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9 posts categorized "Books"

October 08, 2014

Mayo Clinic books sold to publisher in bankruptcy auction

A New York publisher now owns the rights to nine Mayo Clinic books, including the popular Mayo Clinic Diet book, after buying them and other assets for $1.57 million at a bankruptcy auction.

Skyhorse Publishing and The Perseus Books Group submitted the top bid to buy the assets of Good Books last week. Good Books, which had published the Mayo Clinic Diet book since 2010, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December 2013.

Mayo-clinic-diet“The logistics of this deal were very challenging, and there were many twists and turns, but we found a way to bring the various groups together to make this work for all parties,” stated Skyhorse’s president and publisher Tony Lyons in the announcement of acquisition.

Some industry media reported that Mayo Clinic balked the deal at first. However, it moved ahead when Perseus agreed to pay Mayo Clinic $317,263 to cover past royalties that Good Books had not paid.

"We had a successful relationship with Good Books, as evidenced by the diet book hitting No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and the steady growth of the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy," said Mayo Clinic Spokesman Brian Kilen. "We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Perseus, who is a major publisher with whom we expect to continue the tradition of publishing Mayo Clinic books that provide evidence-based health information to consumers."

The other Mayo Clinic titles that were part of the deal are, Mayo Clinic Diet Journal, The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby's First Year, The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book,The Mayo Clinic Kids' Cookbook and the soon-to-be-published Mayo Clinic Guide to Fertility and Conception.

Perseus will publish the Mayo titles under its Da Capo Lifelong line of books, which already includes The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living and the upcoming Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness.

Mayo Clinic says the nine books in this deal represent about about one-third of its line of books. It also publishes titles like Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine with Time Home Entertainment as well as self-publishing disease- and condition-specific books on topics such as arthritis, diabetes and breast cancer.

Mayo Clinic declined to discuss how much revenue its books generate for the institution annually.

November 11, 2013

Rochester's downtown Chateau building up for sale

Chatter aChateau-barnes-and-noblebout Rochester's Historic Chateau Theatre at 15 First St. S.W. surfaced last week on Twitter, because the 89-year-old building is up for sale.

While no change seems imminent, it's correct that the 21,613-square-foot classic cinema building is for sale.

A sales listing for the building originally was posted on on September 2012. The asking price is $5 million.

A Barnes & Noble bookstore has operated in the renovated Chateau since 1995. It has a 20-year lease that runs through January 2015. In 2005, the annual rent was $495,548. Its rent was slated to increase by 14 percent in 2010.

It's owned by Dowel Realty Associates, of Morristown, N.J. The real estate investment firm bought it from Chateau Plaza Limited Partners of Rochester for $6.1 million on Jan. 20, 2004.Chateau ad

When Dowel purchased it, a spokesman said the company planned to keep the building as an investment property. It was the firm's first acquisition in Rochester. The prominence of the building and having Barnes & Noble as tenant was said to have attracted Dowel as did Rochester's active downtown. – Jeff Kiger

July 20, 2012

Comic convention coming to Rochester's ' Underground city'

Local comics and fantasy fans have long been envious of the attention that larger cities in warmer places get from pop culture conventions, like the recent San Diego Comic Con.

Now it looks like they will have their one piece of the action right here in the Med City.
Bill Willingham, the creator of the wildly popular comic Fables as well as being a southern Minnesota transplant, recently told the Comic Con crowd that this was his last appearance at the San Diego event.

Most importantly for local comic and fantasy fanatics like myself, Willingham announced that he is organizing his own three day convention to be called, "Fabletown and Beyond."

It will focus on "mythic fiction" like his dark retelling of fairy tales and Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series.

Here's the happy ending to this tale. This young Midwestern sibling of Comic Con will be held in downtown Rochester in March.

I got a kick out of how the comics site,, described the choice of Rochester as a venue.

"… The show will be held in Rochester, Minnesota. The facilities that have been chosen have been chosen specifically for the expansive indoor space, an underground city built for the wealthy visitors of the Mayo Clinic. This space will enable convention goers to remain indoors in the bitter Minnesota March."


The Post-Bulletin will have more on this as it gets nearer. For more information, check out

March 05, 2012

Rochester's latest eatery closing is...?

