Shelf Awareness for Saturday, April 1, 2017

William Morrow & Company: Death of the Author by Nnedi Okorafor

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Running Press: Enter For a Chance to Win a Moonlit Explorer Pack!

Quill Tree Books: The Firelight Apprentice by Bree Paulsen

For Fun

B&N Hires and Fires New CEO

B&N's CEO has left the building.

In less than an hour yesterday, Doug McMillion, the president and CEO of Wal-Mart, was hired and then fired as CEO of Barnes & Noble.

The surprising sequence of events began before the stock market opened, when B&N issued a press release announcing McMillion's appointment, itself a stunning shift for the lifelong Wal-Mart employee and considered by many a coup for B&N. The company praised McMillion's general retail experience as well as his success battling Amazon and said that he had major plans to reinvigorate B&N. His focus, the company said, would be expanding on the handful of new concept stores launched last year--McMillion's revamped revamped stores would be "newer concept stores," the company said.

Only 20 minutes after the first press release was issued, however, a second release announced that McMillion had been let go. The company described McMillion as "not a good fit" and said that "it is in the best interests of all parties for him to leave--or, in fact, not even start." B&N said it would honor McMillion's contract, which was a multi-year agreement with sizable salary guarantees. One rumor had it that B&N execs didn't approve of the future CEO's plans to add teams of greeters at the front doors of all B&Ns or have hourly specials announced loudly in-store.

By lunchtime, B&N had organized an emergency conference call with stock market analysts during which company founder and executive chairman Len Riggio, who has been acting CEO since Ron Boire was fired in August 2016 after 11 months on the job, did most of the talking. (According to the first release of the day, Riggio had been planning to retire, again, on May 1, which was to be McMillion's official first day as CEO.)

"To my major regret, once again we just haven't found the right person," Riggio said. "I blame myself first and foremost for not recognizing problems sooner in the process." Still, he emphasized that B&N would survive--and even thrive--despite the regular changes in the executive ranks. "Books are our nook, I mean niche," he said. "They're everlasting, a lot like me."

He added that since McMillion's departure, B&N had already begun revamping the newer concept store plans, creating what he called a "newest concept" program. These new stores will, he said, be distinguished by the return of "an oldie but goodie": easy chairs, which in the early days of book superstores had attracted so many people. "Loved those chairs," Riggio said. "Lines went out the doors of people waiting for them to free up. There's been nothing like that since then to drive traffic. Plus they separate us from our competition. After all, you can't climb into the Internets and sit around in anything doing nothing all day." --John Mutter

Zest Books: The Gender Binary Is a Big Lie: Infinite Identities around the World by Lee Wind

Bohococobocoloco Opening in Asheville, N.C.

Bohococobocoloco--a hybrid bookstore, BBQ, urgent care, auto repair and, of course, brewery--is opening next week in downtown Asheville, N.C.

Owners Jared Beckett and Asher Anson, recent graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, funded their new venture through Kickstarter and parental support. The 6,400-square-foot space on Biltmore Ave was formerly a 7-11, and has been extensively renovated, with rescued barnwood floors and industrial lighting. The bookstore area will feature artisanal stenciled signage and folding chairs, and will stock 400-500 titles, "mostly in fiction and nonfiction," Beckett said.

Looking forward, Bohococobocoloco hopes to incorporate a performance space, mortuary and perhaps an outdoor patio. Ultimately, Beckett and Anson envision similar shops in Brooklyn, Austin and Duluth. --Robin Lenz

GLOW: Flatiron Books: Private Rites by Julia Armfield

Amazon Starting Black Friday Sales on Good Friday to get an unprecedented jump on its online rivals, Amazon has announced that its 2017 Black Friday Deals Store will open April 14, Good Friday, with more than three dozen curated holiday gift guides, officially marking the start of the holiday season countdown. The Black Friday Deals Store will feature tens of thousands of products, with new deals as often as every five minutes, through December 21.

