All stories relating to Indigo
The season of literary festivals and readings in the park is well underway, and it’s not slowing down this weekend. Here are just a few of the events featured on Q&Q‘s calendar.
This is the last weekend to check out the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia, Ontario. The festival runs until July 29 and features appearances by Matthew Forsythe, Andrew Westoll, Rebecca Rosenblum, Mark Kingwell, Ken Babstock, and Cordelia Strube. This year’s festival also hosts the world premiere of Sketching Sunshine: An Evening and A Morning with Stephen Leacock, a one-man play starring Joe Matheson.
Jeff Lemire launches his new graphic novel, The Underwater Welder, on July 28 at 7 p.m. at Innis Town Hall in Toronto. Admission is $5 or free with purchase of the book.
Vancouverites who want to eat healthier should check out the Vancouver Public Library on July 27 when Sharon Hanna discusses her bestseller, The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood, 80+ Recipes. The free event starts at 3 p.m. at VPL’s Kitsilano Branch.
Sue Goyette, Warren Heiti, and Anne Simpson read from their 2012 Atlantic Poetry Prize–nominated books on July 28. The night kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Acadia University Art Gallery in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
You can catch the first photography exhibit by author Kenneth J. Harvey at Gerald Squires Gallery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, until Aug. 31.
Keith G. Powell will sign copies of Raising Kain at Indigo stores across Calgary this weekend. He will be at Indigo Signal Hill and Indigo Cross Iron Mills on July 27, and Chapters Chinook Centre on the 28th.
Want to add an event to Q&Q‘s calendar? Send your literary event listings to Quill & Quire. Please include the event name, date, time, location, cost, and a brief description.
Book links roundup: Indigo CEO says physical books are surviving digital age, classic books get bold makeovers, and more
- Heather Reisman: physical books still thriving in the digital age
- Classic books given new looks to lure the “Twilight” generation
- Amazon partners with Co-operative Food retail outlets in London to install delivery pick-up lockers
- Faber releases Shakespeare app featuring 154 sonnets
- Why ebooks shouldn’t be restricted at European borders
- 10 fake books in movies that would be good reads
- Patrick deWitt signing for Ablutions, Indigo Eaton Centre, Toronto (June 8, 12 p.m., free)
- “The Adventure of the Process”: The Writer’s Guild of Alberta Conference and Alberta Book Awards Gala, Hotel Arts, Calgary (June 8–10, 5 p.m., from $80)
- Insomniac Press Night featuring Liz Bugg, Jamie Popowich, and Natalie Zina Walschots, 7750 Mullhern St., Niagara Falls (June 8, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Readings by Betty Jane Hegerat, Suzette Mayr, and Cathy Ostlere, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 8, 7:30 p.m., free)
- “An Editor and an Agent Tell All” workshop, Four Corners Library, Brampton, ON (June 9, 10:30 a.m., $48, $44 advance)
- “Stream of Conciousness” writing workshop with Bruce Kauffman, The Artel, Kingston (June 9, 7 p.m., $10)
- Reading and discussion of Cathy Ostlere’s Lost: A Memoir, Shelf Life Books, Calgary (June 10, 2 p.m., free)
- Niagara Literary Arts Festival presents a YA reading featuring Hermine Steinberg and Allison Bryson, Fine Grind Café, St. Catharines, ON (June 10, 2 p.m., free)
- “Storytelling for Social Change” panel discussion as part of the Vancouver International Storytelling Festival, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch (June 10, 2:30 p.m., free)
- Gloria Vanderbilt reads from The Things We Fear Most, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto (June 10, 7:30 p.m., $10, free for students)
- Carol MacDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones launch Play Book, Keshen Goodman Library, Halifax (June 11, 10:30 a.m., free)
- Jaime Forsythe reads from Sympathy Loophole, Alice Burdick launches Holler, and John Wall Barger launches Hummingbird, Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, Halifax (June 11, 7 p.m., free)
- Vertigo Reading Series featuring Shelley Leedahl, Winter Fedyk, Adam Pottle, and Murray Arthur Logan, Crave Kitchen and Wine Bar, Regina (June 11, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Reading and signing by Brian Henderson for Sharawadji, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 12, 7 p.m., free)
- Irvine Welsh discusses his new novel, Skagboys, with Eleanor Wachtel, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto (June 12, 9 p.m. $20)
- An evening with poet Don Kerr, Regina Public Library (June 13, 7 p.m., free)
- Reading and signing by Leslie Vryenhoek, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 13, 8 p.m., free)
- In celebration of Bloomsday Montreal, Dr. Dana Hearne discusses the importance of Nora Barnacle in James Joyce’s life and writing, and Dr. Gus O’Gorman reads from Ulysses, Atwater Library, Westmount, QC (June 14, 12:30 p.m., free)
- Nicole Markotić launches her poetry collection Bent at the Spine, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 14, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Atlantic Author Day, featuring signings by 48 authors at 34 locations across the East Coast (June 16, 10 a.m.)
