Friday, January 08, 2010

How Sweet Is This?



Sunday, August 09, 2009

We've Always Known About Those Bookstore Returns

Authors are very aware that booksellers return books that don't sell. Painfully aware, might be a better way of putting it. I'm sure I'm not the only author who was interested in To Return, or Not to Return at ShelfTalker. Be sure to read the comments, too.


Monday, June 29, 2009

So Long As I Get Paid...

If this is the future for bookstores, I can live with it so long as there's a way to determine royalties for authors. As a reader, I like the idea of being able to walk into a bookstore and truly be able to buy what I'm looking for.

Though I would miss being able to look through the book to make sure it's what I'm looking for. Once you've received a custom-printed book, I don't imagine the store will be eager to accept a return.

I was aware that Northshire Books was doing this, but hadn't heard much about how it was working out. Maybe next January on my trek north for retreat week, I can stop in Manchester to check the Espresso Book Machine out.


Monday, April 27, 2009

A Good Sunday

Yesterday I walked over to the UConn Co-op from a family member's home, a little under a two-mile walk round trip. I went over the weekend before, too, but hadn't brought any money with me. Thus the return trip.

The UConn Co-op is an independent bookstore, unlike some college bookstores that are run by chains. So you don't get the same old, same old when you're walking through its offerings.

Take graphic novels, for instance. When I look at the graphic novels at chain bookstores, I see a lot of superhero stuff and manga. The Co-op had a lot of the more unique, individual novels told graphically that I tend to be more interested in, as well as nonfiction, such as French Milk, that looked appealing.

I overheard something interesting while I was there. For some reason, a lot of parents and family groups were wandering around yesterday. (Perhaps the elders were there to make sure their kids hadn't been arrested at a spring break party.) One young man directed his family's attention to the book area by saying, "There's the Barnes & Noble stuff." Then he pointed out where the computer items were kept and maybe the tee-shirts, etc.

Think about it: When the big box bookchains first opened, they were modeling themselves on bookstores. Now people have to compare a bookstore to a Barnes & Noble in order to understand what goes on in one?

What are they teaching these young people at college these days?

Anyway, I blew my entire Christmas Co-op gift card on Leonard Marcus's Minders of Make Believe. I have a copy from the library, but I've already renewed it once, and I've only read a few pages. But those few pages made me want to underline like crazy! Lots of facts! About Puritans! I love the Puritans! Plus Marcus uses footnotes. Do you know how often I read nonfiction that has no footnotes? Do you have any idea how much that annoys me? So I decided I wanted my own copy.

So I'm walking back with my purchase, and I'm thinking that I can't start reading it until I finish reading Budo Secrets by John Stevens because I read only one nonfiction book at a time, and a guy from the dojang loaned me this thing maybe half a year ago. I would never mention Budo Secrets here because it's not related to my blog subjects, but as I was walking back to my in-laws' house, I suddenly realized that I could use a Budo Secrets-type book in the 365 Story Project! That means it is related.

I also realized that the 365 Story Project has no grandparents, and what's that about? The kids in the episodes are only ten and fourteen years old. What are the chances that all four of their grandparents would be dead? I decided I had to do something about that.

So it was quite a productive hour--a nearly two-mile walk, a happy wander in the Co-op, a book purchase, and some 365 Story Project work.

Training Report: I was away from the house a lot last week, which is why posting here was spottier than usual. I managed to get seven episodes written for the 365 Story Project, though, and a short story manuscript submitted to a journal. I was able to do that much because on Monday I happened to work out what the next seven or more episodes would be about. This means that either A. my father was right and a job well planned is a job half done; or B. I have now reached that stage at which if I'm given any topic I'll blurt out something about it no matter what.

I've got to step it up a notch or five or six because I'm still more than a month behind with these 365 Story stories. Trying to catch up is keeping me from working on other projects. I knocked off three segments today, though.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Now Everyone Is Going To Want To Shop In Ireland

In case you think of bookselling as a job in a big box and not an exciting international profession that will make you loved in foreign corners of the world, check out The Adventures of an International Bookseller at Shelftalker.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh, Dear

I wasn't happy when I heard a brief mention of Borders' money problems on the radio yesterday, and even less so when I read about them in more depth today. True, I know Borders rarely carries my books or the books of many other writers. But struggling bookstores of any kind aren't good for writers. And probably not for readers, either.

Yes, I know it's ironic that one of the big box bookstores is ailing financially after they helped push many indies out of business.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Handselling Books And A Question About Big Advances

Alison Morris has an interesting handselling report at her PW blog, Shelftalker: A Children's Bookseller's Blog. Note that many of the titles her booksellers report handselling are not necessarily Big Name books. And, yet, the books are selling nonetheless.

Also pay attention to the quote from a speech by Karl Pohrt. He talks about selling the top selling 500 titles. While independent bookstores sell only 9 to 10 percent of the top 150 books, they exceed their market share for titles in the 150 to 500 range. He also says, "It should also be noted that the 150 to 500 range of titles is where publishers are making money, because they havenít made huge investments that they have to recuperate in contracts with best-selling authors and large ad campaigns."

I've heard something similar before, but only recently. I find it extremely interesting, because years ago many in the publishing industry justified huge advances to bestselling authors by claiming those authors made big money for publishers, making it possible for them to use their profits to take risks on new writers/literary writers/you name it. That's not the case anymore?

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Perhaps We're Defining The Word "Art" Too Loosely Here

Margaret Atwood and, to a lesser extent, Kazuo Ishiguro regret the loss of the book browsing experience in How internet booksellers are killing art of browsing from the TimesOnLine. Finding unexpected treats, flap reading, rubbing your fingers over those lovely new paperback covers (I added the last item) are all lost when shopping for books on the Internet.

Take a look at the comments to this article. Kind of eye-opening.

artsJournal provided the link.