also done well with middle-grade nonfiction, such as Kate McMullen’s Have a Hot
Time, Hades! Sales have been so strong
that children’s book buyer Caitlin Baker
asked Capstone to increase its nonfiction
offerings and to make all the titles in
the Myth O Mania series available as
bundles. Overall, Baker is pleased to participate. “This is an exciting idea, and
I’m thrilled that Capstone has taken the
initiative,” she said.
Holland Saltsman, owner of the six-
month-old Novel Neighbor bookstore
and artist space in the St. Louis suburb of
Webster Grove, agrees. “I think it’s a
great idea,” she said. As the sole employ-
ee at her store, she would like a few
changes to the display, including making
it more self-explanatory. “We’ve moved
it around a couple times,” she said.
“With the iPad, you can’t have it out of
the sight of the register.” To date, she’s
sold very few bundles, but she’s been en-
couraged by the fact those who do buy
come back for more.
“We like the idea of selling somebody
a physical book, and they can get an
e-book,” commented children’s book
buyer Wally Johnston, at Rediscovered
Books in Boise, Iowa. “It’s something
we’ve wanted for a long time.” For her,
the display has turned into a conversation starter with educators, since most
customers don’t realize that the books are
being sold with an interactive e-book.
She’s done “pretty well” with picture
Capstone trade sales manager Paul
Von Drasek has gotten a similarly posi-
tive response from participating book-
sellers. Yet he cautioned that “it’s pre-
mature to forecast what the results will
be. We need more information.” One ad-
vantage of e-book bundling that he
points out is that “it enables booksellers
to offer something new without a lot of
It may be in its early days, but Andersen
Zantop is confident that the company
will move forward with the program.
Capstone is prepared to do more testing
if needed, with more stores and more
product, as well as adding some of its
teen and YA titles, including more non-
“Part of the reason we embarked on
this as a beta,” said Andersen Zantop, “is
that we knew there were things that
wouldn’t work. Finding the right experi-
ence in-store is why we have to have a
beta, or a couple betas.”
Though all the data is not in yet,
Andersen Zantop is encouraged that
the downloads for the apps and for
Capstone’s interactive e-books have
increased, and bundled title orders have
been increasing since the trial began.
She’s already thinking about what’s
As for booksellers, Pam Cady, manager of general books at University Book
Store noted, “[Bundling] gives us a
chance to partner with our publisher on
something that could be of value to both
of us. We’re usually happy to try things
that have a chance of impacting sales.”
to reinforce literacy. She uses the iPad to
demo how the app can read the book
aloud and highlight key words. At her
store, those who have purchased bundles—which have a suggested retail price
that’s 30% off the combined list price of
the book and e-book—have preferred
picture books such as Michael Dahl’s
Penguin Says “Please” or Jake Maddox’s
“We’ve been selling the books, but the
e-book doesn’t seem to be the selling
point,” said Sally Brewster, owner of
Park Road Books, in Charlotte, N.C.
When she and her staff ask customers
if they would like a demonstration, the
response has often been, “No, that’s
okay.” So far Brewster’s sales have been
relatively small. The bundle that has
worked best is Elizabeth Raum’s World
War II: An Interactive History Adventure,
followed by Fran Manushkin’s Big Sisters
Are the Best.
University Book Store in Seattle has
Think You’re Having a Bad Day?
Trust Us, It Could Be Worse . . .
History is full of struggle and triumph, determination and discovery, courage
and revolution, and let’s face it—some
really, really bad days. In this wickedly
entertaining book, best-selling author and
historian Michael Farquhar chronicles the
worst of the worst for each day of the year.
The mishaps range from eyebrow raising
to world changing—think Vegas hotelier
Steve Wynn’s unfortunate run-in with a
priceless Picasso to Napoleon’s frost-ridden,
troop-depleting defeat in Russia.
For anyone who’s had a rough time, this
charming romp through history’s gloomier
side will be grand company.
5-3/8 x 8-3/16 ● 480 pages ● 150 Illustrations
HC/ISBN: 978-1-4262-1268-0 ● $26.00 US/ $28.00 Can.
EB/ISBN: 978-1-4262-1280-2 ● $26.00 US/ $28.00 Can.
Like us on Facebook: Nat Geo Books Follow us on Twitter: @NatGeoBooks
© 2015 National Geographic Society
DISTRIBUTED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE