Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Harper Voyager: Dragon Rider (Soulbound Saga #1) by Taran Matharu

Page Street YA: The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray by Christine Calella

HarperOne: I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays by Michael Arceneaux

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Severn River Publishing: Covert Action (Command and Control #5) by J.R. Olson and David Bruns

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Editors' Note

Shared Views Above the Treeline

Today we have the first of what promises to be a regular collaboration with Above the Treeline, the company that collects sales data from some 140 independent bookstores and then analyzes it, making sales and inventory comparisons with other stores and sharing some data with suppliers. We're starting off with a whopper of a bestseller list: the top 100 hardcover titles ranked by percentage of reporting stores that sold copies June 1-6. Future lists will look at the data from a range of perspectives--and likely be shorter!

HarperOne: Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World--And How You Can, Too by Ijeoma Oluo


To the Editor: More on BookScan

Reacting to a note from Jennifer Joseph in yesterday's Shelf Awareness, several more publishers have reported frustration about BookScan sales reports that don't pick up their titles adequately.

Deborah Robson of Nomad Press and Dogtooth Books writes:

BookScan reports a relatively small percentage of our sales as well. Our books don't seem very successful if you only look at BookScan data, yet we are constantly going back on press to meet demand!

I just checked two titles that have been out for three years, to get a sense of how the BookScan numbers relate to actual data over time. On one title they're reporting 21% of our confirmed sales, on the other 22%.

We track Amazon and B&N rankings through Publishers Marketplace's book tracker, but those numbers are too volatile to be meaningful, either.

Our own careful accounting and gut instincts seem to serve us best.


Fred Ramey of Unbridled Books writes:

Now that Slate--and Shelf Awareness--has opened the conversation about the effect of BookScan on our fragile industry, maybe we should all get to the meat of the matter. Daniel Gross's assertion that "BookScan has emerged as a powerful tool for editors and agents" pretty well glosses over the actual use of that tool--which is primarily to let authors go after their first or second books have run their courses.
A collateral effect of that data is to marginalize further the small independent bookstores whose sales are not reported through BookScan.
Most of the examples, uses, and abuses of BookScan data in such stories are political approaches to one-offs--like Mary Cheney's book. And most often it seems the books attacked with that data are nonfiction titles. But the effect of BookScan--and the chains' internal sales histories--on fiction authors at work on their careers can be, and usually is, devastating. How often do the chains refuse to take a position on an author's second or third novel because the earlier books failed to reach that fifth digit in their records? And of course such passive-aggression by the buyers will guarantee that the new book will fulfill their low expectations.
How many talented, even important, authors have been abandoned by the industry since 2001 simply because BookScan's data appear to be predictive, when we all know that fiction readers don't think that way? Do we have data to find that out?

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj


Coonerty Elected County Supervisor

Casey Coonerty Protti, who has taken over day-to-day management of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., let us know that on Tuesday her father, Neal Coonerty, won election for a Santa Cruz County Supervisor seat with 58% of the vote in a field of four. Because he received more than 50% of the vote, there will be no runoff election.

Coonerty adds yet another office to his list. He was formerly a Santa Cruz mayor, city councilman and ABA president. His son Ryan, who works at Bookshop Santa Cruz parttime, is a city councilman.

Protti noted that the campaign turned ugly during the final weekend. Two attacks "accused my dad of being in the hands of big developers and supporting big-box stores and Wal-Mart. Given that my dad worked for his entire bookselling career and for over 16 years on the board of the ABA to fight chain stores, it was hard to see or believe. But we stayed positive and the voters stuck with us and he won!"

Protti added: "Now he just needs to see which is harder . . . being in bookselling or public office!"

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona

Borders Cuts 90, Revises Earnings

There was big news from Borders yesterday, including major layoffs at the corporate offices and a correction of the last quarter's results.

The layoffs involved about 90 people, most of whom worked at headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich. "This represents about 6% of our total corporate workforce across a variety of functional areas and levels," spokesperson Anne Roman indicated, adding that "very few" of the people worked directly with publishers.

"Looking at our current trends and five-year plan, it is clear that corporate costs require adjustment at this time," she continued.

