Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 12, 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


Houghton Mifflin Goes Free Freight

Effective October 1, Houghton Mifflin is offering free freight and two new backlist programs, a "build your own promotion"--for which stores choose titles--and a "backlist enrichment program" that helps stores "find and fill gaps in their sections."

Gary Gentel, corporate v-p and director of sales for Houghton Mifflin's trade and reference division, said in a statement: "We're able to do this now because we've also addressed systems changes that allow for efficiencies across the supply chain. Free freight, along with a simplified discount structure and an innovative and flexible retail backlist program, is a way to help our customers not only order more, but to actually sell more of our books by partnering with us in how our books are stocked and promoted at store level."

Discount for trade titles on a returnable basis is 46% for all amounts. On a nonreturnable basis the discount is 46% for 1-24 assorted units, 50% for 25-499, and 52% for 500 and more. For retail distribution centers, the discounts are 48% returnable and range from 48% to 54% on a nonreturnable basis.

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

Aliens & Alibis: Uncloaking in a New Location Today

Specializing in mystery, fantasy and science fiction, Aliens & Alibis Books, Columbia, S.C., which closed its Capitol Center store at the end of May, just one month after its first anniversary, is reopening today in new quarters on Garners Ferry Road.

The store's old location on the northeast side of the city was in "a dying mall and just didn't generate enough business for us," co-owner Deb Andolino explained. After moving the books and fixtures to a storage unit, Andolino and her partner, her son, Gary McCammon, thought they might quit the business, but then "we discovered that we really missed selling books" and "we had a wonderful response from our customers when we told them that we would reopen." With family financial help, they found the new site in the southeast part of the city in a free-standing building with lots of visibility, something the old site did not have. The road is, Andolino said, a well-trafficked commuter route and the most direct way to get from Columbia to Myrtle Beach.

The location is smaller than the previous one but has more usable space that the owners will use in part for tables for displaying new books, books with a theme and more.

The new Aliens & Alibis is located at 8111 Garners Ferry Rd., Columbia, S.C. 29209; 803-776-5663; fax 803-776-5664;

Harpervia: Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Notes: Galley Use; Peppertree Grows; Used Store Mix

Cool idea of the day. Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo, Wash., has found a great use for the large amounts of galleys it receives. The store has created a Youth Book Club for grades 5 and up that will meet weekly during the summer. Participants will be able to choose from the store's ample collection of galleys, read them and report back the next week. "It gives kids in a difficult age bracket something to do in the summer, and it will be fun since they can select which book they want from the boxes," owner Suzanne Droppert said in an e-mail.

The store also hopes that participants hearing about a book from another participant might want to buy copies of the finished book and that it can use the reviews in-store and as feedback to publishers. Droppert believes that the idea of reading free, yet-to-be-published books will appeal to teens and encourage them to frequent the store. So far, "kids and their parents seem excited about the book club," Droppert added.

[Thanks to Penguin rep Meredith Vajda for the tip!]


The Peppertree Bookstore of Palm Springs, Calif., the main sponsor of the Palm Springs Book Festival, is opening a second store, Peppertree Bookstore & Cafe, in Old Town La Quinta, La Quinta, Calif., the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported. The 2,100-sq.-ft. store will open in September--and is about twice the size of the Palm Springs store. In addition, the festival, which was held for the second time this past April, is moving, and will now be known as the Coachella Valley Book Festival.


Acres of Books in Long Beach, Calif., is being renamed Warburton's Books--at least for three days this week for the filming of scenes from a feature called Mama's Boy starring Diane Keaton and Jon Heder, the Long Beach Press Telegram reported.


Tower Records is close to a sale, and all bids apparently are from private-equity firms, according to the Book Standard. The company has been on the block since February.

Some 85% of Tower is owned by former bondholders, and the rest is owned by the family of Tower founder Russ Solomon. Since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004, the company has increased an emphasis on books at its 90 record stores, which now stock 250-1,200 book titles each. The company has four remaining Tower Books outlets.


Known for 34 years as the Bryn Mawr Book Shop until it changed ownership three and a a half years ago, the Lark Street Bookshop in Albany, N.Y., is closing at the end of June, according to the Albany Times Union. The 2,250-sq.-ft. used bookstore can't afford to buy its space, which is now being marketed as a commercial condo. The asking price is $180,000 plus condo fees of almost $1,000 a month and taxes. "It doesn't make sense for this kind of venue," co-owner Bill Pettit told the paper.

The four owners had bought the store to keep it alive when the owners of Bryn Mawr decided to retire, and their goal was not so much to make money as not to lose money. The store has been a community center, hosting "everything from music and poetry open mic nights to knitting and German clubs," the paper wrote.


Paperback Heaven Book Exchange in Woodbury, N.J., is closing its storefront, according to the Cherry Hill Courier Post. The small used bookstore had been opened two and a half years. Owner Lisa Bagherpour will now sell exclusively online. She and her husband, Fred, who own the building the store is in, blamed a depressed downtown for the decision to close the store.


North of the border, at least one used bookstore company is having better times. Patrick Hempelmann, owner of two used bookstores called BMV (books, music and videos) in Toronto, is opening a third, which, at 15,000 square feet and 200,000 books, will be much larger than the other two.

