Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's New Display Wednesday--Peter Matthiessen memorial, Calendar Markdown, Andrew Carnegie Medal Finalists, and Lots Moore.

1. For a while we had a rotating series of memorial displays, with as many as four going as once. Of course not every author's death spurs an interest in sales, plus the display can also be a bit of a downer. Not everyone is Nelson Mandela. That said, I think Peter Matthiessen's passing will drive increased interest in his work, especially because he had a new novel come out this week. I love factoids like the one for Matthiessen; he's the only writer to win the National Book Award for both fiction (for Shadow Country) and nonfiction (for The Snow Leopard).

As Jason was checking stock, he wondered if folks would be buying the individual books that make up Shadow Country, as well as the trilogy that was substantially rewritten enough to win the award we just mentioned. At the time, I found the whole thing a bit odd. As I remembered, we didn't sell the second two books well, but we had a good sale at Schwartz for Killing Mr. Watson.

2. We waited a little longer than usual to mark down our calendars from 50 to 75%. We've only got half a table worth, and that left room for a clearance display for gift items. I believe the sign has a shopping bunny.

It's an assortment of things that sold pretty well, but the last one or two have trouble moving, and things that didn't sell so well, like our tiki boxes. The whole tiki display idea was a bit cursed. Half the mugs I brought in came broken, and the pens, which were the only items that moved decently, had several broken (they were made of resin) by a customer who knocked them off the desk with her purse.  For that reason, and also because at least one resin bookend broke pretty quickly, I am now trying to avoid resin bookends, and keeping to ones that are made of metal and wood. They are more expensive, so they turn even more slowly, but at least I know they are going to last longer.

3. While the midwinter American Library Association meeting is where all the major kids' awards are announced (most famously the Newbery and the Caldecott), it's the summer ALA where they give out the adult prizes, the Andrew Carnegie medals for fiction and nonfiction. We've never featured them on a display before, but hey, I see a good list of recently published books and that to me says "display" with two exclamation points.

The fiction nominees: Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Claire of the Sea Light, by Edwidge Danticat
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

And here is nonfiction:
On Paper, by Nicholas A. Basbanes
Five Days at Memorial, Sheri Fink
The Bully Pulpit, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

If I were a bookie, I guess the long odds would be on Edwidge Danticat, who didn't show up on as many best-of lists as some other contenders, and the Basbanes, who is still an idol in my book for quoting David Schwartz extensively in one of his volumes.

4. I bought some Shakespeare air fresheners and bandages to tie into the new Christopher Moore book, The Sepent of Venice, and goodness if that didn't seem display opportunity.

Our event with Moore is Thursday, May 1 and cost $28, including a signed book and admission to the event. We cover all taxes and fees. Why not buy your ticket now on Brown Paper Tickets?

I should also note I've gotten a sneak peak at the finished book. I  wondered whether Morrow could turn back after giving us a beautiful package for Sacré Bleu, and it turns out they couldn't The Serpent of Venice has a beautiful marine blue stain around the book's edges. The book is also printed in blue ink with the chapter headings in red. It just looks great!

One of the baristas next door has been plowing through the complete Christopher Moore ouvre, in anticipation of the event. I love how Moore fans get giddy when talking about his books. It's quite gleeful.

Anne noted we also have our Shakespeare finger puppets but ran out of the plush. I'll work on that! And when is Unemployed Philosophers Guild going to do a Christopher Moore plush?

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