BTW News Briefs

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Toolkit Promotes 2016 National Reading Group Month Selections

National Reading Group Month/Great Group Reads, an initiative of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), has announced the 21 books on this year’s list.

Selected by the Great Group Reads committee, all titles were chosen on the basis of their appeal to reading groups and will be featured during the month of October.

To ensure that these books become reading-group staples across the country, the WNBA has provided a National Reading Group Month Marketing Toolkit, which includes an array of professionally designed display materials like shelf-talkers and table-top posters. The kit can be found on the National Reading Group Month website to download and use in promoting these titles.  

SIBA Trade Show Merger Cancelled After GABBS Announces Closure

This week, Larry May, the owner of the Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS), announced plans to shut down his 20-year operation, citing a lack of economic viability. The closure cancels the plans announced last month by Wanda Jewell, executive director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, to move the association’s fall show to the spring to coincide with GABBS.

In a letter to SIBA members, May apologized for any confusion or frustration his decision might have caused.

Jewell assured members that the “SIBA in the Springtime” event will still be held in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, where attendees will have the chance to discuss the future of the SIBA Discovery Show. The event will feature sessions on all aspects of the show including location, time of year, format, education, exhibits, author events, consumer events, and fresh ideas, said Jewell.

U.K. Bookshops Report High Foot Traffic, Sales for First Bookshop Day

Bookshops reported higher than average foot traffic and sales during the U.K.’s inaugural Bookshop Day on Saturday, October 8, The Bookseller reported. The Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland launched the event to coincide with this year’s Books Are My Bag (BAMB) celebrations.

The inaugural event involved more than 2,000 bookstores in the U.K. and Ireland that hosted high profile authors, illustrators-in-residence, and customers reading in bookshop windows, The Bookseller reported. Bookshop Day was also planned around the release of high profile books in the run-up to Christmas.

Customers were encouraged to tweet their support for bookshops on Saturday using the hashtag #BookshopDay, which was temporarily trending on Twitter.

NetGalley Acquires Bookish

NetGalley has acquired, a digital resource that offers author interviews, book recommendations, and literary roundups, Digital Book World reported.

Bookish was founded by Hachette, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster in February 2013. Through the deal with NetGalley, Zola Books, which purchased the website in 2014, will retain Bookish’s book recommendation search engine.

Bookish will function as a sister company to NetGalley and will remain editorially independent, according to Digital Book World. Following the purchase, Bookish and NetGalley, which is owned by Firebrand Technologies, will explore ways to connect the editorial content between the two websites.

Doug Jones Named Harper’s Senior VP/Deputy Publisher

Doug Jones, who started his book industry career at Houston’s Brazos Bookstore, has been appointed senior vice president/deputy publisher of the Harper group at HarperCollins.

Jones will report to HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham in this newly created position and will work with him to oversee publishing for the group, which includes Harper, Harper Business, Harper Wave, Harper Design, Amistad, and Broadside. In addition, Jones will serve as publisher of Harper Perennial and Harper Paperbacks, and all marketing and publicity for the Harper imprints and lines will report to Jones.

Jones began his career as the manager of Brazos Bookstore. After that, he served for more than nine years as senior vice president of sales at HarperCollins and then as vice president/sales director for Crown Publishing Group at Penguin Random House.

Submissions Sought for Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award

The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, has begun soliciting submissions from publishers and others for the second annual Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award.

Mark Twain House trustee and best-selling author David Baldacci conceived of and funds the $25,000 award, which is given to a fictional work published in a calendar year that best captures a distinctly American voice. T.C. Boyle won the inaugural Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award for his 2015 novel, The Harder They Come (Ecco).

The winner of the prize will be announced in fall 2017, and the two runners-up will each receive $1,000. Directions for publishers on how to enter can be found here.

2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winners Announced

The fiction and nonfiction winners of the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize were announced on Tuesday, October 12. The prize, which is given to outstanding fiction and nonfiction books published in 2015 that promote peace, was inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. The winners are:

  • Fiction Winner: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove/Atlantic)
  • Fiction Runner-up: Delicious Foods by James Hannaham (Little, Brown)
  • Nonfiction Winner: Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard (Penguin Books)
  • Nonfiction Runner-up: Find Me Unafraid by Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede (Ecco)

The honorees will be celebrated at a gala ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 20, where Nguyen and Southard will each receive a $10,000 honorarium, and Hannaham and Posner and Odede will take home a $2,500 honorarium.

Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology Voted PNBA BuzzBooks Champion

In voting at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Tradeshow earlier this month, booksellers and librarians chose Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology (W.W. Norton, February 2017) as the winner of the show’s BuzzBooks competition.

Attendees visited eight publisher exhibits for quick pitches on nine recent and upcoming titles across multiple genres and received punch cards to mark their progress. After verifying all nine stops on their cards, attendees were permitted to vote for the book they were most excited to recommend to patrons of Northwest libraries and bookstores.

Three booksellers received a $150 prize for participating: Becky Milner of Vintage Books in Vancouver, Washington; Michelle Williams of Jerrol’s in Ellensburg, Washington; and Sally McPherson of Broadway Books in Portland, Oregon.