Notes: Store Changes, February Book Sense Picks
Book Sense has made its February picks. Check them out here
Yesterday's USA Today
in about authors who phone in to book clubs. Until recently authors
often facilitated such events through their Web sites. Now publishers,
too, are helping authors and clubs to connect.
Here we go again. USA Today
also has an item with photo
about Sony's e-book reader, unveiled yesterday at the Consumer
Electronics Show, which features "electronic paper," an innovation the
company believes allows for "long immersive reading."
The Bookery II, which has been in the DeWitt Mall in Ithaca, N.Y., for
25 years, will close in several months, owner Jack Goldman told the Ithaca Journal
. He will keep open the Bookery I, which he founded in 1975.
Goldman said that the opening of Borders and Barnes & Noble in Ithaca has had a "gradual" effect on business.
Barnes & Noble plans to open a 46,590-sq.-ft. store, one of its
largest, in October in Buffalo, N.Y. The store will be in the Walden
Galleria and stock the usual nearly 200,000 book, music, DVD and
The company also plans to replace its Cape Girardeau, Mo., store. When
it opens a new store in the Westfield West Park mall in November, it
will close the existing B&N at 3035 Williams Street.
Laura Watkins has been promoted to v-p of marketing and publicity at
BenBella Books. She was formerly director of marketing and publicity.
Also at BenBella, Leah Wilson has been promoted to editor from
associate editor. She is mainly responsible for the Smart Pop line.
Holiday Hum: 'Choppy But Overall Respectable'
December sales figures at general retailers show a "choppy but overall
respectable" holiday season, as the AP put it. Overall sales rose 3.2%,
not counting the many millions of as-yet-unredeemed gift cards or
online activity. Luxury stores did best, and discount stores, notably
behemoth Wal-Mart, dragged down overall sales. Rising energy costs and the uneven economy most affected lower-income consumers.
As noted here earlier this week, Wal-Mart sales came in at the low end
of predictions, with sales up 2.2% at stores open at least a year.
Overall sales rose 6.3%. But other discount retailers did well.
Target's 4.7% comp-store sales gain beat estimates, and Costco boosted
same-store sales 7%.
Luxury stores also did well. Nordstrom comp-store sales rose 7.7%.
Neiman Marcus was up 5.3%. Several specialty stores also did well. Abercrombie & Fitch had an
eye-popping 29% jump in same-store sales.
Among Wal-Mart-like laggards: Talbots, up 1.1%, J.C. Penney, up 2.2%, and Limited Brands up 3%. Dollar General dropped 2.8%.
Sales at Barnes & Noble superstores in the nine weeks ended
December 31 rose 5.2% to $1.1 billion. Sales at stores open at least a
year rose 2.3%, a reasonable amount but less than Books-A-Million's 4.1%
comp-store gain, noted here yesterday.
At Dalton mall stores, sales dropped 18.4% to $41.3 million, because of
store closings. Comp-store sales increased 3%. B&N.com sales rose
1% to $106.1 million in the same period.
B&N has reaffirmed its estimates for fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.
Another company reported a boom year. Sales at Biblio.com, the online
used, rare and out-of-print marketplace, rose 130% in 2005. CEO Brendan
Sherar called this a "breakthrough" for the three-year-old company,
which offers more than 30 million titles from more than 4,500
booksellers around the world.
Bookselling This Week
has a solid roundup of sales at independent bookstores in the holiday
season. Most reported "moderate to significant increases."
While some bookstores in New York City suffered from during the
three-day transit strike just before Christmas, at least one store felt
a positive effect. Bank Street Bookstore on the Upper West Side near
Columbia University was "exceedingly busy during those three days, and
it kept up right to Christmas Eve," according to Beth Puffer. "I think
local people shopped more in the neighborhood, and those who worked
around here did more shopping locally. They might have been able to get
to and from work during the strike, but they couldn't get downtown to
Book Vault Opens Main Doors
Courtesy of Paz & Associates, herewith a "bookstore birth announcement":
Book Vault, a general independent bookstore, opened last month in a renovated
historic bank building in Oskaloosa, Iowa, about 65 miles southeast of
Des Moines. The owners are Nancy Simpson, retired
director of the Oskaloosa Public Library, and Julie Hansen, director of
the William Penn University Library. Monica Becker is the store manager.
