Monday, March 10, 2008

Seattle is the Nexus of the Power Booksellers

I found this on Shelf Awareness, a listserve for booksellers and librarians, and thought it would be a good idea to post it here:

Seattle: Book Industry Tastemaker

"The combined power in the book industry" of, Starbucks and
Costco, "three companies that increasingly influence what America
reads," has put Seattle "in the position of tastemaker," the New York
Times writes.

Interestingly Seattle's big three have widely varying approaches to
bookselling. Amazon tries to offer every book ever printed--and then
some. Costco stocks about 250 titles at any time in its 383 warehouses.
And Starbucks has sold two or three titles in the past year.

Among points in the article:

* In the last two years, sales of books through nontraditional outlets
grew $260 million, Al Greco, master of book numbers and marketing
professor at Fordham, said.
* Starbucks Entertainment, which oversees book, music and movie
selections for the company, has been in Los Angeles since 2006.
* Amazon's seven-person editorial team is mostly in their 30s and
"constantly reviews books and recommends its favorites."
* Costco's book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello, "has an uncanny knack
for leading customers to buy books, for molding their tastes," according
to Jeff Rogart of HarperCollins. The title she recommended in February,
Mr. Lincoln's Wars by Adam Braver, sold more in one month at Costco
after a Pennie pick (see her latest, for March, below) than it had sold
nationally in the three years beforehand.

The article also highlights the rise of Seattle's Nancy Pearl,
librarian, author of Book Lust and commentator of NPR.

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