Interestingly he told the Toronto Star:

"The traditional concept of the used bookstore is basically dead: to wait for people to look for books that are out of print and hard to find, and therefore be able to charge a high price because of the rarity of what you are selling, that idea has been destroyed by ABE and by the Internet. There are very few books that are hard to find now.

"What still works," he continued, "is to sell good books, remainders, review copies, used and hurt books and sell them cheaper, much much cheaper, than you'd pay at Indigo or Chapters. In the U.S., the used book business is growing faster than the new."

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

Courtroom Crib Sheet for Booksellers: Shielded Assets

The following are tips regarding shielded assets 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.

Will an LLC or corporation always shield personal assets from bookstore liability?

No, LLCs and corporation won't shield your assets if:

  • You personally guarantee a loan or lease.
  • You owe federal or state taxes.
  • You injure someone through your own carelessness.
  • You disregard corporate rules.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Idiots and Bitches!

This morning Good Morning America talks with Anderson Cooper, author of Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0061132381).


Also Good Morning America hosts Mike Greenberg, whose possible Father's Day gift is Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot: The Life and Times of a Sportscaster Dad (Villard, $22.95, 1400064384).


The Today Show continues what may be a theme introduced by Greenberg: it talks with Sherry Argov, author of Why Men Marry Bitches: A Woman's Guide to Winning Her Man's Heart (S&S, $14.95, 074327637X).

Books & Authors

Highlight or Downfall: New YA Title's Product Placement

A September YA title called Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233 has "an unusual marketing partnership" between the publisher, Running Press, and Procter & Gamble's Cover Girl cosmetics line, today's New York Times reported. While Cover Girl products will be mentioned in the book, Cover Girl is not paying for the placement. It will, however, promote the book on, a Web site geared to adolescent girls.

The authors, Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart, say they were comfortable with the placement because it did not fundamentally alter the story. An "evidence pack," including photos, notes and other clues, will come with the book.

David Steinberger, president and CEO of Perseus, which owns Running Press, told the Times: "What we are selling here to the customer or the reader is an experience that transcends the book itself. The relationships with and Cover Girl are enriching that experience."

Carol Chittenden, owner of Eight Cousins bookstore in Falmouth, Mass., and children's book buyer for BookStream, said, "I'm not crazy about it. Once you're under contract to include certain kinds of things, then that narrows the editorial possibilities greatly and has a huge influence over the nature of the writing and the nature of the story."

Lee Child's Jack Reacher Reaches Women

Lee Child's noir thriller series starring Jack Reacher--usually the kind of work that attracts mainly men--is "winning the hearts of many women readers," Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg writes in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.

Vivien Jennings of Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., commented: "This is not a safe, happy time. Women say they want sensitive men, but in a violent time they don't want men taking a pea shooter to a gun fight."

David Thompson of Murder by the Book, Houston, Tex., said, "We now have as many women buying the thrillers of Lee Child and Barry Eisler as women buying the books of Agatha Christie and P.D. James."

Child himself expressed a little befuddlement, saying, "Trying to understand why Reacher is popular with women has been a 10-year education for me."

Several female fans tried to explain the attraction of books featuring a character who is a bit of a throwback. One commented: "With Lee you have modern morality tales that have a universal sense of justice."

Another said that women "may not like [Reacher's] love-em-and-leave-em ways, but each woman fantasizes that she could be the one to change him. Deep down, if he could be changed we wouldn't find him that attractive. But while he's with you it's the greatest thing in the world, better than chocolate ice cream."

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:

Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Flying Dolphin, $21.95, 0385518005). "This novel is told in alternating voices of single, teenage mother Pearl; her young son, Leonard; and their neighbor Mitch. Pearl loves her son fiercely and does all in her power to protect him. One day she doesn't return home, and, as Mitch's and Leonard's lives unfold together, we are moved by their stories and their capacity to triumph over adversity."--Julie Borgan, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.

Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters (Delacorte, $20, 0385340001). "Masters discovers a homeless man named Stuart parked on the fringe of society. Over the course of many encounters, Stuart reveals his life story in a deeply disturbing, lucid, and profound way. Often funny, at times painful, this is ultimately a revelation about how it feels to be lost and found."--Geoffrey B. Jennings, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan.

The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper (Delta, $10, 0385338104). "In the roll call of contemporary fiction, discerning readers should take note of The Book of Joe. This debut novel about a writer's rocky return to his home town is fresh, fun, and heartfelt--a true marvel by any name!"--Joe Drabyak, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, Pa.

For Children to Age 8

Raising You Alone by Warren Hanson (Tristan, $15.95, 0972650466). "This touching and heartwarming book explains that even though children may not have both a mommy and a daddy to raise them, they are still loved just as much, and that they will always be cared for and loved."--Julie Kerop, The Turning Page, Old Lyme, Conn.

Roasted Peanuts by Tim Egan (Houghton Mifflin, $16, 0618337180). "Jackson and Sam are baseball buddies. However, only Sam makes the team, while Jackson becomes a peanut seller. But it's only with Jackson's help that Sam lives up to his reputation."--Janet Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, Mass.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

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