Burkle Wants More B&N

Investor Ron Burkle, who has a 19% stake in Barnes & Noble, sent a letter to the retailer's board of directors asking them to waive the poison pill provision that would make it difficult for him to acquire a larger position in the company. Burkle said he would like to increase his interest in B&N to as much as 37%, calling B&N “undervalued.”

Rep Cuts Protested

The board of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association has sent a letter to the sales directors and heads of the six largest trade publishers expressing their concern about the reduction in the number of field sales reps. The letter was sent after S&S announced plans to cut its field sales force.

Borders Investor Bullish

In a television interview last week, William Ackerman, Borders's largest shareholder, said he believes that it is unlikely that the bookstore chain will file for bankruptcy this year. He said the retailer has stabilized, adding that a merger with Barnes & Noble was possible. Borders's stock price jumped on the report.

ABC, ABA Merger Moves Forward

Although Elizabeth Bluemle, Association of Booksellers for Children president, said there remains a lot of work to be done to complete a merger with the ABA, ABC has recently talked to the ABA about the specifics of an agreement that would be presented to the membership at BEA. A detailed plan will be presented for a vote in late summer or early fall prior to the 2011 fiscal year, said Bluemle. The idea of a merger was first raised about one year ago.

Reeves Moves To Editor-at-Large

Howard W. Reeves, who, as publisher of Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books, has headed the publisher's children's divisions since their inceptions, will become editor-at-large at Abrams. Reeves joined Abrams in 1998 and published its first Abrams Books for Young Readers list the following year. In 2004, he launched Amulet Books.

Flanimals Shipment Missing

A shipment of more than 12,000 copies of Flanimals Pop-Up by actor/comedian Ricky Gervais went missing last month en route to Candlewick's warehouse in Indiana. Police are investigating the incident as grand theft (the books are valued at over $240,000). After being printed overseas, the books were shipped to the West Coast, then transferred to a train and later a truck; the driver discovered the books were missing after a stop in the Midwest.

Bray Moves to LBBYR

Libba Bray, hot off her Printz win for Going Bovine, has landed a seven-figure deal at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Bray's agent-husband, Barry Goldblatt, sold North American rights, in an auction featuring six houses, to a new four-book YA series called The Diviners. First book is set for fall 2012. Bray's last four novels were published by Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers.