Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harper: To Be a Man: Stories by Nicole Krauss

Scholastic Press:  The Captive Kingdom (the Ascendance Series, Book 4) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Big Picture Press: Maps: Deluxe Edition by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinska

Candlewick Press: Evelyn del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

Scholastic Press: Illegal: A Disappeared Novel, Volume 2 by Francisco X. Stork

Disney-Hyperion: The Mirror Broken Wish (Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao


Notes: Thunder Down Under; E-book Timing

Not surprisingly, reaction from the Australian book industry to the Productivity Commission's recommendations that parallel importing rules be abolished and writing and publishing subsidies be reviewed--mentioned here yesterday--was united and negative, according to Bookseller & Publisher Magazine's Weekly Book Newsletter.

Australian Booksellers Association CEO Malcolm Neil said, "Other than an ideological debate between various economic think-tanks, we see no evidence of a call from the rest of the community that justifies the introduction of yet more uncertainty into our industry."

Michael Heyward, head of Text Publishing Company, called territorial copyright "the very thing that underpins one of the most successful cultural industries we have" and said the free-market approach advocated by the Commission would "make it harder for Australians to be published and paid fairly, and will provide a big free-kick to foreign-based publishers and wholesalers."


Publishers are debating the timing of the e-book version of titles, particularly new books with large printings by big name authors, the New York Times wrote today. One of many examples: Doubleday is publishing five million hardcover copies of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, which will be released September 15. But the publisher hasn't yet decided when to release an e-book version of the book. Among the familiar questions: will e-books, which are much less expensive than hardcovers, cannibalize sales of the printed book?

The discussion mirrors that on Peter Brantley's list serve, some of whose regular participants are quoted by the Times and oddly labeled bloggers.


Last Words, a book that comedian George Carlin had been working on--in collaboration with Tony Hendra--for the final decade of his life, will be published by Free Press in November, according to USA Today. Carlin died last year.


Attending the birth of a publisher. On the Guardian's Books Blog, Sam Jordison observed: "Last weekend, I drove down the Suffolk coast to Aldeburgh to witness the launch of an increasingly rare phenomenon: the first book of a new publishing house. This new venture is Full Circle Editions, set up by Bloomsbury co-founder and Harry Potter discoverer-in-chief Liz Calder, together with TV producers John and Genevieve Christie and a former editor of the Bookseller, Louis Baum."

Jordison added that the debut title, The Burning of the Books, "is also a collaborative effort between the poet George Szirtes and the artist Ronald King. . . . Setting up a new publishing house in the teeth of recession seems therefore almost like an act of rebellion--especially when the house in question is dedicated to the promotion of the value of books as objects, and whose first release is--significantly--a reworking of Elias Canetti's book-destruction nightmare, Auto da Fé.


"What was Ian Fleming's first field assignment as an officer in Naval intelligence during the second world war?" If you know the answer, test your espionage skills in Guardian's quiz: "How much do you know about literary spies?"


Effective immediately, Simon & Schuster is handling sales, distribution and fulfillment for all new backlist BOOM! Studios titles to trade and specialty accounts in the U.S.

Founded in 2005, BOOM! Studios publishes both periodical comic books and graphic novels. BOOM!'s new imprint, BOOM! Kids, made its debut this past spring.

Michael Selleck, executive v-p, sales and marketing for Simon & Schuster, called BOOM! Studios "an excellent fit with our existing list, and we look forward to helping them expand their presence in traditional bookselling and specialty outlets.”

BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie said, "This is a critical step in our plan to build a mass market presence via newsstand and the book channel to represent some of the biggest and best brands in the world." These include the company's Pixar and Muppets comic books, Farscape, Die Hard and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Little Threats by Emily Schultz

Sales: May Bookstore and Publisher Sales Down in 3% Range

During May, bookstore sales fell 3% to $1.107 billion--down for the fourth month in a row--according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have dropped 3.8% to $6.310 billion.

By comparison, total retail sales in May dropped 12.8% to $313.682 billion compared to the same period a year ago. For the year to date, total retail sales were down 11.6% to $1,453.7 billion.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales.


In May, net book sales fell 3.2% to $637.9 million as reported by 86 publishers to the Association of American Publishers. For the year to date, sales fell 3.9% to $2.776 billion.

Results by category:

  • E-book exploded 196.6% to $11.5 million.
  • Children's/YA hardcover jumped 41.1% to $57.1 million.
  • Higher education climbed 24% to $141.2 million.
  • University press paperback rose 14.4% to $3.1 million.
  • Adult paperback rose 12.1% to $133.2 million.
  • Children's/YA paperback was up 1.3% to $43.5 million.
  • Professional and scholarly rose 1.1% to $52.9 million.
  • University press hardcover dipped 0.2% to $3.9 million.
  • Religious books fell 12.3% to $38.3 million.
  • Adult mass market dropped 14.8% to $64.7 million.
  • Audiobook slipped 22.7% to $10.7 million.
  • El-Hi was down 23.5% to $249.5 million.
  • Adult hardcover fell 40.7% to $96.9 million.



