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Monday, September 02, 2013

Industry News

Welcome to Novel Rocket’s September column on industry news. 

  • Cha-ching! Hear that? Profits are rising at Penguin Random House after the Penguin Group reported a strong first half of 2012. For more info... 
  • Profits are also rising at Lagardere Publishing (their U.S. subsidiary is Hachette Book Group). Total sales at Lagardere Publishing rose 1.4% in the first half of 2013. Here in the U.S. the company cited gains at Hachette Book Group, which rose 7% driven by higher sales of Nicholas Sparks’ titles plus higher e-book sales. For more info...
  • E-book and paperback sales boost the bottom line for religious publishers. Faith-based publishers (Crossway, Gospel Light, Moody Publishers, David C Cook, Thomas Nelson and Tyndale House Publishers, among others represented by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) reported a 7.9% increase during the first quarter of 2013 in religious e-book sales compared to the same period last year.
  • From January-April this year, religious hardcover sales were down nearly 3.6%. In contrast, religious paperback sales experienced an 8% increase during the same date range versus January-April 2012. For more info...
  • Total revenue at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt rose 5% in the second quarter ended June 30, 2013 compared to the second quarter of 2012.  Sales increased in both its education and trade groups. For more info...
  • Family Christian Stores, now a nonprofit 501 (c) 3, has pledged to donate 100% of its profits to Christian organizations and causes. In November 2012, the nation's largest Christian retail chain was acquired by three Atlanta-area businessmen who wanted to transform the business to increase Christian generosity. How great is that? For more info...
  • After a larger than expected first-quarter net loss, Barnes & Noble former chairman, Leonard Riggio called off his offer to buy the booksellers' retail business. For more info...
  • And they’re playing nice again. Following a disagreement over terms, Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster announced that they have settled a dispute that left B&N’s stock of titles from the publisher diminished. For more info...
  • And the battle continues. In their continued price war with Amazon, Overstock.com has announced that members of their loyalty program, Club O, will now receive "Club O Dollars" equaling 15% of a book purchase price to use toward future purchases.  In late July Overstock priced 360,000 book titles 10% below Amazon's prices. For more info...
  • Online retailers—led by Amazon—sold nearly half of all books in 2012, according to the 2013 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review. For more info...
  • And in other news, bookstore sales, which had been running close to even with 2012 through the first five months of 2013, tumbled 9.5% in June.
  • Regal Books (Gospel Light) has announced a new publishing initiative, Regal for Women: God’s Word for a Woman’s World. The line will encourage transformative change in the lives of women of all ages. For more info...
  • Perhaps he still has some ‘splaining to do. In late July President Obama received a letter from a number of regional booksellers associations and the American Booksellers Association expressing their concerns about his nationally televised appearance at an Amazon fulfillment center during his tour promoting his economic recovery agenda. President Obama, or more likely a staffer, replied in a wordy, boilerplate letter that failed to address the issues the booksellers raised about Amazon’s predatory pricing, its decision to fight state sales tax, and other tactics that booksellers view as hurting all small businesses. For more info...
  • Sourcebooks has acquired Simple Truths, a publisher of motivational and inspirational books. Simple Truths sells its publications direct-to-consumer, primarily through its Website.
  • Great news for brick and mortar bookstores! LifeWay Christian Stores will acquire the Berean Christian Stores chain. The purchase gives LifeWay, which currently owns 163 stores, 17 additional stores.
  • Xulon Press, a Christian POD publisher, has announced what it calls a first-of-its-kind free book publishing program for the faith-based market. Through FreeChristianPublishing.com, writers will be able to prep their manuscripts for print and e-book publication at no charge. The site goes live this month, and by early 2014 writers will have access to a system that guides you through formatting your manuscript for production—including access to a selection of free stock covers. For more info...
  • And another self-publishing option for authors! Launching this month, Excel promises a breakthrough in digital self-publishing using an exclusive high-speed publishing technology. The project is a collaborative effort owned by Charisma House and directed by Tom Freiling (former owner of Xulon Press). For more info...
  • Mid-month, Morgan James Publishing will launch an e-book bundling program, providing a digital file version with every purchase of a physical book. Partnering with BitLit,a Vancouver-based smartphone app company, MJP will enables readers to claim free or discounted e-book editions of print books purchased through traditional channels. For more info...
  • Last month, California based PM Press is the first book publisher to bundle free e-books with nearly every one of the physical books purchased on its website. For more info...
  • Good news for Apple. Despite ‘blatant and aggressive disregard’ for antitrust laws, Judge Denise Cote significantly lightened the proposed injunctive relief the company will face after being found liable in its e-book price fixing trial. For more info...
  • In contrast to the DOJ case against Apple, north of the border the Government of Quebec wants to make book price fixing legal. For more info...
  • Despite a net loss in last year’s second quarter just under $900,000, Books-A-Million promises to continue on their current path, including diversifying the business.  BAM’s core book business has stabilized and some new areas, like gifts and pop culture items, continue to do well. For more info...
  • The long-running copyright battle, Authors Guild vs. Google, is heating up again with opposition to Summary Judgment briefs filed last week. For more info...
  • According to figures released by the Association of American Publishers, April adult book sales fell 4.0% compared to last April, while sales in the children’s/young adult segment dropped 33.1%. For more info... 
  • Effective September 16th, Julie Gwinn begins her tenure at Abingdon Press as the Christian living marketing manager. Gwinn comes from the B&H Publishing Group where she served as the trade book marketing manager and then fiction publisher.
  • Executive Editor for Harlequin Love Inspired Joan Marlow Golan retired last month. She joined the company in 1997 as a senior editor with Silhouette Romance.
  • . . . And Tina James has been promoted to executive editor, Harlequin Love Inspired.

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



12 comments:

Nicole said...

Wow. Well done again, Megan. Lots of stuff there and some velly interesting "free" offerings. ;)

Megan DiMaria said...

Thanks, Nicole.

Ane Mulligan said...

Megan ... FANTASTIC job on reporting the industry news! Some of these I hadn't heard at all!

Megan DiMaria said...

Thanks, Ane. I try my best.

Megan DiMaria said...
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Megan DiMaria said...
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Sandy Nadeau said...

Wow. That's a lot of info. Thanks.

Julie Garmon said...

Thank you! That took lots of hard work~

Megan DiMaria said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Megan DiMaria said...

There's always lots going on -- which is a good thing. Thanks, Sandy.

Bonnie Doran said...

Great info, Megan. I feel like I've been burying my head in the sand while the publishing industry goes on its merry way.

Gina Holmes said...

Wow, Megan. That had to be a lot of work to put together. I feel all up to date now. Really appreciate you!