in the back room of the business, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.


Tatnuck Bookseller, whose main Worcester, Mass., store is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has opened a café in its Westborough store, which it opened last November. Owner Larry Abramoff told the MetroWest Daily News: "We want all of our customers to regard us as more than a bookstore--we're truly a destination and a place to feed your head."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Joan Didion, Jerry Lewis

This morning Imus in the Morning talks with Doris Kearns Goodwin, a regular guest whose new book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (S&S, $35, 0684824906), appears tomorrow.

Also this morning, Imus devours Patricia Cornwell whose Predator (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152830) is published tomorrow.


Bob Harper wins some time on the Today Show the morning to talk up The Biggest Loser: The Weight Loss Program to Transform Your Body, Health, and Life--Adapted from NBC's Hit Show! (Rodale, $18.95, 1594863849).


Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show hears confessions of Deborah Larsen, author of The Tulip and the Pope (Knopf, $24, 037541360X).


Tonight the Daily Show with Jon Stewart has a neoconversation with William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and editor of The Weekly Standard: A Reader 1995-2005 (HarperCollins, $27.95, 0060852747).


Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Joan Didion, author of The Year of Magical Thinking (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X).


Tonight the Late Show with David Letterman remembers old times with Jerry Lewis, author of Dean and Me: A Love Story (Doubleday, $26.95, 0767920864).

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Next Week, Vol. 1

Dads and father figures are the theme for three books appearing next week:

700 Sundays
by Billy Crystal (Warner, $21.95, 0446578673) goes on sale next Monday, October 31. A memoir based on Crystal's Broadway show of the same title, which refers to the time he spent as a child with his father who worked six days a week at two jobs.


The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam (Hyperion, $24.95 1401301541) goes on sale Tuesday, November 1. The coach is NFL coach Bill Belichick.


Ordinary Heroes
by Scott Turow (FSG, $25, 0374184216) also goes on sale November 1. A man learns more about his father's agonizing choices in World War II, in the courtroom and in love.

Powered by: Xtenit