Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sharjah International Book Fair: Your Chance to Get Your Book in Front of 1 Million Readers - Oct. 30th - Nov. 9th, 2019 - Learn More!

Other Press: Nvk by Temple Drake

Quirk Books: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Magination Press: Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference by Wendy L Moss

St. Martin's Press: A Bad Day for Sunshine (Sunshine Vicram #1) by Darynda Jones

Grand Central Publishing: PostScript by Cecelia Ahern


Notes: Another Bookstore Goes Online-Only; Bookseller Recos

The Book Blues Bookstore, Marine City, Mich., which closed its doors on November 15 and is becoming an online-only retailer, has sold a part of its inventory and its storefront fixtures to Patricia Hoag, who intends to open a bookstore at the Book Blues' site.

Jacqueline Wilson, who owns the Book Blues Bookstore with her husband, Todd, said, "With a new baby, it made more sense for our family to close the physical retail storefront completely and go online only."

Beginning this coming spring, the Book Blues, which opened in 2006, will emphasize author events by partnering with different business locations and is revamping its website to focus on independent authors, children's books, book reviews, charities and nonprofit and community events in the Blue Water region. Book Blues will offer "new book sales, special orders, local and independent authors, signed copies, and other unique books."

Wilson said she does not see Hoag's store as competition and that "we've already discussed a reciprocal relationship for referrals."


Last Friday on the Today Show, four independent booksellers made holiday book recommendations. Click here to see which titles Vivien Jennings of Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan., Marva Allen of Hue-Man Bookstore, New York, N.Y., Roxanne Coady of R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., and Kristine Abramowitz of Storyopolis, Los Angeles, Calif., mentioned.


MSNBC observed that for Henry Burton, owner of Fremont Place Book Co., Seattle, Wash., "the difference between a good holiday season and a bad one is the difference between whether he gets a paycheck for the year or not. This may be one of those years he goes without."

"I think November is when it finally hit for regular folks," he said, adding that last month, when his business fell by 10%, he "started to hear from some of his regular customers--many also self-employed or independent business owners--that the weak economy was taking its toll on their finances."

"Quite frankly, I don't make a lot of money on this deal," Burton said. "It's more a labor of love, and fortunately I have other sources of income that support me so I don't need to pay myself. If I had to live on this business, I wouldn't be able to do it."


The Simsbury, Conn., Post offered "some last minute gift ideas that won't break the bank and will actually be fun places for a family visit." Noting that the big box stores "will no doubt have something of interest, there are more intimate venues that offer charm and sophistication the larger outlets lack. The Millrace Bookshop in Farmington is the perfect place to visit if nature, architecture and simpler times are more to your liking. Listed as Farmington's only independent bookstore, the Millrace Bookshop is located on the second floor of a 17th century grist mill right on the banks of the Farmington River."


"Moms Want Parenting Books For Christmas," according to NPR's Tell Me More program. "Regular contributor Jolene Ivey and guest mom Dia Michels talk about their picks for parenting books that should make the holiday gift list."


Effective immediately, Wybel Marketing Group and Bill McClung Associates will sell Diamond Book Distributors graphic novels into the independent bookseller market in the Midwest, South and Southeast. The move comes after "a year of great results" from sales to bookstores by Parson Weems in the Northeast and the Wilcher Group on the West Coast, according to Diamond sales manager John Shableski.

He said that because of "the success of major movie properties and overall growth, we have begun to see an increased interest in the graphic novel format from the independent bookseller market and we wanted to make sure we were properly positioned to take full advantage of this. Our goal is to help the booksellers develop a stronger understanding of the graphic novel format and provide them with a wide variety of graphic novels and support materials that serve everyone from the emerging reader to the parents."

More and more teachers have become interested in graphic novels, too, Shableski said, and Diamond believes that bookstores are "in a great position to become a resource for teachers who are discovering the benefits of using graphic novels in the classroom."


Flame Tree Publishing: Detective Mysteries Short Stories by Various Authors

Holiday Hum: Tattered Cover's Festive Marketing

A Book: Longer-lasting than a fruitcake, cheaper than a flat screen, more fun than a partridge in a pear tree. This catchy slogan, created by IndieBound, resonated with staff at the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver, Colo., so much that it has become the centerpiece of the store's holiday marketing campaign.

