Thursday, May 28, 2009


Hi all,

As you may have noticed, it's Book Expo America time. This year is a very working (vs. partying) oriented BEA for me, which is all good but very intense.

It's also a very intense time with Greenlight Bookstore stuff, so what with the one and the other, I haven't even found time to blog my plans.

BUT! I have finally figured out how to Twitter from my phone, so I'll be posting occasional updates on the #BEA2009 hashtag as @booknerdnyc. Lots of other cool folks Twittering too, so hopefully those updates will suffice until we have time for something more substantial.

More soon, I promise!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Emerging Leaders Party, plus publishers (and a panel!)

Young booksellers of Emerging Leaders, we're partying at BEA again! This time we're expanding our community to include the young publishers of the Young Publishing Group of the AAP. And we're expanding the day's activities to include a cool panel discussion that's of particular interest to our generation.

The invitation is being "deployed" today by the fine folks at Reed/Book Expo, so you may see it in your inbox. But allow me to reiterate:

The Panel:
"How To Get A Job Like Ours (…in 63 Easy Steps)"
Wednesday, May 27th 5:30 pm
Marriott Hotel at Brooklyn Bridge
Metrotech Room
333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY

Geoff Kloske, Vice President and Publisher of Riverhead Books
Geoff Shandler, Editor-In-Chief of Little, Brown & Company
Moderated by Ed Nawotka from Publishers Weekly

The panelists convey their opinions about book publishing today, in an era of ongoing digitization and changing retail landscapes. Among the topics addressed: Are big author advances so yesterday? What are your best agent flirting techniques? Kindle: Hot? Or Not?
Are you a twit if you don’t Tweet? Just how long does it take to make it to publishing’s big time? And why did your folks choose spell your name with a “G” instead of a “J”?

The Party:
Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Last Exit Bar
136 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201

Open Bar
Schmoozing with peers in publishing and bookselling
Free stuff: books, buttons, and other swag
Information about Emerging Leaders that you can take back to your store/region
Chatting with authors:
Peter Terzian, editor of Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers on the Albums That Changed Their Lives (HarperCollins).
Margot Berwin, author of Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire (Pantheon)
Ben Greenman, author of Please Step Back (Melville House)

You can RSVP for one or both by emailing Make sure to do it by 5pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009, or Lance Fensterman gets first dibs on your drinks...

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hanami in Brooklyn

After the chaos of selling books at the PEN Festival (a week of 12-hour days organizing, hefting boxes of books, ringing in hundreds of sales by hand, and processing returns), I'm finally getting my wish:

A day with no obligations.

If the weather holds, here's where I'm going this afternoon.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Indie Love: #buyindieday

"And can you imagine 50 people a day, I said 50 people a day walking into an indie bookstore, buying a book and walking out? Friends, they may think it’s a movement."

Robert Gray's column in Shelf Awareness today about Buy Indie Day (that's today, May 1, folks!) made me choke up a little. With Arlo Guthrie on NPR this morning (singing a very old song about an auto bailout...), the reference to "Alice's Restaurant" is even more prescient, and it seems like everything old is new again. We've regained our skepticism of The Man, and we've got a new strategy for fighting 'em (supporting local, sustainable economies) and we've got some new tools: Twitter (#buyindieday) and Facebook (International "Buy Indie Day).

I suspect that telling readers of this blog to buy books at an indie bookstore is something like preaching to the choir. But if you possibly can, do find your local indie bookstore, go there, and buy a book today. Even if you're a publisher or a bookseller and you get books for free, spend a couple of bucks for something you've been meaning to get. Make it a movement.

And if you're still feeling the indie love tomorrow, don't miss The Millions NYC Indie Bookstore Walking Tour. Even if you're familiar with the bookstores in question, what better way to spend a Saturday than in the company of fellow book (and bookstore) lovers, hooking up online to spend time in the best brick-and-mortar stores in the city?

It's May 1, traditionally a day of renewed idealism and optimism. Make it happen, be part of it, get yourself into an indie bookstore today.