PubFight: Week 2 – brought to you by coffee

Now that we're in week two of the game, our all-stars are finally starting to see some results. So we thought it was about time that we introduced our final two publishers. Previously, we introduced Richard Nadeau of Donkey in the Fog Editions, Bryant Harte of Last Word Press, and Sian Bumsted of Bookstore Baby Publishing. Let's see who they're up against!

Up first we have Nikole Kritikos and Kristen Mayhill of Same Book, Different Pile Inc., who bear a striking resemblance to Cagney & Lacey...

Same Book, Different Pile Inc.

Kristen and Nikole are three-time league champions with one overall championship under their belts. They talk about this to anyone who will listen. Each time they won, they paid top dollar for Guinness World Records. They are still lamenting not having budgeted for that in this All-Star League. Can it be done without Guinness? Their only other winning effort as a team was a karaoke duet to "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. 

Kristen and Nikole started at Scholastic Canada within weeks of each other 10 years ago. With Kristen’s natural gift for communicating, and Nikole’s loudmouth ways, they fit nicely in their respective sales and marketing roles. In terms of book taste, Kristen enjoys curling up with a Jodi Picoult (though they didn't bid on Spark of Light and thoroughly regret it). Nikole has been on a kick of reading bestsellers from decades past – The Bonfire of the Vanities being the latest.

Kristen is fiercely competitive due to her sporty and athletic upbringing. Nikole is just heavily caffeinated. Together they are the perfect team.

Let's hear what they have to say about the auction process.

We'll all be muttering, "Should have bid more on Grisham..." well into our golden years, and only a handful of people will know why.

It seems there are quite a few titles you're regretting. Guinness, Picoult, Grisham... Do you think you still have a shot at winning?

It's always sobering when you see the lists side by side. We probably should have researched Joel Osteen sales prior to this meeting.

Maybe, but you've got some big titles. Dog Man #5: Lord of the Fleas publishes this week. Though Bryant got Dog Man #6, so you can be sure he'll be watching your sales.

I'm going to make sure his stock is delayed.

Good plan.

Also in the metaphorical PubFight ring, we have Tan Light of Tartan Skull!

Tartan Skull

Tan is the underdog in the competition, having only won once despite a decade of playing. However, she definitely has some all-star skills up her sleeves. For starters, she can speak five languages! And like her competitors, she drinks coffee as frequently as possible. Tan also reads e'ery day and loves all bookstores (but is a regular at Type Books on Queen Street in Toronto). Essentially, she's a caffeinated polyglot who knows the business and she has a secret weapon: her acquisitions editor Kelev (pictured above). Tan likes to spend her free time watching gothic musical-horror-comedy films set in the year 2056, and her favourite is Repo! The Genetic Opera. It's bloodier than Sweeney Todd and the songs are just as catchy.

So far Tartan Skull has been eerily silent. Do we have a dark horse in the competition? Only time will tell.

Current standings

Keep in mind that most titles haven't been published yet, so it's still anybody's game.

  1. Donkey in the Fog Editions
  2. Tartan Skull
  3. Last Word Press
  4. Bookstore Baby Publishing
  5. Same Book, Different Pile Inc.

Top 10 titles

Title rankings are based on advances paid during the auction.

  1. Fire & Blood, George RR Martin – $87,500
  2. Guinness World Records 2019, Guinness World Records – $77,500
  3. The Reckoning, John Grisham – $67,500
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 13: The Meltdown, Jeff Kinney – $50,000
  5. Kingdom of the Blind, Louise Penny – $40,000
  6. Becoming, Michelle Obama – $40,000
  7. Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks – $40,000
  8. Bobby, Bobby Orr – $37,500
  9. Dog Man #5: Lord of the Fleas, Dav Pilkey – $37,500
  10. Jamie Cooks Italy, Jamie Oliver – $35,000
"You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention." –  Django Unchained