Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

“I think the reason that it [wild behavior] comes out is that we are sexy. I think this is a sexy administration . . .”
--Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
1) YOU NEVER GIVE ME YOUR MONEY . . . Not since the days of Mayor Coleman Young had the the fiefdom of Detroit seen a mayor with more hubris than Kwame Kilpatrick. Unfortunately, that same hubris eventually brought Mr. Kilpatrick down during his second term of office. All of his hijinks are documented by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters M.L. Elrick and Jim Shaefer's in their new title, The Kwame Sutra: Musings on Lust, Life and Leadership from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (9780615332550) 7.95. From Escaladegate to textgate, it's all here in his own laughable words. In fact, if you didn’t laugh, you would probably cry. If you are in the Detroit area, this digest-sized book would make a great cashwrap item . . .

2) FREE AS A BIRD . . . Sweet Melissa, our St. Martins sales representative has been kind enough to send two signed copies of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson's The Gathering Storm (9780765302304) 29.99 to give out to readers of the Partners Page. You may be curious, since Robert Jordan is still dead, how it could be signed by him. Well, through the miracle of modern technology his signature has been digitized onto the page, either that, or there is a zombie Robert Jordan running around out there. Brandon Sanderson's autograph is the real McCoy. The first two requests I receive whether by e-mail, phone, or message in a bottle gets a copy . . .

3) BACK IN THE U.S.S.R. . . . I don’t know if you've had a chance to take a look at Harvard Lampoon's parody of Stephanie Me’er's Twilight Saga, but it’s the funniest take-off on a series since I read Harvard Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings about 30 years ago. It’s called Nightlight (9780307476104) 13.95. The backcover reads: “Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalkerlike behavior, and a vampire prom, ‘Nightlight’ is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places.” Sounds like good clean fun to me . . .

4) I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU . . . “We are Marshall.” Much like the hit song by Queens of the Stone Age, Sandra Bullock’s latest movie Blindside has been the ‘feel good hit of the [holiday season].’ Sandra Bollock has really gone out on a dramatic limb in this heartwarming screen adaptation of Michael Lewis’ Blind Side (9780393338386) 13.95. “Friday Night Lights.” Playing the same role that she plays in every movie, Ms. Bollock really flexes her cinematic muscles. “Remember The Titans.”

Odds & Sods

Stephen King’s Under The Dome (9781439148501) 35.00 is out of stock at the publisher through Christmas. We have some in the secret stash. Also out for the season, we have Terry Teachout’s Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (9780151010899) 30.00 in the stash, too . . .

Our condolensces to the family and friends of Mark Gates, our long-time sales rep. for FS&G, who passed away a couple of days ago. Mark was one of the few people who really championed the Partners Page initially. He was quite fond of the Charles Edmund Wilson III character. (I guess we all know someone like that.) Mark, however, was one of a kind. I miss him . . .

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Partners Bookseller Insider

There are already a few casualties in the “War on Christmas.” Glenn Beck was really pushing Jason Wright’s Christmas Jars (9781590384817) 7.95 on his show last week, which seemed odd since it’s a couple of years old, but then I realized that Jason is Glenn Beck’s co-author on The Christmas Sweater (9781416594857) 19.99. Glenn takes care of his peeps. Unfortunately, Christmas Jars is out of stock at the publisher until February. Oh, and Glenn recommends that you buy lots of gold, not because he’s being compensated by Goldline but because once our society sinks into total anarchy and we’re wearing human carcasses for warmth, Mad Max and his brethren will surely respect the value of gold...

The other title that is already MIA in the “War on Christmas” is the scanimation or animalmation or animotion version of Clement Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas (9780761452980) 16.99. It is done. Stick a fork in it...

The transgressions of Kwame Kilpatrick, the former mayor of Detroit, are too extensive to list here. However, if you’re interested in an abbreviated list or maybe you just want a good laugh, M.L. Elrick and Jim Schafer’s The Kwame Sutra: Musing on Lust, Life and Leadership from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (9780615332550) 7.99 is the book for you. This title would be perfect for the cashwrap...

