Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 20, 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


Notes: Ingram Buys Coutts; Black Images Sale

Ingram Industries has bought Coutts Information Services, which has headquarters in the U.K., offices in the U.S., Canada and Holland and specializes in supplying books and electronic content to the academic library market as well as government, corporate, public and institutional library markets. Coutts also owns MyiLibrary, an "e-hosting platform offering access to the world's leading digital content collections"; librarians use it to build digital title collections. Coutts has some 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

In a statement, Jim Chandler, president and CEO of Ingram Book Group, said that Coutts serves "a market we have never before served directly" and has "a broad range of library-centric digital and physical services that will provide a great platform for the future. . . . This rounds out our service to academic and professional libraries throughout North America."


The inventory of, the Spanish online marketplace for new, used and rare books, has been integrated with the database of, which acquired IberLibro in 2004. IberLibro can now make more than 100 million books available to its customers, and AbeBooks customers have access to IberLibro's Spanish-language offerings.

Already IberLibro is popular in the U.S.--more than half of its orders are shipped here. At the same time, AbeBooks customers in Spain and Latin America placed some 35% of their orders with international booksellers, most in languages other than Spanish.

"Spanish speakers prefer to buy books from a Spanish-language Web site," Hannes Blum, president and CEO of AbeBooks, said in a statement. "So we want to make their preferred Web site to find and buy any book from any bookseller anywhere."


Today Black Images Book Bazaar, the Dallas, Tex., black bookstore that is closing December 30 (Shelf Awareness, December 10, 2006), is holding a No Book Left Behind Sale from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to try to clear its shelves, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Among events held during today's sale: from 1 to 2 p.m., a kwanzaa ceremony; from 2 to 4 p.m., Clarence Jones will sign his Books That Black People Need to Read; and at 7 p.m., author and talk show host Michael Baisden will sign some of his books, including The Maintenance Man and Men Cry in the Dark.

The store will continue in existence online and as an author event promoter.


Ben Bruton has been promoted to director of publicity for William Morrow. He joined the company in 2004 and has worked on campaigns for The Great Deluge by Doug Brinkley, The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow and Exiles in America by Christopher Bram, among others.


Our item yesterday about Parkplace Books, Kirkland, Wash., which was flooded last week, had an outdated e-mail address. The correct e-mail is Our apologies.

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

Manhattan's Murder Ink Knocked Off

Murder Ink, the mystery bookstore on upper Broadway in New York City, and its sister store, Ivy's Books and Curiosities, are closing at the end of the month, the New York Times reported.

According to owner Jay Pearsall, the culprits included:

  • Rent of $18,000 a month.
  • A Barnes & Noble 10 blocks away that has been "chipping away at business for years"
  • Amazon and eBay, which "killed off mail-order business and sales of rare books"
  • The death of many longtime customers, "lots of them immigrants, lots of them Jewish, educated, liberal."
Pearsall said that in recent years, the 34-year-old store has "depended on sales from nonbook items that yield larger profit margins, like greeting cards, journals and action figures of Carl Jung and Rosie the Riveter."

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

'Tis the Week Before Christmas

For the following delightful ode to this most busy week, we thank Janet Potter, events and promotions coordinator at the Brookline and Wellesley Booksmiths in Massachusetts:

'Tis the week before Christmas
And all through the store,
All booksellers were stirring,
Cause that's what they're for!

The books are all nestled all snug on their shelves,
Waiting to be plucked by gift-giving elves,
While we walk around in our sneakers and hoodies,
Telling you which ones are yawnfests and which ones are goodies.

With five more nights of Hanukkah and one week 'til Christmas,
We're experiencing maximum shopping listness.
We're stocking you up with novelists and bards,
Mugs, jewelry, dreidels, and cards!

When what to our wondering eyes should appear
But an apathetic customer who hasn't read in years!
"What's the point of books?" he asked like a goon,
"If there was a point I could buy them on iTunes."

We booksellers responded, so lively and quick,
"The books that we love are what make us tick!
Read some of our favorites and you won't be the same"
And we whistled and shouted and called them by name!

