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Brookline Booksmith Customer Wins A.J. Fikry Sweepstakes

Drawing from nearly 2,000 entries, Algonquin Books this week announced Dorian Kotsiopoulos as the winner of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry sweepstakes. The title by Gabrielle Zevin was an indie bookseller favorite this year and was chosen as April’s top Indie Next List pick.

Kotsiopoulos has won a $300 gift certificate to use at her local bookstore, Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Massachusetts. Both the bookstore and Kotsiopoulos were featured in Algonquin Books’ consumer newsletter, which noted, “Dorian already has visions of book purchases dancing in her head with the $300 gift card at her local indie favorite, Brookline Booksmith.”

NPR’s Morning Edition Announces First Book Club Pick

The brand-new Morning Edition Reads book club’s first pick, selected by author Ann Patchett, co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, is Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

On December 11, NPR’s Morning Edition announced the opening of the book club, which will feature a new title each month selected by a well-known writer. Participants in the book club will read the selection and submit questions through Morning Edition’s Facebook page or on Twitter, using the hashtag #MorningReads.

Approximately a month following the title’s announcement, Morning Edition will present a conversation about the book with its author and the writer who chose it. During the program, the book’s author will also address questions submitted by readers.

BookCon Grows Partnership With We Need Diverse Books

ReedPOP announced this week that it will be partnering with We Need Diverse Books to bring two diversity-focused panels to BookCon 2015.

On Saturday, May 30, a panel will discuss how diversity plays a role in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Panelists include Hugo Award-winners Kameron Hurley (The Mirror Empire) and Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), World Fantasy Award-winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper), and Joe Monti (executive editor of Saga Press).

A panel on children’s literature, to be held on Sunday, May 31, will feature five New York Times bestselling authors: National Book Award-winners Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming) and Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), Libba Bray (The Diviners), David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing), and Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass).

At this year’s inaugural BookCon, We Need Diverse Books’ thought-provoking panel drew an overwhelmingly positive response and set the stage for the partnership to expand at next year’s show. Tickets for BookCon 2015 are on sale now.

Kobo Launches “Buy More, Save More” Program

Kobo is offering customers a special deal on select e-books from now until December 15 as part of its “Get 3 Books for the Price of 2” promotion. Titles featured in the promotion are by authors such as Brad Meltzer, Benjamin Percy, Elin Hilderbrand, NoViolet Bulawayo, and others (see the full list of titles here).

“We wanted to find a way to allow readers to buy more of what they want while saving, and the best idea on how was no further away than the local bookstore,” said Dave Anderson, vice president, merchandising and publisher relations for Kobo. “We’re pleased to be able to offer our customers a reward for a multiple purchase. That no other global eBook retailer is able to do this is simply a bonus for us.”

Kobo said it plans to offer additional “buy more, save more” opportunities for both books and magazines in the future.

Consumers Look to Shop Local This Holiday Season

According to Yelp, a site that hosts crowdsourced reviews about local businesses, eight in 10 Americans are likely to shop local this holiday season. In a consumer survey conducted by Nielsen that looked at where and when shoppers planned to spend their holiday money, results indicated that nearly half of the local shoppers planned to spend more than $100 at small businesses.

Additionally, six out of 10 local shoppers were on the hunt for experience-based gifts, including restaurant gift certificates, massages, or theater tickets.

Scholastic Report Details Reading Habits of Kids

The fifth edition of Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report, to be released in January, surveyed both parents and children about the reading habits of kids aged 6 to 17 and found that 73 percent of kids said they would read more books if they could find ones that they like.

Seventy percent of kids reading for fun said that they want books that made them laugh, and 54 percent like reading books that get them using their imagination.

Kids aged 6 to 8 reported being more likely than older children to want to read books with characters that look like them; kids 9–11 are more likely than their younger counterparts to want books that feature a mystery or problem to solve; kids 12–14 look for books with smart, strong, or brave characters; and those 15–17 favor books that let them forget about real life for a time. See the initial details of the report here and look for the full report in January.

Chronicle Books to Distribute Quadrille Publishing

Chronicle Books has entered into an agreement to distribute Quadrille Publishing in North America, beginning with Quadrille’s fall 2015 list. A marketing and publicity executive will be hired and based in the U.S., and Chronicle’s distributor Raincoast Books will handle supply for Canada.

Recently acquired by Hardie Grand Publishing Group, Quadrille Publishing is a U.K.-based house focusing on illustrated books and stationery. It publishes 20 titles per season and has also co-published several books with Chronicle in the U.S.