Archive for November, 2011

Avoiding Getting Stuck With Special Orders

I’m getting tired of phone calls at home that are limited to 6-minutes, so today I went to The Source to order a new battery for the phone.  Historically, we’ve always believed that it’s cheaper to just buy new phones than replace the batteries, but we haven’t seen phone sets recently as low as $40, which is what it will cost when I get around to ordering the other one next month.  (Yes, we’re that poor.)  And there’s also the whole environmental thing of having a basement full of obsolete phone sets.

They wouldn’t take a phone order so I went in person expecting to leave a deposit.  Instead, they demanded full payment.  “The warehouse won’t ship parts unless it’s fully prepaid;” they guy told me.  Fair enough.

We don’t do it that way in our store because the ever-changing U.S. dollar value means different retail price settings on different days.  We don’t want to take a loss, and we don’t want to overcharge the customer.  We do take deposits, but we haven’t been hardline about this, especially with regular customers.  I suspect that even being a ‘regular’ at The Source wouldn’t change their policy. It’s a good policy, especially in tough times.

If anyone complains about our deposit policy, I now at least have an example to hold up for comparison.

Categories: Uncategorized

Batterson’s Circle Maker Shipping Early in Canada

I’m going to do a review on Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears closer to the release date, but I thought that fellow-dealers in Canada might want to know the hardcover* is shipping earlier than its originally announced January 2012.

This is Mark’s fifth book, but his first for Zondervan, and here in Canada, HarperCollins informs me the title is available for immediate shipping.

I finished the book over the weekend and this is a strong title that probably fits in best as taking Steven Furtick’s Sun Stand Still to the next level.  While Furtick is more concerned with praying big, Mark Batterson is concerned with how we actually go about doing this, our stance or posture before God as bring our concerns to Him.

I feel very strongly that this has the potential to do well if retailers will get behind it.  So even though my review is a few days away, here’s the 411 from the publisher:

Would knowing that your prayers will be answered change the way you pray? In The Circle Maker, Pastor Mark Batterson shares powerful insights from the true legend of Honi the Circle Maker, a believer who prayed miracles would happen to the people of God—and then they fell from the heavens like rain. Honi and Mark Batterson will help you bring your God-given dreams into being through bold, tenacious prayers that honor God and make the impossible come true.

According to Pastor Mark Batterson in his book, The Circle Maker, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” Do you ever sense that there’s far more to prayer, and to God’s vision for your life, than what you’re experiencing? It’s time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker—a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his prayers for his people. What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart’s deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer.

Mark Batterson serves as the lead pastor of National Community Church, one church with seven locations in Washington, DC.  Mark is the author of several best-selling books: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, and Primal. Mark is a popular speaker at leadership conferences, denominational gatherings and men’s retreats.  His articles appear in a wide-variety of periodicals including Leadership Journal, Rev, Outreach Magazine, and Relevant.  Mark and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children.

*Canadian dealers: There is an ITPE for this title; it’s currently scheduled for 12/16/11, but with the updating of the hardcover in the U.S. we’re hoping this will also get to market in time for pre-Christmas sales.

Amazon Vows To Eliminate All The Middle-men

Perhaps unaware of all the implications contained in the declaration of war he was issuing against the traditional book industry, Amazon company executive Russell Grandinetti stated, “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and the reader.”

What’s significant about his remarks is that, as brick and mortar stores are squeezed out of the process, we still like to think that publishing will otherwise continue as we know it, with acquisitions staff, editors and marketing departments, but Grandinetti’s remarks have reverberations that really affect more people than those who are part of the retail chain; his remarks beg the question if there need even be publishers at all.

I say that because the quotation appears in the middle of an October 28th story by Toronto Star business reporter John Goddard (now available only in The Star’s paid archives) which he compiled with files from Bloomberg News and The Times; a story which states that Amazon as paid actress and director Penny Marshall (Laverne of TV’s Laverne and Shirley) an $800,000 (U.S.) advance for her next book.

And Crain’s business news website confirmed a week later that Amazon Publishing has signed new age author Deepak Chopra; though this time the author’s advance is unknown.  “The deal marks the imprint’s third foray into territory once reserved for traditional houses since industry veteran Larry Kirshbaum was named publisher last May.”

Well, at least they have someone acting as publisher; it’s not being carried on by machines.  But Grandinetti’s remark bears repeating one more time; “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and the reader.” The times, they are a-changing.

Market Borderlines Blurring Across Multiple Industries

In our industry, we tend to cry foul when a particular broadcast organization is offering a title in paperback that we can only access in hardcover, or when a major publisher releases a title as eBook only, cutting us off any from potential sales.

But it happens to grocery stores, too; and it’s currently happening with, of all things, ketchup.  Heinz is releasing a new type of the red sauce that’s based on balsamic vinegar instead of white vinegar, but it’s being sold exclusively on Facebook. 

The glass bottle is $2.49 plus a $2.00 shipping charge; as opposed to the standard plastic bottle of the regular stuff for $1.89 (all prices U.S.). 

But Facebook as a point of sale?  John Goddard, business reporter for The Toronto Star cites Queen’s University marketing professor Ken Wong who believe the Facebook campaign marks a maturing of corporate use of social media.

Still, it’s got to leave longtime accounts of Heinz frustrated to not be worthy of the product’s test marketing.

