January 29, 2020
Notes from the Advisory Council

Nice Things
By Alex Meriwether, Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, MA)
Hello NEIBA members! While I saw many of you at Winter Institute last week, the biggest Winter Institute ever with 750+ booksellers, there were certainly also many New England booksellers I didn't get to see in person. To all of you, I hope you were similarly energized by the experience, with notepads and brain cells bursting with ways to improve our businesses, enrich our communities, and cultivate and support the hardworking booksellers back home. To those who didn't attend, I hope you were able to follow the coverage in Shelf Awareness and scroll through the #Wi15 hashtag, and that you will benefit from your colleagues’ recaps and the videos of sessions that will be posted to  in coming days. 

Along with jotting down ways big and small to improve, streamline, and rethink store policies and procedures, I noted these words from Thursday’s breakfast keynote speaker, Jennifer Finney Boylan: "I'm here to remind you that sometimes the frustrating work that we do makes a huge difference." She spoke of the important work booksellers do to recommend and sell books by those whose experiences are "so radically different from our own."  She reminded us that such books allow us "to inhabit the lives of other people and visit worlds that we didn’t even know existed." And the reminder that "the frustrating work that we do makes a huge difference" extends to all the ways bookstores breathe life into a community and improve the days and lives of our customers. And it was so refreshing to hear Boylan acknowledge that this work is not always easy or rewarding. That's why we are all here. To learn how to be the best bookstores we can be. But sometimes it is frustrating. 

I hope that many of us have email folders for kind and grateful responses that come our way. At my store we maintain a list of "nice things" people say about us in their online reviews and social media. (The document name is “Nice things.) We have a bulletin board in the back office full of thank you notes from authors we've hosted over the years as well as other handwritten cards of all sorts, including a holiday card addressed to the staff of our store this December: "To Everyone at Harvard Bookstore, As the New Year approached, I want to say thank you for Enhancing the Quality of my Life." Each independent bookstore day we post a banner on the window of our sidestreet facade: "TELL US WHY YOU LOVE YOUR BOOKSTORE" with markers.
We don’t comb through all these comments as often as we could.
  • "I love that you support writers of color & diverse literature."
  • "Your store is filled with treasures and an excellent, and helpful staff." 
  • “Thank you again for making accommodations for us at last night's wonderful event. I know preparing for big events like last night's requires a lot of planning so I want to thank you for keeping people with disabilities in mind throughout that process. It makes a world of difference.”
  • "Diverse book displays make my heart feel happy when the world feels sad + overwhelming."
  • "Love the indies. Support local bookstores! I attend a lot of readings here, and my life is changed a little bit every single time."

So I take Boylan's words truly as a reminder, and one of many simple and direct action items for the return home that I think we would all find valuable. Collect these statements of customer gratitude wherever you can find them, and don't just keep them in a drawer. Put them on display for those you work with, circulate them in emails, collect them in a binder in the staff break room. Let's not bury the gratitude we indie booksellers receive every day. It’s natural to concentrate on the frustrations and the complaints and the never ending task lists. These things, Boylan notes, go hand in hand; so often the work that was frustrating can be the most instructive and rewarding. It's what makes us special. It makes a difference.
Items of Importance
February 1: Deadline for Holiday Catalog Insert Invoices, Social Media Posts, and Sales
(E-mail all materials to Click here to download the sales figures form .)

(Want a physical reminder? Print out this ABA-provided shelf talker for your office!)

February 21: Deadline for Massachusetts stores to submit ArtWeek Event applications
Massachusetts Stores: Apply to host an ArtWeek Event
Application Deadline is February 21
ArtWeek, Massachusetts' award-winning statewide festival, is calling for creative events that are hands-on, interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to arts, culture, and the creative economy. Since 2013, ArtWeek has offered 2,000+ unique experiences to adults and children of all ages and backgrounds. Anyone can host an ArtWeek event, from large organizations to individual artists, so long as events meet the following criteria:

  • The event takes place during the ten days of ArtWeek (May 1 - 10, 2020)
  • (Don't forget: Children's Book Week is May 4 - 10, 2020!)
  • The event charges attendees no more than $50 per person (most are free)
  • The event includes a special "ArtWeek twist" that is participatory, interactive, or offers behind-the-scenes access to a creative experience

