Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 29, 2006


Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine

Editors' Note

More Thank Yous--And See You Next Wednesday!

Editors' Notes:

During the first full day of our second year publishing Shelf Awareness, we also want to thank a group of people who have small companies in the business that are doing remarkably interesting work and with whom we are cooperating on a variety of projects. It feels as though we're all a part of a somewhat nimble, interconnected network:

  • M.J. Rose, an author whose AuthorBuzz, just one of her many marketing projects, has become a wild success in less than a year.
  • Carol Fitzgerald, whose Book Reporter Web site and related sites continue to grow and connect book lovers with authors.
  • John Rubin, whose Above the Treeline has provided some of the most helpful and insightful sales data to independent bookstores and their vendors.
  • Robert Gray, creator of Fresh Eyes Now. We're so honored to be able to run some of his elegant, thoughtful writing about bookselling.

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Also because of the Independence Day weekend, this will be the last issue of Shelf Awareness until next Wednesday, July 5. Enjoy the weekend!


 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black


News

Notes: Floods; Awards; Memorials; Promotions

Flooding from Virginia to Vermont after many days of rain has caused at least 10 deaths and the evacuation of thousands of people, and low-lying areas remain vulnerable. The Richmond Times-Dispatch noted that the Olsson's store in Old Town in Alexandria, Va., had moved books upstairs and placed sandbags around parts of the store. "Ever since Hurricane Isabel, we take extra precautions," Alex Beguin told the paper.

Our thoughts are with the many people affected by the rains.

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Congratulations to MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, N.H., which has been named "best community book store in New Hampshire for 2006" by New Hampshire Magazine.

The magazine wrote: "Local art and authors, regular barn dances, readings, musical performances, plus local celebs like 'Swampwalker' David Carrol wandering in, Mainstreet BookEnds of Warner is a place where you feel at home just sitting and reading or catching up on news and opinions. It doesn't actually 'feel' like a bookstore, more like a Utopian crackerbarrel general store where citizens dine on knowledge and art, but there's a great selection of titles from the best seller to the obscure."

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On hold for two years, the former Mid-Atlantic Anarchist Book Fair returns this weekend in Baltimore, Md., reincarnated as the Mid-Atlantic Radical Book Fair, the Baltimore Sun reported. The four-day event, which features workshops, discussions, readings and performances, begins tonight.

The 2003 fair drew some 1,500 people in two days; organizers hope to draw double that number this year.

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Barricade Books has put up a message board on the company's Web site for people to share stories about Lyle Stuart, who died last weekend (Shelf Awareness, June 26).

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A scholarship fund has been set up for the children of the late Dan Lundy. Contributors should make checks payable to "Scholars Edge" and send them to:

Airinhos M. Serradas
c/o Jared and Damon Lundy College Savings Plan
Total Estate Asset Management, Inc.
185 Madison Ave., 8th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10016

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Harry Kirchner has joined the national accounts sales department at Ingram Publisher Services. He was formerly a national accounts director for Publishers Group West, where he had worked for some 20 years. Earlier he was an independent publisher's rep with the Hurst Mandel Group and co-founded the Western Sales Group.

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Effective July 1, Andrea Pappenheimer has been promoted to senior v-p, sales, and associate publisher of HarperCollins children's books. She has worked at the company 13 years and has directed children's sales "with great skill, hard work and unparalleled success topped off this past year with the spectacular Narnia campaign," as Josh Marwell and Susan Katz put it.

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!


Reports from ALA: Jazzed You're Here

Several participants of the American Library Association annual meeting in New Orleans have sent reports on the show.

Nora Rawlinson, v-p, library services, at Hachette Book Group USA, writes:

The city made every effort possible to make sure attendees knew their presence was appreciated. Oddly because the operating hotels and the convention center were so recently refurbished, it seemed like a cleaner, fresher city. But many buildings still had boarded windows and a large part of the convention center is in the midst of restoration. Cab drivers carried well-thumbed copies of the "Construction Estimator." ("Everyone's in construction," said one.) Anyone who traveled outside the central district returned with stories of large areas of empty homes and devastation. A visibly moved Anderson Cooper asked librarians not to let the thorough cleaning wipe out the memories of what happened in the convention center.

Exhibitors were concerned that there might not be enough help for booth set up, but these fears did not materialize. Floor traffic, except for the first day, was very slow. Yet nobody really complained, since it was clear that the ALA presence meant so much to the city's revitalization. An editorial writer in the New Orleans Times-Picayune said "as harbingers of recovery go, the American Library Association convention this weekend was a serious step in the right direction."

Beyond adding some life to Bourbon Street, which was nearly empty the night before the show, librarians also gave more lasting gifts. ALA organized volunteer days to aid the New Orleans Public Library; 900 librarians answered the call. Library Journal organized architects, furniture manufacturers and publishers to donate time and materials to reopen a small neighborhood branch. During the reopening ceremonies, local people talked about how vital a library is to rebuilding their send of hope and community. In a small town in nearby Mississippi, residents celebrated with Maryland librarians who had donated a fully outfitted bookmobile to replace their destroyed library. And ALA gave checks totaling $370,000 to the New Orleans Public Library.

