American Booksellers Association members have voted in the three candidates nominated for the board. Serving three-year terms as directors beginning next month are John Evans, co-owner of DIESEL Bookstores in Brentwood and Oakland, Calif.; Matt Norcross, co-owner of McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.; and Ken White, manager of the General Books Department at San Francisco State University Bookstore. This will be White's second three-year term as an ABA board member, Bookselling this Week reported.
ABA members also ratified Becky Anderson, co-owner of Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville, Ill., to serve a two-year term as ABA president; and Steve Bercu, co-owner of BookPeople, Austin, Tex., to serve a two-year term as vice-president.
BTW noted that with Anderson's election to the presidency, the board "will appoint a bookseller to fill her place as a director on the Board until the next annual election, at which time the person filling the vacancy may be eligible for nomination as a candidate to stand for election."
In a regulatory filing Wednesday, Amazon said the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into its sales tax dispute with Texas, the Seattle Times reported. The standoff began last September when the state assessed $269 million from Amazon in uncollected sales tax, interest and penalties for the four years running from December 2005 to December 2009. Amazon has since threatened to pull its warehouse operations out of Texas (Shelf Awareness, February 11, 2011)
"In March 2011, the SEC staff notified us of an inquiry concerning this assessment, and we are cooperating with the staff's inquiry," Amazon said.
The Times also noted that Amazon "raised another potential problem Wednesday when it disclosed that the Internal Revenue Service recently sent 'Notices of Proposed Adjustment' for 2005 and 2006 relating to the company's 'transfer pricing' with its foreign subsidiaries. The IRS is proposing to increase Amazon's U.S. taxable income, which would result in about $1.5 billion in additional federal tax expenses, plus interest, for seven years beginning in 2005."
Amazon, which intends to "vigorously contest" the adjustments, said, "If we are not able to resolve these proposed adjustments at the IRS examination level, we plan to pursue all available administrative and, if necessary, judicial remedies."
In the wake of Wednesday's vote against sales tax incentives by South Carolina's House of Representatives (Shelf Awareness,
April 28, 2011), Amazon v-p Paul Misener told the Associated Press (via
the Seattle Times) that the company is abandoning plans to build a
distribution center in Lexington County. "The Amazon facility will not be an Amazon facility," he said. "The 1,200 jobs and nearly $100 million in capital investment that were coming to the state, aren't." Misener
added that he does not expect negotiations to resume.
The Charleston Regional Business Journal reported that the legislative battle appears to be over. Senator Larry Martin said that the House vote was too strong to overcome by turning a few votes here and there: "I don't think the Senate will spend a lot of time on it now."
The iPad's reputation as an e-reading device took a hit this week when results of a Simba Information survey, "Trade E-Book Publishing 2011," indicated that 40% of iPad owners have not used the device to read a single e-book. The survey also found "a shift in demographic makeup of the e-book buyer from men to women during 2010--which brings the e-book format more in line with longtime trends in print books."
"A lot of people equate the sale of a new gadget with the creation of a new reader, and it just doesn't happen," said Michael Norris, senior analyst and author of the report. "In both the offline and online world, there are a lot of independent factors and distractions that will keep a person from discovering and enjoying a book."
Labyrinth Books, New Haven, Conn., could shut down "in as soon as two weeks" unless a buyer makes an offer, the Yale Daily News reported. "We're hoping for a Hail Mary buyer," said manager Martha MacDonald. "Times are tough in books." Labyrinth's co-owner Dorothea Von Moltke indicated that "plans were still being finalized for a new bookseller to move into the space, but declined to comment further."
Several students expressed ambivalence about the potential closure, saying they would buy textbooks online instead. MacDonald, who has noticed a decrease in customer traffic, said, "If a community wants a bookstore to stay... the first thing they should do is buy the books."
Cool idea of the day: Jeremiah's Vanishing New York recommended John Waters's curated collection of books on display at the Strand bookstore in New York City. "Here are books that will help you become a well-rounded, happy neurotic who can finally reject your own guilt and shame and embrace the outer limits of human behavior," Waters promises.
Cool royal wedding idea of the day: "In honor of the goings-on in Jolly Old England" today, the Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C., is featuring a Royal Wedding Discount Club Sale through Sunday, during which "all of our books in English will be on sale!" Customers who can't make it to the store--"If you're in London for the wedding this weekend?"--are invited to place wedding-inspired orders by phone or online.