Applications and additional information can be found here on ArtWeek's website.
Join us for a NEIBA Office-Warming Cocktail Party!
NEIBA's home is now One Beacon Street in downtown Boston! Join us for a tour of our space, as well as food and drink, on Thursday, February 13 at 5 PM — after our first Advisory Council meeting of 2020. Guests in our building must be pre-registered with security, so please RSVP to this event and we will have a visitor's badge waiting for you. Hope to see you here!
Finalists Named for PW's 2020
Bookstore and Sales Rep of the Year
Late last week, Publishers Weekly announced its finalists for their Bookstore of the Year and Sales Rep of the Year awards. Among the nominees are NEIBA Members Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA) and Maureen Karb of Como Sales . Congratulations, both! Winners will be honored at a ceremony this spring. To read the full list of nominees, click here.
Winter Institute Wrap-Up
Do you ship books back from Winter Institute?
Yes, there's no other way to get it all home.
No, I only take what I can carry.
Last Chance: Holiday Catalog Invoices Due 2/01
If you ordered the 2019 Holiday Catalog, don't forget to e-mail your display photos, insertion invoices, and sales figures to by the deadline: February 1, 2020. For a formatted sales figure document, please click here. We hope you had a very happy (and profitable) holiday season!
Got Education Ideas?
Following Winter Institute, we want to hear what education you're eager to receive from NEIBA in 2020 (and beyond). Whether it's preferred formats, topics, or anything in between — complete our survey, here, to make your voice heard!
Food for Thought
A round-up of pieces across publications

"Jack Reacher author Lee Child passes writing baton to brother"
(The Guardian)
Publishers: Are you on our "Call for Authors" List?
Would you like to receive notices when NEIBA is seeking authors
for its events? Is the person who received these notices for your
publisher no longer the in-house contact?

Social Media Spotlight
Titcomb's Bookshop (East Sandwich, MA)
@titcombsbookshop: Happy National Puzzle Day!!
Best Sellers   
for the week ended
Sunday January 26, 2020

Based on reporting from the independent booksellers of
NEIBA and IndieBound  

1. American Dirt New!
Jeanine Cummins, Flatiron Books, $27.99, 9781250209764
2. A Long Petal of the Sea New!
Isabel Allende, Ballantine, $28, 9781984820150
3. The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Harper, $27.99, 9780062963673
4. Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens, Putnam, $26, 9780735219090
5. Olive, Again
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $27, 9780812996548
6. Such a Fun Age
Kiley Reid, Putnam, $26, 9780525541905
7. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Ocean Vuong, Penguin Press, $26, 9780525562023
8. Long Bright River
Liz Moore, Riverhead Books, $26, 9780525540670
9. Dear Edward
Ann Napolitano, The Dial Press, $27, 9781984854780
10. The Starless Sea
Erin Morgenstern, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385541213
11. Agency New!
William Gibson, Berkley, $28, 9781101986936
12. The Giver of Stars
Jojo Moyes, Pamela Dorman Books, $28, 9780399562488
13. The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates, One World, $28, 9780399590597
14. The Topeka School
Ben Lerner, FSG, $27, 9780374277789
15. Trust Exercise New!
Susan Choi, Holt, $27, 9781250309884

1. A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America New!
Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig, Penguin Press, $30, 9781984877499
2. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Charlie Mackesy, HarperOne, $22.99, 9780062976581
3. Educated
Tara Westover, Random House, $28, 9780399590504
4. Say Nothing
Patrick Radden Keefe, Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385521314
5. The Body
Bill Bryson, Doubleday, $30, 9780385539302
6. Talking to Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell, Little Brown, $30, 9780316478526
7. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Lori Gottlieb, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9781328662057
8. You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples
Patricia Marx, Roz Chast (Illus.), Celadon Books, $20, 9781250225139
9. Boys & Sex
Peggy Orenstein, Harper, $28.99, 9780062666970
10. Tightrope
Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn, Knopf, $27.95, 9780525655084
11. The Blue Zones Kitchen
Dan Buettner, National Geographic, $30, 9781426220135
12. Successful Aging New!
Daniel J. Levitin, Dutton, $30, 9781524744182
13. The Yellow House
Sarah M. Broom, Grove Press, $26, 9780802125088
14. Catch and Kill
Ronan Farrow, Little Brown, $30, 9780316486637
15. Blowout
Rachel Maddow, Crown, $30, 9780525575474

1. The Overstory
Richard Powers, Norton, $18.95, 9780393356687
2. Little Fires Everywhere
Celeste Ng, Penguin, $17, 9780735224315
3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris, Harper, $16.99, 9780062797155
4. A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles, Penguin, $17, 9780143110439
5. Unsheltered
Barbara Kingsolver, Harper Perennial, $17.99, 9780062684738
6. Olive Kitteridge
Elizabeth Strout, Random House, $17, 9780812971835
7. The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah, St. Martin's Griffin, $17.99, 9781250229533
8. Little Women New!
Louisa May Alcott, Penguin, $16, 9780143135562
9. Girl, Woman, Other
Bernardine Evaristo, Grove Press/Black Cat, $17, 9780802156983
10. Little Women (Vintage Classics)
Louisa May Alcott, Vintage, $10, 9781984898852
11. We Must Be Brave New!
Frances Liardet, Putnam, $17, 9780735218871
12. There There
Tommy Orange, Vintage, $16, 9780525436140
13. The Woman in the Window
A.J. Finn, Morrow, $16.99, 9780062678423
14. All the Light We Cannot See New!
Anthony Doerr, Scribner, $17, 9781501173219
15. Before We Were Yours
Lisa Wingate, Ballantine, $17, 9780425284704

1. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Greta Thunberg, Penguin, $10, 9780143133568
2. Just Mercy
Bryan Stevenson, Spiegel & Grau, $17, 9780593133934
3. Born a Crime
Trevor Noah, Spiegel & Grau, $18, 9780399588198
4. Why Religion?: A Personal Story New!
Elaine Pagels, Ecco, $17.99, 9780062368546
5. Frederick Douglass New!
David W. Blight, S&S, $20, 9781416590323
6. The Library Book
Susan Orlean, S&S, $16.99, 9781476740195
7. The Source of Self-Regard
Toni Morrison, Vintage, $16.95, 9780525562795
8. White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo, Beacon Press, $16, 9780807047415
9. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive New!
Stephanie Land, Hachette Books, $15.99, 9780316505093
10. The Body Keeps the Score New!
Bessel van der Kolk, Penguin, $19, 9780143127741
11. Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari, Harper Perennial, $24.99, 9780062316110
12. Upstream: Selected Essays
Mary Oliver, Penguin, $17, 9780143130086
13. These Truths: A History of the United States New!
Jill Lepore, Norton, $19.95, 9780393357424
14. Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk New!
Jon Krakauer, Anchor, $15, 9781984897695
15. The Old Farmer's Almanac 2020
Old Farmer's Almanac, $8.95, 9781571988102

1. Dune
Frank Herbert, Ace, $10.99, 9780441172719
2. Good Omens
Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Morrow, $9.99, 9780062836977
3. Little Women New!
Louisa May Alcott, Signet, $6.99, 9780593198025
4. Elevation
Stephen King, Scribner, $9.99, 9781982102326
5. The Shining New!
Stephen King, Anchor, $8.99, 9780307743657
6. The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin, Ace, $9.99, 9780441478125
7. The Tourist
Olen Steinhauer, Minotaur, $9.99, 9781250622099
8. The Dispossessed New!
Ursula K. Le Guin, Harper Voyager, $7.99, 9780061054884
9. The Name of the Wind
Patrick Rothfuss, DAW, $9.99, 9780756404741
10. Wolf Pack New!
C.J. Box, Putnam, $9.99, 9780525538219

1. The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats, Viking Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780670012701
2. Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), Harper, $8.99, 9780694003617
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle, Putnam, $10.99, 9780399226908
4. Love from the Crayons
Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.), Penguin Workshop, $9.99, 9781524792688
5. Make Way for Ducklings
Robert McCloskey, Puffin, $7.99, 9780140564341
6. Blueberries for Sal New!
Robert McCloskey, Puffin, $7.99, 9780140501698
7. The Day the Crayons Quit New!
Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.), Philomel, $17.99, 9780399255373
8. The Snowy Nap New!
Jan Brett, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780399170737
9. The Serious Goose
Jimmy Kimmel, Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780525707752
10. In a Jar New!
Deborah Marcero, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9780525514596

1. Guts
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $12.99, 9780545852500
2. One of Us Is Next
Karen M. McManus, Delacorte Press, $19.99, 9780525707967
3. One of Us Is Lying New!
Karen M. McManus, Delacorte Press, $17.99, 9781524714680
4. Little Women
Louisa May Alcott, Puffin, $8.99, 9780142408766
5. Best Friends
Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illus.), First Second, $12.99, 9781250317469
6. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal New!
Jeff Kinney, Abrams, $13.99, 9781419740275
7. Sisters
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545540605
8. The Hate U Give New!
Angie Thomas, Balzer + Bray, $18.99, 9780062871350
9. Ghosts New!
Raina Telgemeier, Graphix, $10.99, 9780545540629
10. New Kid New!
Jerry Craft, Harper, $12.99, 9780062691194

1. Dog Man: Fetch-22
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338323214
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball
Jeff Kinney, Abrams, $14.99, 9781419739033
3. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $12.99, 9781338236590
4. The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #5)
Ransom Riggs, Dutton Books for Young Readers, $22.99, 9780735231504
5. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (The Questioneers) New!
Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Illus.), Abrams, $18.99, 9781419737046
6. Dog Man New!
Dav Pilkey, Graphix, $9.99, 9780545581608
7. Major Impossible (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, #9) New!
Nathan Hale, Abrams, $13.99, 9781419737084
8. The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3) New!
Maureen Johnson, Katherine Tegen Books, $18.99, 9780062338112
9. Keeper of the Lost Cities New!
Shannon Messenger, Aladdin, $9.99, 9781442445949
10. Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha, #2)
Tomi Adeyemi, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), $19.99, 9781250170996