"All I can tell you is that we are here fighting to the end," Borders CEO Mike Edwards told AnnArbor.com in an extensive interview where he acknowledged the myriad challenges to be faced while expressing hope the chain can emerge from court protection as a viable company. "We know we have a business plan that works, but it requires a lot of support to get it there, and our publishers are going to make or break our ability to transform this company at the end of the day."
He also addressed a perceived disconnect with the Ann Arbor community: "When the company was founded here by the Borders brothers, it was a very different environment. Very connected to the cause, very connected to downtown. When it became a multi-billion-dollar global brand, I don't think the thinking was about Ann Arbor anymore. The thinking was, we're running this big company that was based in Michigan....
"No one running a company really wants to screw it up. Like we show up for work every day and say, how do we run this company into the ground? There's been so much turnover at the company over the last four or five years. And a lot of those people still live in Ann Arbor. They don't have warm and loving feelings about an employer that laid them off. And that's understandable. Personally, I love downtown Ann Arbor. I live downtown. I would like to be located down there. It's the right environment for us. But at the end of the day, all the decisions we're making now are economic based and how do we best keep the company surviving in a very turbulent industry."
Joseph-Beth Booksellers said yesterday that it has "successfully transitioned out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ending a nearly six-month reorganization process which led to a new entity assuming daily operations of the Joseph-Beth stores located in Lexington, Cleveland and Cincinnati," LEX 18 reported.
"Today marks a new beginning for our company," said Mark Wilson, Joseph-Beth's president and CEO. "I would like to thank our hard-working associates for their dedication during this process. Without their efforts we would not be making this announcement today. I would also like to thank our customers, vendors, and community partners, whose support enabled us to be in the position we are in today, a stronger, more driven organization. On behalf of everyone here at Joseph-Beth, we look forward to working together to move this company forward." LEX 18 added that the company has invited "customers, friends and community partners to celebrate at Joseph-Beth on Sunday, May 22, during its Customer Appreciation Day."
What's in a name? Yesterday, the Keep Davis-Kidd Nashville Open Facebook page posted: "More news to come, but an independent bookstore for Nashville is in the works. In the meantime, please help us decide on a name. Open for suggestions also!"
Barnes & Noble may unveil a new e-book reader later this month, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which "says simply that the company, in the meeting, 'indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011, regarding the launch of a new eReader device,' " MarketWatch reported.
On May 23, just as BookExpo America begins, the Authors Guild
will honor Terry Gross, host of NPR's Fresh Air, for her "extraordinary
service to the American literary community by bringing well-informed
conversations with thousands of authors to Fresh Air's vast audience."
At the annual Authors Guild dinner, celebrating writers and writing,
Gross will receive the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to
the Literary Community. John Lithgow will serve as emcee at the dinner,
which will be held at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
Scott Macdonald has been appointed
president and CEO of Zondervan. He had been appointed interim president in
March. He joined the company last December as acting general manager of Zondervan's
the City unit. Earlier he was president of Lemstone Christian Stores and
worked at several technology companies.
Tenants and business owners at Brooks House in downtown Brattleboro, Vt., are still assessing their long-term prospects after a six-alarm fire last month that caused severe damage to the historic building, which also housed the Book Cellar bookstore (Shelf Awareness, April 19, 2011).
Manager Ana McDaniel told the Commons that "we can't just plop down anywhere. We need a storefront location, and there just isn't much available." McDaniel cited the bookstore's "loyal following"--in person and online--as a key to survival now, adding that many of the store's regular customers have pledged continued support.
Owner Lisa Sullivan, who was on vacation when the fire struck, also owns Bartleby’s Books in Wilmington. "It's the silver lining [in] this disaster," McDaniel observed. "But the loss of business [overall] has been dramatic. The business of selling books in a bricks-and-mortar store is challenging, to say the least. I don't think we could get up and move to a shopping center and expect our following to come with us." McDaniel added that she plans to focus even more on the online side of the business during this transition period.
Despite all the setbacks, the Commons noted that tomorrow the Book Cellar will still host a previously scheduled book signing for Rick Riordan, author of The Kane Chronicles, Book Two: The Throne of Fire, "in the River Garden, a location that was generously offered as an alternative venue."
easy is it to order Google eBooks from an indie bookstore? Even Sparky
the Sock can find just the right "Goooooogly Books," as the latest video treat from Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., demonstrates.
We now present photographic evidence of the "Snooki moment," when Jersey Shore icon and sometime author (or at least an unreasonable facsimile in the form of spray-tanned Jon Scieszka) appeared onstage during awards presentations at Monday night's gala kicking off Children's Book Week (Shelf Awareness, May 3, 2011).
While Neil Gaiman's fans are legion, they do not include certain Minnesota House Republicans. The Star Tribune reported that when Rep. Dean Urdahl "introduced a new version of a Legacy amendment funding bill that would remove specific money recommendations for the state's influential public radio network and other cultural organizations and said they would instead compete for grants," House Majority Leader Matt Dean complained specifically about a payment of Legacy money last year to Gaiman for a speaking appearance. Dean said that Gaiman, "who I hate," was a "pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota."
Gaiman quickly took up the gauntlet on Twitter and then on his blog. In addition to calling out Dean for saying "the kind of thing that you expect to hear at school from fourteen-year old bullies," Gaiman admitted, "I like 'pencil-necked weasel.' It has 'pencil' in it. Pencils are good things. You can draw or write things with pencils. I think it's what you call someone when you're worried that using a long word like 'intellectual' may have too many syllables. It's not something that people who have serious, important things to say call other people."
But being labeled a "thief" was another matter: "I don't like being called a thief. I'm pretty sure that I know what thieves are and do.... I do not know whether this man is calling me 'a thief' because:
A) I charged more than he's comfortable with for a talk, or
B) People happily pay me a lot of money to come and give talks, or
C) He thinks I gave the talk wearing a stripy sweater to an audience of people who were there at gunpoint and afterwards took their wallets, or
D) He's against the principles of the Free Market, and feels that governments should regulate how much people are paid to talk in public.
Book trailer of the day: Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks
by Juliet Eilperin (Pantheon).