Barnes & Noble Cyberattack

Barnes & Noble warned customers via email to be “on high alert” following an October 10 data breach.

While we do not know if any personal information was exposed as a result of the attack, we do retain in the impacted systems your billing and shipping addresses, your email address and your telephone number if you have supplied these… It is possible that your email address was exposed and, as ...Read More

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Powell’s New CEO

Powell’s Books has named Patrick Bassett as its new CEO. Bassett is a business consultant and was previously working with Powell’s as an adviser.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Powell’s permanently closed its store location at Portland International Airport. The store in Beaverton OR is the only Powell’s location to have fully reopened since shutting in March 2020. Its main store in downtown Portland OR remains partially open, and the ...Read More

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Voice of the Heartland Award

Publisher Two Dollar Radio won the 2020 Voice of the Heartland Award, given “to individuals and organizations who uphold the value of independent bookselling and who have made a significant contribution to bookselling in our combined regions.” The award is given by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA) and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA). Nominating bookseller Gary Lovely of Book Loft in Columbus, OH called them “a shining ...Read More

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Powell’s Closes Airport Location

Powell’s Books has permanently closed their location at Portland International Airport, with owner Emily Powell telling The Oregonian that “closing the airport store is a sad necessity as we face the months ahead…. It’s hard for me to imagine our future without the airport, and without the airport’s seasoned team of booksellers. We hope to return one day.”

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with ...Read More

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Bookstore News

Barnes & Noble fired unspecified number of employees from its head­quarters in New York who’d been on furlough since March – including longtime SF/fantasy and graphic novel buyer James Killen and fiction buyer Sessalee Hensley. A spokesperson said, “It is with great regret that a number of employees in the corporate office have left our employment. As with so many companies, we evaluate our needs in circumstances much changed by ...Read More

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Pandemic Fundraising

NewCon Press has published anthology Stories of Hope and Wonder, with all proceeds going to UK healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19. For more: <www.newconpress.co.uk/info/book.asp?id=164&referer=Catalogue>.

The #Creators4Comics fundraising effort made $433,166 to help bookstores and comic shops impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Comics creators auctioned off materials for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, with more than 635 individual auctions held. Writer Kami Garcia was one of the original organizers. She ...Read More

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Chain Bookstore News

Books-A-Million reopened the majority of its stores, previously closed for the pandemic, in early May. Most of their locations are in the South, where restrictions were lifted earlier than elsewhere in the US; the stores are ‘‘following local guidelines for safe and secure shopping.’’ Ceo Terrance G. Finley says, ‘‘Our booksellers stand ready to share the rich assort- ment of new books and products that we have been curating over ...Read More

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Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore Burned Down in Riots

Uncle Hugo’s, the oldest independent science fiction and fantasy bookstore in the US founded in 1974, burned down during the recent riots protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of the shocking death of George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis. As of May 30, at least 250 businesses across the Twin Cities had been damaged or destroyed. Some, including Uncle Hugo’s, were destroyed completely by fire or ...Read More

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Bookstore News

Bookstores are still in dire shape, with the pandemic causing store closures all over. WH Smith in the UK reports that sales were down 25% in March, and in the first week of April they were down 85% over the same period in 2019. They predict similar losses through the end of August, then hope for “gradual improvement in trading through to the end of Decem­ber.” About 60% of their ...Read More

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Pandemic Help

James Patterson extended his philan­thropy toward independent bookstores with a personal donation of half a million dollars to help stores impacted by coronavirus closures. The funds were administered by the Book Industry Charity Foundation, with money to be distributed by May 15, 2020. Patterson joined with the American Booksellers Association in the #SaveIndieBookstores fundraising campaign, which ran in April. The funds “will go toward helping hundreds of indie bookstores across ...Read More

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Bookstore News

Bookstores are suffering dur­ing the COVID-19 epidemic, with many forced to temporarily close their physical locations. Barnes & Noble shops remain open (except in locations closed by public order), but CEO James Daunt warns his employees that changes are coming, with plans for “substantial reductions in cost,” including cuts of personnel already underway at the home office. He says sales continue well, especially online, but, “We have to assume that ...Read More

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Newsstand Disruptions

Amid growing coronavirus concerns, some booksellers and distributors have canceled new magazine orders.