One final note: Greg Mortensen’s Three Cups of Tea (9780143038252) 16.00 has really taken off again, which obviously can be attributed to the release of his new book, Stones into Schools (9780670021154) 26.95. Czech your stock...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"The merchants will manage the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves..."
--Thomas Jefferson
Dearest Mick--

Chip, my loyal manservant, and I were awaiting our delivery of SnuggiesTM via the parcel post when, instead, your gift package arrived. I must admit we were a tad disappointed. Surprisingly, it can get quite chilly in Napoli during the winter and these SnuggiesTM seem to be the perfect solution to beat the cold. Alas!

I was elated to see that you had sent a copy of my good friend Andy Williams' book, Moon River & Me (9780670021178) 25.95. I did hear that Andy will be on the wireless with Diane Rehm today. I wonder if he mentioned my appearance on his TV show in his book. You may not be aware, but I did have a brief singing career in the 70s. Tony Orlando had to back out of his time slot due to illness, so Andy called me in to save the day. Of course, my rendition of 'Knock Three Times' nearly brought the house down.

Chip had a hard time removing Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home (9781579653774) 50.00 from the box, but I'm sure it will be worth the struggle. Chip is already attaching sticky notes to the recipes that he would like to feature for our next few meals. He can really cook.

I understand my good friend Oprah Winfrey is calling it quits next year. Does this mean we will have to rely on Glenn Beck to make our literary choices in the future? I'll have to drop her a line and see if I can talk her out of this nonsense. Bob Greene, author of Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-diabetes (9781416588382) 26.00 and Dr. Oz, author of You: Having a Baby (9781416572367) 26.99 won't know what to do with themselves. Granted, Mr. Beck has spurred interest in Jason Wright's Christmas Jars (9781590384817) 7.95 and Christmas Jars Reunion (9781606411650) 17.95, but he's certainly not in the same league as Oprah.

Finally, I'm not sure why you sent Jonathan Rand's Freddie Fernortner #10: The Pond Monster (9781893699724) 4.99, but I'm sure there are some nice Italian children who would appreciate a nice gift.

Also, I would like to mention that we have heard about Tiger Woods' 'transgressions' on this side of the pond too. I must confide in you that I am feeling quite hurt. Not only did I teach his father how to golf, but I may be the only person in the world that Tiger hasn't slept with, and I am feeling a bit left out. Oh well, Merry Christmas!

Warmest Regards,

Charles Edmund Wilson III

Rep Round-Up

This week I'm featuring our wonderful Simon & Schuster rep. Leah Hays.

Scott Westerfeld is interviewed and speaks about his latest book, Leviathan (9781416971733) 19.99 in the December 14 issue of Time magazine.

John Gillespie and David Zweig, authors of Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions (9781416559931) 27.00 are confirmed for the Diane Rehm Show on January 21.

Dr. Trachtenberg will launch The Smart Parent's Guide (9781439152911) 16.00 on the Today Show on March 17. Still no help for us dumb parents unfortunately . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Partners Bookseller Insider

So when I saw the promotional material for the new Ozzy Osbourne autobiography, I was like, ‘F*** yeah! What a great f***ing title!’ And then I opened the poster up all the way and I saw that the actual title is: I Am Ozzy (9780446569897) 26.99. I thought to myself, ‘Lame-O!’ I realize that it’s probably a play on the ol’ Sabbath tune, Iron Man, but I really do think that 'I am the Prince of F***ing Darkness’ would have been a way cooler title. Just sayin’ . . .

