Shelf Awareness for Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shadow Mountain: Champion of the Titan Games, Volume 4 (Dragonwatch) by Brandon Mull and The Lost Wonderland Diaries, Volume 1 by J. Scott Savage

Disney-Hyperion: The Mirror Broken Wish (Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao

Abrams Comicarts: Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America by Tommy Jenkins, illustrated by Kati Lacker

Jimmy Patterson: Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco


Jane Friedman Leaves HarperCollins; Murray Becomes CEO

Wow. First Peter Olson. Now Jane Friedman.

Effective immediately, Jane Friedman has retired as CEO of HarperCollins. In a statement, News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch said, "Jane has been a terrific leader who succeeded in attracting some of the world's most brilliant authors while, at the same time, delivering record-breaking profits. We are enormously grateful for her contributions over the past 10 years and understand her desire to seek new challenges at this point in her career."

Brian Murray, who has been president of HarperCollins Worldwide for a year and has worked for the company for more than a decade--for three years as head of HarperCollins Australia--takes over as CEO.

Among his many activities, Murray has been highly involved in digital strategy, including direct-to-consumer marketing, and said yesterday, "I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to invest in and grow our publishing businesses around the world at a time when digital technologies are creating new opportunities to bring authors and readers together."

During her tenure at HarperCollins, Friedman built the company into a powerful force in publishing and has attracted some of the most talented people in the book world to work for HarperCollins. Several news reports said that she had intended not to renew her contract so as to leave "on a high note." Apparently the timing of the announcement was forced by a Gawker item yesterday about her plans.

We first met Murray years ago during his time in the outback, and as the Wall Street Journal observed, he is "a soft-spoken, straight-forward executive, [and] widely liked inside HarperCollins." He's also widely smart.

Congratulations to Brian Murray. At the same time, we're very sorry to see Jane Friedman leave.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Borders Sells Asian Stores to Angus & Robertson-Whitcoulls

Borders Group has sold its stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to A&R Whitcoulls, the major Australian and New Zealand bookseller that is owned by private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners. The deal is valued at US$104 million (about $90 million now and up to $14 million in deferred payments next year) and should close next week.

Pacific Equity Partners had expressed interest since Borders put most of its international operations up for sale more than a year ago. After several delays, it received approval for the purchase from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Earlier this year, the deal had apparently died over Borders's desire to retain a stake in the business (Shelf Awareness, March 12, 2008); as announced today, the sale is for the whole company.

PEP will be able to use the Borders brand as part of a licensing pact. John Campradt, managing director of Borders Asia Pacific, will continue in that role.

Borders has been under financial pressure and cut 274 corporate jobs earlier this week. In a statement, CEO George Jones said, "This transaction represents an attractive valuation, permits us to forgo further investment in these businesses, and provides our company with a significant cash infusion to further reduce debt, which is one of our key financial initiatives. ARW is a well respected and highly successful retail company with outstanding leadership that will be strengthened with the addition of the local Borders executive team and our stores. We trust A&R Whitcoulls to successfully manage the Borders brand."

Under the terms of a financing agreement made earlier this year with Pershing Square Capital Management, Borders's single-largest shareholder, Pershing Square had the option of buying the Pacific stores, the Paperchase subsidiary and Borders's remaining interest in its U.K. and Irish stores for $125 million (Shelf Awareness, March 20, 2008). Today's deal is obviously an improvement over that "backstop" agreement.


Peachtree Publishing Company: Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa Papp

Notes: Jim Mitchell Dies; Sports Book Partnership

Sad news: Jim Mitchell, co-owner with his sister, Catherine Nevins, of MainStreet BookEnds, Warner, N.H., died suddenly yesterday, according to the Union-Leader. He was 58 and for the last 10 years had also been a weekend news anchor for WBZ 1030.


In a joint partnership, Ballantine Books and ESPN Books will publish 10-12 sports titles a year that will range from celebrity titles to narrative nonfiction to reference. The first joint title is one that warms our hearts: A Team to Believe in: Our Journey to the Super Bowl Championship by New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin with Brian Curtis. The book goes on sale September 2, two days before the start of the Giants' next Super Bowl Championship season.

Select titles previously published under the ESPN Books imprint will continue to be available and will be distributed by the Random House sales force.


