Texas Bookman Welcomes New Sales Manager
Texas Bookman welcomes new sales manager, Kelley Robinson, who recently joined the staff. We are excited to have Kelley, and she is looking forward to meeting everyone. Kelley will be joining TB staff at GABBS Atlanta and the London Book Fair; if you are attending, please stop by and say hello,” said James Crates, who is transitioning into the position of general manager and buyer, as Robert Wilkie, the company’s current general manager, is retiring at the end of 2012.
Independent Publishers Group Protesting Amazon
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America has responded to the Amazon/Independent Publishers Group (IPG) contract lapse by removing Amazon links for books on its website. The site now links to other retailers, including Indiebound.org, Powell’s and Barnes & Noble.
Wiley Puts CliffsNotes and Frommers up for Sale
John Wiley is scaling back its professional/trade business and is looking to sell its most consumer-oriented lines including Frommer’s. In all, the assets being put up for sale generated revenue of $85 million in the fiscal year ended April 30, 2011, about 19.5% of the segment’s revenue, but only a fraction of Wiley’s total sales of $1.7 billion. Other categories on the block are culinary (cookbooks, including titles taken over from Meredith), general interest, nautical, pets (Howell House), crafts, Webster’s New World dictionaries, and CliffsNotes. The properties generated about $6 million in profits in fiscal 2011. Allen & Company has been retained to conduct the search for a buyer or buyers. Print, digital and online products are part of the sale.
Justice Department Warns Apple about eBook Price Fixing
The U.S. Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five top book publishers that lawsuits over alleged e-book price fixing might be in the offing, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal said the Justice Department has told publishers and the Cupertino tech giant that lawsuits could be filed accusing the companies of colluding to keep e-book prices high for both Apple users and rivals such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some publishers "have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle," the Journal said. "If successful, such a settlement could have wide-ranging repercussions for the industry, potentially leading to cheaper e-books for consumers. However, not every publisher is in settlement discussions."
Writers Using Pinterest to Post Free Online Books
The Pinterest social network may still be closed to the general public, but that’s not stopping readers and writers from using the site as a resource. Currently, anyone can use these Pinterest boards for eBook fans to find free digital books. The site lets users create virtual “pinboards” by pinning images of their favorite things. It includes a host of pages dedicated to books, including a number of pages dedicated to free eBooks. At Mediabistro we have been exploring the site to help writers and readers learn how to use it.
Sales Up at Wiley
After announcing they were exploring the sale of the consumer assets in its Professional/Trade segment, John Wiley reported that sales in the P/T category fell 6% in the third quarter ended January 31 (5% excluding foreign currency exchange) with declines in the consumer and business lines the major factors in the drop. Sales in both categories fell by 10%. For the entire company, revenue rose 1% in the quarter, to $451.1 million, while net income increased 38%, to $62.9 million.
Pottermore.com’s Official Launch
Pottermore.com, the online destination site based on J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter book series, will open to the public in April 2012. In a YouTube video last June, Rowling said the site would feature interactive games, new story lines and eBook editions of the series. Since then, select fans have been able to use it in a beta form. While the site was supposed to launch in October 2011, the beta test lasted longer than they had expected.
Ohio to Become Home to OverDrive Headquarters
OverDrive has announced that it has begun construction of its world headquarters in Garfield Heights, Ohio, in the Greater Cleveland area. As a result of domestic and international growth in the e-book industry, OverDrive is developing a 95,000-square-foot facility on a 12-acre tech campus to accommodate more than 300 employees.
Male Authors Still Outnumber Women
Women in Literary Arts have released a report entitled “The Count 2011,” revealing that male writers outnumbered female writers in many publications last year. Picking up where last year’s report left off, this report tracks the statistics of gender balance among writers published at literary magazines, including The New Yorker (overall: 165 women, 459 men), Poetry (overall: 134 women, 179 men) and The Threepenny Review (overall: 19 women, 37 men).
NBC Acquisition Corp. Emerging from Chapter 11
NBC Acquisition Corp., parent company of Nebraska Book Company, got closer to emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a recent filing of a Second Amended Plan for Reorganization and Disclosure Statement. A hearing to approve the Disclosure Statement will be held on April 13 at U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.