Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sourcebooks Landmark: Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Tor Books: The Daughters' War (Blacktongue) by Christopher Buehlman


Notes: Store News; Sales and Marketing Changes

John Gaylord, the onetime Little Professor franchisee and co-owner of the old Gaylord Companies, is expanding his current bookselling venture. In mid to late October, he will open a Liberty Books & News store in Rocky River, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb. The store will resemble the other two stores he has opened in the past two years: Empire Books & News in Huntington, W.V., and Liberty Books & News in Columbus, Ohio. The new store will have 10,000 square feet of space, stock about 70,000 book titles and carry some 8,000 periodicals. The 300 feet of magazines are the store's "hallmark," as Gaylord put it.

For trademark reasons, Gaylord will use the Liberty name on all future stores. He told Shelf Awareness he has "no specific plans" to expand, but that "as opportunities present themselves, we'll evaluate them."


BookZeller, Naperville, Ill., which stocks some 40,000 "gently loved, discounted books . . . neatly crammed into every nook and cranny," will close its storefront around November 1 and sell solely on the Internet, according to the Chicago Daily Herald.

Manager Ellen Bales said rising rents were a key reason for shutting down the 12-year-old store, commenting, "When overhead and profits are too close together, it becomes a business decision." The online operation, called BookZone, is located in an industrial park in Naperville. Local customers may pick up purchases there rather than having them shipped.


Simon & Schuster is reorganizing its sales force so that the field group's responsibilities will include specialty accounts in addition to independent booksellers, according to Jim Milliot in Publishers Weekly. Also, the sales force, which had been divided between adult and children's titles, will merge and sell all titles, and the company will no longer use commissioned rep groups to sell to specialty accounts.

S&S said that the specialty market is its fastest-growing sales retail channel and that the consolidation will help the company be able to continue to call on independent bookstores.


George Carroll, aka Redsides Publishing Services, has ended his 20-year sales representation of Chronicle Books. He is adding Northern California, Colorado and Utah to his present Pacific Northwest territory for Oxford University Press. He's now representing Continuum in the same territory as Oxford. He'll continue to represent his other publishers in the Northwest.


Ali Kokmen has been named manga marketing manager for the Del Rey imprint at Random House, a new position. He formerly was director of book sales at CPM Press, the graphic novel division of Central Park Media. Before that he was sales and marketing manager for a line of illustrated art, design, pop culture, comics and manga titles at Collins Design.

Kim Hovey, v-p, associate publisher and director of marketing, Ballantine, to whom Kokmen reports, commented: "In 2007, Del Rey will be publishing 150 manga titles and Ali's vast expertise and knowledge will help us to effectively market our titles and become even more profitable in the year ahead."

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Roswell Johnson Saves the World! (Roswell Johnson #1) by Chris Colfer

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Senator Dorgan Takes His Book on Air

This morning the Today Show listens to the message of Daniel Silva, whose new book is The Messenger (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153357).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show:

  • Francis S. Collins, author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, $26, 0743286391).
  • Senator Byron Dorgan, author of Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America (Thomas Dunne, $24.95, 031235522X).


NPR's Talk of the Nation spars with Juliet Barker, author of Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle that Made England (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316015032).


Today NPR's Fresh Air talks with Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (Penguin, $27.95, 159420103X). Ricks will also be on the Charlie Rose Show tonight.

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Book Review

Snow Blind

Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy (Putnam Publishing Group, $24.95 Hardcover, 9780399153396, August 2006)

