Notes: Book Sales; Stock Option Suit Against B&N
Mirroring general retail sales, net sales of books as tracked by the
Association of American Publishers were sluggish in May, dropping 1.7%.
Still, year to date book sales remain up 3.2%.
Among the hottest categories: adult paperback sales were up 19.6% to
$100.1 million and were up 20.5% for the year to date. The
children's/YA hardcover category was up 7.5% with $38.2 million, although sales
for the year are down 7.6%.
Sales of adult hardcovers dropped 14.7% in May, down 11.6% for the year
to date, and children's/YA paperbacks were down 17.9% in the months,
down 1.6% for the year to date.
For more information, go to the AAP's Web site
Today's New York Times
features a story about the paperback popularity of The Memory Keeper's Daughter
by Kim Edwards, which sold about 30,000 copies in hardcover. Since its
May appearance in paperback from Penguin, the book has gone through
eight printings and is appearing on a range of bestseller lists. The Times
emphasizes the book's strong sales at Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target as well as at traditional bookstores.
Dede Gallagher of Book Ends in Winchester, Mass., told the paper: "I
think it's one of those books where there's almost an underground
movement. One person reads it and recommends it to 10 friends."
A Barnes & Noble shareholder has filed a derivative complaint in
New York County Supreme Court alleging "improprieties in the company's
issuance of stock options," B&N announced yesterday. The timing of
stock options has become a major issue for some companies recently.
B&N said it "believes there is no merit to the complaint and that
its practices with respect to the issuance of stock options have always
been entirely appropriate and in full compliance with all applicable
laws and regulations. However, the Board believes as a matter of good
corporate governance that it is prudent to have the Audit Committee
review Barnes & Noble's stock option practices. The Committee
will retain independent legal counsel and report its findings to the
Board once the review has been completed."
According to today's Wall Street Journal
, the suit was filed by
Timothy Hill, who asks for the executives granted options to return the
options and profits and pay his attorney's fees.
offered two examples of possible low pricing, saying
that "a review of securities filings shows that Barnes & Noble
granted stock options to senior executives at monthly lows. One such
grant of 700,000 options to Leonard Riggio, its founder and chairman,
was dated March 12, 2001, when shares plunged to $23.65. Ten trading
days later, Barnes & Noble shares had risen 6%. Another grant of
215,300 options for his brother, the current chief executive, Stephen
Riggio, hit the low price for the month of April in 1997."
B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating told the Journal
that the company usually issued options on the same day they were approved by the compensation committee.
After a 10-year hiatus, Rice University is resurrecting Rice University
Press--as an all-digital venture that will allow books to be read
online for free and make them available for POD as well, according to
today's Wall Street Journal
. Downloading might involve a fee. The program will be launched later this year or early 2007.
Handselling Favorite: Life Is So Good
By his own account, David Watt, general manager of the Borders Express
in the Southwest Airlines terminal at the Baltimore-Washington
International Airport, quickly fell in love with Life Is So Good
memoir of George Dawson, written with Richard
Glaubman, a Seattle teacher (Penguin, $15, 0141001682). "Three years ago, I picked the book up in Orlando and read it on the
flight back to Washington," he told Shelf Awareness
. "I loved it and
immediately bought 10 more to give to friends and family."
Watt has continued to recommend Life Is So Good
--with astounding results. Since opening the Borders Express store
in BWI last May, Watt has featured the book among staff picks, where
it's "always in the middle," as well as recommended it personally to
customers. In 2005, the store sold 927 copies; since February it has
sold another 298 copies.
What's the appeal? Dawson was, Watt said, "a black man from the South who always had a great
attitude. He didn't worry about the small stuff or money or looks. He
focused on enjoying life. It's a great story."
First published in paperback in 2001, just before Dawson's death at
102, the book recounts a hardscrabble life and offers a very personal
history of the 20th century. Another unusual aspect of Dawson's life: at
age 98, Dawson enrolled in literacy class and learned to read. Glaubman
collaborated with him in writing the memoir.
There will likely be no slowdown in sales this summer. In just over two weeks, Friday, July 28, the store will
host a four-hour signing for co-author Glaubman, who will be visiting
relatives in Philadelphia. (Glaubman will also appear the next day at
another Borders Express, in Glen Burnie, Md.) Although Watt said the
600-sq.-ft. airport store is "not conducive to readings," many people
come on their way to or from flights stop by at book signings and
airport and airline employees visit, too. The store's location beyond
the security gates in the Southwest terminal complicates
matters, yet Watt said, "I love to do signings--with local people and national
authors as well. For me, I love to help someone get
successful, and I figure they'll remember."
This Weekend on Book TV: Lewis Buzbee on Bookstores
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 15
6 p.m. Encore Booknotes. In a segment first aired in 1997, the late
, former publisher of the Washington Post
and chairman of the Washington Post Co.,
talked about her striking memoir, Personal History
8 p.m. History on Book TV. Jeffrey Herf
discusses his book The Jewish
Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust
Press, $29.95, 0674021754).
9 p.m. After Words. Martin Sieff, national security correspondent for
United Press International, interviews New Republic
editor-at-large Peter Beinart
about his new
book, The Good Fight: Why Liberals, and Only Liberals, Can Win the War
on Terror and Make America Great Again
0060841613). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.)
Sunday, July 16
Noon. General Assignment. Mark Bowden
, author of Black Hawk Down
visited Fort Campbell in Kentucky to sign copies of his new book,
Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War With
(Atlantic Monthly, $26, 0871139251).
4 p.m. History on Book TV. In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop
Press, $17, 1555974503), Lewis Buzbee
chronicles the history of
bookmaking and bookselling and recounts his experience working at a
7 p.m. Public Lives. In his book Rafiq Hariri and the Fate of
(Saqi Books, $24.95, 0863563708), Marwan Iskandar
details the life, leadership and
assassination of the Lebanese prime minister who served
from 1992-1998 and 2000-2004. (Re-airs at 7 p.m.)
Media Heat: George Soros on Fresh Air
This morning in the center ring on Good Morning America: Cirque du
Soleil: The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives
Within Us All
(Doubleday, $19.95, 0385516517).
Today WAMU's Diane Rehm Show talks with Ali M. Ansari
, author of
Confronting Iran: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next
Great Crisis in the Middle East
(Basic Books, $26, 0465003508).
Today on KCRW's Bookworm: Irving Feldman
, author of Collected Poems:
(Schocken, $28.50, 0805242295). As the show describes it:
"During our conversation, Irving Feldman talks about everything from
religion to cannibalism, from poetic diction to the structure of
families. This intense discussion explores the poet's imagination and
convictions, while revealing his passionate intellect."
Today on NPR's Fresh Air: George Soros
, whose new book is The Age of Fallibility
(PublicAffairs, $24, 1586483595).
Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show:
- New Republic editor-at-large Peter Beinart, author of The Good Fight: Why Liberals, and Only Liberals, Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060841613).
- Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat (North Point Press, $30, 0865477043).
Tonight on the Colbert Report: Ron Suskind
, whose new book is The One Percent Doctrine
(S&S, $27, 0743271092).
Tomorrow on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein
authors of The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How
to Get It Back on Track
(Oxford, $26, 0195174461).
Friday night the Late Show with David Letterman talks with Anderson
, whose memoir is Dispatches from the Edge
On Saturday, NPR's A Chef's Table dishes up Sy Montgomery
, author of
The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
(Ballantine, $21.95, 0345481372).
On Sunday on Weekend Edition, Katharine Weber
discusses her new novel, Triangle
(FSG, $23, 0374281424).
Also on Sunday, Dateline tackles No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks
by Ed Viesturs and David Roberts
(Broadway Books, $23.95, 0767924703).
