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Newsletter #102 June August, 2013

Award News

        The nominees for the Hugo Award for Best Novel are Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed ($7.99), Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold ($25.00 signed), Blackout by Mira Grant ($9.99), 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson ($25.99), and Redshirts by John Scalzi ($14.99).

        The finalists for the Nebula Award for Best Novel are Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed ($7.99), Ironskin by Tina Connolly ($24.99), The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin ($14.99), The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan ($16.00), Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal ($14.99), and 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson ($25.99).

        The Edgar Award winners included Best Novel to Live by Night by Dennis Lehane ($16.99), Best First Novel to The Expats by Chris Pavone ($15.00), and Best Paperback Original to The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters ($14.95).

        Several awards were presented at the Left Coast Crime convention. The Lefty (for the most humorous mystery of 2012) went to The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks ($15.99). The Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award went to Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder by Catriona MacPherson ($24.99). The Rocky (for best mystery novel set in the Left Coast Geographical Region) went to As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson ($25.95, $15.00 trade pb due early June). The Watson (for mystery novel with the best sidekick) went to Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab ($7.99). The Dilys Award (for the mystery that the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association members most enjoyed selling) went to Before the Poison by Peter Robinson ($14.99).

        The Agatha Award for Best Mystery Novel went to The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny ($25.99, $15.99 trade pb due early July) and for Best First Novel went to Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer ($15.95).

How’s Business
by Don Blyly

        Business always goes down during the winter months of January, February, and into March until the weather starts to warm up, and that was true again this year. But then winter didn’t want to go away, and the weather continued to make it difficult for people to get to the Uncles. But when the winter finally ended and people could move around easily again, the used books just poured in at Uncle Hugo's. For people looking to buy used science fiction and fantasy, that means great selection, but piles of books on the floor–lots more piles than normal.
        The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association held 3 spring meetings in various cities, including St. Paul. I didn’t attend, but there was a recap of the meeting distributed by e-mail, including some of the favorite lines used by local author William Kent Krueger when he addressed the group. My favorite was “Anyone who says they only have one life to live must not know how to read a book.”
        Let me tell you about our yellow pages problems. Although I still often use the old fashioned yellow pages, I’m aware that most people have switched to the internet. So the yellow pages folks have for some years been bundling the old fashioned yellow pages ads with the internet ads. With a print ad, it will stay the same (right or wrong) for a year, so if you get it right you can then relax for a year. But the internet ads can be changed frequently, probably every day if the business wanted to go to the effort. But about 2 years ago strange changes started happening to our internet ads without my knowledge or permission. Suddenly, Uncle Hugo’s was offering wedding planning services and several other services that we have never in fact offered, and Uncle Edgar’s was suddenly in the comic book business, although Uncle Edgar’s has never handled comic books. Nobody ever called Uncle Hugo’s to ask about our wedding planning or any of those other services that we don’t really offer, but we received LOTS of calls at Uncle Edgar’s from people wanting to sell comic books, sports cards, and other things that people thought a comic book store might handle. And some of these callers insisted that we had to buy their comic books, because we advertised that in our yellow pages ad. And some people just walk into the store with old, beat-up comics and try to insist that we buy them. I knew that our yellow pages ad didn’t mention comic books, but I looked in the yellow pages just to be sure. Eventually one of the people on the phone specified the yellow pages ad on the internet, which is how I discovered how our internet ads had mutated. I managed to get all of the false information removed from both ads, and the Uncle Hugo’s ad has stayed clean. But the Uncle Edgar’s ad keeps mutating back to “comics”–and if you search for “comic books”, quite often Uncle Edgar’s would be the top store to pop up. I’ve removed the “comic books” information dozens of times, and our Dex sales rep has removed it several times, but it just keep mutating back. Sometimes the ad stays accurate for a few days, sometimes for a month, sometimes for a couple of months, but it always mutates back again. The last time this happened, I checked under “comic books” for Minneapolis, and seven stores popped up, only two of which actually sell comic books. I checked for St. Paul and found dozens of stores listed as selling comics, of which three actually sell comics. Some of the stores listed have been out of business for years, but didn’t sell comics when they were in business. Some of the stores listed don’t sell any kind of books, let alone comic books. I’ve let Dex know how unhappy I am to be paying them over $500 per month, and then have them publish false, unauthorized information about my stores.
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