Changes at one of our favorite bookstores in Australia, Abbey's in Sydney:

Bookseller & Publisher Online reported that managing director Jack Winning will retire next year and be replaced by Alan Abbey. The always-charming Peter Milne is retiring as deputy managing director, although he will remain a shareholder of the company and continue to work in the business. Also, this month Adrian Hardingham becomes general manager, retail. He is a former manager of Abbey's and most recently worked at Readings in Melbourne, another wonderful bookstore.


Sarah Kimmel, project coordinator at the Peninsula Library System in California, noted that our item yesterday about a question put to Senator John McCain--"Who is the poet laureate of the state of Arizona, or the U.S. poet laureate, which is a position appointed by the president?"--contained an erroneous assumption. As she put it, "The Poet Laureate is not appointed by the President, but by the Librarian of Congress."


Effective July 1, Mike Spring, who joined John Wiley & Sons when Hungry Minds was acquired in 2001, is retiring as travel publisher but will become director of special projects and work closely with Wiley's travel publishing team.

Ensley Eikenburg has been promoted to associate publisher/associate marketing director of the travel program at Wiley. She has been associate marketing director of travel and reference publishing. She will manage Wiley's travel publishing program in the U.S. and coordinate global editorial planning in travel.


Despite being caught in the act on a security camera, a man stole nearly $1,000 from Empire Books, Huntington, W.Va. According to WSAZ-TV, "Nobody saw the Empire Books thief sneak in the back room and commit his crime in the middle of a Monday afternoon."


A Vegas bookseller shared her "favorite" customer interactions with readers of the Rebel Yell, the student newspaper at University of Nevada, Las Vegas: "I applied to Barnes and Noble after having worked in a library because, while I still wanted to work with books, I wanted to have more contact with human beings (a naïve desire). Libraries, despite their delectable bookishness, could be very lonely when I was alphabetizing books. Call numbers have no soul. I ended up getting more human than I anticipated."


Recently opened used bookstore Volumes, Hampton, N.H., was profiled by, which noted that owner Gordon Lane, a Hampton resident for almost 10 years, had previously operated Volumes bookstores in Maine and in Reading, Mass.



BINC: Book Auction to Benefit BINC - Click Here!

What Happened: Lightning Source Printing Copies, Too

More on the extra printings this week to fulfill demand for What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception by former Bush White House press secretary Scott McClellan (Shelf Awareness, June 3, 2008):

PublicAffairs used Lightning Source to print at least 4,000 copies of the book at the beginning of this week as a way to fulfill orders immediately while more copies were being printed via traditional offset methods. The publisher sent Lightning Source a digital file on Monday, and Ingram Book began shipping books on Tuesday. Lightning Source called it "an unprecedented use of print of demand."

The book's first printing was 65,000. After the story broke 10 days ago and the book went on sale earlier than planned, PublicAffairs opted to print another 125,000 copies.

In a statement, PublicAffairs publisher Susan Weinberg said, "Lightning Source's print-on-demand capability helped us reduce our turnaround time and ship more books to booksellers as quickly as possible." 

For his part, John Ingram, chairman of the Ingram Content Companies, said, "This is a wonderful example of how print on demand can be used to supplement offset printings where a sudden and unpredictable leap in demand exhausts the original print run. Order loss was minimized, sales were maximized. Our teams at Lightning and Ingram Book continue to work closely with Perseus on a daily basis as the demand pattern of this particular title evolves."

Ingram suggested publishers set up "all their frontlist at Lightning as both a risk mitigation and sales maximization tool."


Berkley Books: The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous

Media and Movies

This Weekend on Book TV: Printers Row Book Fair in Chicago

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, June 7

11 a.m. Live coverage of the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Book Fair. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)     

7 p.m. Gilbert King, author of The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder and the Search for Justice in the American South (Basic Civitas Books, $26, 9780465002658/046500265X), presents the history of Francis' botched execution and its aftermath. (Re-airs Monday, June 23, at 5 a.m.)
10 p.m. After Words. Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, interviews Robert Kagan, author of The Return of History and the End of Dreams (Knopf, $19.95, 9780307269232/030726923X). Kagan discusses how the international stability predicted after the end of the Cold War did not emerge. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 7 a.m. and Sunday, June 15, at 12 p.m.)
11 p.m. Chris Myers Asch, author of The Senator & the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland & Fannie Lou Hamer (New Press, $27.95, 9781595583321/1595583327), profiles two disparate lives against the backdrop of political and social upheaval in Mississippi during the 1950s and 1960s. (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday, June 16, at 5 a.m.)
Sunday, June 8

7 a.m. For an event hosted by Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla., Tony Horwitz, author of A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World (Holt, $27.50, 978-0805076035/0805076034), explores the history of America from the arrival of Columbus in 1492 to the landing of English colonists at Jamestown in 1607. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)
11 a.m. Live coverage of the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Book Fair. (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m.)     


