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."