Links roundup

I should do this more often.

From Marlene Perez’s blog (


On Monday, I volunteered at the Scholastic book fair, where I sold several copies of 

 CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET CATHOLIC. I also convinced myself to buy a stack of books that I’m pretty sure I don’t absolutely need. Wanna hear the top question asked at the book fair? It was–Got any books about dragons?

(We do! We do!)

Question: in your own trend-watching, do you find that people are looking for dragon books? 

Also, two children’s lit bloggers interview each other. The one I find most interesting because, as interviewer Andrew Carre says, we don’t hear from independent buyers often, is the one of Jennifer Laughran (

), a buyer for Books, Inc in San Francisco and the one in charge of Not Your Mother’s Book Club.

I especially like her point that “
Yep, covers are important, but not as much as numbers for the authors’ previous books, the reputation of the imprint, the production style, the retail price, etc. The thing that is probably the most important, though, is the sales rep’s faith in the book … and really, how much we trust the rep.”

The chains obviously look at all those other things too–price and style are important to them as much as covers, I’m sure–but I’m sure we’ve all heard how they also care a lot about the covers. And covers are important! I love covers. It’s just interesting to see the different perspectives between independent buyers–who serve a much more specific market and can tailor their buying accordingly–and buyers who deal with such large numbers that they have to think on more general terms across the country.

Also, she talks about how she has to figure out if she can personally convince the individual salespeople in the store branches to handsell, and whether it’s worth it for each book. Interesting stuff. I worked as a children’s bookseller in a B&N back in grad school and did a lot of handselling because I knew children’s books, but I’ve always felt it to be more personal in an independent–I loved dropping into the Children’s Book Shop down the street from my apartment in Brookline, MA, not only to talk to a former Simmons classmate who worked there, but also to hear the booksellers’ opinions on new books. It also helped tha
t they were nice enough to give Simmons students a discount, but I would have made it a point to buy from them as often as possible anyway.

Then in turn she interviews Andrew Carre in his persona as YA editor at Flux, the new Llewellyn imprint.