Quillblog is looking for photos from literary events across Canada. Send your photos to email@example.com.
- Deux Voiliers Publishing open house featuring Brendan Ray, Stephen Lorne Bennett, Chris Turner, and Con Cu, Collected Works Bookstore, Ottawa (June 1, 7 p.m., free)
- Niagara Literary Arts Festival kicks off with readings by Erno Rossi and Marsha Barber, Patrick Sheehan’s Irish Pub, St. Catharines, Ont. (June 1, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Ridgeway Reads all-day book fair, Legion Branch 230, Ridgeway ON (June 2, 9 a.m., $20 per table)
- Writing for Children and Young Adults workshop with Brian Henrey and Kelley Armstrong, Oakville Central Library, Oakville Ont. (June 2, 10 a.m., $48; $44 in advance)
- Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting, Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, Halifax (June 2, 12 p.m., free)
- Kathryn Ellis launches her new YA book, Home in Time for Dinner, Chapters Richmond Hill, Ont. (June 2, 1 p.m., free).
- “Out of the Shadows,” a panel on the art of translation featuring Hugh Hazelton, Susan Ouriou, and Gisèle Villeneuve, Shelf Life Books, Calgary (June 2, 3 p.m, free.)
- Authors and Angels at the Astor, a tribute to Joyce Barkhouse featuring Alex Hickey, Vernon Oickle, Marcia Pierce Harding, E. Alex Pierce, and Janet Barkhouse, Astor Theatre, Liverpool, N.S. (June 2, 7 p.m., $10, $10 for reception)
- Jay Ingram reads from Fatal Flaws, Plaza Theatre, Calgary (June 3, 11 a.m., $10; $20 includes lunch)
- Esther Paul launches Mending Fences, McNally Robinson, Winnipeg (June 3, 2 p.m., free)
- Battle of the Sexes Poetry with Dwayne Morgan, Elle Seon, Ritallin, Tammy Soulful, Dahveed Delisca, Dianne Robinson, Denyce, and Tomy Buick, Lamabadina Lounge, Toronto (June 3, 6 p.m., $20 $15 in advance)
- Toronto Jewish Book Festival kicks off with Michael Wex interviewing Auslander, Toronto Reference Library (June 4, 8 p.m., $25)
- 8th House Publishing launches The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover by Charles Talkoff, Jump the Devil by Richard Rathwell, and The Midas Touch by James Cummins and Cameron W. Reed, Paragraphe Bookstore, Montreal (June 6, 6 p.m., free)
- Readings with Angie Abdou, Mark Lavorato and Teri Vlassopoulos, Librarie Drawn & Quarterly, Montreal (June 6, 7 p.m., free)
- Book signing with Treena Wynes, McNally Robinson, Saskatoon (June 7, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist readings featuring Ken Babstock, Phil Hall, David Harsent, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sean O’Brien, Joanna Trzeciak/Tadeusz Różewicz and Jan Zwicky, Koerner Hall, Toronto (June 6, 7:30, from $12.50)
- Shree Gatage launches her novel Thirst, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (June 7, 7:30 p.m., free)
- The Heroines of The Sexual Gothic fundraiser, featuring Susan Swan, the Billie Hollies and Martha Chaves, Toronto Women’s Bookstore (June 7, 6:30 p.m., $30 $25 in advance)
- Dan Rather discusses his memoir Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News, Indigo Manulife, Toronto (June 7, 7 p.m., free)
Quillblog is looking for photos from literary events across Canada. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silver Snail Comics co-owner George Zotti is offering the public a video tour of the store’s new home just steps away from Toronto’s Yonge and Dundas Square.
