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Walker to Leave Midwest Booksellers Association

Susan Walker has announced that she will be stepping down as executive director of the Midwest Booksellers Association in January, a position she has held for 23 years.

"My family obligations and responsibilities have increased greatly since the beginning of this year, and I have decided that I need to move to North Carolina to live close to and assist my parents on a daily basis," Walker explained in a letter sent to MBA members. She also said that until January it will be "business as usual" at MBA, and that assistant director Kati Gallagher will continue in her current position.

The MBA Board of Directors is overseeing the search for a new executive director. A detailed job description is available on the association's website.

New Blog Promotes Indie Bookstore Opportunities

The Bookstore Training and Consulting Group of Paz & Associates has launched a new blog, "Independent Bookselling Today," aimed at those looking to start an independent bookstore.

"Over the last three decades, the mass media has loved to beat up on indie bookstores and proclaim their demise," Donna Paz Kaufman said, "but even the research into the habits of e-book users indicates that most still buy and read printed books as well, and some discover they don't like to read on gadgets at all."

In the inaugural blog posting, Paz notes that the gap between market share and "mind share" flags a business opportunity for would-be bookstore owners.

Thriller Awards Announced

The International Thriller Writers announced the winners of the 2010 Thriller Awards on July 10.

  • Best Hardcover Novel: The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner (Bantam)
  • Best Paperback Original Novel: The Coldest Mile by Tom Piccirilli (Bantam)
  • Best First Novel: Running From the Devil byJamie Freveletti (Harper)
  • Best Short Story: "A Stab in the Heart" by Twist Phelan (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine)

The organization also gave a True Thriller award to Mark Bowden, a Silver Bullet Award to Linda Fairstein, and a Corporate Silver Bullet Award to U.S. Airways. Ken Follett was named ThrillerMaster.