THE INDIE 50 The New York Times Book Review would like to make nice with independent booksellers, but the announcement that its website would soon carry a best-seller list culled strictly from indies has yet to do the trick. Since the summer, between 50 and 100 bookstore owners haven’t reported sales to the best-seller list in protest over the Times’ online partnership with BarnesandNoble.com, which is just a click away from the Book Review’s. Book Review editor Charles McGrath describes the difference between the traditional best-seller list and the all-independents as ”not earthshaking but fascinating.” Sanj Kharbanda, general manager of WordsWorth Books in Cambridge, Mass., concedes the new list, which will go up this month, ”might be a good marketing tool,” but he doesn’t plan to start reporting sales again. ”The vast majority of independent booksellers are not online, so it’s of no help to them,” says Robert Maull, president of the Oregon Independent Booksellers Association, whose members have all stopped giving numbers to the Times.
LIVE WIRE She wrote the mother of all tell-alls back in 1978, and now Christina Crawford, 52, is personally reissuing Mommie Dearest ”as I intended to publish it the first time.” The 20th-anniversary trade-paperback edition restores 100 pages that William Morrow axed from the original manuscript: material covering Crawford’s adult relationship with her menacing mom, screen legend Joan Crawford. The book sold nearly 5 million copies and was the basis for a campy film starring Faye Dunaway (Christina would have preferred Anne Bancroft) but has been hard to find since it fell out of print (Crawford claims ardent fans are ”just not letting go of it”). Readers can clench the expanded version only by calling 888-526-5487 or visiting – is that the sound of Joan spinning in her grave? – www.mommie dearest.com. Besides her publishing venture, Crawford runs a B&B in northern Idaho. We’ll wager there aren’t any wire hangers in the closets.
– Alexandra Jacobs and Matthew Flamm