Sadly after three years in business, BookStream, the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., wholesaler founded in 2005 with the goal of offering a flat 42% on all orders to all accounts with no minimums (Shelf Awareness, September 8, 2005), is closing, effective January 23. Throughout its existence, the company was unable to get credit from publishers, and in the past year, BookStream couldn't raise the capital necessary to continue funding its inventory to its standards.
In a letter to customers, president and CEO Jack Herr and executive v-p and CFO Rich Stone thanked booksellers in the Northeast for their "enthusiastic reception" and support as well as "truly remarkable support" from sales reps.
They also thanked their staff, including Ken Abramson, Carolyn Bennett, Carol Chittenden, Lily Bartels, Felice Farrell, Kim Soyka, George Bartels and Omari Jones.
The number of books sold in Canada in the last three months of 2008 rose 6% compared to the same period in 2007 although revenues rose just 2%, according to BookNet Canada (via the Toronto Star).
In a statement, BookNet Canada CEO Michael Tamblyn said, "These are strong numbers considering both the economic climate and the winter climate this year. Canadian book-lovers were tested by economic uncertainty and terrible weather coast-to-coast in the last two weeks of December and still fought their way into bookstores."
Because the U.S. and Canadian dollars were almost par for much of last year, Canadian publishers and booksellers were under pressure to lower book prices to make Canadian prices in line with U.S. prices.
Saying that Barnes & Noble's holiday sales were "better than feared" and that the company may be able to capture greater market share because of Borders's problems, J.P. Morgan upgraded B&N stock to "neutral" from "underweight," the AP reported.
Morgan also said that B&N's "debt-free and cash-heavy position" should "help it weather softness in the market and capitalize on strategic investments if opportunities arise."
Al Roker's new pick for the Today Show Book Club for Kids is Change Has Come, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, with the words of Barack Obama (S&S, $12.99, 9781416989554/1416989552). The text consists of excerpts from speeches Obama has given, including his 2004 keynote at the Democratic National Convention and the election-night speech last November 4.
S&S has created a book trailer (with Obama's voice, set to music) that can be viewed on YouTube.
Cool Idea of the Day: on ReadKiddoRead.com, James Patterson and librarian expert Judy Freeman list their favorite children's books, "the ones that leave kids wanting more and more to read." The site includes a blogging community, interviews with authors such as Julie Andrews, Jeff Kinney and Rick Riordan, an "almost can't-miss sure shot books for boys" section and online resources for adults.
Walden Media has won the Association of American Publishers' 2009 Honors Award for its "inspired work in generating an appreciation for, and love of, good children's books." Walden has produced such films as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Because of Winn-Dixie, Holes, Charlotte's Web and Bridge to Terabithia and has an educational outreach program that emphasizes the books the movies are based on.
The award will be presented at the AAP's annual meeting March 11 in New York. The AAP is making a $5,000 donation to Reach Out and Read, which Walden Media chose. Reach Out and Read is a national program that promotes literacy with young children, particularly at pediatric clinics.
Shelf Awareness has updated its listing of trade and consumer book fairs for this year. Check the schedule at shelf-awareness.com/news.html.
"It's a fun business. I like the whole independence of it," Wally Bryant, owner of Books on Sale, Indianapolis, Ind., told the Star,
which observed that in "6,000 square feet with wide aisles in a
storefront in Southern Plaza Shopping Center, 100,000 books fill
shelves and rest on tables . . . covering virtually every category of
reader interest." Although Books on Sale carries some new titles, the
bookshop focuses primarily on "gently used" books.
Say it ain't so, Walt. Reading Trout Bookstore, Celebration, Fla., will close at the end of the month, according to MousePlanet,
which noted that owners Amy and Adam Parrish "are expecting their first
child this summer and, coupled with their 'day jobs' for the Disney
Company, have found their plate becoming too full."
Ever wonder what Sebastian Faulks's writing room looks like? The Guardian
offered a peek, and Faulks observed that "the room is not as seedy as
the picture makes it look, though I admit that the decor--if that's not
too strong a word--is the subject of some hilarity to female
interviewers. I don't care what it looks like, only how it works."
Copies of Charlotte Gray in Danish prop up the desk, which was too low for the author to fit his knees under.
Philip Turner, who began in the book business as an independent bookseller with Under Cover Books, has held executive editorial positions with Kodansha America, Times Books, Crown and Carroll & Graf and had been editorial director and v-p of Union Square Press at Sterling Publishing for two years, was laid off as part of the extensive cuts Barnes & Noble made last week (Shelf Awareness, January 15, 2009). Union Square is being folded into Sterling, which is owned by B&N. Turner, who can be reached at email@example.com, is already at work on installing his vision for what he calls "a purpose-driven imprint" in another venue.