"Read Steinbeck, read Amis, Satrapi, and Pynchon!
Sedaris, Obama, Pamuk, and Didion!
Down the aisle of fiction, on the art book wall,
We've read them, we love them, we recommend all!"

"The prose how it twinkles, magic realism how merry,
The poetry like roses, the sci-fi so scary!
For forty-five years we've sold books, and how!
It's what we're here for, and we won't stop now!"

He spoke not a word, but went straight to the aisles,
And his stack of books grew by piles and piles.
We stuffed them with our bookmarks, and he waved goodbye to us,
Then turned right on Harvard and got on the 66 bus.

But I heard him exclaim a parting creed:
"Literary fiction for all! And to all a good read!"

Holiday Hum: Schwartz's 'Unusually Pleasant Christmas'

During the holiday season, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops' buyers and corporate staff work in the company's five stores in and around Milwaukee, Wis., both weekends and weekdays with at least one shift in each store. Not only is it reinforcement for harried store managers, said v-p and COO Mary Catherine McCarthy, "it makes us much smarter in the office. We can actually see what's selling."

One strong performer is This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, a collection of essays based on the NPR series of the same name. "It's one we've been chasing," McCarthy said. Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is also doing well. "I think she's funny," she said. "It just never struck me this book would really take off like that."

Popular pictorial tomes include A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 by Annie Leibovitz, Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song by Les Beletsky and Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg. Monkey Portraits, noted McCarthy, is another title Schwartz has had difficulty keeping in stock, and Schwartz is out of Bird Songs. The run on these two books may be due to McCarthy's recurring appearances on local radio.

The second Friday of every month, McCarthy shares reading suggestions on the Milwaukee Public Radio show "Lake Effect." Along with the Greenberg and Beletsky titles, other gift-giving picks she recommended on-air this month were The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class; Don Winslow's thriller The Winter of Frankie Machine; Roger Angell's autobiographical essay collection, Let Me Finish; and the novels The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

[To listen to McCarthy's segment on Milwaukee Public Radio, click here. She shares gift suggestions for children, college kids, history buffs, mystery fans and reveals who she thinks in the funniest writer at work today.]

Monkey Portraits has garnered a following among Schwartz booksellers, as has The Thirteenth Tale. "I love the idea that the main character is a bookseller," McCarthy told the radio show's listeners about Setterfield's tale. Another favorite read of McCarthy's is Water for Elephants, which she described as "gloriously written . . . It's such a pleasure to put this in people's hands."

A Schwartz initiative this year resulted from a conversation McCarthy had with friend and fellow bookseller Roxanne Coady of R.J. Julia in Madison, Conn.--giving the store's gift guide prominent placement on the company's Web site. "The amount of merchandise we've sold online because people have been looking at our gift guide is incredible," said McCarthy. "What we normally sell online are autographed books."

Two themed packages created by Schwartz are featured in the gift guide and sold both online and in stores. A copy of The Night Before Christmas is paired with Gund's Storytime Bear; the critter is holding a miniature copy of the classic in its paws. The book and bear are discounted and packaged in a festively decorated box. The second assortment contains the 2007 Car Talk Calendar, the Car Talk Road Trip Journal and Maintenance Log, a Car Talk CD, and coasters for use in automobile cup holders.

For the past several years, Schwartz has discounted children's hardcover titles 20% from Thanksgiving to December 31. "It's a huge thing for us," McCarthy said. The End by Lemony Snicket, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tails by Matthew Van Fleet, Flotsam by David Wiesner and Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion are some of the leading kids' books. But the biggest holiday seller for the younger set is Dori Mae and Her Friend Billie by Wisconsin author Doris Alaimo-Melillo. "We're selling that like crazy," McCarthy said. "It's our one really big local book this season." The story is based on a radio character, Billie the Brownie, who debuted in 1931 and for more than 20 years read Midwesterners' Dear Santa letters on the air.

