Oil Mixes Well With Books

Andrew AlbaneseWith summer in the rear-view mirror, and signs pointing straight ahead for “Holiday Season,” booksellers large and small are getting a preliminary read on the state of the industry 2013.

This week, Len Riggio, Barnes & Noble Inc. chairman and largest stockholder, made his first public appearance since he declined in August to purchase the chain’s retail stores. “Riggio said he was confident in the stores’ future,” Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “But he also got a little testy with the institutional shareholders who have pressured him repeatedly over the future of the cash-bleeding Nook Media division.” Last month, Barnes & Noble reported a consolidated $87 million first quarter loss.

For independent booksellers, 2013 is a year of extremes, Albanese notes. Many find themselves on the brink of closure, but in North Dakota, an oil boom has helped Val Stadick’s seven-year-old bookstore Main Street Books, in Minot. “Stadick told PW she has bounced back from a flood two years ago, with sales up 10% to 20%. She anticipates her 2013 will be her best year ever,” he says.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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