With this show, New Orleans proved that it is again ready to handle major conventions. And librarians proved their strong belief in how important libraries are to building communities.

For more on the show, check Library Journal News.


And Kuo-Yu Liang, v-p of sales and marketing at Diamond Book Distributors, added several observations:

"We're jazzed you're here," said the banners at the airport, hotel lobbies and the entrance to the convention center. Signs were posted at most of the businesses in the French Quarter welcoming librarians to New Orleans, even the strip clubs on Bourbon Street.

Most visible were the heavy presence of local police, state troopers and the National Guard. Many restaurants and shops were seriously short staffed as available labor chose to enter the more lucrative construction jobs, causing many business such as Starbucks to open only part-time. (A cab driver told me they're paying $10 an hour for dishwashers but still can't find people.) Since we were concentrated in areas that were not flooded--the French Quarter and the Central Business District--you could see little damage except still a lot of torn roof and broken windows.  Folks who drove in though saw a very different story. Stephen Pagel of publisher Meisha Merlin from Georgia said there was considerable debris piled on or near the freeway, including 20-30 cars and boats right in the middle of the highway in one stretch.
 
Shopkeepers were grateful for the return of business and certainly have an intact sense of humor. The most popular T-shirt for sale reads "FEMA: Fix Everything My Ass."
 
As they say in the Big Easy--merci, y'all.


Media and Movies

History Channel Dishes Up American Eats

Yum. Tonight at 10 p.m., the History Channel airs the first episode of its new series, American Eats, what the cable channel calls a "quirky, nostalgic and often surprising look back at the history, mystery and technology behind our favorite foods. Each episode tells the story of the brilliant ideas, offbeat inventions, and daring innovators who transformed the way we eat while helping to define American culture. Along the way, we discover why it took much more than a tasty recipe for pizza to go from Italy to Lombardi's to Domino's delivery trucks everywhere. We learn how a backyard concoction went from pharmacy soda fountains to become the real thing or how a mystery meat became an Oscar Mayer winner!"

The History Channel loves Emmis books. The first episode, which digs into pizza, features Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby, authors of Everybody Loves Pizza (Emmis, $19.95, 1578602181). Moreover, according to the History Channel's menu, episode three on July 13 features Shannon Jackson Arnold, author of Everybody Loves Ice Cream ($19.95, 1578601657). (July is National Ice Cream Month and Sunday, July 16, is National Ice Cream Day.)


Book TV This Weekend: Joyce Appleby in Depth

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, July 1

6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. Edgar-winner Daniel Stashower talked about his book The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television (Broadway, $24.95, 0767907590), about the inventor of television, Philo Farnsworth, an Idaho native who for much of his adult life battled David Sarnoff and RCA in patent cases.

7 p.m. Public Lives. At an event hosted by the Stephen Decatur House Museum in Washington, D.C., Catherine Allgor talked about her book A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation (Holt, $30, 0805073272), in which she details the political role Dolley Madison played in her husband's presidency and how she used Washington's social scene to her political advantage.

9 p.m. After Words. Presidential historian Richard Norton-Smith, whose biography of Nelson Rockefeller is due out later this year, interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon Wood, author of Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different (Penguin Press, $25.95, 1594200939). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)

Sunday, July 2

9 a.m. At an event held at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., Ron Suskind, former national affairs writer for the Wall Street Journal and author of The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 (S&S, $27, 0743271092), discusses the Bush administration's wars, the sources he used to write the book, and argues that we should assume that another terrorist attack, possibly bigger than September 11, is coming. (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 6:40 a.m.)

Noon. In Depth: a live, three-hour interview with historian Joyce Appleby, who retired from UCLA in 2001 after 20 years of teaching. She specializes in British, French and early American history, and her most recent book is A Restless Past: History and the American Public (Rowman & Littlefield, $27.95, 0742542521).


Media Heat: Paulo Coelho; Nemirovsky's Daughter

Today on the Early Show: Laura Lippman, author of the new mystery No Good Deeds (Morrow, $24.95, 0060570725).

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Today the subject of WAMU's Diane Rehm Show is Irene Nemirovsky and her Suite Francaise (Knopf, $25, 1400044731). Rehm talks with Nemirovsky's daughter Denise Epstein, who transcribed and edited the book, and Sandra Smith, the translator.

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Today on KCRW's Bookworm: John Yau, author of Paradiso Diaspora (Penguin, $18, 0143037153). As the show put it: "In a searching inquiry into the language of poetry, John Yau talks about avoiding autobiography while creating poetry that reflects his Chinese-American background--the influence of what he calls 'Ing Grish.' We explore the evolution of a dream language that is, in itself, an aesthetic of diaspora."

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Today on the View: Al Gore, author of An Inconvenient Truth (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671).

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Tonight on the Colbert Report: Christopher Noxon, author of Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-up (Crown, $23.95, 1400080886).

