July 21, 2011
In This Issue
In the News

WestSide Books Up for Sale
WestSide Books, a two-year-old publisher focusing on edgy, realistic teen fiction, has been put up for sale by owner Stewart Penn. Publisher Evelyn Fazio and assistant editor Peter Nyman, who joined WestSide in June, will be leaving the company "within approximately two weeks," according to Penn. Books under contract will be published, but Penn said the company has "suspended all new acquisitions." WestSide will continue to sell its frontlist and backlist titles until the time of any potential sale. more...

Red Balloon Bookshop: New Owners, New Vision
More than a quarter-century after Michele Cromer-Poire and Carol Erdahl opened the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minn., they're handing it off to another pair of female entrepreneurs. After undergoing an approximately 10-week crash course in the nuts-and-bolts of owning a bookstore, Amy Sullivan and Holly Weinkauf will officially assume ownership of the 27-year-old children's bookstore on August 1. Cromer-Poire and Erdahl, who own the building, will become Sullivan and Weinkauf's landlords; if or when the building is sold, the Red Balloon's owners will have first dibs on buying it. more...

Pottermore Inks Deal with Google
Harry Potter’s next adventure will be in the cloud. Google officials and author J.K. Rowling announced on Wednesday that when Rowling's new Web site goes live in October, U.S. visitors will be able to store their Harry Potter e-books in their Google Books libraries. As previously announced, Pottermore will be the exclusive place to buy Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks. But now, users will be able to buy those e-book editions from the Pottermore Shop, push them to their Google Books library, store them alongside other Google eBooks, and access them in the cloud. more...

Harry Potter Publisher Leaves Bloomsbury for Bonnier
The news that Sarah Odedina is to leave Bloomsbury Children's Books after 14 years came as a shock on Monday, as London publishing was winding down for the summer. Odedina, who has published all of the Harry Potter titles, will take the reins as managing director and publisher of a to-be-named children's fiction list at Bonnier, the privately owned Swedish media group whose U.K. operation already includes the illustrated children's publishers Templar and Autumn. Odedina's start date has not yet been announced and she has agreed to stay on at Bloomsbury until a successor has been named. more...

Book News

A Brixton Brothers Fan Solves a Mystery
"If there's a mystery you can't solve, I will," pledged 11-year-old Sarah Salas in a recent letter to Mac Barnett, author of the Brixton Brothers mystery series from Simon & Schuster. A devoted reader of the series, whose launch title tells of a mystery-loving boy who inadvertently becomes involved with undercover agents who are also librarians, Sarah explained to Barnett that she is a "private undercover detective but I haven't spread the word, plus I am a beginner." Charmed by her letter, Barnett decided to take her up on her offer, and sent her a case to crack via her local librarian. Click through to see how he dunnit. more...

Chronicle Snags Moomin License
Chronicle Books joins Macmillan and Drawn & Quarterly as a North American licensee for Moomin, the children's brand based on the books by Tove Jansson. Chronicle will produce journals, stationery, flash cards, a memory game and wall decals for children and adults. The 65-year-old property, which originated in Finland and has generated over $1 billion worldwide in retail sales of merchandise, is being formally offered for licensing in North America for the first time. more...

Digital News

Getting Apps Approved: Two Case Studies
Print-book purists take note: Apple recently announced that the world's 200 million iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users have downloaded more than 15 billion apps from its 425,000-app collection. According to the company, books are among its most popular offerings (games are #1). To shed light on Apple's approval process, we turned to two well-regarded app publishers, who discuss recent titles that earned a quick "yes" from Steve Jobs's magic kingdom. more...

In the Spotlight

YA Series Making Fast Tracks
It's fairly common for the books in a middle-grade fiction series to be released in quick succession—think 39 Steps, Big Nate, and Warriors—but it's less the case for YA series, with their more complex themes and higher production values. But publishers are finding, particularly with series that lean on cliffhanger endings, that the wish to accommodate eager fans and hold on to them as readers is making for some different strategies. more...

What We're Selling

What's Selling at Fundamentals Children's Books
Tami Furlong, owner of Fundamentals Children's Books in Delaware, Ohio, talks about what's moving well in her store this summer.