"Customers love discovering the best deals on the most sought-after products, and getting off to such an early start with our Black Friday Deals Store and Holiday Gift Guides offers them a place to do just that," said Don Smith, senior v-p North American retail at Amazon. "Prime members will also be able to use Alexa voice shopping for purchasing their holiday gifts hands-free. They can make purchases simply by asking Alexa-enabled devices while relaxing at home with family and friends. This holiday season, we'll have a hundred times more deals and an extra six months to promote them. It's a win-win for everybody." --Robert Gray

Alex Baker: Exceptional Design And Creative Services For The Publishing Industry

Regnery Introduces New Imprint, Trump Titles

In a tribute to what it calls "second American Revolutions" in both politics and in publishing, Regnery has announced a new imprint that will publish conservative books across all media and platforms with simultaneous international publication in multiple markets and languages. Called Plain Talk, the imprint will be launched with a series of titles by President Donald Trump. The release of the titles will be coordinated around the globe in a way that Regnery compared with the approach that will be taken by Penguin Random House for the titles it signed a month ago by former President Obama and Michelle Obama. Regnery president and publisher Marji Ross noted with satisfaction that its Trump books will appear well before the Obamas' books, adding, "Nah nah nah nah nah!"

The first Trump title is Book of Apologies. Other Trump titles will focus respectively on empathy, scientific facts, facts in general, truth, constitutional law and love of humanity. Regnery said that further titles by the president are under discussion.

An unusual feature of the Plain Talk line is that all titles will be blank books. Regnery touted the advantages of this approach, which allows for quick translation into "every language on the globe, even dead languages." In addition, abridged and unabridged audio and e-book versions of the book require minimal work--no pesky narrators or formatting changes--and the editing and printing process is likewise simplified. --John Mutter

Long-Awaited Sixth 'Game of Thrones' Novelization Gets Release Date

Good news for fans of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin and publisher Bantam Books have announced that the long-awaited sixth Game of Thrones novelization, The Winds of Winter, has been completed and will be published this November.

Fans will be able to spend at least part of the wait for the show's eighth and final season by catching up with where Martin left Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister at the end of A Dance with Dragons, way back in 2011. The Winds of Winter is expected to mostly cover events originally shown in seasons 5 and 6 of the TV show. A seventh and final novelization, A Dream of Spring, has been announced, but, of course, with no release date given. --Alex Mutter

Binc to Assist Booksellers Immigrating to Canada

In response to demand that has grown dramatically since November 8, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation is currently accepting applications from U.S. booksellers seeking financial assistance to help them immigrate to Canada. Binc has partnered with several Canadian bookstores to find jobs for those hoping to leave the country, and plans to offer up to $100,000 in resettlement funding for current bookstore employees/owners, independent booksellers association employees, former Borders Group employees and dependents of any of the above.

"If the Foundation can provide financial support to create an opportunity for a bookseller seeking a better life north of the border, it aligns with our mission to strengthen the entire bookselling community," said Binc executive director Pam French. --Robert Gray

Trump Prezident Libary Under Construction in Moscow

Proposed design for the Trump Prezident Libary.

Less than three months after Donald Trump took the oath of office, the White House has announced that the president has made plans for his presidential library. As is appropriate for a president who has broken many traditions, the library will be the first for a U.S. president to be located outside the United States.

Already under construction, Trump Prezident Libary is in Russia's capital city of Moscow. In another break with tradition, the building will be the largest presidential library ever, paying homage both to the palace of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the uncompleted palace of the late Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu.

During his press briefing yesterday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer emphasized that the presidential library is being built and will be operated at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. "Our friends in the Kremlin have diverted more than enough rubles from our regular payments to cover all costs."

He also indicated that construction is going on around the clock so that the Libary will be able to open whenever the president is impeached or resigns or is arrested. Although plans are still in early stages, the grand opening ceremony will feature an appearance by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will present President Trump with the Order of Lenin, the highest award that the Soviet state can--or could--give.

