December 11, 2019
Notes from the Advisory Council

The Fine Art of Motivation
By Laura Cummings, White Birch Books (North Conway, NH)
We’re all right in the middle of the madness that is December shopping. For the most part it is awesome – lots of shoppers, great sales, our favorite customers, fourth quarter books and best-of lists, just to name a few. There are some tough spots, too. Late shipments, damaged books, testy customers, and disappearing stock are par for the course this time of year.

I always think the good far outweighs the bad, but there are still some mornings that it’s hard to think about heading in to work. And if it’s hard for me, I know it’s hard for my staff. So at this time of year, more than any other, motivation is extremely important.

Before this season began, I suggested that we have a competition of sorts. Previous staff had thrived on competition and I always thought it was fun. We could each pick a few of our favorite reads and then have a handselling contest. At the end of a certain interval, rewards would be given. This idea went over like a lead balloon with my current crew. In fact, the whole idea of competition was discarded. For them, it was the anti-motivation!

From there, we all had a really good conversation about what would motivate everyone. We came up with our Tiers of Achievement, which is basically as far from competition as you can get. With the Tiers, we celebrate everyone’s achievements as all of our achievements. When Jess wrote an awesome book review and the publisher wanted to use it in their marketing, it was a win! When Liz handsold a couple of copies of  Sisters of the Vast Black  by Lina Rather (about nuns on a living spaceship), we considered it a step on the achievement tier. Iris used her chalk skills to do up our December calendar — another step on the tier.

We’ve gotten to a point where we find an achievement, or two or three, to celebrate every day even if it is simply getting to the end of the day. This has been a really fun and invigorating thing. Sometimes it makes us laugh and often it makes us quite proud of ourselves. The biggest thing, though, is that it has made us into a great, cohesive team.
Attend an All-Kid Lit All About the Books
Join us in Boston on January 15, 2020!
Attending Authors
Cynthia L. Copeland, author & illustrator of  Cub
Isaac Fitzgerald, author of  How to be a Pirate
Iona Hobai, author of  A Whale of a Mistake
Janae Marks, author of  From the Desk of Zoe Washington
Cammie McGovern, author of  Just Breathe
Oge Mora, illustrator of  The Oldest Student
Lesléa Newman, author of  Welcoming Elijah
Maria Padian, author of  How to Build a Heart
Diana Urban, author of   All Your Twisted Secrets
Maris Wicks, illustrator of  Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

Afternoon Education: “How to Write Next-Level Blurbs"
Writing effective blurbs is a necessary part of every bookseller’s toolkit. Blurbs can not only move books forward—by convincing a buyer to bring a book into your store, or motivate a customer to purchase—but can serve to move a bookseller’s career forward by bringing them to the attention of the industry as a whole. But we can all agree that writing blurbs is STRESSFUL. How do you craft a high-quality, intriguing blurb in 150 words? (…or sometimes less!) What is the hook you need? What words or phrases should you avoid? In this education session, taught by both publisher staff and blurb-master booksellers, learn what publishers look for when seeking the right blurb to promote their books, and how booksellers can write interesting and concise recommendations that work both in-store and out. Please bring a review you’re working on (either a hard copy or on your phone) to workshop with the goal of improving/expanding it…and reducing anxiety about the process as a whole. 

Schedule of Events
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM — Author Readings
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM — Lunch with Authors
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM — Education Program

This meeting will take place at the Beacon Press offices
(24 Farnsworth Street) in Boston on Wednesday, January 15.

The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019
The New York Times has revealed its list of 100 notable books from 2019. If you are a New York Times subscriber, you can view the list on their website.

Since not everyone is a subscriber, we've also created an Edelweiss collection of these titles for your use. This information is also on the NEIBA website.
Reading to Feline Friends at Byrd's Books 🐾
Last week, Byrd's Books in Bethel, CT hosted a "PAWS to Read" event where children read to adoptable cats and kittens. The Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) brought five feline friends to the store to help find their forever homes. Meanwhile, children read to the animals from their favorite books. A win-win! See more photos from this event on Facebook.
More than 50 NEIBA booksellers won
the 2019 James Patterson Holiday Bonus! 🎉

To read all their names (and visit their stores online), visit our website.
Nominate your peers for Publishers Weekly 's
Bookstore and Sales Rep of the Year Awards!
Deadline for submissions is January 6
Those ties to the book industry are invited to nominate their favorite bookstores and sales representatives for the Bookstore and Sales Rep of the Year Awards. (Please note that candidates cannot nominate themselves, nor can family members nominate them.) Finalists will be named at Winter Institute 15 in Baltimore in January 2020. Winners will receive a write-up in the pre-BookExpo issue of Publishers Weekly ’s print magazine in May 2020 and will be honored at an awards ceremony in New York City at BookExpo. 