Our staff concurs that the biggest sellers recently—as usual—are novels by Margaret Peterson Haddix. She's a fairly local author, but that really doesn't matter. Kids just love her books and we can't keep them in stock. At the end of this month, her latest novel, Torn, is coming out, and kids are reading or rereading the earlier books in the Missing series in preparation for the latest. She visits our store fairly often and her appearances are always well attended, but her books sell no matter what. more...

Today's Job
Brodart Co is looking for a Sales Rep. Maybe this is your next job! For more information about this and other jobs, check out PW JobZone.

In the Media

From the New York Times:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 sold $475 million in tickets worldwide last weekend, shattering box office records. Click here.

From the Guardian:
A Harry Potter plagiarism lawsuit, filed by the estate of Adrian Jacobs, has ended after seven years, when the claimant failed to make the first mandated payment for security costs. Click here.

From the Globe and Mail:
How Harry Potter rewrote the book on reading and publishing: "I don’t think there are any limits to the effect Harry Potter has had on the business of reading," says one bookselling executive. Click here.

From Cake Wrecks:
Some really awful Harry Potter cakes. Click here.

Also from Cake Wrecks:
And some amazingly beautiful Harry Potter cakes. Click here.

From Entertainment Weekly:
The just-released movie poster for The Hunger Games fires up anticipation. Click here.

From Brainpickings:
A collection of seven little-known children's books by famous authors of literature for grown-ups, from James Joyce to Virginia Woolf. Click here.

From Booktryst:
A previously unrecorded Arthur Rackham illustration has surfaced in an early 20th-century book. Click here.

From the Consumerist:
After the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted a "Friendly Fracosaurus" coloring book called Talisman Terry's Energy Adventure made by natural gas driller Talisman Energy, Stephen Colbert mocked the book on The Colbert Report, and the company announced it will stop producing it. Click here.


Elizabeth Bluemle
Searching for the Right Response to Borders Closing
It's tricky to field Borders-related comments and questions from customers, and even trickier to figure out how to reach out to Borders customers as an indie bookseller, without seeming graceless or unworthily triumphant. more...

Josie Leavitt
If Borders Can’t Make It…
I was saddened this week to read of the total liquidation of all 399 Borders bookstores across the country. I will admit there was a small part of me that was glad to hear the news. I was viewing the liquidation as one less bookselling entity I need to factor in my business plan. But then I started to really think about it. more...

Josie Leavitt
A Favorite Customer
There is a price to pay for having a bookstore in a small town. What makes being in a small town so lovely are also the things that cause the most sadness. We know just about everybody who shops at our store, and if they're new to us, we get to know them. more...

Featured Reviews

Grandpa Green
Lane Smith. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-607-7

In this reflective tale, Smith (It's a Book) departs from his customary irony to muse on the memories, talents, and traditions passed down through generations. Smith's young narrator, in overalls and rubber boots, describes his great-grandfather. The boy waters plants and tidies up in a magnificent topiary garden, lined in delicate ink and decorated with ornamental hedges in the shapes of people, animals, and iconic objects. "He was born a really long time ago, before computers or cell phones or television," says the boy, and the first topiary depicts a crying baby. more...

The Unwanteds
Lisa McMann. S&S/Aladdin, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0768-8

In her foray into middle-grade fiction, McMann (Cryer's Cross) delivers a fun mix of magic and science with a retro SF novel whose setting echoes classic artificial dystopias of the 1960s like Logan's Run and Make Room! Make Room! In the city of Quill, all signs of creativity are shunned, and any children who so much as sing or draw are declared "Unwanted" when they turn 13 and sent off to be killed. When Alex is culled from his family and sent to die, he is surprised to discover that the Unwanteds are actually taken to a hidden city... more...

See all of this week's reviews (sub. required).



Elise Howard at HarperCollins has acquired Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman, aimed at his youngest readers yet. The story, to be illustrated by Adam Rex, tells of a mighty sneeze by a panda, and its disastrous results. Publication is currently slated for winter 2012. Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House represented the author and Steven Malk of Writers House represented the illustrator.
Candlewick has promoted Maryellen Hanley to assistant art director; she was previously senior designer. She joined the company five years ago, and has worked on such books as The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman, illus. by David Roberts; Brontorina by James Howe, illus. by Randy Cecil; The Sisters Club series by Megan McDonald; and On the Farm and In the Wild by David Elliott, illustrated by Holly Meade.
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Children's Bookshelf
Editor: Diane Roback
Associate Editor: John Sellers

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