The slogan, along with a whimsical image of a pear tree, adorns large color posters in Tattered Cover's three locations and is printed on bookmarks given to customers. Books wrapped in decorative paper that uses the colors on the posters--blue, green and brown--are displayed throughout the stores. Also featured are posters bearing another IndieBound slogan in blue: Give love. Give time. Give joy. Give books. The two slogans are being used as well in Tattered Cover's print advertising in the Denver Post's Sunday books section, the alternative weekly the Denver Westword and community newspapers.

"It's probably the most cohesive in-store merchandising we've ever done for the holidays, as far as using one graphic and one color scheme across all three stores," marketing director Heather Duncan said. She and her colleagues began brainstorming for a holiday marketing campaign in early October, but decided to go with the IndieBound promotion when it was announced later that month. "We saw IndieBound's great designs, and we thought they were perfect," Duncan explained. "I think it suits independents in general, but the vintage look really works for our store."

This year Tattered Cover is participating in a local business alliance that launched last year. During a "buy local" week initiative, which started on Black Friday, the Tattered Cover was one of several area businesses to receive TV news coverage. The store has been garnering other kinds of media attention this holiday season: lead buyer Cathy Langer has appeared on local TV and radio programs to offer book suggestions for gift giving.

Tattered Cover tried a new marketing tactic this year of inserting 50,000 copies of the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association holiday catalogue into the Denver Westword. Fewer catalogue coupons than expected have been redeemed. "We were really hoping it would bring in tons of people, but for some reason is just hasn't," said Duncan. In contrast, a coupon (offering 20% off an entire purchase) sent to some 15,000 members of the Tattered Cover Gives Back program brought shoppers out in force this past Friday, the last day it could be redeemed. It's free to join the program, and members select one of 22 nonprofits to receive 1% of every purchase they make.

Among books being promoted in all three Tattered Cover stores this holiday season are The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by local scribe David Wroblewski, The Little Book by Selden Edwards, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success, Jon Meacham's American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House and Steven Rinella's American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon. Several staffers had the chance to meet Rinella when he attended the MPIBA fall trade show. "We're really behind his book," said Duncan. "It's perfect for our audience."

Regional favorites include titles in the Best Easy Day Hikes series, which are currently placed on counters, and Ski the 14ers: A Visual Tribute to Colorado's 14,000-Foot Peaks from the Eyes of a Ski Mountaineer. Another is The Gabby Gourmet 2009 Restaurant Guide by Pat Miller, a.k.a. the Gabby Gourmet, who broadcast her radio show live from Tattered Cover's Colfax Avenue store one afternoon earlier this month.

Pop-up books are popular with customers of all ages--Brava, Strega Nona!, Peter Pan and Predators for kids, while adults are enjoying the images and sounds in Birdscapes. Children's author Cornelia Funke is a staff favorite at Tattered Cover, and Inkdeath, the third volume in the Inkheart trilogy, is selling well (a big screen version of Inkheart arrives in theaters next month). The Tales of Beedle the Bard is holding steady but has not been the mega bestseller that was anticipated.

Tattered Cover's sales are down from last year, as the economy--and the weather--have hindered shoppers. After a good showing last Friday, sales the rest of the weekend fell as a snowstorm descended. There was a bump in sales the two weeks after the November 4 presidential election, followed by a decent Black Friday. "It's not our first recession, but it does seem to be one of the worst we've been through in the 30-plus years we've been in business," said Duncan. "It's something we can deal with, but it's going to be tough. We're going to have to make some cuts and changes to stay afloat--which we will. We always do."

On Monday evening, Tattered Cover held its 10th annual holiday reading with Jamie Horton. While the actor read from several classic tales, the store treated attendees to hot chocolate, cider and cookies and accepted donations of children's books to give to Reach Out and Read Colorado. Despite sub-zero temperatures, more than 200 revelers turned out for the event.--Shannon McKenna Schmidt


BINC - Double Your Impact

NAIPR Unveils Frontlist Plus Universal

The National Association of Independent Publishers Representatives, which has supplied title information to booksellers for 15 years via Frontlist-on-Floppy and then Frontlist Plus, is introducing a new service, Frontlist Plus Universal, which is Internet-based and aims to provide publishers and sales reps, both independent and in-house, "with a one-stop catalogue-order data-management system that includes file-format translation compatible with a variety of proprietary inventory-control systems and other industry platforms." The impetus comes as many publishers are beginning to switch to electronic catalogues.