The New York Times featured "monobookist" Andrew Kessler's ultimate niche indie, a "charming independent bookstore" in the West Village with an inventory consisting of "3,000 or so copies" of his book Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission.
"This makes books feel like an art installation," he said. "We should care about them.... I was thinking about people that just sell one thing really well."
Tapping into the zeitgeist. Adam Mansbach's trouble getting his two-year-old to sleep last June has turned a lighthearted Facebook rant--"Look out for my forthcoming children's book, 'Go the **** to Sleep' "--into a bestseller. Mansbach's children's book for adults is scheduled for an October release from Akashic, but Go the F**k to Sleep has, "seemingly out of nowhere," gone viral, climbing Amazon's bestseller list on the strength of pre-orders alone, the New York Times reported. It was ranked number 8 this morning.
Craft expressed understandable awe over The Press, "an amazing printing press creation by Oakland, Calif., artist Shawn HibmaCronan. Made from steel, bamboo, oak, cork, and rope, Shawn built almost every aspect of The Press himself." The Press is featured in the window of the new Compass Books at SFO airport (Shelf Awareness, April 20, 2011).
Anticipating this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, KCET offered a photo tour showing "how books played an important role in Southern California's art and commerce."
Bookselling This Week profiled the Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady, N.Y., which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Co-owner Janet Hutchinson is "planning her store's anniversary festivities around the year it opened--1971. There will be a large display called 'What was going on in the world in 1971,' which compiles noteworthy events that occurred throughout the year. To give the display a more personal feel, staff members are bringing in pictures of themselves from that year, and they've been asking prominent people in the community what they were doing in '71."
What is the date of the revolution in Terry Pratchett's Night Watch? As an antidote to the royal wedding frenzy, the Guardian featured a revolutionaries in fiction quiz.
Bookcase of the day: "Provide the dimensions of your favorite stack of books to San Francisco-based furniture maker Jane Dandy, and she’ll create a wooden side table that perfectly encases them," Brews, Books, Etc. wrote.
Letters of Note, which showcased the original copy of Stephen King's 1961 letter submitting his short story "The Killer" to Spacemen magazine, noted that editor Forrest Ackerman rejected the work, "and it would be another 33 years before he changed his mind and decided to publish it in issue #202 of another of his magazines: Famous Monsters of Filmland."
Walkin' in a Wimpy Wonderland! Now that you've finally put your wool coat away, you may actually start anticipating the holidays, thanks to Jeff Kinney and his promise of a winter-themed book number 6, due out in November. "I'm very excited to be writing the sixth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, which features the Heffley family being snowed in," Kinney said. "Having just experienced an epic winter in New England, I've had plenty of inspiration to draw from." In the meantime, fans have the May 10 laydown of the expanded Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book to look forward to, with its million-copy first printing, plus the simultaneous relaunch of the Wimpy Kid website.
What are the "50 Best Western Literature Blogs"? CollegeEducationOnline.corg offered its choices.
In June, Melville House will host the second annual Moby Awards for best
and worst book trailers made in 2010. Prizes will be given out for the
best and worst trailers, best and worst performancs by an author and best cameo performance, as well best
foreign book trailer, bloodiest book trailer, and trailer with the most
annoying music. The submission deadline has been extended to May
13. Authors and
publishers can submit their trailers by going to www.mobyawards.com. A shortlist will be announced May 27.
year's panel of judges includes Stephanie Anderson of WORD bookstore,
GalleyCat's Jason Boog, Patrick Brown of GoodReads, Blake Butler of HTML
Giant, Michele Filgate of McNally Jackson bookstore, the Huffington Post's Amy Hertz, Electric Literature's Andy Hunter, Dennis Johnson of Melville House, C. Max Magee of the Millions, Flavorpill's Kathleen Massara, Laura Miller of Salon and Slate's Troy Patterson.
Effective July 1, Simon & Schuster
will handle all sales, distribution and fulfillment in the U.S., Canada and
open markets for Hooked on Phonics.
Hooked on Phonics was founded in 1987 and
is a division of Sandviks, Inc. The company has handled trade sales in-house.