Here's the scoop.

032708threethirtyone331jkThe 331 Bar and Grill at 7386 Airport View Drive S.W. in Rochester closed its doors last night and did not re-open today.

The owners Tom and Jimmy Karabatsos told staff last night that they unfortunately needed to close.

They bought the restaurant from developer Andy Chafoulias in 2009.

Chafoulias first started the restaurant under the name of The Hangar, then he sold it in 2006. He bought it back in 2008 and relaunched it as 331.

So will Andy step back in take another swing at running bar and grill in the Rochester Airport Business Park that he created?

I chatted with him this afternoon and asked that very question.

Stay tuned.


January 05, 2012

Red Wing book store's final chapter

In one city's tale, it is the final chapter for its independent book store.

The Best of Times Bookstore in Red Wing started its 'Going Out of Business' sale this morning with the plan to close the doors for good by Jan. 31.

Here's some from the bookstore's Facebook page:

Despite our best efforts we could not fight the trifecta that has befallen our business: a bad economy, a street with many closed businesses with very VERY little traffic, and people's affection for spending their $ with Amazon.
We've had a blast and the memories are cherished. Thanks for our many fans through the 7 1/2 years - you have been extremely appreciated!


The independent shop is owned by Leslie Hakala. In November 2010, Hakala started brewing coffee drinks and tea and blending smoothies along with selling new and used books, says owner

At the time, Hakala said it made sense to add the caffeine connection when the two coffee shops that used to bookend either side of her store both closed last year.

Look for more about this closing soon, either in my column or from our Red Wing reporter.

October 24, 2011

Austin author phenom signs comic book deal

Here's an interesting tidbit for comics fans out there. Total disclosure - I'm a complete comics/fantasy/sci fi  fan boy.

6a00d83451cc8269e2014e89459ec4970d-250wiLocal writer Amanda Hocking has signed a deal with Dynamite comics to publish a comic series based on her Hollowland novels. Dynamite is a cool and very edgy publisher.

Amanda Hocking is Austin's literary phenom who exploded on the Internet by self-publishing her novels in 2010 leading up St. Martin's Press signing a mult-book deal with the young woman.

The multi-million dollar writer has been profiled by the New York Times Magazine and was selling an average of 9,000 e-book A DAY, earlier this year.

Her rocket ride from hobbyist writer to best-selling author launched back in February when the Post-Bulletin's very own Matt Stolle profiled Hocking.

Here's some from Dynamite's announcement of the Hocking/Hollowlands project:


Dynamite is proud to announce that we have reached an agreement with Amanda Hocking and will publish Hollowland comic books in 2012!


HollowlandIn Hollowland, Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

"It's always been a dream of mine to bring the world of The Hollows to graphic novels," says acclaimed author Amanda Hocking. "I'm so fortunate to be able to partner with an amazing publisher like Dynamite to bring this dream to life."

"It is such a pleasure for Dynamite to be working with Amanda as she knows the world of comics," says Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. "Amanda's success shows that hard work and passion pays off and we can't wait to see her incredible energy translated to comics!"


June 20, 2011

NYT Mag profiles next "Billion dollar author" in Austin, MN

New York Times Magazine published a cool profile of Amanda Hocking, a young author in Austin, Minn. who is is currently the 'It Girl" of the publishing world with what looks to be a very promising career ahead of her.

The piece, written by Strawberry Saroyan, shows Hocking as a down-to-earth woman living a quiet life in Spamtown, USA.

Through online self-publishing, Hocking is selling about 9,000 books a day.

That's a big jump from where she was in February when the Post-Bulletin's very own Matt Stolle profiled Hocking.

Here's some from Saroyan's profile of her:

Amanda Hocking, the star of self-publishing, was sitting in the front seat of her Ford Escape earlier this spring when she spotted a messenger delivering flowers to her home in Austin, Minn. She watched her best friend and roommate, Eric Goldman, get the door.


Inside, Goldman had set the assortment of gerbera daisies and roses on the coffee table.

“Who are they from?” Hocking asked.

“St. Martin’s Press,” Goldman said. “That’s your new publisher.”

That morning, Hocking’s deal with St. Martin’s was announced: $2 million for her next four books, a series she’s calling “Watersong.”

