About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What we live for


The Voyager imprint at HarperCollins UK has been getting behind Peter V. Brett's THE PAINTED MAN in the nicest possible way, and their paperback edition went on sale with a really big push with perfect timing for me to admire while I was over this past week for London Book Fair.  The picture on the right was taken at the Borders UK flagship store on Oxford Street, and a similar display was at the Borders in Islington as well.  The picture on the left comes from the Waterstone's flagship store at Picadilly Circus, where we could see the number of copies on the display slowly dwindle over the course of our week in London.  It's a great book, available in the US under the title the WARDED MAN, and Peter just got big press in the Daily News and on the local cable news channel.

In other bookstore notes, Borders UK which was sold in a leveraged buyout a while back is no longer using the Borders US inventory system, so I wasn't able to read inventory stickers on this trip.   Took some of the fun away.  And Borders UK seemed to be running a tighter ship inventory wise, without the overcrowded shelves and multiple copies of some books that I'd seen in prior years.  They've sold or closed most of the mall store Books Etc. branches that had been the initial entry point for Borders in the UK so now it's superstores or bust with only a handful of mall stores left.  They have books like the Greywalker novels by Kat Richardson and the Harper Connelly by Charlaine Harris in a paranormal romance section, which isn't the first place I'd choose to look.  It's hard to find Charlaine's Sookie books right now because the UK editions are moving from Orbit, which has stopped shipping, to Gollancz, which starts up in June to coincide with the UK launch of True Blood.  Waterstone's seems steady as a rock in their selection.  Both chains have a lot of the paranormal crossover authors like Laurell K. Hamilton shelved in whole or in part in their horror section, largely because that's where Laurell's Anita Blake books went when they first came out and thus the habit gets established.  Murder One was long a mainstay of Charing Cross Road but recently closed, leaving Forbidden Planet as the major specialty shop on the West End.  I don't like Foyles.  They have an OK selection at their main store on Charing Cross, but their branches in St. Pancras International train station and in the Westfield London shopping mall didn't even have PAINTED MAN.  W. H. Smiths runs stores of varying sizes from little train station shoeboxes to huge stores in big malls, but none of them were doing well by JABberwocky either.