Notes: Martha Speaks—on TV; Another Big Borders Investor
Susan Meddaugh's famous talking dog, Martha (of Martha Speaks, Perfectly Martha, and, our favorite, Martha Blah Blah), will star in her own TV show on public television, produced by WGBH Boston, beginning in September. To mark the occasion, Martha Speaks, the book that launched the canine's career, will include an audio recording by actress Kathy Najimy, and full-color stickers will accompany the paperback edition.
This summer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will launch a website, marthathetalkingdog.com, that will include information about and activities based on both the original books and TV tie-in titles. The tie-in books, which will include picture books, beginning readers and chapter books, will be published in fall 2009.
After putting itself up for a possible sale and with its stock price at a low, Borders Group has attracted another major investor. Principled Capital Management and Principled Asset Administration, run by Gerald Catenacci, have bought some 2.5 million shares of Borders in the past three months and now own 3.4 million, representing 5.7% of the company. The funds had no comment on the purchases.
"In their rush to abandon the hardback, some imprints are tripping up their own books," the Guardian suggested, citing several examples of the recent trend, including "perhaps the most graphic example," The Paradise Trail by Duncan Campbell.
Headline Review published a limited edition hardback March 6, "but sent out no review copies to the national press, telling literary editors that they didn't want it reviewed until the paperback came out in July." The Guardian obliged, it said, only to be caught by word-of-mouth sales frenzy compelling the newspaper to "review it immediately."
Jim Harris has joined Fulcrum Books, Golden, Colo., as an independent commission sales rep and consultant, focusing on bargain book sales, some bookstore sales, libraries sales and gift store sales. His address and phone remain: P.O. Box 49, Issaquah, Wash. 98027; 425-392-1662.