Frontlist Plus Universal will go live in late January to accommodate fall 2009 lists from three-season imprints, followed closely by fall 2009 lists from two-season publishers. The service is free to booksellers and will work on inventory control systems used by trade, college and Christian bookstores, including Anthology, Booklog, Books-in-Store, Bookstore Manager, Information Partner (IRT/IBID), Square One, TBM Book Manager and WordStock. Data may also be exported in ONIX, MS Excel and ROSI-104. (Previous iterations were done with WordStock.) The service enters new-title data in catalogue order from participating publishers and primary distributors, who pay nominal per-title fees, allowing booksellers and other buyers to avoid hours of redundant data entry from a range of systems and data platforms. For accounts not connected to the Internet, sales reps will be able to download their bag to a diskette, CD-ROM or USB Flash drive.

Buyers will be given a user name and password that will admit them to the system to view available publisher catalogues and to maintain their profiles, which will include contact information, type of operating system, file format type and preferred method of import. Buyers will receive authorization seasonally from reps that will allow them to unlock a particular catalogue or set of catalogues. Buyers will then be able to export an entire catalogue (or just titles they select) via FTP or dial-up connection for import into their store system and to create a seasonal new-title purchase order.

Frontlist Plus Universal is an exclusive service of NAIPR and was developed with Adam Gwosdof and Steven Kang. For more information, contact Paul C. Williams, NAIPR executive director at or 646-414-2993.


G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks

Restructuring at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

Effective January 1, the newly formed Macmillan Children's Publishing Group will bring together the seven children's book companies of Macmillan. Dan Farley has been named president of the new group, and Jean Feiwel and Simon Boughton have been named senior v-ps and publishing directors.

Feiwel will continue as publisher of Feiwel and Friends and Square Fish and also oversee Holt Books for Young Readers and Priddy Books. Boughton will continue as publisher of Roaring Brook Press and the graphic novel imprint First Second and will become publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers.

Farley will recruit a senior marketing executive to direct the Macmillan Children's Group publicity and marketing efforts.

In a statement, Farley said, "A consolidated marketing group will provide energetic and innovative support for all of Macmillan Children's publishing, featuring publicity, targeted marketing including educational, institutional, online, and retail, along with advertising, sales promotion, and other functions. Yet we will remain no less committed to our distinct imprint identities; editorial vision and our title development performance remain the creative core of our business and crucial for our success."

As part of the consolidation, Michael Eisenberg, associate publisher of FSG BFYR, Melanie Kroupa, who headed her own imprint at FSG BFYR, and Jennifer Abbots, associate director of publicity at Holt Books for Young Readers were among the Macmillan children's employees whose jobs were eliminated.

"It's a hard thing, this combination of economic realities that coincided with [the changes in the children's book area--about which] we've been having conversations for a year," Jean Feiwel told Shelf Awareness. "I think, and Dan Farley has said this, too, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We needed to join forces in order to be competitive in this marketplace."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Marilynne Robinson and Home

Shelf Awareness and the Today Show regret to inform you that the following appearance, noted here yesterday, was moved from this morning to tomorrow morning: Meryl Gordon, author of Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach (Houghton Mifflin, $28, 9780618893737/0618893733).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Ina Garten, author of Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients (Clarkson Potter, $35, 9781400054350/1400054354).


Tomorrow on Live with Regis and Kelly: Frank Gifford, author of The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever (Harper, $25.95, 9780061542558/0061542555).


Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: Part 1 of an interview with Marilynne Robinson, author of Home (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25, 9780374299101/0374299102). As the show put it: "Marilynne Robinson had not published a novel in twenty years when she wrote Gilead, which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. How peculiar, interesting and lovely that she should follow it so quickly with Home, a novel that takes place in the same Iowa town and at exactly the same time as Gilead. Why did her imagination require this second novel to complete her vision?"

Part 2 of the interview will be pre-empted by holiday programming. It will be archived online and be available for podcasting.


Tomorrow on the Writer's Roundtable, hosted by Antoinette Kuritz: David Morrell, author of The Spy Who Came for Christmas (Vanguard Press, $15.95, 9781593154875/1593154879).The program is available on and


Tomorrow night on the Colbert Report: Michael Phelps, author of No Limits: The Will to Succeed (Free Press, $26, 9781439130728/1439130728).


Tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Michael Connelly, author of The Brass Verdict (Little, Brown, $26.99, 9780316166294/0316166294).


