A Slow Retail Holiday Season
As the U.S. economy decelerates, hit by the aftershocks of the worldwide financial crisis, consumers have been hit from every direction. It won’t come as any surprise, but retail experts are predicting one of the most dismal holiday shopping seasons in decades this year- a crucial stretch that will set the stage for poor retail sales throughout 2009. As unemployment has spiked, and will continue to rise, economy unwinds and continues to work through the aftershocks of the global credit crisis, consumers have been beset on all sides. Unemployment is up, home prices are down, and credit is hard to come by.
Random House Restructuring
A recent letter, sent by Random House chairman Markus Dohle, outlined the company’s long anticipated restructuring. The reorganization will involve the consolidation of several publishing groups and the departure of Irwyn Applebaum and Steve Rubin, who have headed the Bantam Dell and Doubleday Broadway publishing groups, respectively. Gina Centrello, Sonny Mehta and Jenny Frost will head the adult groups and Chip Gibson remains in charge of the children’s division.
World Publication Names Chief Operating Officer
Jason Chudnofsky, marketing pioneer and world-renowned entrepreneur, will become the new Chief Operating Officer for World Publications Group. Joining the World team on the eve of their 25th Anniversary this upcoming year, Chudnofsky’s goal is to continue to support the visions of World’s founders, Gail and Jeffrey Press, making sure that their objectives for the future will be implemented.Named one of the 50 most Influential People in High Tech by Multi Media Magazine and deemed one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meeting Industry by Meeting New Magazine,Chudnofsky has been President of the Trade Show Division for the Interface Group (at that time–owner of Comdex, the leading technology marketplace). Additionally, he was President and CEO of Softbank Comdex, Inc, and President and COO of the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, the largest privately-owned exposition center in the United States owned by the Interface group. Chudnofsky is a nationally known sales and management training consultant, and prior to joining the Interface Group in 1987 he was the entrepreneurial owner of World Wide Unlimited, a publisher and trade and consumer exposition producer.
World Publications Group
Richter to Leave S&S Kids
President of S&S Children’s Publishing, Rick Richter, is leaving the company effective December 5. In a statement, S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy said that she was conducting a search for Richter’s successor, and Dennis Eulau, executive v-p, operations at S&S, would be in charge of the division on an interim basis. Richter, who leaves on good terms, joined S&S in 1996 as publisher of the children’s division. In 1999 he was named president of the newly consolidated S&S sales and distribution division, and then became president at S&S Children's in 2003. He headed Candlewick Press from 1993 to 1996, and before that had been children’s sales director at William Morrow.
Lay-Offs at Thomas Nelson and S&S
In what has become one of the grimmest times in publishing’s recent years, Thomas Nelson and Simon & Schuster have also succumbed to the economic crisis and lessened their workforce. Michael Hyatt, CEO at Thomas Nelson, recently announced that the Christian publishing house has laid off 54 employees, or 10% of its workforce. The cuts, already in effect, have hit almost every department. This round of layoffs is the second Thomas Nelson has recently endured. Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster recently announced that it has also eliminated 35 positions. CEO Carolyn Reidy explained as well that the cuts came in all areas of the company, including S&S’s publishing divisions, operations and sales departments and international division. As mentioned earlier, Rick Richter, head of S&S’s children’s group, as well as Rubin Pfeffer, senior v-p and publisher of the children’s group, will both be departing. Both companies credited the lay-offs to the slumping economy.
Pay Raises Frozen at Penguin
Pearson, the media group, has frozen all 2009 pay rises for all of its employees, including the Penguin Group, and Pearson Education, for those who earn more than £30,000, or $50,000, or the local equivalent. The spokesman said: "For those people [earning above £30,000], there will be no annual raise or increase in their salary. This is a measured step in light of challenging economic circumstances and uncertain economic climate in 2009, to control costs next year." The spokesman added Pearson had not frozen recruitment in any of its divisions, and that no redundancies were planned. "This measure is designed to make other measures less likely," he explained.