Barnes and Noble announced they will cease taking new magazine product, effective March 23, 2020, across all stores. Krifka Steffey, director of newsstand merchandising, said,

We will continue to sell the product currently on our Newsstands, and will look forward to the day that we can re-establish this critical part of our bookstore offering.

Diamond Comic Distributors ...Read More

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Diverse Editions Debacle

Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble teamed up for an ill-advised project called “Diverse Editions” for Black History Month in February 2020, only to swiftly suspend the program following an immediate and widespread outcry. Diverse Editions presented a dozen classic books (including Frankenstein, Moby-Dick, and The Secret Garden) with new dust jackets featuring illustrations of the (mostly white) characters reimagined as people of various other races. ...Read More

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Patterson Gives Bonuses

Author and philanthropist James Patterson is of­fering bonuses (a total of $200,000) to Barnes & Noble booksellers this year in the form of a contest: he will give $300 to the bookseller in each B&N branch who creates the best display, as judged by store managers. He says, “I’m excited about all the recent changes at Barnes & Noble and to see where they go next. But I’ve always been ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Lawsuit

Barbara Tavres, 59, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer Barnes & Noble in the in the US District Court in Northern California, alleging age discrimination, and seeking class action status. She was fired on September 6, 2019 after a career that began in 2006, starting in community relations and ending at a shop in Emeryville CA. Tavres claims that on the day of her termination her manager took ...Read More

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Mysterious Galaxy Saved!

San Diego bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, which was in danger of closing after 27 years of business, has found new owners and will remain open for the foreseeable future. Jenni Marchisotto & Matthew Berger purchased the bookstore and signed a five-year lease on a new location. They said,

We are so excited about our new roles as part of the Mysterious Galaxy family. When we attended the holiday party last Saturday ...Read More

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Martin Opens Bookshop

George R.R. Martin opened Beastly Books on November 30, 2019, located next to the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe NM. Martin said,

We’ve been doing amazing author events at the Jean Cocteau Cinema ever since we reopened the theatre in August, 2013. Dozens of terrific, award-winning, bestselling writers have appeared at the JCC to speak, read, and sign their books… SF writers, mystery writers, historical novelists, romance writers, thriller ...Read More

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Mysterious Galaxy Seeks New Owner

San Diego bookshop Mysterious Galaxy is in danger of closing after 27 years. The staff recently received word that they are losing the lease for their shop on Balboa Avenue, and have 60 days to move.

It is with heavy hearts that we share that unless a new buyer and new location are found immediately, Mysterious Galaxy will be forced to close its doors.

For nearly 27 years, Mysterious Galaxy ...Read More

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Link & Grant to Open Bookshop

Gavin Grant & Kelly Link of Small Beer Press are taking over White Square Books in Easthampton MA, and will reopen the shop as Book Moon in early October 2019. The store will carry new and used books, with a specialty in Small Beer Press titles. Grant says, “Small Beer Press will continue to publish books — we have titles planned for the next 2-3 years and don’t anticipate much ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Sale Complete

On August 7, 2019, Barnes & Noble announced the closing of their deal to be acquired by Elliott Advisors Limited, which also acquired UK book­selling chain Waterstones in 2018. Each chain will operate independently, though Waterstones head James Daunt will serve as CEO of both companies, and plans to relocate from London to New York. Daunt says,

This is a very good day for bookselling. Barnes & Noble is the ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Sold

Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the US, has been sold to Elliot Management Corporation, the same hedge fund that purchased leading UK bookseller Waterstones in June 2018. Waterstones CEO James Daunt will take over as CEO of B&N when the deal is complete and plans to relocate to New York. The all-cash transaction is valued at around $683 million — $6.50 a share, plus the assumption of ...Read More

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Borderlands Café Closes

San Francisco specialty shop Borderlands Books closed their adjacent Borderlands Café on April 30, 2019. Alan Beatts cites difficulty finding and retaining staff in a booming job market, declining sales, and the demands of running the bookshop as causes for the decision. The bookstore will continue as usual. For details: <borderlands-books.blogspot.com/2019/04/borderlands-cafe-to-close.html>.

