'Dances' with Northland

Saying that he'd "rather be in a garage band than in a rock 'n' roll group in front of 60,000 people," Michael Blake, author of the bestselling Dances with Wolves, signed with the Flagstaff, Ariz.-based Northland Publishing to do his next book, Indian Yell: Insurgency in the American West. With publication slated for next fall, Northland, coming off its best year ever, is gearing up for a big push. Publisher Dave Jenney says the 12-person company will enlist an outside publicist, and for the first time will have ARCs at BEA. Although Jenney says the company "treats every title like frontlist," Northland's long history of publishing western and Native American titles couldn't have hurt in attracting Blake, who has been writing about the American West for 20 years. Although he claims "no sour grapes" about his experiences with New York publishers (he has done several books with the likes of Villard, Fawcett and Newmarket), Blake did marvel that all dozen Northland employees have worked on the book with him. Northland marketing director Eric Howard says that Blake's sensibility meshes with Northland's still-in-formation strategy for publishing Indian Yell. "We have to bang the drum longer because we can't afford to bang it too loud," he said.

—Bridget Kinsella

Reopening in Harvard Square

After an eight-month hiatus from bricks-and-mortar retailing, Globe Corner Bookstores will open a 1,200-sq.-ft. store in a newly constructed building in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., next month. Lease problems caused the 23-year-old travel bookseller to close a larger Harvard Square retail outlet. At the same time, negotiations fell apart for a new space in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, where Globe Corner would like to open a second store.

"We were lucky we had the Web site," says president Pat Carrier, who kept the business going through the company's online store at www.globecorner.com. "One of the nice things," says Carrier, "is that all of us turned our attention to the Internet. Things like our affiliate program we grew quite a bit, because we had the time to do more marketing. Certainly our Web site is more on people's radar screens now."

Still, Carrier missed working with customers in person. "There always has been a real synergy," he says, "between the two parts of the business. You don't get the same feedback as you do when someone's standing across the counter."

—Judith Rosen