Peachtree Publishing Company: The Candy Mafia by Lavie Tidhar, illustrated by Daniel Duncan

Obituary Note: Michael Pritikin

A very sad story:

Michael Pritikin, long-time Pacific Northwest bookseller, was killed Monday morning in a collision while on his way to work in Idaho. Pritikin started in the trade book department at the University of Oregon bookstore, then became trade book manager at the Washington State University store in Pullman, Wash. After B&N took over management of the store, he stayed for six more years, until moving to the Northern Idaho University Bookstore in Coeur d'Alene two months ago. He was happy with the job, and he and his wife, Patti, were thinking about moving from Pullman to Coeur d'Alene next year. In the meantime, he commuted daily.

In addition to his bookstore jobs, from 2000 through 2007, Pritikin served as coordinator of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association's Rural Library Program. PNBA executive director Thom Chambliss said that Pritikin "was greatly beloved and admired by his friends and acquaintances in the Northwest bookselling community and will be missed by all."


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.10.20

Image of the Day: An ALA Thrill

Too busy to go to BookExpo America because he had just opened his store, Daniel Goldin, owner of Boswell Book Co., Milwaukee, Wis., (r.) spent a day in Chicago at the ALA convention, where he met characteristically reserved author James Ellroy (c.) and Random House rep Laura Baratto.

Photo: The One and Only Ruth Liebmann.


University of California Press: A People's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area, Volume 3 by Rachel Brahinsky, Alexander Tarr, Bruce Rinehart

Cape Cod Celebration: Titcomb's Turns 40

Congratulations to Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass., which has begun celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Highlights of the celebration are appearances between now and November at the Cape Cod bookstore by authors including Mary Oliver, Richard Russo, Wally Lamb, Andrew Clements and Jeannette Walls.

The store was founded Ralph and Nancy Titcomb in July 1969, when the Titcombs and their eight children moved to East Sandwich. The pair, who continue to own the store, had been selling antiquarian books and papers that they had discovered in their property in Canterbury, Conn., a mail-order business they called the Paper Barn.

The Paper Barn opened as a used and rare bookstore in a home on Route 6A originally built in 1790. Members of the family were recruited to help, including Nancy Titcomb's mother, Edna Ericksen, who worked at the store well into her 90s.

The business evolved and became Titcomb's Bookshop. In 1974, the wrought-iron colonial man statue, crafted by Ted Titcomb--one of the Titcomb children--as part of his college portfolio, was installed and has since become a landmark.

In 1989, Titcomb's Bookshop moved into its current barn-style building, which was built by Paul and Ted Titcomb, two of the Titcomb children. In 1991, the Titcombs' eldest daughter, Vicky Uminowicz, joined the staff and began expanding the store's selection of new books. She now manages the store. Another daughter, Nancy Ockers, works at the store part time.

Among the many authors who have appeared at the store are Geraldine Brooks, Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, Henry Winkler, Jeff Kinney and Andre Dubus III.

Steve Fisher, executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association, has commented: "For 40 years, Titcomb's Bookshop has embodied everything that is good and proud about independent bookselling dedicated to providing its customers with expertise, passion, individual service. Hats off to the next 40 years of local bookselling spirit!"

In 2007, the International Booksellers Federation selected Titcomb's Bookshop as one of 50 unique bookstores in the world and featured it in the IBF calendar.

Milkweed Editions: The Shame by Makenna Goodman

Media and Movies

Movies: A Woman in Berlin

A Woman in Berlin, based on the book by "Anonymous" and translated by Philip Boehm (Picador, $15, 9780312426118/0312426119), with the subtitle Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary, opens this Friday, July 17. Nina Hoss plays a Berlin resident who forms a relationship with a Red Army officer (Yevgeni Sidikhin) to protect herself from the brutal conditions of Soviet occupation. The film was adapted and directed by Max Färberböck.






University of California Press: The Koreas: The Birth of Two Nations Divided by Theodore Jun Yoo

Media Heat: Busted

Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Justin Fox, author of The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street (HarperBusiness, $27.99, 9780060598990/0060598999).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Wells Tower, author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned: Stories (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24, 9780374292195/0374292191). As the show put it: "Wells Tower is the most talked-about new story writer to emerge on the literary scene. This conversation focuses on the weird details he uses to illuminate a mostly conventional narrative arc. He talks about how he reins himself back from instinctive extremes in order to write a smoother, more readable story."


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Edmund Andrews, author of Busted: Life Inside the Great Mortgage Meltdown (Norton, $25.95, 9780393067941/0393067947).


AuthorBuzz: Berrett-Koehler Publishers: Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters
Powered by: Xtenit