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Binc Co-Ambassador Ann Patchett Films Promotional Video

Ann Patchett recently appeared in a short video for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation’s (Binc) YouTube channel. In August, Patchett and fellow author James Patterson were named Binc’s first co-ambassadors.

In the video, the bestselling author and co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, promotes and praises the not-for-profit organization, which provides emergency financial aid to bookstore employees in crisis.

Patchett states: “Booksellers have always been there for me, certainly as a reader — getting me the right book, the book that I need — but also as a writer, helping me sell my books… Binc helps keep booksellers in their jobs, in their families, and in their homes. Help me help booksellers.”

ABFE Joins Protest Over Bookstore Boycott

American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) has joined a statement criticizing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s decision to stop doing business with a local bookstore that was accused of being racially insensitive. OSF cut its ties with Shakespeare Books and Antiques in Ashland, Oregon, after several of its performers complained that the store’s window display of banned books included Little Black Sambo.

The bookstore owner recently announced that she is closing the store, citing the economic damage and emotional distress caused by the boycott.

Association of American Publishers CEO Tom Allen to Step Down

Tom Allen will step down as chief executive officer of the Association of American Publishers early next year.

Allen, a former Maine congressman, has served as the book publishing industry trade organization’s CEO since 2009, leading the association during a time of conflict between traditional publishers and Amazon. 

In a statement on Monday, Allen said he is looking forward to returning to Maine after 20 years of commuting to Washington.

According to the association, no successor to Allen has been named, but a search is underway.

Bloomsbury USA Restructures

Bloomsbury has promoted Cindy Loh to the newly created role of vice president and publishing director of consumer publishing at Bloomsbury USA, Publishers Weekly reported.

As a result, Bloomsbury USA Publishing Director George Gibson will leave his position after Thanksgiving, ending a 23-year career with the company. The move to restructure follows the U.K-based publisher’s decision to divide its business into consumer and non-consumer divisions.

Loh, who has been publishing director of Bloomsbury USA’s children’s unit since 2012, will oversee both adult and children’s publishing in the U.S. Executive Director Richard Charkin will assume the role of president of Bloomsbury USA during the transition period.

National Book Foundation Director Lisa Lucas Talks to NYT Magazine

Lisa Lucas, who was named the National Book Foundation’s new director in February, recently sat down for an interview with the New York Times Magazine. Lucas was asked about race in publishing, her thoughts on genre fiction, and her day-to-day work at the nonprofit organization, which administers the National Book Awards.

In response to a question about the top five bookstores that she would like to visit in the future, Lucas named Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, Books & Books in Miami Beach, Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City.

Books Are My Bag Readers Awards to Launch This Year

This year, the Booksellers Association (BA) plans to launch the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, a new book prize that coincides with the U.K. bookstore trade association’s annual Books Are My Bag (BAMB) campaign.

The new book prize will ask the U.K. public to vote in bookshops and online in the book categories of fiction, nonfiction, biography and autobiography, and children’s, as well as for “breakthrough author.”

The new awards program, which was announced on September 12 at the BA’s annual conference at the University of Warwick, is supported by the U.K.’s National Book Tokens program. The award short list will be revealed on October 6, just ahead of the BA’s inaugural national Bookshop Day on October 8. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on November 24.

Amazon to Open Dozens of Pop-up Stores in U.S. Malls

Amazon plans to open dozens of new pop-up stores in U.S. shopping malls over the next year, Business Insider reported.

The miniature retail storefronts are designed to showcase and sell the company’s hardware devices, according to a source familiar with the matter. Spearheaded by Amazon’s head of devices and services, the project is a separate effort from the bricks-and-mortar bookstores Amazon has begun opening, starting last year with a store in Seattle.

The 300- to 500-square-foot locations set in the middle of shopping malls will carry an assortment of Amazon hardware — including the Kindle e-readers, Fire TV, Fire Tablets, Dash Button, and Echo speakers — as well as accessories.

Amazon’s new site dedicated to its pop-up stores shows that there are currently 21 stores spread across 12 states, including New York, Texas, and California.

Sharon Olds Wins 2016 Wallace Stevens Award

The Academy of American Poets has chosen Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds as the recipient of its $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award, the Washington Post reported, deeming the author “an American master and a national treasure.”

Established in 1994, the Wallace Stevens Award is given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Recipients are chosen by the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors.

Olds, 73, won the Pulitzer in 2013 for her poetry collection Stag’s Leap. She is also known for her collections The Dead and the Living and Strike Sparks (all published by Knopf).

2016 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2016 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, administered by the U.K. business periodical, the Financial Times, was announced last week. An award of £30,000 will go to the book judged to have provided the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, with £10,000 awarded to each runner-up. The winner will be named at a ceremony in London on November 22. The books selected for this year’s shortlist are:

  • What Works by Iris Bohnet (Harvard University Press)
  • Alibaba by Duncan Clark (Ecco)
  • Makers and Takers by Rana Foroohar (Crown Business)
  • The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert Gordon (Princeton University Press)
  • The 100-Year Life by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott (Bloomsbury Information Ltd)
  • The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby (Penguin Press)