Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 14, 2008


Forge: Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury

imon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Becoming Rbg: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Whitney Gardner

St. Martin's Press: Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris

Park Row: The Ventriloquists (Original) by E.R. Ramzipoor

Henry Holt & Company: Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "the Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman

Other Press: Metropolitan Stories by Christine Coulson

Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1) by Kwame Mbalia

News

Notes: Predicting Holiday Sales; Moving a B&N OP Dept.

Holiday sales forecast? Be optimistic, but be prepared.

"We're more influenced by what happened last year and how things are trending at our stores than the overall economy,” Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books and Paper Dreams, Bellingham, Wash., told the Bellingham Herald in a piece asking local retailers to look into the crystal ball and anticipate holiday sales later this year.

Robinson observed that without a Harry Potter-style "dominant book" in 2008, booksellers will seek to increase sales by promoting a wider array of products. "How sales do will be more determined on how we handle promotions," he said.

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Today's New York Times reports on the relocation of "a small rare- and out-of-print-book department" from the now-closed Barnes & Noble bookstore in Chelsea to one of the chain's larger stores on Broadway and 66th St. The department, which features "fiction first editions as well as arts and design books," followed Karen Catalanotti, "a Barnes & Noble manager who set it up in Chelsea and has moved with it, now running the Upper West Side store."

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Baghdad's Renaissance bookshop is one of many that have literally risen from the ashes one year after being destroyed by a car bomb. The Washington Post profiled the family of Nabil al-Hayawi, whose "frail bookseller's voice quivered as he recalled the car bombing that killed his son and his brother and razed his family's bookshop on Baghdad's storied Mutanabi Street."

Although violence has driven out millions of Iraqis, draining the country of its middle class and skilled professionals, the Post reported "the Hayawis represent the promise of the country's future. . . . the rebuilt bookshop remains, an engine for fresh ideas and intellectual growth. Every day on Mutanabi Street, a Hayawi sells books, educating a new contingent of lawyers, doctors and computer programmers."

"Iraq is my soul," Nabil said. "I go and come back. But I will never leave."

"It is our livelihood. It is our heritage," added his younger brother, Bediyah al-Hayawi. "It is our history. This is our country. How could we not be committed to it?"

"I was happy that I discovered the people still reading," Nabil said. "I feel joy because I love this world. I also feel pain, for what has become of us and of Mutanabi Street, which was once a center for civilization."

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a debut novel by the late Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece, Annie Barrows, will be released July 29. But it has already generated enough pre-release interest that the Wall Street Journal considered it newsworthy, reporting that "a debut novel with several strikes against it may become one of the summer's surprise hits. One of its co-authors died earlier this year when it was being edited. It's written in letters, a form that largely went out of fashion 200 years ago. And it has a long, quirky, even cutesy title."

WSJ also noted that the book, which is IndieBound's top pick for August, "has built such a strong pre-publication buzz among booksellers that the Dial Press is shipping well over 100,000 copies, a high number for a first novel."

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Also garnering publicity in an unexpected venue was Stephenie Meyer, whose fourth book in the bestselling Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn, will hit bookstores August 2. In an essay titled, "A Virginal Goth Girl,"  New York Times columnist Gail Collins wrote, "Every so often I discover that the whole world seems obsessed with a pop-culture phenomenon that I've missed out on completely. This would be O.K. if I'd been spending my time on more important matters, but unfortunately I;m not all that deep."

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"Dead writers are hot this summer," the Sunday Times reported in an article about ongoing battles among agents over literary estates and the rights to publish modern classics: "No point wasting one's time with new authors. They're unpredictable, demanding. They require lunch. No, what any literary agent worth his salt needs in 2008 is a classic author with form: famous, prolific and deceased within the past 70 years."

"The amazing thing is, people never used to take this seriously," said Marcella Edwards of the London agency PFD. "I think estates are the most important part of the agenting business. They are the jewel in the crown for us. People talk about them being 'backlist.' They are not--they are absolutely 'frontlist' authors."

Included was a wish list of "literary estates every agent wants," including J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, T.S. Eliot, Roald Dahl, Graham Greene, Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis.

 


Amulet Books: Minor Prophets by Jimmy Cajoleas


AAP Book Sales: May Dips, Year Holds

Net sales of books in May fell 1.8% to $670 million, based on data from 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the year to date, net sales of books were $2.851 billion, down 0.7% from the same period last year.

Stronger categories:

  • E-books rose 24.3% (with sales of $3.3 million).
  • Higher Ed increased 5% ($127.1million).
  • Adult hardcovers were up 4.4% ($166 million).
  • Religious books gained 3.7% ($38.8 million).
  • Professional and scholarly rose 1.3% ($53.5 million).
  • Children's/YA paperbacks increased 0.4% ($42.5 million).