For Bookstore of the Year: PW will honor an independently owned brick-and-mortar bookstore in the U.S. that has been in operation for at least four years. In your nomination, please note what makes the bookstore special and provide contact information, including your name and industry affiliation. Bookstores that have previously received the award cannot be considered, nor can their sister stores.

For Sales Rep of the Year: We welcome nominations for outstanding telephone and house reps as well as independent sales representatives. Please include an example of the rep’s commitment to excellence, as well as contact information, including your name and industry affiliation. Sales representatives can only win the award once.

Please e-mail nominations Judith Rosen at by January 6.
Food for Thought
A round-up of pieces across publications.
Promotions for Holiday/Re-Stock Orders
Wondering which publishers/wholesalers have special
promotions for holiday and re-stock orders?

To receive this grid by e-mail every Monday,
e-mail Ali the names and emails of those who would like to receive it.
Social Media Spotlight
Compass Rose Books (Castine, ME)
@ compassrosebooks : Ex Libris. New Latin, meaning ‘from the books’. Bookplates have been Used by bibliophiles since the early 1800’s to identify their own personal libraries. We also love this tradition and think it quite perfect for any book lover.
Best Sellers   
for the week ended
Sunday December 8, 2019

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of
NEIBA and IndieBound  

1. The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
2. Olive, Again
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $27, 9780812996548
3. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
4. The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385541213
5. The Testaments
Margaret Atwood, Nan A. Talese, $28.95, 9780385543781
6. The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $28, 9780399590597
7. Under Occupation
Alan Furst, Random House, $27, 9780399592300
8. Agent Running in the Field New!
John le Carré, Viking, $29, 9781984878878
9. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023
10. Nothing to See Here
Kevin Wilson, Ecco, $26.99, 9780062913463
11. The Guardians
John Grisham, Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385544184
12. The Giver of Stars
Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $28, 9780399562488
13. The Topeka School
Ben Lerner, FSG, $27, 9780374277789
14. Blue Moon
Lee Child, Delacorte Press, $28.99, 9780399593543
15. The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead, Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385537070

1. The Body
Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $30, 9780385539302
2. Talking to Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
3. Blowout
Rachel Maddow, Crown, $30, 9780525575474
4. A Warning
Anonymous, Twelve, $30, 9781538718469
5. The Pioneers New!
David McCullough, S&S, $30, 9781501168680
6. The Book of Gutsy Women New!
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, S&S, $35, 9781501178412
7. How To
Randall Munroe, Riverhead Books, $28, 9780525537090
8. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
9. Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse
John Lithgow, Chronicle Prism, $19.95, 9781452182759
10. Me
Elton John, Holt, $30, 9781250147608
11. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat New!
Samin Nosrat, Wendy MacNaughton (Illus.), S&S, $35, 9781476753836
12. Edison New!
Edmund Morris, Random House, $38, 9780812993110
13. The Yellow House: A Memoir
Sarah M. Broom, Grove Press, $26, 9780802125088
14. The Education of an Idealist New!
Samantha Power, Dey Street Books, $29.99, 9780062820693
15. Finding Chika New!
Mitch Albom, Harper, $24.99, 978006295239

1. The Overstory
Richard Powers, Norton, $18.95, 9780393356687
2. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles, Penguin, $17, 9780143110439
3. Unsheltered
Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Perennial, $17.99, 9780062684738
4. The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris, Harper, $16.99, 9780062797155
5. Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng, Penguin, $17, 9780735224315
6. Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $17, 9780812971835
7. The Best American Short Stories 2019
Anthony Doerr, Heidi Pitlor (Eds.), Mariner, $15.99, 9781328484246
8. The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's Griffin, $17.99, 9781250229533
9. Before We Were Yours
Lisa Wingate, Ballantine, $17, 9780425284704
10. There There
Tommy Orange, Vintage, $16, 9780525436140
11. Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo, Grove Press/Black Cat, $17, 9780802156983
12. Nine Perfect Strangers
Liane Moriarty, Flatiron Books, $17.99, 9781250069832
13. The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood, Anchor, $15.95, 9780525435006
14. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine New!
Gail Honeyman, Penguin, $16, 9780735220690
15. Washington Black
Esi Edugyan, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525563242

1. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Greta Thunberg, Penguin, $10, 9780143133568
2. The Old Farmer's Almanac 2020
Old Farmer's Almanac, $8.95, 9781571988102
3. The Library Book
Susan Orlean, S&S, $16.99, 9781476740195
4. Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari, Harper Perennial, $22.99, 9780062316110
5. Upstream: Selected Essays
Mary Oliver, Penguin, $17, 9780143130086
6. Born a Crime
Trevor Noah, Spiegel & Grau, $18, 9780399588198
7. Calypso
David Sedaris, Back Bay, $17.99, 9780316392426
8. Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk
Jon Krakauer, Anchor, $15, 9781984897695
9. Braiding Sweetgrass New!
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Milkweed Editions, $18, 9781571313560
10. These Truths: A History of the United States
Jill Lepore, Norton, $19.95, 9780393357424
11. The Best American Food Writing 2019
Samin Nosrat, Sylvia Killingsworth (Eds.), Mariner, $15.99, 9781328662255
12. Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump New!
Neal Katyal, Sam Koppelman, Mariner, $14.99, 9780358391173
13. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019
Sy Montgomery, Jaime Green (Eds.), Mariner, $15.99, 9781328519009
14. The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy New!
Michael Lewis, Norton, $16.95, 9780393357455
15. Holidays on Ice New!
David Sedaris, Back Bay, $12, 9780316078917

1. Elevation
Stephen King, Scribner, $9.99, 9781982102326
2. Good Omens
Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Morrow, $9.99, 9780062836977
3. Dune
Frank Herbert, Ace, $10.99, 9780441172719
4. Doctor Sleep
Stephen King, Pocket, $10.99, 9781982138868
5. Ender's Game New!
Orson Scott Card, Tor, $7.99, 9780812550702
6. The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin, Ace, $9.99, 9780441478125
7. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary New!
Merriam-Webster, $8.50, 9780877795964
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams, Del Rey, $7.99, 9780345391803
9. The Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $9.99, 9780756404741
10. Mistborn: The Final Empire New!
Brandon Sanderson, Tor, $8.99, 9780765350381

1. The Crayons' Christmas
Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.), Penguin Workshop, $19.99, 9780525515746
2. Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
Matt Tavares, Candlewick, $17.99, 9781536201376
3. The Serious Goose New!
Jimmy Kimmel, Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780525707752
4. The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats, Viking Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780670012701
5. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost, Susan Jeffers (Illus.), Dutton, $16.99, 9780525467342
6. The Snowy Nap
Jan Brett, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780399170737
7. The Shortest Day
Susan Cooper, Carson Ellis (Illus.), Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763686987
8. The Polar Express
Chris Van Allsburg, HMH Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780544580145
9. The Mitten
Jan Brett, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $8.99, 9780399231094
10. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617

1. Guts
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $12.99, 9780545852500
2. Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks New!
Jason Reynolds, Alexander Nabaum (Illus.), Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, $17.99, 9781481438285
3. Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers New!
Anna James, Paola Escobar (Illus.), Philomel Books, $16.99, 9781984837127
4. A Tale of Magic...
Chris Colfer, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780316523479
5. LEGO Holiday Ideas: More than 50 Festive Builds New!
DK Children, $14.99, 9781465485779
6. White Bird: A Wonder Story
R.J. Palacio, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $24.99, 9780525645535
7. Scholastic Year in Sports 2020 New!
James Buckley Jr., Scholastic, $9.99, 9781338565508
8. National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 New!
National Geographic Children's Books, $14.99, 9781426332814
9. My Book with No Pictures
B.J. Novak, Dial Books, $9.99, 9780593111017
10. The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs
America's Test Kitchen Kids, Sourcebooks Explore, $19.99, 9781492677697

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball
Jeff Kinney, Abrams, $14.99, 9781419739033
2. Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha, #2) New!
Tomi Adeyemi, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), $19.99, 9781250170996
3. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (The Questioneers)
Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Illus.), Abrams, $18.99, 9781419737046
4. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338236590
5. The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2)
Philip Pullman, Knopf Books for Young Readers, $22.99, 9780553510669
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Illustrated Edition
J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illus.), Arthur A. Levine Books, $47.99, 9780545791427
7. The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle
Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illus.), Candlewick, $14.99, 9781536202212
8. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, #1) New!
Tomi Adeyemi, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), $18.99, 9781250170972
9. The Princess in Black New!
Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illus.), Candlewick, $6.99, 9780763678883
10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone New!
J.K.Rowling, Scholastic, $10.99, 9780590353427