In addition to the standard comic book fare, the 3,300 square-foot store at 329 Yonge Street will house a large kids’ section, gallery space, and lounge area complete with iPads for in-store reading of digital comics. They’re also working on making the second-storey space wheelchair accessible.
Arguably the biggest change from the Queen Street site will be the addition of a cafe, where Zotti plans on getting creative with the menu, with specials like the “Flashiccino.” “You get three [espresso] shots for the price of one shot,” Zotti explains with a laugh. The cafe is a bid to keep the shop competitive in a neighbourhood that’s also home to Indigo, The World’s Biggest Bookstore, BMV, 401 Games, and One Million Comix.
Zotti and partner Mark Gingras revealed the new location last month, a year after announcing the iconic comic book shop would be leaving its historic Queen Street West location this summer. (Check out what’s being proposed for the site.)
According to Torontoist, the Yonge Street location should open by July 1 — just in time to host Dave McKean, the award-winning graphic novelist and illustrator who has collaborated with the likes of Neil Gaiman, Richard Dawkins, and chef Heston Blumenthal.
After less than a year in the role, Tedford G. Marlow has resigned as president of Indigo Books & Music and resumed a senior position with U.S.-based retailer Urban Outfitters, where he has been named CEO.
The move, reported by U.S. business media last week, was confirmed by Indigo in its third-quarter results, which saw revenues increase slightly for the period ending Dec. 31 (to $353 million) and profits decline (to $24 million, down from $27 million for the same period in 2010). Marlow assumed the role of Indigo president in April, replacing Joel Silver, who now leads Trilogy Growth, an investment firm affiliated with Indigo’s majority shareholder, Trilogy Retail Enterprises.
Marlow’s tenure at Indigo was brief but controversial, at least among members of the book trade. Under his stewardship the retailer introduced a new line of lifestyle products that competed with books for floor space. Behind the scenes, Indigo imposed new terms that many publishers have struggled with, including a 4 per cent co-op surcharge on all books sold through the chain and a shorter turnaround time for returns.
Marlow also oversaw the sale of Indigo’s ebook division, Kobo, to Japanese software firm Rakuten, a deal that netted Indigo $146 million (U.S.) when it closed last month.
In its Q3 report, Indigo reported double digit increases in its gift, lifestyle, and toy lines, as well as marginal revenue increases at its Chapters and Indigo superstores (up 1.8 per cent) and its small-format IndigoSpirit and Coles locations (2.5 per cent). Online sales increased by 9.3 per cent compared to last year.
Indigo CEO Heather Reisman attributed reduced profits to “lower gross margins as a result of increased promotional discounts to drive print sales and increased sales of low margin e-readers.”
She added in a press release: “This margin impact has not yet been offset by expected growth in the gift, lifestyle, and toy businesses. The Company also recorded a $4.0 million non-cash asset impairment charge during the quarter. Excluding this charge, net profit increased $0.7 million.”
Even the cold can’t stop the literary scene, with events in full swing across the country next week. Here’s a sample of what’s coming up:
- Derek Beaulieu, Kevin McPherson Eckhoff, and Jake Kennedy read from their new poetry collections, Pages on Kensington, Calgary (Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Small Press of Toronto winter book fair, Hart House (Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., free)
- Michael Smith signs Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen, Bookmark, Charlottetown (Dec. 10, 2 p.m., free)
- Douglas Gibson discusses Stories About Storytellers, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington, Ontario (Dec. 10, 7 p.m., $10)
- National Ballet of Canada dancer Sonia Rodriguez signs T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet, Indigo Manulife Centre, Toronto (Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m., free)
- The Field Stone Poets read from Whistle for Jellyfish and David Groulx launches Rising with a Distant Dawn, Collected Works, Ottawa (Dec. 11, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., free)
- Actor and musician Jody Richardson performs dramatic reading of Bella’s Tree, a picture book by Janet Russell, The Rooms, St. John’s (Dec. 11, 2:30 p.m., $5)
- Michael Morpurgo reads from War Horse with music by John Tams, Panasonic Theatre, Toronto (Dec. 12, 7 p.m., $15)
- Esi Edugyan and Jen Sookfong Lee read from Half-Blood Blues and The Better Mother, respectively, UBC Bookstore at Robson Square, Vancouver (Dec. 15, 7 p.m., free)
Here are just a few of the literary events happening across the country in the next week:
