Welcome to Novel Rocket’s inaugural column on industry news. Strap on your seatbelt, there’s a lot going on!
Random House and Penguin have completed their merger as of July 1st. This consolidation creates a company with over 10,000 employees and nearly 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses.
On Friday, Hachette Book Group announced plans to acquire Hyperion, the adult imprint owned by the Walt Disney Co. The deal is supposed to close this month. The result will give HBG more than 1,000 adult backlist titles plus another 25 books to release over the next few seasons.
Rumor has it that HarperCollins is in preliminary talks to acquire Simon & Schuster.
American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) announced the 2013 Carol Award finalists for the best in Christian fiction at ICRS last month. For a complete list of finalists, read ACFW’s press release.
The 2013 Christy Awards were presented at last month’s ICRS. The award honors novelists and novels of excellence in Christian Fiction. For a complete list of winners and finalists, visit the Christy’s site.
CBA (the association for Christian retail) is ending Christian Store Week, a promotion to spotlight Christian bookstores and drive traffic. The organization cited declining retailer participation and reduced support to partner ministries.
In other news, CBA reports an 8.55% sales increase for its member stores in 2012. However, most independent Christian stores reported declines or flat sales, with a few higher-performing stores upping the average.
Ebook revenues flattened out in January (the latest month for which data is available), prompting speculation that the rapid rise of digital books is beginning to stall. The anemic January 2013 performance is attributed to a comparison with January 2012 with ebook revenues driven heavily by the success of young adult series like The Hunger Games. For both print and ebooks, YA revenue declines outpaced those in other categories.
In other news, BEA (BookExpo America) 2013 predicts there’s a strong season ahead for children’s publishers, claiming the YA category continues to draw the most attention and buzz.
Melissa Endlich, senior editor for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Books tweeted that Love Inspired will increase its output of releases from 168 to 192 books per year.
HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP), the parent company of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, has announced the formation of Zondervan Gift Books. The new division will place "a strong focus" on inspirational gift books, devotionals and journals, company officials said.
After a four-year hiatus, ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) will resurrect their Publishing University (PUBu) this fall. The educational and networking event will be held this fall at Wheaton College.
A recent Harris Poll indicated that consumers “showroom" products in brick and mortar stores but purchase online.
In other news, a survey released by Kentico Software (The Mobile Experience Survey) found that approximately 63% of consumers prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store versus online.
Megan DiMaria is Novel Rocket’s industry news columnist. An author and speaker, she enjoys cheering on writers and loves to encourage others as they journey through life’s demands and delights. Megan is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands.