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Newsletter #86 June August, 2009

Award News

        The nominees for Hugo Award for Best Novel are Little Brother by Cory Doctorow ($17.95 signed later printings available), The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ($17.99), Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi ($7.99), Anathem by Neal Stephenson ($29.95), and Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross ($24.95, $7.99 pb due early July).

        The winner of the Nebula Award for novel was Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin ($7.99).

        The Locus Award finalists for Science Fiction Novel are Matter by Iain M. Banks ($14.99), City at the End of Time by Greg Bear ($27.00), Marsbound by Joe Haldeman ($24.95, $7.99 pb due early August), Anathem by Neal Stephenson ($29.95), and Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross ($24.95, $7.99 pb due early July).
        The Locus Award finalist for Fantasy Novel are The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford ($14.99), Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin ($14.95), The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia A. McKillip ($23.95), The Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick ($7.99), and An Evil Guest by Gene Wolfe ($25.95).
        The Locus Award finalist for First Novel are Thunderer by Felix Gilman ($6.99), Black Ships by Jo Graham ($14.99), Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory ($13.00), The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway ($25.95), and Singularity’s Ring by Paul Melko ($7.99).
        The Locus Award finalists for Young-Adult Novel are Little Brother by Cory Doctorow ($17.95), The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ($17.99), Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan ($16.99), Nation by Terry Pratchett ($16.99), and Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi ($7.99).

        The Edgar Award winners included Best Novel to Blue Heaven by C. J. Box ($24.95 signed hardcover or $7.99 pb); Best First Novel by an American Author to The Foreigner by Francie Lin ($14.00); Best Paperback Original to China Lake by Meg Gardiner ($7.99). The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award went to The Killer’s Wife by Bill Floyd ($23.95).

        The Agatha Award for Best Novel went to The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny ($7.99), and the other finalists were Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews ($22.95), A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen ($23.95, $7.99 pb due early July), Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry ($26.00 signed hc or $7.99 pb), and I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming ($24.95 signed hc or $7.99 pb).
        The Agatha Award for Best First Novel went to Death of a Cozy Writer by G. M. Malliet ($13.95), and the other finalists were Through a Glass, Deadly by Sarah Atwell ($6.99), The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis ($6.99), Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris ($6.99), and Paper, Scissors, Death by Joanna Campbell ($14.95).

        The 2009 Thriller Award finalists for Best Thriller of the Year are Hold Tight by Harlan Coben ($9.99), The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffrey Deaver ($26.95, $9.99 pb due early August), The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver ($9.99), The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross ($7.99), and The Last Patriot by Brad Thor ($9.99).
        The finalist for Best First Novel are Calumet City by Charlie Newton ($14.00), Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith ($7.99), Criminal Paradise by Steven Thomas ($7.99), Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton ($24.95, $14.95 tr pb due early June), The Killer’s Wife by Bill Floyd ($23.95).

How’s Business?
By Don Blyly

        As I write this, three of the major publishers have announced over the last three days that they had major losses for the first quarter. All of the chains are hurting, and customers keep commenting on how severely the chains have cut back on the number of titles in stock. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that for the first quarter bookstore sales were down 4.2%, compared to all of retail being down 10.2%. Here at the Uncles, we’ve had seven months in a row with sales up compared to the same month the year before. But the publishers still need to meet their payroll and pay the printers even if the chains aren’t paying their bills, so they keep squeezing the little guys for faster payment. For example, I paid one publisher what they wanted by the end of April, and a week into May they were demanding immediate payment for invoices due the end of May. As a result of the squeezing, things are still very tight even with business up a little.
        We’ve notice that lots of books are coming in at higher prices than was originally announced when we ordered the books. Some of the hardcovers or trade paperbacks are going up tiny amounts, like from an announced price of $14.95 to a price printed on the book of $14.99 or $15.00–not much difference to us or to the customer, but more work when checking books into the computer system the first time the books arrive. I guess that extra 4 cents on the cover must add up over 10,000 or 20,000 copies for the publishers, but it would be nice if they decided to raise the price before sending out the catalogs to get our orders. But a lot of the mass market paperbacks we had bought at $6.99 have been coming in at $7.99. For this issue of the newsletter, we’ve also noticed a lot more changing of the title of books when moving from hardcover to paperback. With all of the changes, we checked the information on every title against the website for our book wholesaler, correcting prices, changing release dates, and wiping out titles that the publishers canceled.



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