Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 26, 2005

William Morrow & Company: Death of the Author by Nnedi Okorafor

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Running Press: Enter For a Chance to Win a Moonlit Explorer Pack!

Quill Tree Books: The Firelight Apprentice by Bree Paulsen


All the Books Fit to Sell: Times's New Store

The Lexington Herald-Leader has more information about the first New York Times airport bookstore, which will be operated under license by Paradies Shops, at Lexington, Ky.'s Blue Grass Airport. Paradies operates about 350 airport stores, some under its own name and some under licenses from Brooks Brothers, PGA Tour and CNBC, among others.

Scheduled to open in October and nicely situated across from the Bourbon Bar restaurant, the 1,738-sq.-ft. store will feature an online station with access to the Times Web site; a plasma TV with book-related videos, Discovery Times channel programming and news and documentaries produced by the Times; Times souvenirs and gifts--and the daily paper.

Possible arrival points for future Times stores: LaGuardia Airport in New York City and Bradley International near Hartford, Conn.

Zest Books: The Gender Binary Is a Big Lie: Infinite Identities around the World by Lee Wind

Bad News Follows Good News for B&N on Wall Street

Too pricey for its own good.

Citing a 26% runup in Barnes & Noble's stock this year, far outperforming most stock indexes, Goldman Sachs yesterday downgraded its rating on the book retailer to "underperform" from "inline," according to the Associated Press.

Goldman Sachs said that the company's stock has done well because B&N had taken steps to improve its financial condition by spinning off Gamestop and buying back debt and stock, but that the valuation of nearly $43 a share does not support "the kind of earnings growth opportunity that would typically support this kind of premium."

The investment bank estimated that sales at stores open at least a year would continue their typical growth range of between zero and 3%--except for the second quarter because of Harry Potter.

Yesterday, on a down day on Wall Street, B&N closed at $40.46, down 2.1%.

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Private Rites by Julia Armfield

Harry Potter and the Importance of Event Marketing

The many Harry Potter parties at campus bookstores helped nearby residents and the media "know we carry more than college textbooks," said Vickie McLeod, marketing manager at the UBC Bookstore, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, as quoted in "Life After Harry Potter: What's Next?" a thoughtful article in the current CM Bulletin from the National Association of College Store.

"The stores that had the special events got a lot of attention," McLeod continued. "People like being a part of things, and with event marketing you can take the same amount of money you would spend on traditional advertising to have an event. If you give them a good time, they'll want to come back."

Among her event marketing tips: contact local groups, monitor campus and community calendars for events and check the Internet for special days and months to tie events to.

In the same vein, Bryan Pearce, CEO of the University Bookstores at the University of Washington in Seattle, said, "Every event is an opportunity for us to do better at connecting with our customers. We have to work on getting those people back into our stores."

He suggested stores create databases for future contacts based on information gathered from contests, games and sales.

Alex Baker: Exceptional Design And Creative Services For The Publishing Industry

Media and Movies

Brothers Grimm, Weirdly on Screen

The Brothers Grimm, directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Ehren Kruger, opens this Friday. Gilliam, best known and perhaps most appreciated for his work with the legendary British comedy group Monty Python, presents a new take on the life of the famous Grimm brothers. The story chronicles the exploits of Jake (Heath Ledger) and Will (Matt Damon) Grimm, con artists traveling the country performing fake exorcisms and warding off illusionary monsters. However, the brothers are faced with a real curse and actual creatures when they enter a haunted forest. Many Brothers Grimm creations appear inside the forest, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel. The Brothers Grimm fairy tales are, of course, in the public domain and available in many editions.--Tobias Mutter

Books & Authors

Susan Gordon Lydon Dies at 61

Susann Gordon Lydon, a feminist journalist and author, died July 15, the Associated Press reported. She was the author of an influential feminist essay, "The Politics of Orgasm"; Take the Long Way Home: Memoirs of a Survivor, published in 1993; and two recent books reflecting her passion for knitting:

  • The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice (Broadway, $12.95, 0767916336), published last year.
  • Knitting Heaven and Earth: Healing the Heart with Craft (Broadway, $12.95, 0767915658), published just a month before her death.


Bad Bookstore Hair Day

In our Friday story about the imminent closing of R. Spot Barber and Books, San Diego, Calif., we mentioned Kathy Patrick's bookstore/beauty parlor but forgot Rueben Martinez's two Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery shops, in Santa Ana and Lynwood, Calif., which specialize in Spanish-language titles and have roots in a barber shop Martinez once ran. (In the barber shop, he lent out books; eventually he opened a bookstore in the space, and about 10 years ago, the barber shop went the way of '70s sideburns.) As if to emphasize Martinez's distance from hair-cutting days, last fall he won a $500,000 MacArthur "genius" grant.

Thank you, Diana Wells, for touching up our faulty memory.

The Bestsellers

Watermark Bestsellers--And Why

The most recent bestseller list for Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, Kan., for the week ending last Wednesday, July 20, is perhaps the one general bestseller tally in the country not topped by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Who was more popular than Harry? In a sense, former Kansas Senator Bob Dole. Watermark managing partner Sarah Bagby explained that during an appearance earlier this year for his World War II memoir, One Soldier's Story, Dole and the store staff talked about "who all should read this book"--about Dole's long and painful recovery from severe wounds and his ties to friends and family in Kansas. In response, Dole put together a philanthropic foundation to donate the books--with Watermark's help--to veterans' hospitals and Kansas libraries. "Lots of his friends have helped raise some of the money," she added. "We're getting some good sales."

Among other influences on the list: on Thursday, July 21, Reed Arvin, a former Wichitan, did a reading and signing for his new Blood of Angels, one of the four hardcover legal thrillers HarperCollins priced at $16.95 in a special promotion early this summer. Although that title didn't make this list, it was selling well after the reading, and in the runup to the event, Arvin's earlier Last Goodbye (HarperTorch, $7.50, 0060555521) said hello to Watermark bestsellerdom.

Similarly Barry Eisler appeared on July 9 to read and sign for his Killing Rain (Putnam, $24.95, 0399152849), the latest in his Rain series, which helped his earlier Rain Storm burst onto the list.

Another store bestseller, True Blueberry, a cookbook by Linda Dannenberg, has benefited from Watermark's tradition of having its café feature one cookbook a month and offer some treats from the book. For this tome, the café has served up blueberry pies, muffins, scones and shakes; and for book clubs meeting at the store, it's serving blueberry-sweet potato bread.

As for The Kite Runner, Bagby echoed other booksellers around the country who say that this title keeps selling, in large part because of reading group interest.

Watermark's bestsellers last week:

  1. One Soldier's Story by Bob Dole (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060763418)
  2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, 0439784549)
  3. True Blueberry: Delicious Recipes for Every Meal by Linda Dannenberg (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $22.50, 1584794178)
  4. The Wife of Reilly by Jennifer Coburn (Kensington, $12.95, 0758206267)
  5. The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat by Bob Woodward (S&S, $23, 0743287150)
  6. Rain Storm by Barry Eisler (Penguin, $7.99, 0451215508)
  7. The Last Goodbye by Reed Arvin (HarperCollins, $7.50, 0060555521)
  8. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)
  9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Penguin, $14, 1594480001)
  10. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)

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