She casually opened the card. “ ‘Thrilled to be your publisher,’ ” she read. “ ‘Thrilled to be working with you. Sincerely, people.’ ”


Me2 “Well, ‘Sincerely, Matthew Shear and Rose Hilliard,’ ” she said before trailing off, referring to a head of St. Martin’s and the woman who would be her editor there.

If Hocking seems a bit blasé about signing her first deal with a traditional publisher, and a multimillion-dollar one at that, it’s hard to blame her. Since uploading her first book on her own last spring, she has become — along with the likes of Nora Roberts, James Patterson and Stieg Larsson — one of the best-selling e-authors on Amazon. In that time, she has grossed approximately $2 million. Her 10 novels include the paranormal-romance “Trylle,” a four-book vampire series that begins with “My Blood Approves” and “Hollowland,” which kicks off a zombie series whose second book will come out in the fall. Her character-driven books, which feature trolls, hobgoblins and fairy-tale elements and keep the pages turning, have generated an excitement not felt in the industry since Stephenie Meyer or perhaps even J.K. Rowling.

“She’s just a really good storyteller,” Hilliard says. “Whatever that thing is that makes you want to stay up late at night to read one more chapter — she has it.”

Hollywood feels the same way: the “Trylle”series was optioned by Media Rights Capital, which was involved with “The Adjustment Bureau,” among other films; the screenplays are being written by the woman who co-wrote “District 9.’


415xaWKjghL._SS500_ And Hocking wants to reach as many people as possible among the 85 percent or so of the population who don’t have e-readers yet. “For me to be a billion-dollar author,” she would tell me later, “I need to have people buying my books at Wal-Mart.”


Later in my visit, Hocking agreed to show me the house she was moving into a few weeks later; it was one of her few indulgences, she said. (Another is a model of a life-size Han Solo figure encased in carbonite that cost “about $7,000,” she admitted shyly.) We drove a few miles, then pulled into a spacious and tidy area in front of a ranch-style home. Compared with her current place, it was the Taj Mahal: well-kept grounds, total quiet, McMansions on either side

February 08, 2010

Roch. Web design firm adds marketing services

Here's some from a piece I have in today's paper about Corporate Web Service's expansion into marketing.

After 12 years online, Alan De Keyrel is extending his Rochester company's reach beyond the Web.

 More and more clients have bigger needs these days. In today's world, "more and more of people's marketing is integrated," says De Keyrel, the owner and founder of Corporate Web Services.

That trend inspired De Keyrel to expand CWS' services beyond Web design and application development.

"We're taking it to another level," he says.K7coun85658x372820108458

He is adding strategy-led marketing, communication plans, video production, graphic design, media placement and social media marketing to the services the company offers.


CWS launched its marketing department this month with the hiring of Sheryl Barlow, who previously directed ABC-6 KAAL's Web presence and was co-founder of the Rochester firm of mark it! advertising. She is now business development director for CWS.

Laura Archbold, a public relations veteran who recently joined CWS, now serves as the director of the brand new marketing department.

"I think there is really great need for this," says Archbold, who is a former television reporter. "This is a natural evolution."


Adding marketing strategies as a service to his company, now with 14 on staff, is the latest turn in the road that De Keyrel started on as a one man-onBook-cover-front2-200x300-1e computer business working in his basement in 1998.

"We continue to grow. 2009 was our best year ever," he says. "In the last two years, our revenue is up 50 percent."

How does he explain that when most companies have struggled to just survive those years?

"I'd like to say I'm genius, but the truth is we have really stable clients and a great staff. And this sector is really benefiting from the downturn," De Keyrel said.


Following his own advice, De Keyrel is using a new twist on the book publishing model to share his own story.

His book, "Jobless: How to Quit Your Day Job and Start Your Climb to the Top," will be available March 1 through the on-demand book publishing site,

December 31, 2008

Book about IBM's creation of Cell chip

Book Cover_9.preview A book being released on Jan. 9 - the Race for a New Game Machine - purports to tell the behind-the-scenes story of "creating the Chips Inside the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3."

IBM Rochester played a part in the development of the Cell chip - "A supercomputer on a chip." Not to be confused with the "Supercomputer on your desktop."

Anyway, I'll have more on this soon and maybe a review of the book.