Ozzy’s book doesn’t come out until January 6, but I scoured the web for a review and I finally found a few on One of the reviewers was complaining that there wasn’t anything about Jake E. Lee, who was his guitarist on Bark at the Moon and Ultimate Sin. I was incredulous. Ozzy worked with both Tony Iommi and Randy Rhodes, two of the greatest guitarists of all-time, and you’re worried about Jake E. Lee? Really? C’mon . . .

Speaking of music, Terry Teachout, author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (9780151010899) 30.00 was on the Diane Rehm Show yesterday and we saw a big ‘pop’ in sales. Check your stock. We also have bookplates, courtesy of Nicolas Books, signed by E Street band member Clarence Clemons, whose Big Man (9780446546263) 26.99 has been selling briskly. In fact, rumor has that Bruce Springsteen handled each bookplate before Mr. Clemons signed them. Also, the Boss may have licked a few. If you want some, drop me a line . . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens
should have to pay for. I put it [the jet] on eBay. I also drive myself to work . . ."
--Sarah Palin, RNC acceptance speech
1) MOULIN ROUGE . . . Sarah 'Do as I say, not as I do' Palin's phony down-home bus tour contnues to jet across the United States to promote her book, Going Rogue: An American Life (9780061939891) 28.99. Of course, her book continues to sell well and we have stock available. In tradepaper, we also have the liberal retort to her bootstrappiness with Going Rouge: An American Nightmare (9780757315244) 15.95. Edited by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed from The Nation, this title is a collection of articles by various left-leaning political writers. Will it be a bestseller? You betcha!

2) COLD MOUNTAIN . . . Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl (9780061658198) 27.50, has been tirelessly promoting her new cookbook without a Gulf Stream Jet. She hasn't been traveling to her events in a Conestoga wagon, but she's doing her job well enough that we've taken notice and ordered her book. Also, world reknowned chef Michael Symon's Live To Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock your Kitchen (9780307453655) 35.00 has done quite well. I hear he's the 'Pride of Clevleand' and he makes great pierogies, too. Finally, as far as cookbooks go, I've noticed that Ms. Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking:Volume I (9780375413407) 40.00 & Volume II (9780394401522) 60.00 are starting to creep out of here again. . .

3) BILLY BATHGATE . . . Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin (9780812973990) 15.00, which won the National Book Award for fiction, has been rushed out in tradepaper by our good friends at Random House. As if the title itself didn't reinforce the impression, the NBA judges have decided once again that the world, and apparently, good fiction revolves around New York City. Personally, if it's not Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine, I'm kinda burned out on the whole thing. . .

4) FAR AND AWAY . . . Two years ago, Loren Long illustrated the winner of the Great Lakes Book Award for children's picture book. I'll be really surprised if his new title, Otis (9780399252488) 17.99 isn't nomimated for the same award this year. Young children will love to hear this story of a little tractor and his friendship with a calf. I gave it for my niece for her birthday and I hear it's her favourite book. Sounds like a winner to me. . .

Lee Booksellers

I found out yesterday that the venerable Lee Booksellers is closing its doors at the end of January. Lee Booksellers has been the premier bookstore in the Great Plains since 1979. Whenever we spoke I could always count on a joke from owner Jim McKee. Generally, I dealt with their long-time buyer Miki. She is one of the nicest people that I've had the pleasure of working with and I will surely miss our weekly conversations. I understand that Jim and Linda Hillegass are both planning on retiring and they've earned it. Without a doubt, the book industry will be a poorer place without their store. I wish everyone on their staff well, especially Miki.
Thanks for everything.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Partners Bookseller Insider

Well, the word on the street was that Black Friday was fairly solid, but the rest of this past weekend was weak. This, however, was not a scientific poll, so take it as you may . . .

Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper (9781439157268) 7.99 in mass market is going out of print. Hey, why would you sell it at mass market amount when you can squeeze the tradepaper price out of the Picoultites? Apparently, Leah Bendavid-Val, the editor of The National Geographic Image Collection (9781426205033) 50.00 was promoting her title on some sort of morning talk show and we’re just about out. Speaking of over-priced gift books, we have a few of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home (9781579653774) 50.00 in Jay & Silent Bob’s secret stash . . .

I wonder if Mike ‘Huckleberry Hound’ Huckabee’s Simple Christmas (9781595230621) 19.95 will keep selling. They say any publicity is good publicity, but this could be the exception to the rule. It appears that as Arkansas governor Mr. Huckabee had previously commuted the 95-year sentence for the suspect who killed the four policemen in Washington over the weekend. The former governor seems like a pretty nice guy, but this will probably torpedo his hopes for a presidential nomination . . .

Speaking of conservatives, Eric Deter’s Willie -- Radio’s Great American: The Biography Of Bill Cunningham (9781935001317) 24.95 has been on local radio and has turned into a bit of a sleeper in the southern Ohio market. Jay (of Jay & Mary’s Book Center) brought this to my attention a couple of weeks ago and now the big boys have caught on too . . .

“Heeeeey, good work Mr. C.”

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line . . ."
--H.L. Mencken

Let the Great Stoner Bill Spin

Hey Dudes and Dudettes! Stoner Bill is in the house! Mick is working on his new blog, which you can scope out at, so I'm doing the dirty work for him on zee Page. Mick did say he needed to give a shout out to Shelly Koteskey from McLean & Eakin Books, who won some kind of Ingram award thingee. Let me see here . . . Oh, it's the n-n-n-notorious Emerging Leaders Council scholarship. Congrats, dudette! Man, I wish Double D were here so he could help me navigate through all these stupid sticky notes that Mick left me.

Whoa, we have signed copies of Anthony 'It must be Prince Spaghetti Day' Horowitz's Crocodile Tears (9780399250569) 17.99 available. From what I've seen in the warehouse, Jane O'Conner's Fancy Nancy's Splendiferous Christmas (9780061235900) 17.99 has been the hottest children's title so far. The Fancy Nancy stuff reminds me of the song, Hey There Fancy Pants by Ween. "Play the songs that make us dance, Play the tunes that make the ladies swoon . . ." Also, the series based on my kid brother, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, is a close second in the kiddie sales sweepstakes.

So I see Borders CEO Ron Marshall has given his quarterly "We've turned the corner" speech for his shareholders. They've turned the corner so many times that I think they're driving around in circles. But hopefully, he is right on target this time. There are some good business type books out there, including Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big To Fail (9780670021253) 32.95 and Steven Leavitt and Stephen Dubner's Superfreakonomics (9780060889579) 29.99. And we're not even going to get into the whole Rick James thing.

Dude, it's not just Sarah Palin, but like every Christian conservative icon has a book out for the holiday, er, Christmas season. Mike 'Huckleberry Hound' Huckabee has his Simple Christmas (9781595230621) 19.95. Smilin' Joel Osteen says God wants you to make lots of money in his book, It's Your Time (9781439100110) 25.00. Rick Warren is the exception, but you could always resurrect The Purpose of Christmas (9781416559009) 17.99 and throw those back on the shelf.

And Happy Thanksgiving! I am going to get soooo toasted tomorrow.

Odds & Sods

There are a ton of new releases due out next Tuesday, so here's the rundown:
Michael Roizen and Dr. Oz are back with You: Having a Baby (9781416572367) 26.99.
Greg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea fame has a new one called Stones into Schools (9780670021154) 26.95.
Sue Grafton is finally up to the letter U with U is for Undertow (9780399155970) 27.95.
And finally Zane channels Bonnie Tyler with Total Eclipse of the Heart (9780743499293) 25.99.