The Libary's motif is gold, which will cover the bookshelf and many other parts of the building. The collection will feature the complete backlist of Hustler magazine as well as many copies of The Art of the Deal.

The Kushner family is developing a hotel and retail site next to the Libary that will be called Trumpgrad. --John Mutter

Pew Report: Fewer Kids Now Coloring

American children under the age of six were less likely to own a coloring book during the past two years than people 30 and older (78% vs. 86%), and more than a third (38%) of the children surveyed hadn't colored seriously in the past year, according to a new Pew Research Center study titled "Younger Americans and Coloring Books."

The study, which was initially launched to track side effects of the dramatic increase and subsequent decline in coloring book sales for adults, also found that the primary reason children gave for their diminished interest in coloring was that it's "something my grandma does." Nearly 80% of the respondents said they resented having valuable refrigerator door exhibition space taken over by the finished works of their older relatives. And even though 95% of children surveyed said they still used coloring books when asked to do so at preschool or in school, their coloring time at home had declined substantially. --Robert Gray

Waterstones to Offer 'Escape the Bookshop' Overnight Experiences

Following the success of overnight and sleepover events at bookstores around the globe, U.K. book retailer Waterstones is bringing back its own overnight program with a twist: booklovers will be locked inside a Waterstones store over night and must complete an increasingly complex sequence of interrelated, literature-themed puzzles to escape the bookstore before dawn.

Waterstones CEO James Daunt called the revived overnight, which is officially titled Escape the Bookshop, a return to the program's roots: the inspiration for the first sleepover in 2014 was the much-publicized instance of an American tourist who was locked inside a London Waterstones after the staff had left for the evening. The ensuing sleepover program proved popular, but Daunt always felt there was something lacking.

"Our customers had a lovely time, but without that edge of uncertainty--that thought of, Am I really trapped in here?--there was something missing from the experience," said Daunt. At the same time, Daunt noticed the growing popularity of escape room games and wondered if combining those sorts of puzzles with a night in a bookstore could be just what the program needed.

"Now, booklovers can still spend a night in their favorite bookshop," continued Daunt, "and that renewed sense of danger will guarantee that it's unforgettable."

Tickets for the Escape the Bookshop experience will go on sale this Monday, with two scenarios to choose from. One, based on a mixture of classic crime and spy fiction, is called "Bookseller Buyer Manager Spy" while the other, based on horror fiction, is called "A Nightmare on High Street." Due to the complexity of the puzzles, reservations are open only to groups of four to eight people; groups can choose a particular scenario or have Waterstones make the choice. On the night of the experience, Waterstones employees will pick up group members and transport them blindfolded to a Waterstones shop. The group will not be allowed to remove those blindfolds until the doors are locked.

At present, Escape the Bookshop will be offered only in London. Should the program prove successful, Waterstones will look into creating more scenarios and expanding to other cities. Daunt said that early test feedback regarding the experience has been "heartening," but not without a few "hiccups."

When asked what would happen to any groups that failed to complete the final puzzle before dawn, Daunt answered: "Oh, but that would be telling." --Alex Mutter

Bookstore Chalkboard of the Day: Minimalist Books & Less

"We aren't heavy into handselling. We like to keep it simple. You see something; it looks good; buy it," said Derek Field, owner of Minimalist Books & Less in Corinth, N.Y. The shop's chalkboard sign eloquently shares this message with customers when they enter. --Robert Gray

Mystery Writers of America Issues New Edgars Rule

In an unprecedented move, the Mystery Writers of America has issued a new guideline for any future works nominated for the group's prestigious Edgar Awards. In a brief statement yesterday, the MWA announced that in response to the habitual, and perhaps even increasing, presence of a particular cliché, the following ban has been added to the organization's rules for Edgar-nominated books, short stories, TV shows and movies: "No private detective, police officer, secret service agent or other member of the fictional law enforcement community is permitted to dismiss the comments of a fictional civilian by saying, 'I think you've been reading too many mystery novels.' " --Robert Gray

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