The 2,500-sq.-ft. store has 13,500 titles and offers author signings,
children's events, cooking demonstrations and home improvement "how-to"
workshops in cooperation with other downtown businesses. Customers can
walk through the neighboring coffee shop, Smokey Row.
Each of the three vaults house a specific collection: Iowa; discovery;
and mystery/true crime/horror. The store also carries sidelines such as
greeting cards, gourmet kitchen utensils, food mixes and dishware, art
prints and handcrafted jewelry.
Conceived by the owners, the renovation included the preservation
of such architectural elements
as the marble walls, stained glass skylights and original vaults. A
demonstration kitchen and computer stations were added during the
Book Vault is located at 105 S. Market St., Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577; 641-676-1777; www.bookvault.org
Good Vibrations to Buzz in Brookline
One of the more fun stores that carries books as a sideline is opening
a branch on the East Coast.
Good Vibrations, which has three stores in
the Bay Area in California and the motto "promoting sexual health and
pleasure since 1977," will begin humming on January 20 in the
Coolidge Corner part of Brookline, near Boston (and within cuddling
distance of the Brookline Booksmith).
Carol Queen, who has a Ph.D. and is the Good Vibration's staff sexologist, said
she is "thrilled that we have finalized our new location and will be
able to open before Valentine's Day."
The company, which carries books, sex toys, personal care products and
specializes in "accurate sexual information," noted that there are more
than 400,000 college students in the Boston area. As in the Bay Area,
the company aims to work in partnership with local colleges and
universities to provide "up-to-date sexual education."
In its stores and on its Web site
, Good Vibrations offers books in a range of categories, from how to titles,
sex guides and sex and relationship education to erotic fiction for all
interests and erotic art books. Good Vibrations also has audiobooks
and books in Spanish.
Media Heat: A Queen, Star and a Mom
This morning the Early Show holds court with Jill Conner Browne, whose latest is The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide (Crown, $22.95, 1400049695).
This morning on the Today Show: Sharon Roach, mother of Laci Peterson and author of For Laci: A Mother's Story of Love, Loss and Justice (Crown, $25.95, 0307338282).
Today the View focuses on the View's own Star Jones, whose Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love (HarperResource, $24.95, 0060824182) appears today. Star is also the star on 20/20 tonight.
Attainment: More New Books Next Week
Major fiction titles that appear next Tuesday, January 10:
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (Knopf, $24.95, 030726310X).
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this novel focuses on the true
story of the intersection of two late Victorian men, Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle, and an obscure country lawyer. Call it the Case of the Guilty
Husband Who Helps a Falsely Accused Half-Indian Man.
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell by Lilian Jackson Braun (Putnam,
$23.95, 0399153071). Koko and Yum Yum help solve another mystery.
Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin (Random, $24.95, 0345483189). In
1959, recent journalism grad Emma Gant arrives in southern Florida to
work as a reporter at the Miami Star--and becomes enmeshed with the
first flood of exiles from Castro's Cuba.
Small Steps by Louis Sachar (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $16.95,
0385733143). A major step from the author of the bestselling Holes.
Death Dance: A Novel by Linda A. Fairstein (Scribner, $26, 0743254899).
The latest Alexander Cooper mystery from the former chief prosecutor in
the Manhattan D.A.'s office sex crimes unit.