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On Saturday on NPR's On Point, Paulo Coelho talks about his new book, The Devil and Miss Prym (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060527994).



Books & Authors

Great Lakes Book Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2006 Great Lakes Book Awards, sponsored by the Great Lakes Booksellers Association and honoring books with "a Great Lakes theme or setting," are:

Fiction
  • A Dark & Deadly Deception by Eleanor Taylor Bland (St. Martin's Minotaur)
  • Gatsby's Girl by Caroline Preston (Houghton Mifflin)
  • The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle (Morrow)
  • Ordinary Heroes by Scott Turow (FSG)
  • Taking Care of Cleo by Bill Broder (Handsel Books)
  • Torch by Cheryl Strayed (Houghton Mifflin)

General
  • If I Am Found Dead edited by David Lee Poremba (Ann Arbor Media Group)
  • Islands by Gerry Volgenau (Ann Arbor Media Group)
  • Legends of Light by Ed Wargin (Ann Arbor Media Group)
  • Made in Detroit by Paul Clemens (Doubleday)
  • Mighty Fitz by Michael Schumacher (Bloomsbury)
  • A Private History of Awe by Scott Russell Sanders (North Point Press)

Children's Books
  • Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer (Putnam)
  • Crooked River by Shelley Pearsall (Knopf)
  • The Game of Silence of Louis Erdrich (HarperCollins)
  • A Good Night Walk by Elisha Cooper (Orchard Books)
  • Kelly of Hazel Ridge by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen (Sleeping Bear Press)
  • The Legend of Michigan by Trinka Hakes Noble (Sleeping Bear Press)
  • Nailed by Patrick Jones (Walker)
  • The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (Hyperion)
  • The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett (Scholastic Press)

Winners will be announced in late August, and the awards will be presented Friday, October 6, at a luncheon during the Great Lakes Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show in Dearborn, Mich.


Deeper Understanding

Kepler's Aims to Capture 'Convenience' Sales

This is the first of several pieces on how Kepler's Books and Magazines, Menlo Park, Calif., which reopened last October after a sudden closing at the end of August, is reinventing itself. Today's focus is offsite sales.

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In the intense period when Kepler's organized to reopen, staff members and friends of the store brainstormed on ways to improve Kepler's, but because of the urgency of such basic things as recruiting and training new staff, rebuilding the author and other event programs and reestablishing relationships with vendors, "We couldn't focus on any of [the new ideas] other than the membership program," Anne Banta, Kepler's chief marketing officer, told Shelf Awareness. But now, with the fundamentals set, the store is implementing some of those new ideas.

Perhaps the most striking of them: programs to increase offsite sales. Based on customer surveys that were coordinated by Casey Coonerty, when she was working with the ABA, the store learned that while it loses the most sales to Amazon.com and other online retailers, the next-most significant competition comes not from chain stores but discount retailers such as Costco, Target and Wal-Mart. Loyal Kepler's customers consciously decide to go to the store, not chains, to buy books, the surveys found, but sometimes when they're at discount stores buying other products, they "see a book and think, 'Oh, I've been meaning to get that,' " Banta said. "People indicated, 'We love you, you're so perfect, and we know we shouldn't buy those books, but we're busy and have the kids in tow.' "

For Kepler's customers at least, price is not so much an issue as convenience. Kepler's has responded by trying to be more convenient to customers. For one, it is making e-commerce part of the store Web site again. More important, as Banta said, "We're bringing the books to them!"

Last month, Kepler's brought books--50 titles in all--to a Hyatt Residence, "a huge apartment building" catering to affluent retirees. The books were displayed outside a dining hall for three days, and "a special book connoisseur" was on hand part of each day. Residents placed orders on the end of the event, which brought more than $2,000 in sales to the store. Kepler's plans to take books in a similar way to other sites, including businesses like law firms, and in the fall it aims "once a week to take books to places during lunchtime," Banta said. "I bet it will be very popular in November," for holiday presents.

In a similar vein, Kepler's is holding children's events, but in contrast to many booksellers, who hold such events in store, Kepler's is going to schools. "Children's author events at the store don't work well," Banta commented. "People have homework at night. They're busy." So Kepler's has authors appear in schools, where several classes at once will hear the author--as many as 400 students at a time. Sometimes sell through is 80%, Banta said. The store sends a flier to families to allow them to order in advance. The child can then obtain the book in the school and have it signed. "It's absolutely the best thing for the happiness of the kids, and it's great for our bottom line," she continued. "And publishers are thrilled." In addition, the store plans to do "mini book fairs" in schools. Kepler's will set up 10 tables or so, with one copy each of a range of books on it, including hardcovers, current titles and titles from many publishers, and allow teachers to pick titles.

Kepler's is also emphasizing selling books at events held by other groups such as the World Affairs Council, the Commonwealth Club and the Peninsula Open Space Trust. Kepler's is also considering hiring a full-time person who would earn commissions on sales. As Banta put it, "The holy grail for us is outside sales."


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