The October 28th story is now available only in The Star’s paid archives

The story is available at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Consumer Reports

An Advent Devotional of Another Kind

November 23, 2011 1 comment

If you’re looking for something to recommend for pre-Christmas reading, I’ve just started into a new release of Magnify The Lord, a classic by Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) based entirely on Mary’s response to the announcement from the angel that she is the chosen one to bear God’s son.  While the text is KJV, and the format is an unadvertised large print — both factors suggesting an older audience — this is a preacher who needs to be read by a new generation.  I’ll be reviewing the book at Thinking Out Loud in about a week.

Publisher marketing:

How do we respond to the sheer wonder of the incarnation of God’s Son? Mary responded to the announcement of the birth of the Saviour with a song of praise. Her words were deep and with feeling – truly an experience which had affected her inner being. Yes, she was confused at first but she was willing to submit to God. She praises God for His character and for keeping His promises even when circumstances seemed to contradict that with the long wait over centuries for the Messiah. Martyn Lloyd-Jones meditates on Mary’s Song of Praise and applies it to our lives. He looks at our response to God and how God deals with us. We find that the new birth is all of God and nothing of ourselves.

Christian Focus Publishing •  9781845507541

Read a brief excerpt from the bookclick here.

Kingsbury Cover Confusion?

Is it me or was a different cover originally proposed for book # 3 in Karen Kingsbury’s Bailey Flanigan series?  Or is the hardcover jacketed differently than the trade paperback?  Either way, the book releases Tuesday and is probably one of the most anticipated fiction releases for fall.  (The one on the left appears as the hardcover from Zondervan on the Ingram site, and is also shown with the large print version.)

Recommended Classics

November 19, 2011 1 comment

I love books that actually help booksellers sell other books.This list is from Renovaré.

“In 25 Books Every Christian Should Read, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, Chris Webb, and a diverse editorial board of leaders have identified the most helpful and historic books for Christian discipleship and created a resource that helps us make the most of them.  With sizable excerpts from each book, 25 Books helps individual readers and small groups get a taste of and work through the most important books for formation in Christlikeness.  It is a reader’s guide for the devotional history of the Church.  From On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius to Pensées by Blaise Pascal to The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, this list and this resource will lead you on a journey of discipleship that few in the history of the Church have experienced and help you become like Jesus.   HarperOne, softcover, 416 pages.” 

And what are those books you ask?

Getting To Know Your Competitor

Then again, you might not want to know all of this information.  (Click the image to bring it up to full size on your screen.)

Nelson Locks Top Four Spots on Bookstore Manager List

Author (Pub.) [Cat.] {Bind.}
Jesus Calling
Young, Sarah (NEL) [INS] {CL}
SKU: 9781591451884
Heaven Is For Real
Burpo, Todd (NEL) [INS] {TP}
SKU: 9780849946158
Nearing Home
Graham, Billy (NEL) [CLV] {CL}
SKU: 9780849948329
Heaven Is For Real For Kids
Burpo, Todd (NEL) [INS] {CL}
SKU: 9781400318704
Categories: Uncategorized

InterVarsity Purchasing Biblica Book Division

November 16, 2011 2 comments

From IVP’s Andy LePeau on Tuesday:

InterVarsity Press has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Biblica Books, the book-publishing arm of Biblica Worldwide. In the acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the calendar year, IVP will obtain 170 current Biblica Books titles, as well as nearly 30 forthcoming books. This includes Operation World, the definitive global prayer guide that’s now in its seventh edition.

Biblica has translated the Bible into more than 100 languages and is the translation sponsor and publisher of the New International Version® (NIV) Bible, the most widely read and trusted contemporary English translation. It recently made a strategic decision to narrow its focus to the Bible, and went in search for the right strategic publisher to take on its book-publishing portfolio. That search led Biblica ultimately to IVP.

[…continue reading here…]

Click here for the official IVP announcement.  No announcement was on the Biblica website when this was posted.

Biblica Top Ten (from STL Distributors)

  1. Operation World
  2. Window on the World
  3. Glad News
  4. Putting Together The Puzzle of the Old Testament
  5. This Changes Everything
  6. Last Things Revealed
  7. Operation World w/ CD-ROM
  8. Cat and Dog Theology
  9. Finding God in The Shack
  10. Besides The Bible

Biblica Top Ten (from CBD)

  1. Operation World
  2. Window on the World
  3. Once Saved Always Saved
  4. Putting Together the Puzzle of the New Testament
  5. Grace for the Afflicted
  6. Glad News
  7. Cat and Dog Theology
  8. Putting Together the Puzzle of the Old Testament
  9. The Mission Minded Family
  10. True to His Word

Well Really, It Was Just a Matter of Time…

November 15, 2011 4 comments

…click the image to visit the website…

…what’s more, it works with a variety of devices and formats!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Make More Time For Reading

Here’s a great article to cut and paste, or simply send the link to that customer you know who’s reading time is waning of late; or that music or card customer who claims there’s just no time to get into the book habit.

Robert Bruce guests at Michael Hyatt’s place with 5 Ways to Make More Time to Read.

Note: You might need to lead by example here.  Show me a store where book sales are dying, and I’ll show you a store where the management and staff have lost their passion for print.