BTW News Briefs

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World Book Night Title Sales Jump

World Book Night U.S. reported that bookstores benefitted from a 32 percent sales increase on regular edition WBN titles. The WBN message reached 130 million people, up from 35 million last year, via online, print, TV, and radio outlets. The WBN Facebook page counted 607,000 visitors during the week of April 22 and hit a Klout score of 75 (out of 100).

WBN Executive Director Carl Lennertz said, “These numbers attest to the effectiveness of our community/sharing/reading message.  We are engaging a deep and broad base of booklovers in passionate dialogue about the power of books, as well as getting the word out to the population at large about the value of reading.”

Goodreads Alternative Riffle Now Open to Public

Previously invitation-only, Riffle, a book discovery platform that has been touted as an alternative to Amazon-owned Goodreads, is now available to the public.

With a look similar to Pinterest, Riffle supplies user-recommended titles (noting that it doesn’t use algorithms) and can be linked with Facebook and Twitter accounts. When the feature goes live, users will be able to review and rate books.

American Express Study Looks at Small Business Owners’ Purchasing

American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor has found that 70 percent of entrepreneurs purchase and source products and services from fellow businesses in their local communities.

Additionally, 96 percent of small businesses support communities through activities including donations to local causes, participating in community projects, and shopping local for non-business purchases.

The study also reported that 46 percent of small businesses use social media to promote themselves, with 70 percent using it to attract new customers and 44 percent using it to communicate with customers.

When considering future business prospects, 54 percent of small business owners said they are optimistic and 50 percent of all owners said they plan to increase capital investments in the next six months; however, cash flow remains a concern. Thirty-one percent of participants in the semi-annual survey plan to hire new employees in the next six months, and employers who stated a belief that good employees make for a good business found improved productivity among employees.

Overall, small business owners — 92 percent — said they are happy with their lives, and 76 percent credited some or all of the happiness to being an entrepreneur.

O’Reilly Cancels Tools of Change Conference

The Tools of Change conference and TOC blog are retiring after seven years, O’Reilly Publishing announced last week. Saying that “a conference is no longer the best vehicle for us to contribute to publishing’s forward movement,” Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO, noted that digital publishing is becoming the norm and the resources available to maintain the highest level of information and education on the issue are abundant.

O’Reilly also mentioned a new project, Atlas, describing it as “a tool for collaborative writing (currently being used by authors of about two-thirds of the books in our pipeline), one-touch publishing in all formats (including print-on-demand), and an interactive online reading platform that takes full advantage of the digital realm.”

Memorial Service Planned for Bryan Pearce of University Book Store

Bryan Pearce, the former chief executive officer of the University Book Store in Seattle who passed away on April 20 at the age of 55, will be remembered at  a celebration from 6:30 to 8:30 on Sunday, May 19, at the University of Washington Club on the University of Washington Seattle campus.

Pearce, a University Book Store employee since 1990 and CEO since 2002, retired from his position in February, citing his illness as interfering with his service to the store. He also served on the boards of the University of Washington Alumni Association and the Independent College Bookstore Association.

Those planning to attend the memorial service are asked to RSVP to [email protected] and wear Pearce’s favorite color, purple.

Contributions in Pearce’s name may be made to The University of Washington Foundation, Box 359505, Seattle, WA 98195-9505; checks should be made payable to the UW Foundation with a notation on the check indicating: Bryan D. Pearce UBS Endowment.