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Showing posts from March, 2007

Linky Friday: Indie Exclusives

Two cool projects/promotions, coming to your local independent bookstore! First, you've probably noticed that the final Harry Potter book is coming out this July (on the stroke of Saturday the 21st, to be exact). The American Booksellers Association has announced the "Independent Muggles for Harry Potter" campaign, available to all their member stores. It's a partnership with Harry's publisher, Scholastic, to offer cool giveaways with HP purchases at indie bookstores -- and give American indie bookstore customers a chance to win a trip to Harry Potter's London. Ask your local store about it -- not bad for the little guys, eh? Next, indie superstar Powell's has announced the Out of the Book project, in which a Powell's-produced documentary on a famous author and his new book will be offered through independent bookstores around the country. The documentary screenings will also feature actors, commentators, refreshments, and any other accoutremen

Quick link: Dragging Chains

Oh my friends, there is so much going on at the moment you wouldn't believe it, and not two minutes to rub together for blogging. So today I'll just toss you this story to ponder (thanks to David for the link), and this pull quote: "...some industry analysts see the book-selling business as ripe for the picking..." Coupled with my anecdotal observations of the great seasons many indie bookstores of my acquaintance are having, I don't think this sounds very "gloomy" at all. Enjoy the spring day -- see you when my head stops spinning!

Comment: The Caravan Project

I'm off to an early meeting today, so for your Monday dose of book world goodness I'd like to refer you to today's Shelf Awareness. Here's a permanent link to the story on the Caravan Project, by which bookstores can order (through Ingram, the largest and most commonly used book wholesaler) books for customers in the following formats: traditional book, POD book, large print, e-book, online download, audio CD, or audio download. The practical details of how this works are in the article. This is something we talked about at the Digital Task Force meeting: a means to involve all the traditional parts of the book industry (including the bookstore) in the profit chain, while offering customers easy and versatile options for buying reading material. The project is in its pilot phase now, available only through certain bookstores and certain publishers (mostly university presses), and time will tell whether bookstore customers will catch on to getting their multi-media

Wednesday Equinoxical Links

Man, can I just say that I'm getting my butt kicked in the Office Blogger Pool on the Tournament of Books ? The Pool was a clever move on the part of The Morning News , since I'm now checking the matches every day, and it makes for a very fun literary diversion. But ever since ECHO MAKER got knocked out in Round 1 , your Book Nerd's brackets have been suffering. See, this is why I never got into sports: there are enough sources of emotional drama in the world without getting all invested in who's going to win a darn game. Still, it's making for some very interesting reading, and a kind of book reviewing that's fairly unique. I liked the first round judges better (I almost never agree with Jessa Crispin's often snarky reviews, and my fellow LBC member Mark Sarvas still seems to be under the impression that Firmin talks [ HE DOESN'T TALK ]), and it's hard to watch my favorites go under. But it is an exciting thing, and now seems like anybody

Link-Mad Monday: Crazy Delicious!

I'm a little lightheaded after last night's Emerging Leaders Night Out, Booksellers Only (hosted by the ever-generous Toby at Three Lives - thanks, T!), which turned into a very exciting discussion about potential alliances between New York City bookstores (with quite a few beers downed to refresh during the heated discussion). You'll be hearing more about what we came up with, but in the meantime, I've also collected a lot of links to share with ya this week. You'll just have to forgive my loopiness. - First, I would like to trumpet the opening of not one, but TWO new bookstores in the borough of Brooklyn! The first I heard about is Pranga Bookstore , a mostly used shop in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. They don't seem to have their own website yet, but the link will take you to a picture on a local Brooklyn blog that's quite delighted by their presence. Hooray! The second I found out because the owner, Christine Onorati, attended our get-together

Reviews: DeNiro, Bertozzi

Well, if you're in New York today you know exactly why a four-hour drive to the NAIBAhood gathering in Rehoboth is out of the question... "wintry mix" being some of the scariest weather imaginable, especially on the roads. Disappointed as I am to miss Steve Crane's workshop on buying non-book inventory, there's something to be said for hunkering down in our own hometown on such a day. Before I meet up with some bookselling buddies for an impromptu brainstorming session, here are some book reviews for this wintry day. Working through my backlog of read books, in order of reading... Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead: Stories By Alan DeNiro (Small Beer Press, 2006) This is one of the Litblog Co-Op nominees for spring , and it's one of those happy coincidences where I find myself obliged to read a book I'd been meaning to read anyway. Small Beer Press, the brainchild of indie fantasist Kelly Link and company, is one of the best of the new small pr

Reviews: Daly, Zaid

Hey, remember when we used to talk about books around here? Appearances notwithstanding, I have actually been reading the darn things this year, though not at the pace to which I have been accustomed. There are some great ones in the "done" pile, so I'd like to dish on 'em before they go the way of Billy Collins' quadratic equation . In approximate order of reading, since the last installment: The House Without the Door by Elizabeth Daly (Felony & Mayhem, 2006) The publishing arm of mystery bookstore extraordinaire Partners & Crime turns out another winner with this reissue from 1942. The ALP, recalling my fascination with the trippy Christie-meets-colonialism Devil in the Bush , picked this one up for me, and I proceeded to once again sink into the strange alternate universe of pre-War America. The oddest and most interesting thing about this book, aside from the genuinely unexpected revelation of the villain at the end, is realizing how much peop

Link-Mad Monday

Link time, kids! - The fabulous online periodical The Morning News is well underway with its annual Tournament of Books , the most exciting of all of the literary awards, at least in terms of process. Imagine Celebrity Death Match between Gary Shteyngart and Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie! Or Richard Powers vs. Claire Messud! Or, in possibly the weirdest matchup, Brian K. Vaughan vs. Thomas Pynchon! All the excitement is there as prominent critics, bloggers and authors judge two books head-to-head, making for a March Madness of the book world. In a way, the results are as arbitrary as they are for any book award, but rather more transparent, and a lot more fun. (Incidentally, it was Dale Peck's behavior in last year's ToB that inspired my series of posts about Snarks; Mr. Peck has not been included in this year's judging pool, though I can't claim to have anything to do with that.) I was honored this year to be asked to participate in the Bloggers' Office Pool

Monday: Excuses, excuses

It's the season of Lent, that exciting time of sacrifice and self-examination...I'm using it to put in some extra hours at the bookstore and catch up with the backlog that seems to still be there from Christmas or Winter Institute or something. Hopefully our webpage, our events series, our sales floor, and our overcrowded back office will be the better for it. Then there's wedding planning -- an all-too-delicious distraction, which does take up a certain amount of a girl's time. Which leaves blogging time scarce, again. So check out my posting from Friday and weigh in on what Max from the Millions calls the "Widget Wars" : Amazon Look Inside!, Google Book Search, HarperCollins Browse Inside, and Random House's Insight (the last two partnering with BookSense), in an effort to... make shopping online more like browsing a bookstore? Compete for demanding digital customers? Just make sure we've got what everyone else has got? The goals of the vario

Comment: Brave New Searchable World

Here's some food for thought for the weekend. This falls under the category of "I'm still figuring this out, so you look at it with me and tell me what you think." I recieved this press release from the good folks at Random House the other day. I'm pasting it here 'cause that's what press releases are for. INSIGHT, NEWLY LAUNCHED DIGITAL SEARCH & BROWSING SERVICE, TO OFFER 5,000-PLUS RANDOM HOUSE, INC. U.S. TITLES (New York, February 27, 2007)—In a giant stride forward in the emerging world of digital book search, Random House, Inc., the U.S. division of the world’s largest trade book publisher, has announced the launch of its own online book content search and browsing service, named Insight. Through Insight, Random House will make the text searchable for more than 5,000 of its new and backlist titles from across the company’s U.S. publishing divisions. Random House expects to add several thousand more of its books to Insight this spring.