- Maria Meindl reads from Outside the Box, Type Books, Toronto (Nov. 12, 5 p.m., free)
- Hal-Con sci-fi, fantasy, and comic convention, World Trade & Convention Centre, Halifax (Nov. 12–13, tickets at hal-con.com)
- CBC’s Carol Off interviews Jeffrey Sachs, author of The Price of Civilization: Economics and Ethics After the Fall, Toronto Reference Library (Nov. 14, 7 p.m., free)
- Neil Pasricha signs The Book of (Holiday) Awesome, Indigo Manulife Centre, Toronto (Nov. 14, 7 p.m., free)
- Readings from Somebody’s Child: Stories About Adoption by contributors J. Jill Robinson, Bonnie Evans, Dale Lee Kwong, Raquel Schneidmiller, Elaine Hayes, and Judith Hope, Memorial Park Library, Calgary (Nov. 15, 7 p.m., free)
- Helen Humphreys presents at Heart of Niagara Fall Reading Series, Pelham Public Library, Fonthill, Ontario (Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m., $8)
- Tightrope Books launches How to Get a Girl Pregnant, a memoir by Karleen Pendleton Jiménez; Onion Man, a poetry collection from Kathryn Mockler; and Prick, a novel by Ashley Little, Slack’s Restaurant, Toronto (Nov. 17, 6 p.m., free)
- Local authors K.L. Denman, Christy Goerzen, Cristy Watson, and Nikki Tate launch new YA titles, Kidsbooks, Surrey, B.C. (Nov. 17, 7 p.m., free)
- Beverley Brenna launches Falling for Henry, McNally Robinson, Saskatoon (Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., free)
- Kathleen Winter reads from Annabel, Killam Library, Halifax (Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., free)
A story in today’s Globe and Mail looks at what the Kobo sale means for its majority owner, Indigo Books & Music, which is likely to find itself flush with cash as a result of the deal. The sale, which could net Indigo up to $150 million, frees up the retail chain to invest in new products and “expand non-book ventures,” the Globe reports.
Indigo president and CEO Heather Reisman is quoted in the story:
“We have to grow very considerably to balance off what we lose in our book business,” said Ms. Reisman, who, with her husband, financier Gerald Schwartz, owns more than half of Indigo. “But I have every expectation that within 18 months, we will fully make that transformation … I would rather, for shareholders, to employ the funds and deliver to them a great result.”
The Globe goes on to report that Indigo expects book sales to fall to 50 per cent of overall sales in coming years, down from the current level of 75 per cent. Reporter Marina Strauss points to the 2013 Canadian expansion of Target as a major competitor in the toy, home decor, and giftware market.
For anyone who has visited one of Indigo’s new format stores, in which books vie for floor space with an array of household products, Indigo’s survival strategy will not come as a surprise. However, with its significant investment in Kobo, Indigo had seemed to be in an enviable position in the burgeoning e-book market. In an interview yesterday with Canadian Business, Reisman said the capital requirements of remaining competitive in that market were too much.
Still, e-books will remain part of Indigo’s future. According to the Globe, “[A] 10-year pact with Kobo ensures Indigo a ‘meaningful’ share of Kobo’s profits on electronic-book sales in Canada.”
Kobo announced Tuesday it has entered into a definite agreement under which it will be acquired by the Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. The deal is expected to close in early 2012.
According to a press release, Rakuten intends to “acquire 100 per cent of total issued and outstanding shares of Kobo for US$315 million in cash.” As part of the agreement, the e-reading platform will continue as a stand-alone operation, maintaining its Toronto headquarters and employees under the leadership of Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis.
In the press release, Serbinis said:
“From a business and cultural perspective this is a perfect match….We share a common vision of creating a content experience that is both global and social. Rakuten is already one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, while Kobo is the most social e-book service on the market and one of the world’s largest e-book stores with over 2.5 million titles. This transaction will greatly strengthen our position in our current markets and allow us to diversify quickly into other countries and e-commerce categories.”
Kobo was founded in 2009 by Indigo Books & Music before it was spun off into a separate company 10 months later, with Indigo remaining as the majority shareholder. Indigo will receive approximately $140 million to $150 million in the Rakuten deal. In a separate press release, Indigo CEO and chair of Kobo Heather Reisman said:
“Notwithstanding the sale, Indigo will maintain a very strong relationship with Kobo, supporting the products and the services both in-store and online…. The success of Kobo confirms that Indigo is a great brand and a strong platform on which we can continue to innovate and grow.”