Snow Blind is the fourth book in the Monkeewrench thriller series, and this time detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are the stars, with the Monkeewrench crew as supporting cast. Magozzi and Rolseth are congratulating themselves for preventing a probable homicide from becoming an actual one. Bitter Minnesotans, having watched their snowmobiles gather dust and lawns stay green during a dry winter, are happily anticipating a major snowfall and the annual Winter Fest Snowman Sculpting Competition. But with the arrival of several feet of snow comes a horrifying discovery: among the hundreds of snowmen sculpted for the contest, two have been fashioned over the bodies of Minneapolis cops.  The next day Iris Rikker, the newly elected (and very rookie) sheriff of sparsely populated Dundas County, discovers another policeman's body disguised as a snowman. The detectives head north in a blizzard to check out the connection, and the Monkeewrench computer jocks (Grace MacBride, Annie Belinski, Harley Davidson and Roadrunner) work the cyber angle.
The plot is fantastic and complex, but Tracy makes it work, tying in snowman bodies, domestic violence and a secure community for battered women and their children called Bitterroot. The writing is fast-paced and considerably laced with laughs, many at Minnesotans' expense: "The Swedish Grill [has] got to be a local joke... all their food is white. They've got no cuisine, no palates, and no business grilling stuff." One of the pleasures of reading this series is how cleverly and succinctly Tracy details her characters. The sweetly uxorious and always hungry Gino "got a little impatient when he still had a long drive to make it to Angela's spaghetti" or, "He leaned forward and breathed jelly bismarck into the front seat." Maggie Holland, from Bitterroot, could have been anywhere from 45 to 65 years old, an age span "that made [Magozzi] a little uneasy, probably because a lot of women in that group were long past the time when they expected anything extraordinary from men." Snow Blind is another winner from P.J. Tracy (Patricia J. and Traci Lambrecht). --Marilyn Dahl

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Deeper Understanding

Osondu's Offer to Oprah--Updated

The campaign by Margaret Osondu, owner of Osondu Booksellers, Waynesville, N.C., to get Oprah Winfrey to visit her town and store, learn about the value of independent booksellers and promote indies when she promotes books, has grown substantially in the two weeks since Shelf Awareness first talked with Osondu (Shelf Awareness, July 10).

Earlier Osondu planned to collect postcards filled out by customers and a few letters from town officials and send them together as one package to Oprah. But as other booksellers became aware of the effort (partly because of our story) and community involvement increased, Osondu has changed tack. Now, she said, she plans to send something to Oprah every week for the rest of the year until "she says she'll come visit or unless they say, 'Hey, this is too much.' "

The catalyst for the campaign was the July issue of O the Oprah Magazine, the "first-ever' summer reading issue with 64 recommended titles. On the cover, the magazine advertised "O's Deal Just For You," which consists of a 10% discount on 20 of the titles.

Last week Osondu sent the first package to Oprah, which contained 320 cards signed by customers that recommended Osondu Booksellers and requested Oprah to visit. This week Osondu will send a highlighted copy of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A History by Lewis Buzbee (Graywolf, $17, 1555974503), which she described as "beautifully written" and addressing "just what we're talking about and why we need to have independent bookstores." (If Oprah visits, Osondu said she hopes the author would make an appearance, too.)

The following week, Osondu plans to send several posters that have the same message as the postcards--the key phrase is "Osondu Booksellers invites you, Oprah Winfrey, to our independent bookshop in Waynesville, N.C." The posters are being signed by Waynesville's mayor and other town officials.

The week after that, Osondu wants to send messages from the 52 authors who are going to be in town August 5 for the second annual authors festival. The following week she'll dispatch a "book bag" containing titles by local authors.

Osondu is being energetically supported by fellow Southern booksellers, who have expressed their approval for her campaign on the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance list serve. SIBA booksellers are planning on writing at least 100 letters of support, which SIBA executive director Wanda Jewell will collect and send to Oprah. The booksellers are also sending along material about their stores, and Jewell will include a copy of the Spoken Word, a copy of SIBA's newsletter and "probably a box of my newly discovered no pudge chocolate fudge mix."

Regardless of whether Oprah visits, for Osondu, the campaign has had an unintended personal benefit. "It's been an opportunity for me to revisit my commitment to bookselling and why I want to be a bookseller," she said. "I've reaffirmed my own belief in literature, the written word, the spoken word and the care and consideration booksellers take in selecting books for their shops."

In addition, the campaign has had a positive effect on Waynesville, Osondu said. The town is considering allowing the building of what would be the first two big-box retail stores in Waynesville. The developer has made proposals that Osondu and others have found wanting in some ways. "I think this Oprah invitation has inspired some people to take their time in making decisions about this," she said.

Considering how this campaign has evolved, our next update will likely come next week!

Osondu Booksellers is located at 184 North Main St., Waynesville, N.C. 28786; 828-456-8062;

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