Notes: FYI, PMA Now IBPA; Celebrating Nick Pekearo
Now 25 years old, PMA, formerly the Publishers Marketing Association, is adopting a new new name, to reflect "an expanded mission": IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association.
Noting that the organization has grown to 4,000 members in its quarter century of existence, president Florrie Binford Kichler said, "Our new name truly reflects our mission, and the Independent Book Publishers Association is looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with independent publishers, offering support, education, and advocacy for the next 25 years and beyond."
To mark the occasion, IBPA is inviting all BEA attendees to a champagne and cake reception at the IBPA booth, #727, Saturday, May 31, at 4 p.m.
Tor Books invites people in the industry to "celebrate the life and talent of former New York City Auxiliary Police Officer Nicholas Pekearo," whose novel The Wolfman ($23.95, 9780765320261/0765320266) has just been published. The party will be held this Wednesday, May 21, 6-8 p.m., at Crawford Doyle Booksellers, 1082 Madison Ave., between 81st and 82nd Streets in New York City.
Pekearo, who worked at Crawford Doyle, was one of two auxiliary police officers who were murdered last year. His story was told recently in the New York Times.
In a Twin Cities Daily Planet
piece headlined, "So, you wrote a book--now what?" veteran bookseller
and publisher David Unowsky offered writers "a short primer on placing
your book for sale in an independent bookstore and, after that,
possibly scheduling an author event to spread the word to readers."
According to Unowsky, "The first thing to understand is this: bookstores are not public service organizations. They're in business to make a profit and, these days, they are having great trouble achieving that goal. . . . Now more than ever, bookstores are making decisions about what books they carry based on what they think readers will buy."
His advice, detailed and straightforward, included often overlooked subtleties like, "pick a different spot in the store to chat than where event took place so the bookstore staff can reassemble for the rest of the day's business. Don't forget to thank the audience. And thank the bookstore and staffpeople who set up the chairs and sold your books."
Booksellers worldwide say amen to that.
Employee health care coverage continues to be a challenge for all businesses. The Santa Cruz Sentinel covered a forum sponsored by the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County. One of the four employers participating was Casey Coonerty Protti of Bookshop Santa Cruz, who said:
"Our health care costs rose 42 percent over the past two years. That's why our dental coverage dropped from 70 percent to 50 percent; vision coverage is now optional. We cover the first $500 of the deductible to encourage preventive care. We have 23 full-time equivalent employees; many work part-time. Employees are covered if they work 24 hours a week. Many work as servers to get high wages and work for us to get health care. Our coverage costs $75,000 a year. We are trading profits to have health care for employees."
Books & Beans opened last week in downtown Yankton, S.D., according to the Press & Dakotan, and owner Teresa Jacobson said she has begun living out her childhood dream. "My friends wanted to play 'school' or 'house,' but I always wanted to play 'library,' and I was the librarian. I would loan out my books to my friends--and, of course, I never got them back! I've always wanted to have a bookstore."
"Unless a miracle happens, we'll close at the end of June," Judy Christenson, co-owner with daughter Jen of Imagine That! Children's Bookstore, Riverside, Calif., told the Business Press. They have owned the bookshop since 2003, when they purchased it from Karen Rosenburg, who had run it since the mid-1970s.
"Times have really changed," Judy added. "When Karen started 30 years ago, there was nothing like it and there was no Internet and no big chains. Today we don't have the school business anymore because of the budget cuts and we can't make it on just walk-by traffic sales anymore."
"The concept of pleasure learning and reading isn't there anymore," said Jen. "These days, parents will buy their kids a $3.99 drink at a coffee shop but pass up a $3.99 book. It's truly a sad commentary on our society today. . . . We love books. If we won the lottery, we'd keep the store open just as a hobby."
"Don't judge this store by its cover," InsideBayArea.com wrote in its coverage of a huge Barbara Walters author event at the 2,000-sq.-ft. Rakestraw Books, Danville, Calif.
do a lot of author events, but this is by far the biggest deal we've
had here," said owner Michael Barnard. "I think we are able to land big
names because we have a track record of having many great events."
The phrase "Donate Books" may seem straightforward enough, but Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam questioned its possibly deceptive usage by Robert Ticehurst, owner of Got Books Inc., concluding, "You might be forgiven for thinking that you are donating books to charity. You are not."
Although the company does "some" charity work, the "front page of its website hypes eight charity drives and uses the word 'nonprofit' eight times. Elsewhere on the site, you learn that GotBooks is a 'for profit used bookseller.'"
Ultimately the last word came from the attorney general's office, where spokeswoman Jill Butterworth, confirmed there "is nothing wrong with using the word 'donate' in connection with a for-profit marketing campaign."
Whatever happened to book clubs? The Economist explored the current state of book clubs internationally and concluded that "they are in for a radical overhaul at the very least--and some people think they are headed for extinction."
If there is hope, it exists in niche markets: "Two successful new clubs in recent years have been Bertelsmann's Black Expressions in America, aimed at black women, and Mosaico, a Spanish-language club."
"Running an independent bookstore in Moscow these days is a hard job." That's how Moscow News Weekly opened its article about Falanster bookshop, which, since it began in 2002, has "undergone numerous inspections to check books on its shelves for conformity with the law on extremism, pornography and drug enforcement."
Earlier this month, Falanster was subjected to "a police raid and confiscation of hard drives of its computers. This time round, the store was raked in connection with a criminal case against the banned National Bolshevik Party, and investigators were checking if the store carried any materials connected with the group."
The result? Investigators came up empty, but will be able to keep the computer equipment for a month.