Penguin mania has taken hold of Schwartz customers, and the main draw is a three-foot-high stuffed bird from toy manufacturer Melissa & Doug. "We can't keep them in stock," said McCarthy, who was expecting another shipment of 50 stuffed penguins this week. For grown-ups, the Pride and Prejudice and A Christmas Carol board games are favorite choices.

December sales are on target, noted McCarthy, following a somewhat soft November. The next few days are crucial, she added, but the Schwartz stores are also gearing up for a post-Christmas onslaught. "It's a very good week for us, and it gets stronger every year," McCarthy said. "I think the big reason is because our gift card business continues to grow." One example is the customer who purchased 540 gift cards at $25 each (to distribute to employees at a local hospital), most of which McCarthy expects will be redeemed the week between Christmas and New Year's. "That week now is really in some ways more critical than the first week in December," she added. The company sells Book Sense gift cards branded with the Harry W. Schwartz logo, 99.9% of which are redeemed at Schwartz stores rather than at other independent bookstores.

Working on the sales floor the last few days, McCarthy observed that shoppers appear to be less frenzied than in prior years, perhaps due to the day before Christmas falling on a Saturday and allowing some breathing room for last-minute shopping--or to the unseasonably warm Wisconsin weather. "If people stop shopping tomorrow, we're in trouble, but it doesn't appear they will," said McCarthy. "It has been an unusually pleasant Christmas."--Shannon McKenna

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Celebrity Memoirs and Bios

Today on Good Morning America: Ellen Erwin, author of The Audrey Hepburn Treasures: Pictures and Mementos from a Life of Style and Purpose (Atria Books, $49.95, 0743289862).

Also on Good Morning America: Dr. Mehmet Oz, author of You on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management (Free Press, $25, 0743292545).


The Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., will feature two author interviews on today's show, which has the theme "humor for the holidays":
  • David C. Barnette, author of The Official Guide to Christmas in the South, Or, If You Can't Fry It, Spraypaint It Gold (Morrow, $14.95, 0060850531)
  • Tom Franklin, author of Smonk (Morrow, $23.95, 006084681X)

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at; the archived edition will be posted this afternoon.


Today on the View: Kaye Ballard, author of the showbiz memoir How I Lost 10 Pounds in 53 Years (Back Stage Books, $24.95, 0823084787).


Today on the Martha Stewart Show: Alex Witchel, New York Times reporter and author of the novel Me Times Three (Touchstone, $13, 0743240855), shares a recipe for potato pancakes.


Today on the Megan Mullally Show: Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas tell tales as they talk about You Didn't Hear It from Us: Two Bartenders Serve Women the Truth about Men, Making an Impression, and Getting What You Want (Atria Books, $19.95, 0743293436).


Tonight on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Paula Poundstone, author of the memoir There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say (Harmony, $24, 0609603167).

The Bestsellers

The Top 10 OOP Titles of 2006

One of the more unusual book lists ranks the top 10 most-sought-after out-of-print books of the year, as compiled by's, the search engine with an inventory of more than 100 million books available from some 100,000 booksellers worldwide. Comments are BookFinder's.

1. Sex by Madonna (1992). "A perennial favorite, the pop icon's first book."
2. Football Scouting Methods by Steve Belichick (1963). "Legendary college football scout's playbook, used by coaches and players."
3. Touch Me Again by Suzanne Somers (1978). "A collection of poetry from the devotee of 'inside out' self improvement."
4. Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words by Johnny Cash (1975). "Original autobiography (and the source for the hit film Walk the Line)."
5. Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price (1965). "Recipes from world-famous restaurants reworked for the amateur kitchen."
6. The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt (1988). "The ultimate hand knitting resource."
7. The Lion's Paw by Robb White (1946). "An enduring children's adventure story."
8. The Secret of Perfect Living by James Mangan (1963). "An influential work in the personal behavior modification genre."
9. Once a Runner: A Novel by John L. Parker, Jr. (1978). "Cult classic (a long-awaited sequel Again to Carthage expected soon)."
10. One Way Up by John F. Straubel (1964). "Chronicles the history of helicopter development."

The Report, an analysis of aggregate trends for OOP book searches between July 2005 and June 2006 is available online.


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