The Book Sense/Heartland List
The following were the bestselling titles during the week ended Sunday,
January 1, at Great Lakes Booksellers Association and Midwest
Booksellers Association stores as reported to Book Sense:
1. Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou (Random House, $9.95, 1400065585)
2. The Lighthouse by P.D. James (Knopf, $25.95, 030726291X)
3. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152970)
4. Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow (FSG, $25, 0374184216)
5. Light From Heaven by Jan Karon (Viking, $26.95, 0670034533)
6. Christ the Lord by Anne Rice (Knopf, $25.95, 0375412018)
7. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (Regan Books, $26.95, 0060548932)
8. At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks (Warner, $24.95, 0446532428)
9. The March by E.L. Doctorow (Random House, $25.95, 0375506713)
10. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385504209)
11. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)
12. The Camel Club by David Baldacci (Warner, $26.95, 0446577383)
13. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Penguin, $25.95, 1594200637)
14. The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini (S&S, $18.95, 074328657X)
15. Predator by Patricia Cornwell (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152830)
1. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
2. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X)
3. Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter (S&S, $25, 0743284577)
4. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S, $35, 0684824906)
5. My Friend Leonard by James Frey (Riverhead, $24.95, 1573223158)
6. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (Scribner, $26, 0743243773)
7. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
8. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884)
9. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324)
10. Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060738170)
11. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (Seven Stories, $23.95, 158322713X)
12. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)
13. The Elements of Style Illustrated by William Strunk et al. (Penguin Press, $24.95, 1594200696)
14. The Truth (With Jokes) by Al Franken (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949062)
15. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $30, 140004006X)
Trade Paperback Fiction
1. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (Regan Books, $15, 0060987103)
2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
3. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Vintage, $14.95, 0307275167)
4. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, $13.95, 081297235X)
5. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay, $13.95, 0316010707)
6. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $14, 0743454537)
7. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $14, 0743454553)
8. The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95, 0060557559)
9. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (Vintage, $14.95, 1400079497)
10. Runaway by Alice Munro (Vintage, $14.95, 1400077915)
11. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx (Scribner, $9.95, 0743271327)
12. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, $16, 0743227441)
13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12.95, 1400032717)
14. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
15. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest, $14, 015602943X)
Trade Paperback Nonfiction
1. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (Anchor, $14.95, 0307276902)
2. Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg M.D. (Three Rivers, $13.95, 1400082315)
3. 365: No Repeats by Rachael Ray (Clarkson Potter, $19.95, 1400082544)
4. Collapse by Jared Diamond (Penguin, $17, 0143036556)
5. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
6. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2006 edited by Ken Park (World Almanac, $12.95, 0886879647)
7. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Vintage, $14, 0679745580)
8. Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson (Harvest, $15, 0156031442)
9. The End of Faith by Sam Harris (Norton, $13.95, 0393327655)
10. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
11. Bad Cat by Jim Edgar (Workman, $9.95, 0761136193)
12. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552)
13. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (Back Bay, $8.95, 0316779237)
14. Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook by Dawn J. Ranck (Good Books, $16.95, 1561483397)
15. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (Plume, $15, 0452287081)
1. The Broker by John Grisham (Dell, $7.99, 0440241588)
2. Red Lily by Nora Roberts (Jove, $7.99, 0515139408)
3. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $7.99, 0671027360)
4. State of Fear by Michael Crichton (Avon, $7.99, 0061015733)
5. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Vintage, $7.99, 1400096898)
6. Whiteout by Ken Follett (Signet, $7.99, 0451215710)
7. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, 4th Edition (Merriam-Webster, $7.50, 0877799296)
8. Double Tap by Steve Martini (Jove, $7.99, 0515139734)
9. The Swarm War (Star Wars: Dark Nest III) by Troy Denning (Del Rey, $6.99, 0345463056)
10. Deception Point by Dan Brown (Pocket, $7.99, 0671027387)
Children's (Fiction and Illustrated)
1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (children's movie tie-in edition) by C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0060765461)
2. A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy, illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Hyperion, $19.95, 0786851112)
3. The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12) by Lemony
Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins, $11.99,
4. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
5. Ptolemy's Gate (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 3) by Jonathan Stroud (Miramax Books, $17.95, 0786818611)
6. Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $21, 037582670X)
7. Winter's Tale by Robert Sabuda (Little Simon, $26.95, 0689853637)
8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $6.99, 059035342X)
9. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $6.99, 0439064872)
11. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House, $19.99, 0439554004)
12. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (HarperTrophy, $6.99, 0064471101)
13. The Chronicles of Narnia (boxed set) by C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins, $19.99, 0066238501)
14. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, 0439784549)
15. Dawn (Warriors: The New Prophecy #3) by Erin W. Hunter (HarperCollins, $15.99, 0060744553)
[Many thanks to Book Sense, GLBA and MBA!]