University of California Press:  Let's Ask Marion, Volume 74: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health by Marion Nestle and Kerry Trueman

Media Heat: Jim Nantz on the Late Show

Today on Talk of the Nation: Rita Rudner, author of I Still Have It . . . I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It: Confessions of a Fiftysomething (Harmony, $23, 9780307394590/030739459X).


Today on CNN's American Morning: Pete Hamill, essayist, and Bill Eppridge, photographer, for A Time It Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties (Abrams, $29.95, 9780810971226/0810971224).


Tonight on the Late Show with David Letterman: Jim Nantz, author of Always By My Side: A Father's Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other (Gotham, $26, 9781592403615/1592403611).


Books & Authors

Awards: Orange Broadband; Franklin, Audies; ForeWord

Rose Tremain captured the £30,000 (US$58,663) Orange Broadband prize for her novel, The Road Home. The Guardian reported that Tremain "is one of Britain's most celebrated authors, and yet her latest novel, the recipient of rave reviews, was not even longlisted for the Man Booker prize. So tonight it was a case of patience rewarded when Tremain won."

The shortlist included When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson, The Outcast by Sadie Jones, Fault Lines by Nancy Huston, Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill and Lottery by Patricia Wood.

The Guardian also noted that "Tremain's novel had been the bookies' favourite, though the Jones had sold the most copies on Amazon and the Mendelson is rumoured to have been Tremain's closest rival for the prize."


Among some of the major awards programs that took place at BookExpo America:

The Benjamin Franklin Awards, sponsored by PMA, now known as the Independent Book Publishers Association.


The Audies, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association. The Audiobook of the Year was The Chopin Manuscript from, which was available only as a download. Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls won in all three categories in which it was nominated, and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne was inducted into the Audies Hall of Fame in recognition of "its record-breaking sales and impact on the entire audio publishing industry."


ForeWord magazine's 10th annual Book of the Year Awards. Some 210 winners were selected in a range of categories by booksellers and librarians. Two other books won $1,500 Editor's Choice Awards:

  • Fiction: The Other Press for The Folded World by Amity Gaige
  • Nonfiction: Gibbs Smith for Women of Courage: Intimate Stories from Afghanistan by Katherine Kiviat and Scott Heidler


Children's Book Review: The Patron Saint of Butterflies

The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante (Bloomsbury, $16.95, 978159902494/1599902494, ages 12-up, May)

In her first novel, Galante delves into the lives of two 14-year-old girls who take divergent paths while living in a religious commune: one rejects the leader Emmanuel's approach; the other embraces it without question. Agnes, whose parents took the names Isaac and Ruth when they joined Mount Blessing, yearns to be a saint. Honey, born just two weeks after Agnes, never knew her mother (who fled the commune) but has always felt close to Agnes, from the time they shared a crib. For Honey, "It's been a long year, watching and listening to my best friend turn into a robot-girl." Lately only Winky, who, like Honey, was left behind, shows her any kindness; he teaches her about the garden he creates to attract exotic butterflies. But when Agnes's Nana Pete comes to visit, two pivotal events occur that prompt the woman to take action. First, Nana Pete learns about the Regulation Room, where children are corporally disciplined for what Emmanuel deems to be acts of wrongdoing; and Honey and Agnes still bear the marks of the discipline they endured on the day she arrives. Second, Benny, Agnes's little brother, accidentally smashes his hand in a door so severely that his fingers are nearly severed. Rather than allow Benny to be taken to the hospital, Emmanuel insists that he can perform a "miracle" to heal the boy. Nana Pete secretly whisks Benny away to get medical help, taking Agnes and Honey along with her. Through the two girls' alternating first-person narratives, Galante conveys how confident Honey grows in her instincts not to trust Emmanuel, while Agnes becomes less sure of the things she's been taught, even as she tries to convince herself that Emmanuel and her pursuit of sainthood are right. As Galante mines this gray area, she conveys respect and understanding for this nearly universal adolescent experience of searching for answers. The author creates both suspense and tension as she explores, through these two very different yet credible characters, the importance of questioning and doubt as essential components of faith.--Jennifer M. Brown


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