Powell Books: How To Save Money and The Environment
Powell's Books has an innovative idea: Save money by saving on electricity. Beginning next month the company will begin drawing power from, what it calls, "one of the largest solar electric installations in the state of Oregon," 540 panels atop the 60,000-sq.-ft. building that's home to the bookseller's warehouse and Powells.com. This concept is both a money and environmental saver. Powell's solar system, which should pay for itself in five years, will replace about a quarter of the building's electricity usage. In a statement, owner Michael Powell said that the project "made perfect sense for our business financially, and it supports our values as a company. We are continually looking for ways for our business to lessen its impact on the environment."
The International Christian Retail Show to Shorten Schedule
The 2009 International Christian Retail Show, will change to a new four-day format. The show, held in Denver, CO, Sunday, July 12 through Wednesday, July 15, includes three days of extended exhibit-floor hours. The aim is to allow exhibitors and attendees to maximize time away from their offices and stores, while reducing their costs. Another exciting element of the 2009 Show, celebrating its 60th anniversary this July, will be the debut of new specialized selling tracks (by product category) that will occur on the floor and in exhibitor booths.
CBA Retailers + Resources
Dayus to Leave CBA
Executive director Susan Dayus is retiring after 12 years at the Canadian Booksellers Association. A search committee has been established to find a replacement for Dayus, who will leave the organization on March 31, 2009. President Nancy Frater said that Sayus "shepherded our association through challenging economic times, provided excellent leadership, and continually planned ahead for issues that went beyond the day to day operations."
ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards
ForeWord’s ‘Book of the Year Awards’ are still up for vote. While the economy is shrinking many marketing budgets, the Book of the Year Awards will offer many people an affordable way to earn recognition for various 2008 titles. Earlier this year in the IBPA’s Independent, publisher Cynthia Frank wrote, “Awards increase the publisher’s and the author’s platform and credibility, which helps sales of both books and subsidiary rights. A German agency contacted us after Book Expo America because they heard one of our business titles had won a ForeWord award. We’re now negotiating the size of the advance.” Voting is still available on the ForeWord website for those who wish to put entering the ‘Book of the Year Award’ on their end-of-the-year to-do list.
NBN Offers Digital Services
National Book Network president Jed Lyons recently sent a letter to publishing clients that laid out some new digital services which will soon be offered. According to NBN, it is negotiating with a Digital Asset Management company to arrange distribution of a publisher’s titles through various online channels. A deal is expected to be signed soon. In the meantime, NBN said it is prepared to help publishers prepare for digital distribution through netLibrary and the Kindle as well as offering a service to adapt publishers’ titles for Amazon’s Search Inside the Book program that are not already part of SITB. Details about NBN’s short-run and pod programs will be released in coming months.
C-Span Bus Campaign to Visit Eagle Eye Book Shop
The Campaign 2008 C-SPAN Bus is coming to Eagle Eye Book Shop, Saturday, December 13th from 1 to 3 PM. The C-SPAN Bus Campaign consists of a 45-foot mobile production studio that has been on the campaign trail to promote and enhance C-SPAN's comprehensive political coverage, traveling to major political events such as debates, national and state conventions as well as candidate speeches. Eagle Eye will be hosting book signings and interviews with Kathryn Stockett, author of the forthcoming novel, The Help; Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation and other authors to be scheduled.
Eagle Eye Book Shop
The Book Shop: Total Store for Sale
The Book Shop, Inc. / Books On The Bluff at Townsend, GA. is closing after 40 years of wonderful community support for a source of new, used, and rare books. The poor health and old age of the owners, Harold and Virginia Hobson Hicks, made this imperative. This is an opportunity for dealers to obtain great book bargains at almost give away prices: 70% discount or negotiable for the entire inventory. If interested, please contact Harold at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-912-832-6352 (leave a message).