Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yen Press: The God of Nishi-Yuigahama Station by Takeshi Murase, Translated by Guiseppe Di Martino

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Simon & Schuster: Register for the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview!

St. Martin's Press: Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen


Riggio Buys a Million Shares of B&N, Stock Up 5.6%

Barnes & Noble stock rebounded somewhat yesterday, rising 5.6%, to $13.19, mainly on the news that last Thursday and Friday chairman Len Riggio bought a million shares, worth nearly $12.6 million. The gain came on a day when major indexes and most shares fell.


Last Wednesday, B&N released first quarter results that were well below Wall Street expectations, causing B&N stock to drop 27.6%, to $11.80, by the end of the day.

Riggio now owns directly almost 8.6 million shares, worth slightly over $108 million, according Dakota Financial News. (He also owns another 3.01 million shares indirectly. B&N has about 76 million shares outstanding.) The purchases were reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission because Riggio owns more than 10% of the company. The shares were bought at average prices of $12.63 for 650,000 shares on Thursday and $12.52 for 350,000 shares on Friday.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Booksellers Evacuated in Northern California Fires

The wildfires in Northern California that destroyed much of Middletown over the weekend have affected booksellers at Copperfield's, which has seven stores in Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties (with an eighth opening in December). Two employees at the Calistoga store and one at the Montgomery Village store have been evacuated from their homes, and one of the Calistoga employees is waiting to learn if she lost her home, according to Vicki DeArmon, Copperfield's marketing & events director.

Copperfield's yesterday delivered a box of children's books to the evacuee center in Calistoga so "children have something to do." (The Calistoga store is 10-15 miles from the fire.)

GLOW: Torrey House Press: Life After Dead Pool: Lake Powell's Last Days and the Rebirth of the Colorado River by Zak Podmore

Wit and Whimsy Children's Bookstore in Mass. Closing

Wit and Whimsy Children's Bookstore, Marblehead, Mass., is closing, owner Nancy Oliver announced on Facebook. She called it a "difficult decision," but didn't indicate the reasons, writing instead, "When I opened the store almost five years ago, I had the goal of creating a place for kids to develop and foster a love for reading. I wanted to make the store a family- and kid-friendly place by offering story times, crafts, and programs for kids of all ages. I hoped to create an environment that was inviting and welcoming and that encouraged people to stop in and stay.

"Thanks to our customers I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do--and have received unexpected benefits in the process! I would like to thank our customers for their support and loyalty over the years and for all of their positive feedback. I've been fortunate to have many customers, both adults and kids, become my friends. I will miss seeing the excitement our younger customers show when they come to the store to get the latest book in their favorite series. And I will regret no longer sharing the wonderful picture books that have just arrived. Wit & Whimsy's customers are tremendous people and have made owning the store a special experience."

She recommended that customers "shop for children's books at our other fine bookstore in town, Spirit of '76. They have many of the wonderful children's and teen books you need and can order any that are not in stock. Please continue to shop local to keep all of our retail businesses going!"

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

Papercuts J.P. to Publish Year One Anthology

On September 9, Boston indie Papercuts J.P. launched an Inkshares campaign to publish What Happened Here: Year One at Papercuts J.P., an anthology commemorating the store's first year. Inkshares, a publishing-focused crowdfunding platform, operates based on preorders, and Papercuts J.P. must reach 1,000 orders within the next 83 days to publish the 336-page anthology.

The planned anthology will include more than a dozen short pieces by writers who visited the store during its first year, as well as work from Papercuts staff members. Among the writers lined up to contribute are Edan Lepucki, author of California; Abigail Thomas, author of What Comes Next and How to Like It; and Josh Cook, author of An Exaggerated Murder. An individual pre-order costs $9.99 (a finished retail copy will cost $14.99, should the campaign be a success) and includes access to drafts and updates from the authors. Backers can also preorder multiple copies at once to unlock more rewards, such as a limited edition mug and the backer's name going in the book. Given a successful campaign, store owner Kate Layte and media and events coordinator Katie Eelman expect a publication date of February 2016.

"The idea came from a desire to celebrate one year of great authors, wonderful books and community support," explained Eelman. "Kate and I decided that a compilation of words from the authors who have been kind enough to visit us this year would be a perfect way to create a tangible artifact of a magical year."

Papercuts J.P. opened last November in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Layte is not new to crowdfunding-- in October 2014 she used a flexible funding Indiegogo campaign to raise additional money for the store. Earlier this year, the store was named "Boston's Best Book Nook" by the Improper Bostonian. --Alex Mutter

KSB Promotions Disbanding, Principals Hitting the Road

After more than 45 years promoting books, Kate Siegel Bandos and Doug Bandos are closing KSB Promotions, effective today. Since 1988, when they created KSB Promotions, they have worked on a freelance basis for hundreds of authors and publishers. Clients have included Thomas W. Phalen, author of 1-2-3 Magic; Marla Heller's Dash Diet books; and many children's books, including Kathryn Otoshi's One. Before 1988, Kate was a publicist for M. Evans & Company, Acropolis Books, Pelican Publishing and Globe Pequot Press.