The layoffs, Roman said, had no connection to the other Borders news: that the company made an error in calculating gross margin in its Books etc. division in the U.K., leading it to correct results for the first quarter ended April 29. The per share loss is 31 cents, as opposed to 29 cents, or about an extra $1.3 million on top of its loss of $18.9 million. The company said it "regrets the error and is taking appropriate remedial steps."

Notes: Chic Book Party Sites; Tegge Joins IPG

USA Today notes that "more and more, publishers are finding retail store partners where authors--particularly novelists who write about fashion-conscious young women--can mingle with the kinds of people who publishers think will buy their books." The stores include Saks, DKNY, Chanel.


Jeff Tegge has joined Independent Publishers Group as v-p of sales. He was formerly general manager and v-p of sales at Quality Books, the distributor of small press titles to public libraries in North America. He earlier was national sales manager for libraries, schools and rights for Sourcebooks, marketing manager at Ferguson Publishing and senior editor at Standard Educational Corp.

IPG president Mark Suchomel praised Tegge for being "innovative, hardworking and straightforward," and said that besides his main responsibilities, "he will also add tremendous expertise to our already strong library marketing efforts."


Susan M. Taylor, book buyer at Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, Mass., and a 14-year bookselling veteran at Booksmith, is leaving the store as of Friday, June 16, and moving to the Albany, N.Y., area to be closer to family. She will pick up her bookselling career at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany.


David Sweeney has been promoted to senior director, mail order, retail and wholesale in HarperCollins's special markets department. He has been at the company since 1996 and works with more than 5,000 specialty accounts, including Williams-Sonoma, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Restoration Hardware.

Marie Hergenroeder has been promoted to senior director, premium, proprietary and display marketing in HarperCollins's specialty markets department. Since joining the company in 2000, she has managed deals with accounts such as General Mills, Kohl's and Paramount.

Doug Menake has been named v-p, director of inventory management for the adult trade division in HarperCollins's operations and supply chain group. He joined the company in 1994.

David Toberisky has been named v-p, director of inventory management for HarperCollins's children's division. He joined the company in 1993.

Courtroom Crib Sheet for Booksellers: Deductions

The following are tips regarding business travel deductions from a new Nolo Press audio CD for booksellers called The Bookseller's Little Legal Companion. For a free copy of the CD, write to Nolo at Shelf Awareness will run more tips from the CD over the next few issues.

What can you deduct when you travel to a booksellers' convention?

  • Airfare
  • Hotel expenses
  • 50% of food
  • Taxi fare and other local transportation costs
  • Business entertaining.

Sightseeing is not deductible because it is a personal activity and is never deductible as a business expense. However, when you are out of town on business, you only have to be on business four hours a day to count that day as a business day so you can spend the rest of your time doing non-business activities including sightseeing. But, of course, you can't deduct any expenses you incur while you are sightseeing.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Soccer Wisdom on the Eve of the World Cup

This morning the Today Show serves up a segment with Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, author of Lidia's Family Table (Knopf, $35, 1400040353).


Today on NPR's All Things Considered: Matt Weiland kicks around some soccer wisdom from The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup (Perennial, $14.95, 0061132268), which he co-edited with Sean Wilsey.


Today on NPR's On Point: Andrew Beaujon, author of Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock (Da Capo, $16.95 0306814579).


Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Barry McGovern, reader of Samuel Beckett, Three Novels, an 18-CD set (RTÉ Radio). As the show puts it: "The centenary of Samuel Beckett's birth is celebrated with a complete recording of the Trilogy (Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable). Barry McGovern, who performed this solo feat, speaks about his friendship with Beckett, his experiences acting in his plays, and the career-long commitment that led to this singular recording."


Tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do about It (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671).

This Weekend on Book TV: The Home Front

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's Web site.

Saturday, June 10

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1996, professor Wayne Fields talked--eloquently we imagine--about presidential speeches, the subject of his Union of Words: A History of Presidential Eloquence.

7 p.m. Public Lives. Richard D. White, Jr., talks about his biography of Louisiana's most-famous Governor and Senator, Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long (Random House, $26.95, 140006354X).

