Our competitor’s marketing score

From today’s pile of spam marketing e-mail:

Hi Other Change of Hobbit,

We have identified The Episcopal Church as the business in your industry with a high total marketing score of 1755. Create your free account to learn more about what they are doing and what makes up Other Change of Hobbit’s score of 488, as of December 31, 2014.

and even better:

“The Episcopal Church may not be a direct competitor, however, seeing what they are doing to market themselves online can give you ideas for how to attract more customers.”

ABA Finalists 2015 Indies Choice

Quite a few genre titles/authors amongst this year’s ABA Indies Choice/E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards finalists, selected by independent booksellers. From their e-mail news blast:

ABA Announces 2015 Indies Choice/E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards Finalists

Today, the American Booksellers Association reveals the finalists for the 2015 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards. Booksellers at ABA member stores across the country will choose the winners in eight categories in online balloting between now and midnight EDT on Tuesday, April 14.

All of this year’s finalists represent the types of books that indie booksellers champion best. The E.B. White Read-Aloud finalists also reflect the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal to a wide range of ages embodied by E.B. White’s collection of beloved books.

The winners will be announced on Thursday, April 16, and will be feted along with the honor book recipients at ABA’s Celebration of Bookselling Author Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 28, at BookExpo America 2015 in New York City.

This year’s finalists are:


  • All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel, by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
  • The Bone Clocks: A Novel, by David Mitchell (Random House)
  • The Magician’s Land: A Novel, by Lev Grossman (Viking)
  • The Museum of Extraordinary Things: A Novel, by Alice Hoffman (Scribner)
  • Natchez Burning: A Novel, by Greg Iles (William Morrow)
  • Station Eleven: A Novel, by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)


  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan Books)
  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir, by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury)
  • The Empathy Exams: Essays, by Leslie Jamison (Graywolf Press)
  • In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hampton Sides (Doubleday)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau)
  • On Immunity: An Inoculation, by Eula Biss (Graywolf Press)


  • Fourth of July Creek: A Novel, by Smith Henderson (Ecco)
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller, by Terry Hayes (Emily Bestler Books/Atria)
  • The Martian: A Novel, by Andy Weir (Crown)
  • Painted Horses: A Novel, by Malcolm Brooks (Grove Press)
  • The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel, by Erika Johansen (Harper)
  • Shotgun Lovesongs: A Novel, by Nickolas Butler (Thomas Dunne Books)


  • The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, by A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Noggin, by John Corey Whaley (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang, Sonny Liew (Illus.) (First Second)
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel: A Novel, by Sara Farizan (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • This One Summer, by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (First Second)


  • The Boundless, by Kenneth Oppel, Jim Tierney (Illus.) (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd (Scholastic)
  • The Terrible Two, by Mac Barnett and Jory John, Kevin Cornell (Illus.) (Amulet Books)
  • The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books for Young Readers)


  • Goodnight Already!, by Jory John, Benji Davies (Illus.) (HarperCollins)
  • Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads, by Bob Shea, Lane Smith (Illus.) (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (Illus.) (Putnam Young Readers)
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illus.) (Candlewick)
  • The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, by Justin Roberts, Christian Robinson (Illus.) (Putnam Young Readers)
  • This Is a Moose, by Richard T. Morris, Tom Lichtenheld (Illus.) (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


  • Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey (Viking Books for Young Readers)
  • Eloise, by Kay Thompson, Hilary Knight (Illus.) (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel (HarperCollins)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, Felicia Bond (Illus.) (HarperCollins)
  • Jumanji, by Chris Van Allsburg (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  • Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag (Putnam Young Readers)
  • Olivia, by Ian Falconer (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Strega Nona, by Tomi dePaola (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Swimmy, by Leon Lionni (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Stieg (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo, by Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent (Illus.) (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
  • Tuesday, by David Weisner (HMH Books for Young Readers)


The Indie Champion Award is presented to the author, illustrator, or group that, in the opinion of booksellers, has the best sense of the importance of independent bookstores to their communities at large and the strongest personal commitment to foster and support the mission and passion of independent booksellers. ABA invites readers to learn more about the finalists by clicking on their names below:

Members of this year’s Indies Choice Book Awards jury for the adult categories were Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Chair); Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, California; Ruth Love, Aaron’s Books, Lititz, Pennsylvania; Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, California; Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, Washington; and Lynn Riehl, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The 2015 jury members for the children’s categories were Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Massachusetts (Chair); Kelsy April, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Connecticut; Betsy Balyeat, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, Illinois; Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colorado; Caitlin Luce Baker, University Book Store, Seattle, Washington; and Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Virginia.

AK Press fire relief

AK Press, publisher of the just-out Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, suffered a disastrous fire last weekend. Details about the fire and how to help them recover are in this e-mail blast:

Dear Friends,

In the early morning of March 21, the building behind ours caught fire. Two people lost their lives. The fire spread to the mixed-use warehouse building we share with 1984 Printing and 30+ residents. Everyone in our building got out safely, but several units were completely destroyed. There was extensive water and smoke damage to other units, including the ones occupied by AK Press and our neighbors at 1984 Printing.

Yesterday, we got more bad news when the City of Oakland red-tagged our building, which prohibits us from occupying it. We don’t know how long this will last, but it obviously means we can’t conduct business as usual. We are hopeful that we can recover from this tragedy but we will need your help to get through it, and to support our neighbors who have also suffered major losses.

If you can, please consider a donation to our Fire Relief Fund. If you’re not in the position to donate, please help us by sharing the campaign. We will split all contributions to this fund with 1984 Printing and our neighbors affected by the fire, and we will all be very grateful for whatever you can give.

We’ll keep you all posted as we struggle through this awful mess. Thank you all, so much, for your support thus far—we can’t tell you how much it means.

—The AK Press Collective

Make a Donation

Our mailing address is:
AK Press
674-A 23rd Street
Oakland, CA 94612

Margaret Atwood on Game of Thrones

Margaret Atwood on Game of Thrones (the tv series) in The Guardian:

“Yes, it’s Game of Thrones, that mesmerisingly popular television series that surely draws its inspiration from so many fictional sources it’s hard to keep track. The Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf, ancient Egypt, H Rider Haggard, The Sword in the Stone, the Ring Cycle, Tolkien, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Mabinogion, Harry Potter, The Jungle Book, Ursula K Le Guin, Hans Christian Andersen, Idylls of the King, Conan the Barbarian – himself the stolen-away downmarket twin of Walt Whitman – and The Wind In the Willows.”

Hello world!

Welcome to The Other Change of Hobbit‘s web site 3.0, powered by WordPress, a place where you can browse, ask questions, get recommendations, check out our history, or just hang out — almost like visiting the brick-and-mortar store. After almost 36 years in Berkeley and one very unpleasant year in El Cerrito, we are making the transition into virtual space.

We also sell collectibles on Abebooks

and assorted out-of-print titles eBay:


r.i.p. Sir Terry Pratchett

r.i.p. Sir Terry Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015).

Terry Pratchett crossed paths with The Other Change of Hobbit over the years, at an autograph party, during a drive-by signing, and at the first North American Discworld convention. Here are links to posts of photos from these events.

The Guardian has tributes from Neil Gaiman and Ursula K. Le Guin.

A page of links to The Guardian’s articles about and/or by Terry Pratchett. Check out the gallery:

Terry Pratchett on BBC Radio: links to various shows featuring TP:

and a seven-minute Terry Pratchett audio obituary on BBC Radio 4’s The Last Word, includes snippets from his interviews plus comments by the Director of the Hay Festival, Peter Florence.