"While it is sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful authors, publishers and media people we have worked with," Kate said, "we are very excited to start the next chapter of our life--traveling the country with no set agenda."


Image of the Day: Rapt Audience at Avid Reader

Catriona McPherson celebrated the release of her latest stand-alone thriller, The Child Garden (Midnight Ink), with a launch party at The Avid Reader in Davis, Calif. Here she reads from the novel to a rapt audience.

Cookbook Bookstores: Recipes for Success

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

Despite the proliferation of online cooking recipes and the growth of online retailers, bricks-and-mortar cookbook bookstores endure, largely due to the support of passionate cookbook devotees, reports the culinary website Eater. According to writer Sadie Stein, there are currently 15 dedicated cookbook stores in the U.S. and another four in Canada. Virtually all of them, Stein argued, "are the product of fierce and utterly impractical passion."

Among the stores is Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks in New York City, which seemed doomed to close last November after the store abruptly lost its West Village lease. But before owner Bonnie Slotnick had to shutter the store for good, "a pair of siblings offered [Slotnick] a space in their East 2nd Street building--a bigger, more affordable space."

Stein wrote: "In a time when any recipe can be found online and we are constantly warned of the imminent death of print, a quirky specialty cookbook shop not only survived but grew."

Cool Idea of the Day: Customer Recommendation Contest

RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H., is holding a Customer Recommendation Contest. On its website, the bookseller wrote: "We tell you enough about our favorite books. Now we want to hear about yours. If you love a book and want others to love it too, this is your chance. Choose your favorite book, write a paragraph or two about why it's great, and we will display your book with your personal recommendation!" The customer whose recommendation sells the most books in the month of October will win a $200 bookshop gift certificate.

Hey Kids: 'Booksmith Will Make You Cool'

From an e-mail newsletter sent out last Thursday by Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., under the subject line "'Booksmith Will Make You Cool'":

"Well, the kids are finally back to school, so that means there is a good chance that they confronted you at pickup time yesterday with an indignant, incredulous tone in their voice, exclaiming: 'Dad! Mrs. Whatserface says we're supposed to have a WOODEN ruler, but you gave me a PLASTIC one! Also I lost my lunchbox. And my plastic ruler.' It's not too late, we still have all of that great back-to-school stuff, still displayed right up at the front of the store."

Personnel Changes at Hachette Book Group

Effective September 28, Michael Ballanco is joining Hachette Book Group as senior v-p, chief information officer. He has worked in the music industry for the past 12 years, most recently as senior v-p and CIO at the Warner Music Group and prior to that at EMI Music. He also has 20 years of experience in technology with Accenture.

Ingram Publisher Services Adds Five Publishers

Ingram Publisher Services has added five new publisher clients:

Books & Books Press, the publishing imprint of Books & Books, which has stores in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Bal Harbour Shops and the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Florida and affiliate stores in the Cayman Islands, Westhampton Beach, N.Y., and the Miami International Airport. The Press works closely with authors to publish their books and provide a range of services. It has also funded some of its own books, the most recent of which is Cortadito by Enrique Fernandez. Most of the titles are illustrated books..

Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ont., which was founded in 1974 and publishes books on history, literature, music, sociology and social work, life writing, film and media, indigenous studies, environmental studies and cultural criticism.

Made for Success Publishing, Seattle, Wash., which since 2005 has published business books, e-books and audiobooks for professional speakers and executives, including works from the late Zig Ziglar, John C. Maxwell and Chris Widener.

Waterhouse Press, North Conway, N.H., which was founded last year and publishes romance, new adult, young adult and paranormal titles.

Hoffman Media, Birmingham, Ala., which was founded in 1983 and specializes in women's lifestyle books and magazines, focusing on food, homes, creative ideas and inspiring entrepreneurs. Hoffman Media magazines include The Cottage Journal, Southern Lady, Taste of the South and Victoria.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mary Karr Talks Memoir on Fresh Air

Today on Fresh Air: Mary Karr, author of The Art of Memoir (Harper, $24.99, 9780062223067).


Tomorrow on CNN's New Day: David Gregory, author of How's Your Faith?: An Unlikely Spiritual Journey (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781451651607). He will also appear on Fox Radio's Kilmeade and Friends.


Tomorrow on Access Hollywood: Beverly Johnson, co-author of The Face That Changed It All: A Memoir (Atria, $28, 9781476774411).


Tomorrow on Diane Rehm: Stephen Breyer, author of The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities (Knopf, $27.95, 9781101946190).

TV: The Wizard of Lies

More cast members have been named for Barry Levinson's The Wizard of Lies, the HBO Films project based on the book The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff & the Death of Trust by Diana Henriques, with Laurie Sandell's Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family providing additional source material.

