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Showing posts from June, 2006

Just one more week...

You know that project that's been taking me away from the blog occasionally? Well, it's got a drop-dead due date this week, and I'm going to have to devote every spare minute to getting it done. That means it's a week without The Written Nerd. I promise I'll be back next Monday, and I'll have lots more time to devote to all things in the book world. This seems to be a vacation week for a lot of folks anyway, so let's meet up again on July 3. In the meantime, I'd love to have everyeone comment the heck out of the Emerging Leaders Night Out posts -- we're going to have to make some decisions about what the value of this project is, where it's going, who it should involve, and what it has the potential to do, and the more input the better. One specific question: what if a publishing house were to sponsor the next ELNO? Would that compromise the spirit of the thing, or would it be a good way to collaborate? What stipulations would keep this a commun

Linkage: Bookselling This Week

Just wanted to point you all to Karen Schechner's brief but wide-ranging article in Bookselling This Week, "Project Brings Emerging Leaders Together In Venues Across The Country." She covers our Tuesday ELNO, as well as outlining the origins of the Emerging Leaders Project and mentioning existent and developing local manifestations of Emerging Leaders Projects across the country. If you work in a bookstore that has an American Booksellers Association membership and password, you can even log in to the Bookweb forum and discuss the article with other booksellers. And this week's issue has other cool articles about Independents Week, children's bookselling, the Quill Awards, and the new president of ABA. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Chronicle Part II: More Paparazzi Shots from New York Emerging Leaders Night Out

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Here are some more photos from Tuesday night which I've finally figured out how to post. Scroll down to the next post for a write up of Tuesday's Emerging Leaders Night Out (which is kindly linked today by Shelf Awareness). First, my fetching McNally Robinson coworker Allison, with her partner Todd, mystery writer and mastermind behind Thuglit : Here's an illustrious crown of book folks: from left to right, sales rep Sean of Parson Weems, editor John of Shelf Awareness, bookseller Amanda of Good Yarns Bookstore, and sales rep Ben from Farrar, Straus, Giroux. And finally, the ALF gets the chance to mug with the most punk rock man in publishing, Johnny Temple of Brooklyn's own Akashic Books: I wish I had thought to take more pictures, but I was having too much fun. Next time, perhaps? In the meantime, make your thoughts on the event heard in the comments section of my previous post. Thanks again to everyone who made it -- it was great to see ya!

Chronicle: Emerging Leaders Night Out in Brooklyn (with paparazzi shots!)

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I'll admit I was a little nervous yesterday about the long-awaited Emerging Leaders Night Out, as I always am before a party. Then I thought "Who am I kidding? All we have to do is turn up and drink beer! If people are there and beer is drunk, we will have a success." And so we did. I'm no Gawker, so forgive my shoddy photography skills and believe me that we had a great turnout and a good time was had by all. Not everyone who sent me an RSVP managed to make it out -- it was Tuesday night, it's New York, and life interferes. The upside was that in the crowd of about 25, everyone got a chance to meet everyone. The Brazen Head , our chosen location as a Brooklyn landmark and great beer bar, came through with some drink bracelets that gave everyone in our party happy hour prices all evening long. (I got to pass out bracelets, and felt like those posh girls at the entrances of clubs... except having more fun.) The only downside to the cheap drinks was that everyone

Link-Mad Monday: White Rabbit Edition

As in, "no time to say hello, goodbye..." so this will be a short one. Actually, it's also the name of the first independent bookstore I ever fell in love with: a children's bookstore in San Diego, California where Stephen Kellogg signed my copy of his latest Pinkerton book and drew a little picture. Sadly, I've been told that the White Rabbit Children's Bookstore is no more, but there are a lot more great children's stores out there carrying the banner. Check out the website of the Association of Booksellers for Children for some of the best, and a glimpse at what's happening in children's bookselling. - Bookstore of the week: Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City, OK -- thanks to "quiche" for the link. (I really am going to add all of these bookstores to my links list -- I just have to find a free hour to do the HTML cutting and pasting...) -- Paul Constant of Seattle online newspaper The Stranger had a rough time at BEA -- sounds