Prediction for the Turkey Day football game: The Pack 24 --Lions 10.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Partners Bookseller Insider

With Black Friday fast approaching, I figured I’d give you the lowdown on our stock situation on various titles. First of all, if you had the Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary (9780756655297) 21.99 on your Christmas list, you should revise your list. The publisher is out until January. Also I’ve heard that the Charlie Brown Christmas with the cute little Christmas tree (9780762435999) 14.95 is out at the publisher with no reprint scheduled. I guess you could create your own version by using Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years book (9780740785481) 75.00 and a crooked sapling, but it would be a bit pricey . . .

I was reading an article on the intrawebs the other day that claimed that the human race is devolving and becoming less intelligent. I give you Exhibit A: Former Governor Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue (9780061939891) 28.99 has already sold out once for us. At the B&N in Grand Rapids, she supposedly signed over 1500 copies. I say supposedly because Fox News could be the source for those numbers. However, we did have more stock come in today, and your personal thoughts aside, you should be more than willing to take their $28.99 or $24.95 or $18.50 or $9.99 or whatever . . .

The National Book Award winners were announced last week. We were restocked on the non-fiction winner T.J. Stiles’ The First Tycoon (9780375415425) 37.50 yesterday. Also, Random House announced they’ve moved the tradepaper release date for Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin (9780812973990) 15.00, the NBA winner for fiction, to December 4. If you can recall a more pretentious title than ‘Let the Great World Spin’ or if you have any other fun bookselling tidbits, please e-mail me anytime . . .

And remember: It’s not paranoia when you know everyone is out to get you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's a Turkish delight on a moonlit night . . ."
--They Might Be Giants, Istanbul

The End of a Useful Partners Page

I haven't eaten in days. At the behest of Doug from The Bookman, I had been searching for great holiday titles when I realized that I had become lost in Partners' monolithic warehouse. To keep hydrated, I have been able to scrounge water from leaks in the ceiling. This whole fiasco reminds me of a story I heard about a sniper on the University of Michigan campus back in the early '70s. The undergraduate library was such a labyrinth, it took an entire day to find some of the students. In the meantime, I have been tempted to eat the pages of cookbooks for sustenance like Rachael Ray's Book of 10: More than 300 Recipes to Cook Every Day (9780307383204) 20.00, but I'm holding out for the chocolate chip cookies that David Swan promised me via text message if I mentioned The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape (9780615298313) 35.00. Let's hope he comes through . . .

If only Harper Collins had run Sarah Palin's vice-presidential campaign, the last election might have turned out differently. Harper has done an outstanding job of promoting Sarah Palin's Going Rogue (9780061939891) 28.99. In fact, they have done such a great job the word on the street is that Ingram has sold out. They've hit all the right shows with Sarah kicking the publicity off with an appearance on Oprah. Barbara Wawa is doing a two-part interview with her. There are already rebuttals from John McCain's advisers that keep it fresh in the mainstream media cycle. There is no e-book, so people will have to buy the hardcover. I will reinterate one last time, "This book will be huge."

I don't know if there are cookies involved, but Tom Drinkwater wanted me to mention Sean Deveney's The Original Curse: Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth's Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal? (9780071629973) 24.95. I'm not sure why the Chicago Cubs are loveable losers, and the Detroit Lions just suck, but that's the reality.

I've noticed a couple of titles that are inexplicably starting to take-off. Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn's Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (9780307267146) 27.95 is self-explanatory. Also, former Calgary Flame Theo Fleury's Playing with Fire (9781600781995) 24.95 is selling. A hockey book on the bestseller lists? It's more likely than you think . . .

Odds & Sods
Last week Jill came in here at like 5 o'clock in the morning to accommodate the schedule of author Libby Hellman, so she could sign copies of her new book, Doubleback (9781606480533) 14.95. As usual, supplies are limited . . .

We still have signed copies of
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (9780061374234) 16.99,
Timothy Egan's The Big Burn (9780618968411) 27.00,
Polacco's January's Sparrow (9780399250774) 22.99,
and finally, Michael Glenn Monroe's Mister Rabbit's Wish (9781587265259) 17.95.

Hey man, it's definitely a great gift idea . . .