The NCIBA in Pictures
Northern California Independent Booksellers Honor Local Authors With Book of the Year Awards
Booksellers from more than 100 independent bookstores, all members of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association (NCIBA), have chosen the winners of the 2014 Book of the Year Awards, honoring books in 8 different categories that were first published in 2013. This year, the board of NCIBA also selected two poetry collections of Robert Duncan for Special Mention.
Member bookstores will receive this full-color poster (3.9MB PDF) featuring all the winning titles.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Hogarth)
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach (W.W. Norton)
Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco by Gary Kamiya (Bloomsbury)
CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK (Tie)
Battle Bunny by Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Dark by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
MIDDLE GRADE READERS
Al Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko (Dial)
Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks by Amy Stewart (Algonquin)
Fire Break by George Albon (Nightboat Books)
Robert Duncan: The Collected Later Poems and Plays by Robert Duncan & Peter Quartermain (Editor), University of California Press
Robert Duncan: Collected Essays and Other Prose by Robert Duncan & James Maynard (Editor), University of California Press
Hut’s Place: Weekly Words About Books
Weekly Column Touts New Titles, Good Reads On Store Shelves
NCIBA Executive Director Hut Landon is now writing a weekly column called HUT’S PLACE. The column, which is sent via email through Constant Contact to subscribers (for free), is aimed at book consumers. The goal is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what booksellers are recommending in their stores, comment on titles landing on bestseller lists, and pass on occasional news about the book world.
Oh, and singing the praises of independent bookstores as often as possible.
Hut’s Place is not a place for long, wordy reviews or literary criticism; it’s designed to be a quick, fun read for book-buying customers and to motivate them to visit their local independent more frequently. Back issues of the column can be accessed here.
If you’re so inclined, email and we’ll send you a copy of the column. Then, if you’d like to help spread the word, simply forward that email to anyone you think would be interested; let them know they can subscribe for free by clicking the Join Our Mailing List button in the column.
New Name, New Focus for NCIBA Fall Show
Reflecting booksellers’ interest in discovering new things — be it books, authors, or information — we’ve renamed our trade show the NCIBA Discovery Show and will be asking exhibitors to choose “Discover Me” titles for display at their tables and booths. More information can be found in our Exhibitor Packet (651KB PDF).
Sales, Spirits Soar on California Bookstore Day
Well, That Worked!
California Bookstore Day was a big success for participating bookstores up and down the state. The word was out, spirits were high, and bookstores were mobbed.
Dozens of stores reported surpassing sales from the first Saturday last year, many within the first 2-3 hours of the day, and overall increases of 50% and more were not uncommon!
Many stores also reported visits from first-time customers as well lines in front of the store at opening. One bookseller noted that average first-hour Saturday sales at her store were in the $200-$300 range; on California Bookstore Day, the first hour produced $3200 in sales.
All of the specially-produced items were popular, although the Neil Gaiman book attracted the most collectors. Interestingly, anecdotal store reports show differing levels of sales for almost all the CBD pieces, although the Literary Map has been mentioned most often as the item stores wished they had ordered more of.
One thing we do know for sure is that social media works. We were pleased with the coverage the event received in traditional media (including a national story in the Christian Science Monitor), but it was hardly overwhelming. On the other hand, bookstores’ outreach to their customers via email, Facebook, Twitter, and more was extraordinary, and the message spread as authors, publishers, bloggers, and book fans of all stripes passed the word along.
The CBD special items also served as linchpins for the effort, providing ongoing opportunities to talk about the day — both in words and pictures. You can find lots of examples on the Twitter feed on our website, as well as our Facebook page.
As is always the case with any NCIBA activity, this was truly a group effort. Pete Mulvihill gets credit for not only coming up with the idea but remaining fully involved with the planning and implementation, and Samantha Schoech deserves kudos for producing an event that kept re-creating and re-defining itself as we added the likes of self-publishing, stencil wood purchasing, distribution, and cat herding to her job description. This was a huge organizational challenge and one that she handled with professionalism and (most days) minimal stress.
NCIBA administrator Elsa Eder added CBD bookkeeping and invoicing to her regular duties, while the NCIBA board of directors held packing parties for items distributed by NCIBA and served as an invaluable sounding board for almost a year. Bookseller Zack Ruskin built and maintained the CBD website, and SCIBA executive director Andrea Vuleta kept Southern California booksellers informed and engaged.
On the publisher side, everyone who participated in creating merchandise and giveaways for the day was enthusiastic and supportive, even when we didn’t really know what the heck we were talking about. Of note — Scholastic absorbed the cost of producing and printing the Brian Selznick print, and Penguin donated their Michael Pollan recipe box proceeds to NCIBA. Baker & Taylor, meanwhile, covered the entire printing bill for our joke book, a $4500 gift.
We were also most grateful for a $15,000 grant from James Patterson and generous financial support from ABA as well, not to mention the hundreds of book lovers who got this project off the ground by collectively contributing more than $13,000 to our Indiegogo campaign last summer.
There were many other contributions, both large and small, from booksellers, sales reps, publishing executives, and others. Not surprisingly, California Bookstore Day was a showcase of the independent bookselling community at its finest.