Nathan Darrow (House of Cards), Kathrine Narducci (Power), Steve Coulter (The Hunger Games) and Kristen Connolly (Zoo) join the cast led by Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. Playing herself will be Henriques, who was "the first writer to visit Madoff in prison, interviewed the convicted swindler in 2011" and her exclusive interview was published by the New York Times in February 2011, wrote.

Books & Authors

Awards: Man Booker; NBA Young People's; Scottish Crime

The 2015 Man Booker Prize shortlist of six novels is:

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Jamaica)
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy (U.K.)
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota (U.K.)
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (U.S.)
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (U.S.)

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 13, in London.


The National Book Foundation is unveiling the longlists for the National Book Award this week, beginning yesterday with the Young People's Literature category. Finalists will be announced on October 14, and winners named November 18. This year's longlisted titles are:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Children's Books)
Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich & the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson (Candlewick)
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins Children's Books)
This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares and Laughing Dinosaurs by Gary Paulsen (S&S Children's Publishing
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray)
X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon (Candlewick)
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (HarperTeen)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)


Craig Russell won the  £1,000 (about $1,540) Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year award for his novel The Ghosts of Altona. The award was presented during last weekend's Bloody Scotland Festival. On behalf of the judges, Magnus Linklater said Russell "is a fine writer and we loved the complex, dark and unpredictable story. The quality of the writing was so strong there was a feeling that this book would stand up against any other literary prize-winning title, with its well-woven plots and sub-plots, thoughtful exploration of the nature of trauma and interesting uses of symbolism. The Ghosts of Altona, written by a Scot, but truly capturing the spirit of a city like Hamburg at different times throughout history, is a great example of Scottish writing's international spirit."

Jamie Groves won the Bloody Scotland International Short Story Competition for "The Mystery of the Mallaig Train."

Book Review

Review: The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook (W.W. Norton, $26.95 hardcover, 9780393241921, October 5, 2015)

New Yorker writer John Seabrook (Flash of Genius) provides an eminently readable and important inside look at how the pop music industry developed strategies to manufacture no-fail hit songs.

Seabrook's in-depth interviews with an army of songwriters, producers, performers and others make for series of profiles that document a revolution in the music business. He chronicles everything from the emergence of new business models to the deliberate interjection of hooks meant to re-engage listeners every seven seconds, the average amount of time people listen to a song before they change the station. Including optimal chord progressions and the most effective camera angles for videos, these strategies exploit the brain's reflexive attraction to repetition, rhythm and melody. Hit factories now create formula-driven, synthetic tracks with near-universal appeal, producing songs that combine beat-driven dance music with the pop that people enjoy on the radio.

Seabrook travels to Stockholm, where Swedish DJ, producer and songwriter Denniz Pop and Cheiron Studios helped the city become an engine of pop music. In South Africa, Clive Calder, through his Jive label, was the first to successfully exploit the power of producers and publishing rights, rather than focusing on performers and record sales, to become the wealthiest individual in the history of the music industry up to that point. Korea's K-pop, with one of the most elaborate hit- and teen idol-making factories in the world, has eliminated the distinction between "manufactured" music, created under the direction of producers in labs, using computer-generated instrumentals for a celebrity performer, and "real" music created by the singer-songwriter. Profiles of superstars like Rihanna, Britney Spears and Katy Perry detail their collaborations with producers who leave no detail to chance. And Seabrook's anecdotes of the music shared with (and often rejected by) his children add a wonderful personal counterpoint to the behind-the-scenes narrative.

The Song Machine is a superbly written, textured account of a creative industry still in flux, one where an artist's creative vision is no match for a deadly effective business machine. As streaming replaces CD sales and contemporary hits replace album-oriented music, and 1% of artists now generate 80% of the industry's profit, the role of the singer and writer has radically changed. They have become "vocal personalities" whose "insights into the human condition seem to extend no further than the walls of the vocal booth." Seabrook acknowledges the addictive appeal of such music while remaining troubled by the cost: music that can be performed by anyone is inherently soulless, even if it can foster brief moments of connection between a father and a son when they are both captured by a song's seductive hooks. --Jeanette Zwart, freelance writer and reviewer

Shelf Talker: The Song Machine is a superb, thoroughly researched and entertaining account of the music industry's transformation into a hit factory.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Hold On (The ‘Burg Series: Volume 6) Kristen Ashley
2. The Gambler by Denise Grover Swank
3. The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin
4. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
5. Charlie Foxtrot (Code 11- KPD SWAT Book 5) by Lani Lynn Vale
6. Cocky Bastard by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland
7. Four Week Fiancé by JS Cooper and Helen Cooper
8. The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Series by Annie Bellet
9. The Player by Denise Grover Swank
10. Hard (A Sexy Bastard Novel Book 1) by Eve Jagger

[Many thanks to!]

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