Movies: New Moon for Thanksgiving 2009

Twilight's Thanksgiving debut was so profitable for the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novel that Summit Entertainment has scheduled the release of its sequel, New Moon, for November 20, 2009. According to Variety, "The film franchise most associated with Thanksgiving is Warner Bros.' Harry Potter. But there are only three films left in that series--and only one bowing over Thanksgiving, in 2010. Summit caught a lucky break when Warners decided to push back the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from Thanksgiving 2008 to summer 2009."


Books & Authors

Midwest Connections: Three Titles

From the Midwest Booksellers Association: three recent Midwest Connections picks. Under this marketing program, the association and member stores promote booksellers' handselling favorites that have a strong Midwest regional appeal:

A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid (Doubleday, $14.95, 9780385525985/0385525982), which follows a developmentally challenged young man living with his parents who convinces his hometown to care for dogs from a local animal shelter during the holiday season. Eileen Fescoe of Book Mouse in Ottawa, Ill., commented: "To my great fortune I received a copy of this super little book at the MBA annual meeting and I got to talk to Greg Kincaid. As soon as I got home I read this lovely, touching and funny book. It is super and will generate terrific sales all holiday season. Thanks."

This Water Goes North by Dennis Weidemann (Manitenahk Books, $21.95, 9780979685200/0979685206). Janet Hart, manager of Book People in Sioux City, Iowa, called this book "a wonderful adventure story for readers of any age. In 1979, four young and rather inexperienced Iowans had a vision of making a 1,400-mile trek from the winding Red River in Minnesota, across the scary 300-mile Lake Winnipeg, through 400 more miles of backcountry to reach the Hudson Bay. And they did it--no sponsors, no cell phones, no GPS, just good fortune, a few angels, and good people they met along the way. The weather, though rough at many times, did not defeat them, and their positive outlook and camaraderie kept the expedition on track. I found the book to be an enjoyable read and have gladly handsold it to a variety of our customers."

Snow by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer (Harcourt Children's Books, $17, 9780152053031/0152053034). Jessica Knopik of R Books in Dickinson, N.D., said, "This beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written story for children both young and old gives new meaning to all of the different types of snow one may see."





Book Review

Book Review: Fifty Miles from Tomorrow

Fifty Miles from Tomorrow by William Iggiagruk Hensley (Farrar Straus Giroux, $24.00 Hardcover, 9780374154844, December 2008)

During Sarah Palin's candidacy for Vice President, we were treated to a daily blizzard of stories, images and videos of Alaska (albeit mostly centered on Wasilla). If there is one positive aspect of that intense media focus, it is to bring the 49th state into our consciousness long enough to allow William Hensley's captivating memoir of the "real" Alaska a well-earned place on our bookshelves. With this book, Hensley, an Inuit who has spent much of his life advocating on behalf of the Iñupiaq, offers both a rich and engrossing narrative of his own life and a valuable resource in the effort to understand and protect the culture and history of Alaska Natives.
Born 18 years before Alaska became a state, Hensley grew up in Kotzebue, an area north of the Arctic Circle that at the time of his birth, counted its population in the hundreds. Life in "the twilight of the Stone Age" was difficult and narrowly focused on survival. Remembering his childhood, Hensley writes simply but in vivid detail of the hardships of daily life as well as of his deep love of family and traditional culture. In one passage, he offers a look at the construction and furnishings of the tiny sod dwellings that protected their inhabitants against bitter cold. Another fascinating section describes the critical role of dogs, always reflective of their owners, in all aspects of survival. "To those from the outside world," Hensley writes, "we may have seemed destitute, but . . . it was a good life." However, as Hensley relates, it was also an isolated life and when foreign microbes and processed foods were introduced by white "Outsiders," the toll on the health of the Iñupiaq was extreme.
From an early age, Hensley recognized the conscious efforts of educators and missionaries to "isolate children from their cultures." He carried this sense of injustice with him when he left Alaska to pursue his education in the Lower 48 and ultimately became an indefatigable champion of native rights. Hensley saw a great measure of victory in 1971 when, due in no small part to his efforts, President Nixon signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which awarded 44 million acres and nearly $1 billion for use by Native Alaskans--the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history.
Hensley continues his efforts to preserve and protect his native culture with this deeply respectful and clear-eyed book. Filled with Iñupiaq history and terminology (including a glossary and pronunciation key to the Iñupiaq language), Fifty Miles from Tomorrow is truly a window into the real Alaska.--Debra Ginsberg
Shelf Talker: An engrossing and vividly detailed memoir of the real Alaska from a fine storyteller and tireless advocate for the rights of Alaska's native people.

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