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ABA Meets With Ingram and Publisher Partners for Wi5 Debrief

On Thursday, April 8, ABA senior staff met with representatives from Ingram and 18 publishing houses in order to garner publisher feedback on January's ABA Winter Institute, in San Jose, California. About half of the almost four-hour meeting was devoted to an in-depth discussion with the 29 attendees about the three-day institute, which offered a wide range of educational programming free of charge to ABA bookstore members.

Attending the meeting from ABA were Oren Teicher, ABA CEO; Len Vlahos, ABA COO; Mark Nichols, ABA industry relations officer; Dan Cullen, ABA content officer; and Lisa Winn, ABA educational content manager.

In addition to the Winter Institute, the meeting also covered a number of industry issues of mutual interest, including the Indie Bestseller List; the Indie Next List; and Edelweiss, the interactive online catalog platform.

"We are very grateful to Ingram and to the publishers attending last week's meeting for their constructive, honest, and very helpful feedback," said Nichols. "It was an extremely helpful discussion, which will help ensure that Wi6 is an even stronger event."

Amazon Gets Approval for Canadian Warehouse

Amazon's application to open a warehouse in Canada, which would be its first physical presence in the country, was approved this week by the Canadian government.

The Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) opposed the warehouse proposal and issued a statement expressing its disappointment in the government's decision. "CBA maintains this short-sighted ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the entire industry and have a devastating impact on community booksellers and Canadian readers," said CBA executive director Susan Dayus.

The government's approval includes a commitment by Amazon to increase hiring in Canada, promote Canadian literature internationally, and make more Canadian books available on the Kindle.

iPad Threatens Sales of eReaders

Business Week reported that the iPad's versatility is affecting sales of e-readers, including Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's nook, and the Sony Reader. On April 8, Apple announced that it had sold 450,000 iPads in less than a week, and "Wall Street analysts are already slicing their forecasts for Kindle sales," according to Business Week. Analysts are saying that to meet "heightened expectations about what a tablet-style computer should do, Amazon may need to lower the Kindle's price or introduce such new features as a color screen to make the device more compelling."

A mid-April report from Goldman Sachs estimates that "e-book sales will more than quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching $3.19 billion," according to the magazine. The Goldman report also predicts that by 2015 Apple's e-book market share would more than triple, to 33 percent, and Amazon's would fall to 28 percent, from 50 percent this year.

In related news, the New York Times reported this week that Google and Nokia are expected to enter the market with slate-like devices similar to the iPad. The paper also noted that Microsoft was "flirting with the idea of selling its own version of a slate, alongside computer companies like Hewlett-Packard, which has already committed to such a product.

March Retail Sales Stronger Than Anticipated

Bolstered by shoppers looking for seasonal home goods, furniture, and apparel, March retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) "increased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted over February and 5.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year," according to the National Retail Federation.

"It's evident consumers were feeling much better about the economy and their finances last month," said Rosalind Wells, NRF chief economist. "Pent up demand combined with an early Easter and warm spring weather significantly boosted consumers' moods and retail sales."

Clothing and clothing accessory stores sales led the way, with a 2.3 percent increase seasonally adjusted month-to-month and a 9.9 percent increase unadjusted year-over-year. Sporting goods, hobby book and music stores sales were solid with seasonally adjusted sales increasing 1.0 percent month-to-month and 9.0 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to NRF.

2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

The winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes in Letters, announced this week, are:

  • Fiction: Tinkers by Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press) -- a 2010 Indies Choice Book Award Adult Debut Honor Award recipient
  • General Nonfiction: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman (Doubleday)
  • Biography or Autobiography: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles (Knopf)
  • History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed (Penguin Press)
  • Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout (Wesleyan University Press)

For the full list of winners, visit