The Book Sense/NEBA List
The following are the bestselling titles at New England Booksellers
Association member stores during the week ended Sunday, July 9, as
reported to Book Sense:
1. Terrorist by John Updike (Knopf, $24.95, 0307264653)
2. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Knopf, $25, 1400044731)
3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $23.95, 1565124995)
4. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $26.95, 0312349483)
5. Digging to America by Anne Tyler (Knopf, $24.95, 0307263940)
6. At Risk by Patricia D. Cornwell (Putnam, $21.95, 0399153624)
7. Blue Screen by Robert B. Parker (Putnam, $24.95, 0399153519)
8. The Whole World Over by Julia Glass (Pantheon, $25.95, 0375422749)
9. Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316159786)
10. The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst (Random House, $24.95, 1400060192)
11. Everyman by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 061873516X)
12. The Husband by Dean R. Koontz (Bantam, $27, 0553804790)
13. Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, $21.95, 0375422722)
14. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl (Random House, $24.95, 1400061032)
15. The Book of the Dead by Douglas J. Preston and Lincoln Child (Warner, $25.95, 0446576980)
1. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, $29.95, 0670037605)
2. The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind (S&S, $27, 0743271092)
3. Marley & Me by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089)
4. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, $26.95, 1594200823)
5. Heat by Bill Buford (Knopf, $25.95, 1400041201)
6. The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery (Ballantine, $21.95, 0345481372)
7. Cesar's Way by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier (Harmony, $24.95, 0307337332)
8. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $30, 0374292795)
9. My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme (Knopf, $25.95, 1400043468)
10. Wisdom of Our Fathers by Tim Russert (Random House, $22.95, 1400064805)
11. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
12. A Heckuva Job by Calvin Trillin (Random House, $12.95, 1400065569)
13. Godless by Ann H. Coulter (Crown Forum, $27.95, 1400054206)
14. The Brothers Bulger by Howie Carr (Warner, $25.95, 0446576514)
15. Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949682)
Trade Paperback Fiction
1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
2. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Broadway, $13.99, 0767925955)
3. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 0143037145)
4. March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14, 0143036661)
5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
6. A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316154512)
7. History of Love by Nicole Krauss (Norton, $14.95, 0393328627)
8. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0143036696)
9. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $14, 0743454537)
10. Until I Find You by John Irving (Ballantine, $15.95, 0345479726)
11. Saturday by Ian McEwan (Anchor, $14.95, 1400076196)
12. The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant (Scribner, $15, 0743225740)
13. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, $14, 1400078776)
14. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
15. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, $13.95, 081297235X)
Trade Paperback Nonfiction
1. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $18, 0743226720)
2. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (Rodale, $21.95, 1594865671)
3. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
4. The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (Harvest, $14, 0156031566)
5. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (Random House, $14.95, 0812973011)
6. Night by Elie Wiesel (FSG, $9, 0374500010)
7. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (Penguin, $15, 0143036610)
8. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Vintage, $14, 0679745580)
9. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
10. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
11. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14, 031242227X)
12. Dishing Up Maine by Brooke Dojny (Storey, $19.95, 1580178413)
13. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552)
14. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (Anchor, $12.95, 0385486804)
15. Plan B by Anne Lamott (Riverhead, $14, 1594481571)
1. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (Anchor, $7.99, 0307275558)
2. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 1416524797)
3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Anchor, $7.99, 1400079179)
4. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616451)
5. 4th of July by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Warner, $9.99, 0446613363)
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Warner, $6.99, 0316769487)
7. Pirate by Ted Bell (Pocket Star, $9.99, 1416510796)
8. 11 on Top by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312985347)
9. Fire Sale by Sara Paretsky (Signet, $9.99, 045121899X)
10. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (St. Martin's, $7.99, 0312995423)
1. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Yearling, $6.50, 0440421705)
2. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $7.99, 0763625299)
3. Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (Disney, $18.99, 078683787X)
4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
5. Carnival at Candlelight (Magic Tree House #33) by Mary Pope Osborne,
illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca (Random House, $4.99, 0375830340)
6. Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer (Atheneum, $17.95, 141692454X)
7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, $18.99, 0763625892)
8. Pirates by John Matthews (Atheneum, $19.95, 1416927344)
9. The Third Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares (Delacorte, $8.95, 0553375938)
10. Heat by Mike Lupica (Philomel, $16.99, 0399243011)
11. The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, Book Two) by John Flanagan (Philomel, $16.99, 0399244557)
12. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey (Puffin, $7.99, 014050169X)
13. Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz (Philomel, $17.99, 0399241523)
14. Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha! by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus (Random House, $11.95, 0375834036)
15. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House, $7.99, 0439709105)
[Many thanks to Book Sense and NEBA!]