BTW News Briefs

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ABA President Talks U.S. Indies at London Book Fair

At the London Book Fair last week, Steve Bercu, ABA president and owner of BookPeople in Austin, Texas, joined Sion Hamilton, retail operations director for Foyles in London, and Hiroshi Sogo, managing director of the Books Kinokuniya subsidiary AsianBasis Corporation in Japan, to discuss how their stores are embracing and adapting to the ever-changing book industry, reported Shelf Awareness. The panel was moderated by Philip Jones of The Bookseller.

Bercu noted the significant comeback of independent bookstores in the U.S. and said that BookPeople, which lives by the motto “a community bound by books,” marked the best years in its history over the past four years. Among the multitude of services that BookPeople provides are book fairs and festivals, author events, birthday parties, book clubs, and literary summer camps. BookPeople also strives to maintain strong relationships with publishers, who are paying more attention to independent booksellers these days, Bercu said.

Sogo also noted the importance of the customer experience, as well as events, displays, hospitality, and service. With 90 bookstores across the world, Kinokuniya is recognizing the need to continue in its efforts to create exceptional customer experiences, but also to embrace technology.

Foyles is set to open a new, six-floor store with a gallery, café, and atrium in London in June, said Hamilton, and many of the elements of the new store came after brainstorming and collecting the opinions of current customers, the general public, industry experts, retailers in other industries, and its frontline booksellers, with the goal of creating a “bookshop of the 21st century.”

ABFFE’s Chris Finan Wins Hefner Award

Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, has been named the winner of the 2014 Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in the category of law for his book National Security and Free Speech: The Debate Since 9/11 (International Debate Education Association), reported BusinessWire. The award, established in 1979, honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward protecting and enhancing First Amendment rights in this country.

Finan will receive his award on May 20 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books Revealed

The American Library Association has released its annual executive summary, including the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2013, listing Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey in the number one spot again this year and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie in third. New this year is Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, replacing Beloved on the list.

See the full list of most frequently challenged books here. Banned Books Week will be held September 21 – 27, 2014.

Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday at Columbia University in New York City. This year’s winners in the category of letters and drama include:

  • Fiction: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)
  • Drama: The Flick by Annie Baker (Theatre Communications Group)
  • History: The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 17721832 by Alan Taylor (W.W. Norton)
  • Biography or Autobiography: Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Poetry: 3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri (Graywolf Press)
  • General Nonfiction: Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin (Bantam Books)

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Awarded

The 34th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were presented at an April 11 public ceremony at University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium. Books in 10 categories were honored.

In addition, author John Green received the 2013 Innovator’s Award for his cutting edge work to bring books, publishing, and storytelling into the future, and Susan Straight was the recipient of the 2013 Robert Kirsch Award, which recognizes a body of work by a writer living in or writing about the American West.

See the full list of book prize winners here.

McNamee Steps Down as President of EBF

John McNamee, president of the European International Booksellers Federation, has stepped down from his role, which he has held since 2005, reported The Bookseller. His successor will be announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair this fall, and Kyra Dreher, vice president of legal affairs, and Fabian Paagman, vice president in charge of legal affairs, will oversee the federation in the interim.

“It has been a great honor and privilege to be able to work since 2005 as president of EBF,” said McNamee. “The industry is fortunate to have so many committed, enthusiastic and interesting people… We have had to deal with many changes during the period, and we have been able to adapt and encourage our Members to position themselves well for their future.”

University Presses Look to Ingram’s CoreSource

Five university presses — New York University Press, Penn State University Press, University Press of Kansas, Ohio Universtiy Press, and the University Press of Mississisppi — will be working with Ingram’s CoreSource® digital asset management platform for the storage, management, and distribution of their digital content, the company announced Wednesday.  The online platform offers searchable content and a delivery system and is used by retailers, library suppliers, and e-book providers. Each press will also be utilizing Ingram’s Lightning Source® print-on-demand services.