9 p.m. After Words. Kristin Henderson, author of While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront (Houghton Mifflin, $23, 0618558756), interviews Frank Schaeffer, co-author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes From Military--And How It Hurts Our Country (HarperReference, $24.95, 0060888598). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, June 11

10 a.m. History on Book TV. Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss discuss their book, Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316159972), about the investigation of a reconnaissance platoon's atrocities during the Vietnam War. With another reporter, the authors won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of Tiger Force in the Toledo Blade.

The Bestsellers

Above the Treeline Bestsellers: Top 100 Hardcovers

The following are the top 100 hardcover bestsellers reported by the 140 Above the Treeline bookstores between June 1 and June 6. Note: this is a kind of one-store, one-vote list. The percentage is the amount of stores selling at least one copy of the title since June 1. The ranking is not based on total number of copies sold.

  1. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089) 62%
  2. Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (Random House Children's Books, $17, 0679805273) 59%
  3. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X) 54%
  4. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375422722) 53%
  5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $23.95, 1565124995) 53%
  6. Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival by Anderson Cooper (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0061132381) 51%
  7. Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons by Tim Russert (Random House, $22.95, 1400064805) 51%
  8. Digging to America by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $24.95, 0307263940) 49%
  9. Junie B., First Grader Aloha-Ha-Ha! by Barbara Park (Random House Books for Young Readers, $11.95, 0375834036) 46%
  10. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $30, 0374292795) 45%
  11. My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme (Knopf, $25.95, 1400043468) 45%
  12. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, $29.95, 0670037605) 44%
  13. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (Penguin, $26.95, 1594200823) 44%
  14. The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs by Madeleine K. Albright (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060892579) 43%
  15. Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier (Harmony, $24.95, 0307337332) 43%
  16. The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Frust (Random House, $24.95, 1400060192) 41%
  17. Beach Road by James Patterson (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316159786) 40%
  18. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731) 39%
  19. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (Pantheon, $25.95, 0375422749) 38%
  20. Charlie Bone and the Hidden King by Jenny Nimmo (Orchard, $9.95, 0439545307) 38%
  21. Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero by David Maraniss (S&S, $26, 0743217810) 36%
  22. At Risk by Patricia D. Cornwell (Putnam, $21.95, 0399153624) 36%
  23. The Book of the Dead by Douglas J. Preston (Warner, $25.95, 0446576980) 36%
  24. The Hard Way by Lee Child (Delacorte, $25, 0385336691) 36%
  25. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324) 36%
  26. Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford (Knopf, $25.95, 1400041201) 34%
  27. The Husband by Dean R. Koontz (Bantam, $27, 0553804790) 34%
  28. Dead Watch by John Sandford (Putnam, $26.95, 0399153543) 33%
  29. Everyman by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 061873516X) 33%
  30. The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain (Bloomsbury, $24.95, 1582344515) 33%
  31. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.95, 0375831002) 32%
  32. The Quillan Games by D.J. MacHale (S&S Children's Publishing, $15.95, 1416914234) 32%
  33. Lilly's Big Day by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, $16.99, 0060742364) 31%
  34. The Cold Moon: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver (S&S, $26, 0743260937) 31%
  35. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields (Holt, $25, 080507919X) 31%
  36. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X) 31%
  37. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking, $24.95, 0670034711) 30%
  38. American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips (Viking, $26.95, 067003486X) 30%
  39. Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz (Philomel, $17.99, 0399241523) 30%
  40. Pirates by John Matthews (Atheneum, $19.95, 1416927344) 30%
  41. Encyclopedia Prehistorica Sharks and Other Sea Monsters: The Definitive Pop-Up by Robert Clarke Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart (Candlewick, $27.99, 076362229X) 30%
  42. Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs (St. Martin's, $23.95, 0312315961) 29%
  43. The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King (Bantam, $24, 0553804537) 29%
  44. A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme by Calvin Trillin (Random House, $12.95, 1400065569) 29%
  45. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor (HarperCollins, $15.99, 0060542098) 29%