Weaker categories:

  • Audiobooks were down 38% ($12.6 million).
  • University press paperbacks dropped 20.5% ($2.8 million).
  • University press hardcovers decreased 18.4% ($4 million).
  • Adult mass market declined 9.6% ($77.2 million).
  • Adult paperbacks sales fell 7.3% ($100.7 million).
  • Children's/YA hardcovers decreased 4.9% ($40.4 million).
  • El-hi dropped 2.6% ($328.6 million).

 


One ELM Books: Trevor Lee and the Big Uh Oh! by Wiley Blevins, illustrated by Marta Kissi


Bookshop Santa Cruz's New Clock Sideline: Obama Countdown

During the past two years, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., has sold nearly 64,000 George Bush Countdown Clocks, which tell how much time will elapse before the President leaves office (Shelf Awareness, January 29, 2007). Now the store believes it's time for a change, even though this clock may have a less certain result: it's introduced the Countdown to President Obama Hope Clock. At Bookshop Santa Cruz, the Obama clock is retailing for $9.95. The store will contribute 10% of the price of each clock to the Obama campaign.

"We believe that people are ready for hope and there is nothing more hopeful than watching the time disappear until President Obama replaces George Bush in the Oval Office," Bookshop Santa Cruz owner Casey Coonerty Protti said in a statement. "This is a great gift for friends, family, even Republicans that are going to vote for Obama."

Bookshop Santa Cruz is also selling the clock online at both bookshopsantacruz.com and hopeclock.com. The store is making the clock available to other independent booksellers to sell in their stores. For more information, e-mail tstark@bookshopsantacruz.com or call 831-460-3221.

 


Ecco Press: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha


E-Hub on Campus: NACS Creates Digital Content Subsidiary

Aiming to "make it easier and more affordable for college stores to provide course materials in any format to their students," the National Association of College Stores is creating a subsidiary to "facilitate the aggregation, sale, and distribution of digital content for stores," Campus Marketplace reported.

The subsidiary will act as an "electronic hub" between college stores and content suppliers, acquiring digital materials from a range of content sources and then licensing or selling them to NACS member stores for resale and distribution to their customers. The material will be available in a variety of formats: on the web, mobile devices, print-on-demand, e-readers, course-management systems, pos systems and multiformat mechanisms such as kiosks.

Digital materials will include digitized textbooks, trade books, coursepacks and magazines; digital learning objects (materials created specifically for on-screen use); open-source and self-published content; audiobooks; music, movies, TV programs, and video and computer games; and campus-specific content such as class notes and study guides.

The subsidiary will conduct several pilot projects this fall and next spring. "If all goes well," CM continued, "expanded services will be available to stores starting in fall 2009."

 


NCIBA & SCIBA: Holiday Catalog


Baker & Taylor Moves to Category Buying

Baker & Taylor is implementing category buying and restructuring its books merchandise buying department by creating separate merchandise buying and merchandise planning and allocation positions.

In a statement, David Cully, executive v-p of merchandising and president, retail markets, explained: "The merchandise buyer function focuses on leveraging category expertise as a sales advantage in the retail and library markets. Likewise, the merchandise planner function focuses on data mining and statistical modeling to improve forecasting and reduce friction in the supply chain."

The company has made the following appointments, all of whom report to Jean Srnecz, senior v-p of merchandising:

New divisional merchandising directors are Allen Johnson, basics (nonfiction); Sally Neher, fashion (key new releases and Speedstock); Rick Shalayda, children's and small press; Barbara Witt, academic/scientific technical medical.

New directors of merchandise planning and allocation are Greg Kroeger, Thomas Manning, Eric McGarvey, Allen Johnson (dual role with DMD).

 


Starscape Books: Freeing Finch by Ginny Rorby


Trafalgar Square Adds Nine Publishers

Effective immediately, IPG's Trafalgar Square Publishing is distributing the following titles in the U.S.:

  • Alma Books, Richmond, U.K. Established in 2005, Alma focuses on contemporary literary fiction and offers a handful of nonfiction titles each season that consist of English-language originals and translations from other European languages. Forthcoming titles include Dear Everybody by Michael Kimball, Sunsets and Dogshits by Sean Ashton and Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking.
  • Angry Penguin Ltd., a music production company whose publishing program chronicles rock bands. All fall titles are in the Rock Retrospective series and include Deep Purple by Jerry Bloom, Genesis by Bob Carruthers and Green Day by John Robb.
  • Cadmos Books, a U.K. and German publisher specializing in equestrian and dog titles. Playtime for Your Dog by Christina Sondermann and Horse Sense and Horsemanship by Linda Weritz are among Cadmos's fall titles.
  • Capuchin Classics, London, is a new publishing company offering a range of forgotten classics, all of which feature a foreword by a contemporary scholar or writer. The debut list for the fall includes The Dark Flower by John Galsworthy with a foreword by Anthony Gardner, Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge with a foreword by Eileen Goudge and The Man Who Knew Everything by Tom Stacey with a foreword by Sir Peregrine Worsthorne.
  • The History Press Ltd., which formally reorganized last December. The History Press includes the imprints and titles from Jarrold, Nonsuch, Phillimore, Pitkin, Spellmount, Stadia, Sutton and Tempus and is the U.K.'s largest local and specialist history publisher. Fall titles include Mugabe by Andrew Norman, The Arctic by Richard Vaughan and The Ripper Code by Thomas Toughill. (Trafalgar formerly distributed titles from Tempus, Spellmount and other select books from Nonsuch and Sutton; other imprints had been distributed through Motorbooks. Trafalgar now distributes all of the History Press's titles.)
  • OneWorld Classics/Calder Publications, London and Oxford, which focuses on bringing lesser-known classics and new translations (with photographs, commentary and discussions of the authors) to the general consumer. Featured titles for the fall include Art of Poetry by Nicolas Boileau as translated by Sir William Soames, The Italian by Ann Radcliffe and Young Adam by Alexander Trocchi.
  • Piatkus Books, London, publishes titles in crime fiction, romance and women's interest as well as nonfiction lifestyle topics, including health, business and self-help. It was recently acquired by Little, Brown U.K. Fall titles include Living the Reiki Way by Penelope Quest and Tales from the Glass Ceiling by Jo Haigh.
  • Pushkin Press, London, which focuses on contemporary translations and classics. Among fall titles: Oliver VII by Antal Szerb as translated by Len Rix and Envy as translated by Alastair McEwan.
  • Spy Publishing, London, the publishing arm of Mr and Mrs Smith, a travel services company. Spy offers travel guides to elegant and upscale hotels. Its latest new title is Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique Hotel Collection: The Global Shortlist edited by Rufus Purdy and Lucy Fennings, which features 30 glamorous and chic retreats around the world.

 


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Life with My Sister Madonna

This morning on Good Morning America: Christopher Ciccone, author of Life with My Sister Madonna (Simon Spotlight, $26, 9781416587620/1416587624).

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Today on CNN's Glenn Beck Show: Christopher Reich, author of Rules of Deception (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385524063/0385524064).

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Today on the Diane Rehm Show: J.E.N. Vernon, author of A Reef in Time: The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End (Belknap Press, $35, 9780674026797/0674026799).

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Today on All Things Considered: Lang Lang, author of Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story (Spiegel & Grau, $24.95, 9780385524568/0385524560).

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Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Andrew Ward, author of The Slaves' War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves (Houghton Mifflin, $28, 9780618634002/0618634002).

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Tonight on the Colbert Report: Lama Surya Das, author of The Big Questions: How to Find Your Own Answers to Life's Essential Mysteries (Rodale Books, $17.95, 9781594862083/1594862087).

Senator Jim Webb, author of A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America (Broadway, $24.95, 9780767928359/0767928350), will also appear.

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Tonight on the Late Night with David Letterman: David Sedaris, author of When You Are Engulfed in Flames (Little, Brown, $25.99, 9780316143479/0316143472).

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Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Christopher Ciccone, author of Life with My Sister Madonna (Simon Spotlight, $26, 9781416587620/1416587624).

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Tomorrow morning on the Diane Rehm Show: Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of The Well-Adjusted Dog: Canine Chiropractic Methods You Can Do (Houghton Mifflin, $16.95, 9781571290304/1571290303).

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Tomorrow on Fresh Air: Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday, $27.50, 9780385526395/0385526393).

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Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Jason L. Riley, author of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders (Gotham, $22.50, 9781592403493/1592403492).

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Tomorrow night on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Julie Andrews, author of Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (Hyperion, $26.95, 9780786865659/0786865652).

 


Books & Authors

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next picks:

Hardcover

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Saša Stanišic (Grove, $24, 9780802118660/0802118666). "A child matures in Bosnia as war comes clanking down his street and he tries to make sense of the good and the bad in the world through stories. A bold novel, and timely."--Russ Lawrence, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, Mont.

Chosen Forever by Susan Richards (Soho, $23, 9781569474921/1569474923). "Susan Richard has written a sequel to Chosen by a Horse, her wonderful memoir. Her new book relates how the publication of Chosen totally changed her life, connecting her to friends and family from whom she was estranged, and to a man who became the love of her life."--Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.

Paperback

Northline by Willy Vlautin (Harper Perennial, $14.95, 9780061456527/0061456527). "Allison Johnson is on the run, and she is determined to start fresh in Reno. Paul Newman is along for the ride, making sure Allison makes the right decisions. Vlautin's honest writing will break your heart."--Zach Sampinos, Sam Weller's Books, Salt Lake City, Utah

For Ages 4 to 8

Elephants Never Forget by Anushka Ravishankar, illustrated by Christiane Pieper (Houghton, $16, 9780618997848/0618997849). "A sweet young elephant becomes separated from his herd and is taken in by the water buffalo. He must eventually choose to rejoin his herd or stay with those who have loved him and have become his family. The illustrations are absolutely wonderful."--Lisa Sharp, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, Ark.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]



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