Notes: Cheney Memoir; B&N.com Names Exec V-P, Shopping
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has signed an estimated $2 million deal with Simon & Schuster's Threshold Editions to write a memoir, the New York Times reported. The book should appear in the spring of 2011.
Thousands of Kindle users who have signed up on an Amazon website meet people who are interested in buying Kindles to demonstrate their e-readers and answer questions, according to the Wall Street Journal. The informal program was begun last year, but has found "new popularity" since the launch of the Kindle DX.
In part, the program addresses the problem of how an online-only company displays products that some customers want to try before buying.
Oddly one volunteer profiled in the story is a Borders bookseller who shows interested people her Kindle in the store parking lot before she goes to work.
Greenlight Bookstore Blog offered a "Look Inside the Space" of their bookstore-in-progress in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and noted: "We'll be posting much more detail about our plans, with lots of pictures, in the days to come. Hope you enjoy the peek inside, and share our excitement in imagining--and observing--Greenlight Bookstore taking shape in this space!"
Third Coast Digest featured "a summer reading guide, full of locally-sourced recommendations that run the gamut from pulse-quickening mysteries and thrillers to historical romance to classics you've been meaning to catch up on. Buy them locally, request them from the library or borrow them from a friend--whatever you do, READ ON!"
Amiong the Milwaukee-area recommenders were Boswell Book Company, Next Chapter Bookshop, A Broader Vocabulary Cooperative, Open Book Co-op and Woodland Pattern Book Center.
In the wake of Shaman Drum Bookshop's announced closing (Shelf Awareness, June 10, 2009), another Ann Arbor, Mich., bookstore has publicly expressed concerns about its own viability. The Chronicle reported that Martin Contreras and Keith Orr, co-owners of Common Language Bookstore, sent an e-mail to customers warning that the shop "is not making enough sales to support itself. Its very existence is in peril," and asking for community support.
Contreras and Orr told the Chronicle they have been subsidizing the bookstore with their personal savings as well as money from \aut\BAR, another business they own and "can't continue that indefinitely--sales have to increase to support the store." Despite the call for help from the community, the owners "aren't planning to shut their doors next week or even next month."
In addition to cutting costs and searching for additional sales, Orr said "they've gone to LGBT conferences and festivals, and they've tried to capture online sales through the store's website. They've run promotions connected to the \aut\BAR--10% off an entree if you buy something that same day at the bookstore," according to the Chronicle.
Orr acknowledged that while Karl Pohrt, Shaman Drum's owner, also attempted to generate enough community support to stay in business, he thinks there are "key differences" giving him hope that Common Language will succeed, including the fact that his bookshop is a niche rather than general interest store.
Rizzoli Bookstore at Empire Gallery, Sag Harbor, N.Y., "spotlights art, architecture and design books accented by artwork," 27east.com reported in a profile of the shop. The "bookstore/gallery is a new venture with a name that might suggest a split personality . . . But the couple who launched the new enterprise, Anthony Petrillose and Kristen Roeder, are passionate about books and the visual arts."
Petrillose, who is also a managing editor at Rizzoli Publications,
observed: "We only have art and design and architecture and fashion
books. All the books are new. No one out here is doing anything like
this. We hope people will come in and look through our books . . .
Rizzoli works with their artists to make sure it's a book they're happy
with. I think people appreciate the quality and will be able to come
here and find something special."
Chapter & Verse, the Christian Science Monitor's
book blog, asked, "Breathes there a reader in the Western world today
who doesn't know that these are tough times for independent bookstores?
And yet it will still surprise and grieve many to learn that Brentano's
Paris is shutting its doors after 114 years at 37, Avenue Opéra."
In a Denver Post article headlined "Kindle gnaws at books' shelf-esteem," Tattered Cover's Joyce Meskis said, "The electronic hand-held book is just part of the experience now. But physical books--they're a tactile pleasure as well as a cerebral one."
The Post reported that Meskis "remains confident that e-books and websites can't replace the physical community and leisurely browsing that bookstores provide. 'We find our technologies of great use to us in today's world, but ink on paper between boards is a pretty good technology in and of itself,' she said."
ReadHowYouWant has signed six new publishing partners: Hay House, Springer, Poisoned Pen, Harvard Common Press, New Harbinger Publications and Cleis Press.
The Midwest Independent Publishers Association and the Independent Book Publishers Association (formerly PMA) are sponsoring a regional publishing university called Publishing Matters on Friday and Saturday, August 14 and 15, at the Minneapolis Airport in Bloomington, Minn. For more information, go to mipa.org.
Becky Anderson, head of Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville, Aurora and Downers Grove, Ill., and Dan Cullen, senior director of editorial content at the American Booksellers Association, have joined the board of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
Anderson is the new v-p of the ABA. Cullen replaces Oren Teicher, ABA's new CEO.
Jamie Iannone has joined Barnes&Noble.com as executive v-p, shopping, where he will be responsible for "optimizing the online shopping experience" for customers as well as managing new business opportunities and other strategic initiatives.
He joined B&N.com from eBay, where he was most recently v-p of global search and earlier v-p of buyer experience. Before that, he worked at Microsoft, Primedia Ventures and Booz Allen & Hamilton.
Effective July 1, Make Believe Ideas (MBI) will be distributed in the U.S. by Thomas Nelson, which will sell MBI to a range of markets, including Christian retail, independent bookstores and specialty stores.
In a statement, Tod Shuttleworth, Nelson's senior v-p of specialty and global publishing, said that MBI's "products will be a wonderful complement to our existing children's line."
Mike Park, MBI's commercial director, noted that MBI has "already built up an excellent working relationship with Thomas Nelson."
MBI has been distributed by Ingram Publisher Services.