Notes: PW for Sale; More on Cody's Books' Move
Reed Business Information, among whose many publications are Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and School Library Journal, is up for sale, parent company Reed Elsevier announced yesterday. Reed Elsevier said it wanted to move away from traditional advertising-driven business models, which CEO Crispin Davis called too "cyclical" for the company. Reed Exhibitions, which owns BookExpo America, BookExpo Canada and the London Book Fair, among other book events, is not included in the sale.
We're tempted to make a bid for PW, but since RBI's revenue last year was $1.7 billion, we're assuming the asking price is beyond our bank account. Realistic bidders will likely consist of private equity firms and competitors.
Speaking of PW competitors, the Book Standard appears to have shut down in the past week. The Nielsen Business Media book-publishing news website made its debut in 2004. Nielsen also owns Kirkus Reviews, Nielsen BookScan and the Bookseller.
More on Cody's move, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported that the store's landlord was seeking to nearly double the store's rent. The new location in downtown Berkeley, Calif., has about 7,000 square feet of space compared to 10,000 at the current Fourth Street location.
Cody's manager Melissa Mytinger told the Chronicle that some sections will be slimmed down: "Our huge focus on books for babies and toddlers will not be replicated at Shattuck. The computer book section won't exist. I doubt we'll sell as many pet books. Art and photography will decrease, but music and film and drama will increase."
Bookselling This Week profiles A Novel Idea, the 2,400-sq.-ft. general bookstore in Chattanooga, Tenn., that opened in 2000. The store, owned by Karen Poole and Pamela Harper, has an emphasis on regional titles, particularly on Civil War history. As Poole told BTW, "There was a big battle fought here in Chattanooga, and battles fought on Missionary Ridge."
A Novel Idea is in the North Shore area of Chattanooga, across the Tennessee River from downtown. "The North Shore is expanding rapidly," Poole said. "There's lots of development along the river, new condos, and new businesses. Our plans are to expand our book clubs and author, as well as authorless, events, and to get our website up and running. It feels like there's a real need--this area is the hottest spot in Chattanooga."
The ABA has unveiled its programming for the Day of Education, to be held on Thursday, May 29, at BookExpo America in Los Angeles. Panels will address green retailing, buy local and independence movements, the basics of selling gift items, print on demand, graphic novels, coop and more.
Books-A-Million will open its first bookstore in Nebraska in the L Street Marketplace Shopping Center in Omaha. BAM will be an anchor tenant.
You too can look as cute as Jessica. Well, maybe not . . .
Both to help fill her Future Bookstore Fund and allow booklovers to show Book Nerd pride stylishly, Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, bookseller and blogger, has begun selling online Book Nerd T-shirts--just like the one she models on her Written Nerd blog. Profits are going toward her dream of opening a bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Speaking of blogs, the prolific Karl Pohrt, owner of Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, Mich., is launching a blog "about books, the world of books and other things." He plans to post a new entry or book review weekly. The blog is called there is no gap, which he says "isn't an attack on the Gap clothes." Rather it refers to a line from Dogen Zenji's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.
There will be book sales. According to USA Today, Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, which inspired the award-winning film There Will Be Blood, is also striking it rich in bookstores: "Since December, Penguin has gone back to press five times for the movie tie-in paperback with 136,000 copies in print."
Rosie Milligan, publisher of Milligan Books and owner of Express Yourself Books, Los Angeles, Calif., "wants to see large publishing houses support more serious-minded literature by African-American authors," according to the Los Angeles Wave, which reported that "whether getting their work out through major publishing houses or small boutique publishers, L.A.'s black authors are determined to be seen by the book-buying public."
Milligan, who has published more than 50 books by African American authors, said, "We need to bridge the gap. Listen to the children, they have a lot to say, they can teach us something, then listen to the elders . . . and learn because they can tell you what this role has been like, climbing the hill. That’s been a market that was totally omitted from mainstream publishers because they didn't dare look at our seniors [or youth] and say 'Do they have a story?' 'What can they write about?' 'Do people want to read their stories?' The answer is yes."