Reviews: #24, #25, #26, #27

Seems like it's been ages since the last book review around here, huh? (Though it doesn't much affect my ad-less site, there's another debate raging in blogland about blogger book reviews and commercial ethics; click here for the opening volley and some of the responses. Thanks to Max at the Millions for the link) My reading time lately has been taken up with several books I've been assigned for review, as well as some guilty pleasures in between. First, the work reading (which won't be out for several months). Review #24 ALL FOR LOVE by Dan Jacobson (Metropolitan/Holt, September 2006) It's a true story: in the last days of the Austro-Hungarian empire, a princess fell in love with a lower-class cavalry officer, defied her husband and her family and ran away with him. When the forces of the status quo caught up with them, he was thrown into prison and she into an insane asylum, until he won his release and staged a daring breakout of the asylum. Then th

Please Stand By...

Sorry I suck! I had to run an errand in deepest Queens today (which is a heck of a subway ride from Brooklyn), and now I've run out of time for the bazillion and one other things I have to get done on my day off. I'll be back on Friday with a couple of book reviews.

Link-Mad Monday: June 12 Edition

Trying to remember, much less find and post, all the bookish things on the web I've been longing to share with you this week can be well-nigh impossible (especially when you keep getting mysteriously kicked out of Blogger... aargh). Consider the following a tiny, abbreviated list of the good stuff happening out there this week. I've gotten several requests to include additional independent bookstores on my list of links. Keep 'em coming! If you don't see your favorite indie on the links list at right, it's not because I'm not a fan of the store or even because I don't know about it -- I'm just updating the list slowly but surely with my pokey HTML skills. So feel free to jog my memory. Here are the new additions for this week. - Vroman's Bookstore of Pasadena, California, home of Emerging Leaders co-founder Allison Hill (they have a MySpace page , too) - Square Books of Oxford, Mississippi, the local favorite of author and blogger Leslia Valenti

Comment/Chronicle: The Emerging Leaders Project: Conversations with Potential

So we need more indie bookstores, right? And the ones that exist need to learn how to be dynamic and innovative in order to survive and thrive. Whatcha gonna do about it? A little group of booksellers -- all "lifers" in independent stores, though not owners -- started thinking about what kind of help could be offered to those who are likely to shape the future of bookselling: the Emerging Leaders of our industry. After lots of brain-wracking, here's the mission statement they came up with: The Emerging Leaders Project recognizes the need to deliberately retain, develop and support the industry's future innovators and leaders. Emerging Leaders Conversations are set up for peer networking and discussion of topics that relate to the future of bookselling, leadership development and industry education. The Emerging Leaders Project is tailored, but not restricted, to people forty and under, who plan on sticking with the industry for the next twenty years and demonstrate

Comment: The Future of Bookselling: This I (and You) Believe

(Reader beware: this is a really long one.) Before I get to what you've said, I want to mention what's being said elsewhere. I promise I didn't plan this timing, but today's editions of The New York Times and Shelf Awareness both have pieces that pertain exactly to the subject(s) of today's posts. "Digital Publishing is Scrambling the Industry's Rules," trumpets the Times, but it's less about e-books than about first chapters posted online, reader talkback on author websites, and a couple of convergence projects combining print and digital mediums. There's the requisite acknowledgement that John Updike is horrified by all this (I missed his speech at BEA, and I can't say I'm terribly sorry), along with some other, more equivocal voices from authors and others in publishing about the potential implications. No booksellers or mention of the effect of this stuff on the means of distribution, but the article is relevant nonetheless. And a

The Question, Again

I'm sorry to bail on y'all again, but I just don't have time to give the question and the compilation of comments the attention they deserve today -- I've taken on a few too many projects and I have to catch up a bit. So I'll give you the weekend to continue to register your comments on the question I posed on Wednesday: Q: What is the future of bookselling? I'll post your thoughts and mine on Monday. Some other aspects of the question to consider: How will developments like Buy Local First, Slow Food, and the organic movement affect bookselling, if at all? Will author tours mean that writing will become more performative, and how will that affect bookstores? What will the bookseller of the future look like, or is there room for both the businessperson and the idealist? Thinking outside the chain vs. indie question, how will all bookstores be changed by new technologies, new demographics, new forms of literature and information? Can we even make viable gener