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2018 Book Sales

NPD Bookscan released their final statistics for 2018, counting 696 million print books sold in the US, up 1.3% over last year’s 687 million – the smallest gain seen over the past five years of steady print growth. Adult hardcover sales went up 1.3%, while YA and juvenile sales rose by fractions of a percent. Trade paperbacks declined slightly, and mass-market paperbacks continued to shrink, down to 52 million copies ...Read More

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B&N Favorite SFF Books of 2018

Barnes & Noble has announced its 25 title list of Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2018, with an additional 12 “Alternate Universe” Picks of “books that could just have easily been included” in the list of 25, and their Year’s Best Collections & Anthologies list for the same genres:

Favorite SF&F:

  • Senlin Ascends, Josiah Bancroft (Orbit)
  • Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown)
  • The Only Harmless Great Thing
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Burlingame Books Inc. Closing

Books Inc. in Burlingame CA will close in early 2019, with CEO and president Michael Tucker saying, “We are saddened to leave our long term customers in Burlingame, but changes in the retail environment on Burlingame Avenue have made it untenable to remain.” The local chain has ten other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and will attempt to transfer affected employees to other locations when possible. They will ...Read More

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Mysterious Galaxy for Sale

Terry Gilman and Maryelizabeth Yturralde are seeking new owners for Mysterious Galaxy, their San Diego CA bookshop:

When we opened Mysterious Galaxy in 1993, we did so with the belief that it was essential to create a sustainable environment for years to come. Mysterious Galaxy and its immensely qualified and experienced booksellers are well-positioned to ensure that books and author events will remain a vital part of our community. The ...Read More

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Waterstones Buys Foyles

UK bookstore chain Waterstones has acquired Foyles, a family-owned chain of seven bookshops first established 115 years ago. The acquisition is expected to be final by the end of 2018; terms were not disclosed. Waterstones’ head James Daunt said, “Together, we will be stronger and better positioned to protection and champion the pleasures of real bookshops in the face of Amazon’s siren call.” Christopher Foyle said, “My family and I ...Read More

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New Amazon Imprint

Amazon has announced a new imprint, Topple Books, to “spotlight the voices of women of color, gender non-conforming, lesbian, bisexual, and queer writers.” Jill Soloway will serve as editor-at-large, with Carmen Johnson helping to oversee the line. Soloway says, “We live in a com­plicated, messy world where every day we have to proactively re-center our own experiences by chal­lenging privilege. With Topple Books, we’re looking for those undeniably compelling essential ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Layoffs

Barnes & Noble is laying off many of its most experienced workers following a disappointing holiday season (down 6% from the year before), with lead cashiers, receiving managers, and other seasoned employees being let go company-wide. Employees were given little to no notice of their termination, with many showing up for work only to find their jobs had been eliminated. A B&N spokesperson said the company “has been reviewing all ...Read More

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King Manuscripts Damaged

A water main burst in front of bookstore Gerald Winters & Son in Bangor ME, flooding the basement and soaking dozens of rare Stephen King works, including first- and limited-edition copies, galleys, foreign editions, ephemera, and seven original manuscripts. Winters, who opened the store a year ago, was a devoted collector of King’s work, and kept most of the rarer items for display, and not for sale. He lost about ...Read More

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Borderlands Reaches Funding Goal

Alan Beatts, owner of San Francisco specialty bookshop Borderlands Books, announced on October 31 that he had secured enough funding to buy the building at 1373 Haight Street as a permanent home for the bookstore. Beatts had previously sought funding from the local community, and within 18 days raised $1.9 million dollars from 49 lenders. The sale closes on November 15, 2017. Borderlands plans to move from their current location ...Read More

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Borderlands Building Purchase

Alan Beatts, owner of San Francisco genre bookshop Borderlands Books, announced on October 13 that he “made an offer on a building that is meant to be a permanent home for Borderlands. On Wednesday that offer was accepted by the seller.” The deal will move Borderlands from its Mission neighborhood location at 866 Valencia St. to 1373 Haight Street, currently the home of Recycled Records. Beatts said, “It’s a little ...Read More

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