  46. Heat by Mike Lupica (Philomel, $16.99, 0399243011) 29%
  47. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, $22.95, 1400064767) 29%
  48. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Knopf, $24.95, 1400042666) 29%
  49. My Life in and Out of the Rough: The Truth Behind All That Bull**** You Think You Know about Me by John Daly (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0061120626) 28%
  50. A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger (Norton, $23.95, 0393059804) 28%
  51. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $18.99, 0763625892) 28%
  52. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl (Random House, $24.95, 1400061032) 28%
  53. Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home by Nando Parrado (Crown, $25, 1400097673) 28%
  54. Blow the House Down by Robert Baer (Crown, $25.95, 1400098351) 28%
  55. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson (Morrow, $26.95, 0060518499) 27%
  56. Lies at the Altar: The Truth about Great Marriages by Robin Smith (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302564) 27%
  57. Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey (Knopf, $24, 0307263711) 27%
  58. Telegraph Days by Larry McMurtry (S&S, $25, 0743250788) 27%
  59. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (Morrow, $24.95, 0060590270) 26%
  60. You: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger by Mehmet C. Oz (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060765313) 27%
  61. Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff (Scholastic, $16.99, 0439829739) 26%
  62. Tails by Matthew Van Fleet (Red Wagon Books, $13.95, 0152167730) 26%
  63. The Girls by Lori Lansens (Little, Brown, $23.95, 0316069035) 26%
  64. The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong (Knopf, $30, 0375413170) 25%
  65. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S, $35, 0684824906) 25%
  66. Night of the New Magicians by Mary Pope Osborne (Random House Books for Young Readers, $11.95, 0375830359) 25%
  67. The Debutante Divorcee by Plum Sykes (Miramax, $23.95, 1401352448) 25%
  68. Flyte by Angie Sage (Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 0060577347) 24%
  69. Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food by Eric Schlosser (Houghton Mifflin, $16, 0618710310) 24%
  70. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children, $12.99, 0786837462) 24%
  71. The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood by Sy Montgomery (Ballantine, $21.95, 0345481372) 24%
  72. The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau (Random House Books for Young Readers, $15.95, 0375875263) 24%
  73. Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know Is Wrong by John Stossel (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302548) 24%
  74. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (Harcourt, $25, 0151012377) 23%
  75. The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth by Leigh Montville (Doubleday, $26.95, 0385514379) 23%
  76. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (Knopf, $15, 0394404289) 23%
  77. House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power by James Carroll (Houghton Mifflin, $30, 0618187804) 23%
  78. Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee (FSG, $24, 0374280398) 23%
  79. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House, $19.99, 0439554004) 23%
  80. The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett (Scholastic, $16.99, 0439693675) 23%
  81. The Bookwoman's Last Fling by John Dunning (Scribner, $25, 0743289455) 23%
  82. The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart by Willie Nelson (Gotham, $20, 159240197X) 22%
  83. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Viking, $17.99, 0670061050) 22%
  84. Shanks for Nothing by Rick Reilly (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385501110) 22%
  85. Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein (Knopf, $23.95, 1400042313) 22%
  86. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060738170) 21%
  87. Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $21, 037582670X) 21%
  88. Revolutionary Wealth by Alvin Toffler (Knopf, $27.95, 0375401741) 21%
  89. School's Out--Forever by James Patterson (Little, Brown, $16.99, 0316155594) 21%
  90. Flush by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.95, 0375821821) 21%
  91. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, $16.95, 0439339111) 21%
  92. Promise Me by Harlan Coben (Dutton, $26.95, 0525949496) 21%
  93. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Random House Children's Books, $8.99, 0394800168) 21%
  94. Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud (Miramax, $17.95, 0786818611) 21%
  95. Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (Random House, $24.95, 1400061962) 21%
  96. Startled by His Furry Shorts by Louise Rennison (HarperTempest, $16.99, 0060853840) 20%
  97. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15.95, 0375831436) 20%
  98. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (Nan A. Talese, $23.95, 0385516169) 20%
  99. Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy by Noam Chomsky (Metropolitan, $24, 0805079122) 20%
  100. Teacher Man: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (Scribner, $26, 0743243773) 20%
[Thanks to Above the Treeline!]

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