Friday, March 03, 2017

Publishers Lunch


Today's Meal

Barnes & Noble followed a bad holiday sales period with a poor full report on their fiscal third quarter, reducing both sales and earnings expectations for the full year. After ceo Len Riggio said in early January, "Post-holiday traffic and sales have improved and we are optimistic for the remainder of the fiscal year," adding, "we think we're going to be back on track before the holidays and through the holidays," we learn he was wrong. By the company's account there was a little window of rebounding that has already faded: "despite sales improvements post-holiday, trends softened in late January and into the fourth quarter." (The fiscal quarter ending January 28.)

Sales of $1.301 billion were down $113 million from the same period a year ago (-8.3%), and net income fell $10 million to $70 million. Nook sales before elimination -- even with the release of a new Nook-branded device (albeit the one that was recalled for a faulty charger) -- were down to $38.4 million, falling $13.3 million (-26%).

Following the bad quarter and poor trendline, BN reduced their guidance for the full year for the third time in this fiscal year. They now expect a big 7 percent decline in same-store sales (after originally predicting a "decline in the low single digits") and retail EBITDA is expected to range between $200 million and $210 million. Our full report in Publishers Lunch Deluxe includes extensive comments from Len Riggio during the conference call (also addressing their ceo search), plus more detailed figures from the full SEC quarterly filing.

Barnes & Noble presented their annual Discover Great New Writers Awards to Abby Geni's debut The Lightkeepers (Counterpoint Press) for fiction, and Matthew Desmond's widely-acclaimed Evicted (Crown) for nonfiction.

Erin Somers has joined Publishers Lunch as a reporter. Previously she has worked for two trade publications, and her writing about books has appeared in Literary Hub, The Millions, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. Somers is also the recipient of a 2016 Center For Fiction Emerging Writer Fellowship. News editor Sarah Weinman is on a leave of absence to complete the manuscript for her
forthcoming book AMONG THE WHOLESOME CHILDREN, the story of the real-life inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita,

Little, Brown announced a number of recent promotions.
Jean Garnett has been promoted to editor, while Carina Guiterman moves up to associate editor. Maggie Southard has been promoted to senior publicist, while Julie Ertl has been promoted to publicist. Brandon Kelley has been promoted to executive director of marketing operations and Kaitlyn Boudah moves up to marketing coordinator.

Cave Henricks public relations has promoted Margaret Kingsbury to publicity director and Kimberly Petty has moved up to the new position of head of marketing and social media.

Jesse Aylen has left Crown Archetype to transition to freelance editing, writing, and co-writing.

Georgina Hawtrey-Woore, 50, senior editor at Cornerstone, died on February 27 after battling cancer. She joined Century and Arrow in 2002.

The 6,500-square-foot bookstore Amazon is
developing in Walnut Creek, CA's Broadway Plaza looks will include a small cafe -- based on an East Bay Times report on conceptual renderings submitted to the city for review. The just-opened store in Dedham, MA is the first of their outlets to serve coffee. (Boston Magazine says they are serving Peet's Coffee.)

The Fashion Bookstore in Los Angeles will close March 31. Located in the California Market Center showroom building, the bookstore has sold fashion-themed magazines and books for twenty-five years. Co-founder Bill Golant
cited high rents as the reason for closing.

Correcting our piece about the Obamas' book deal, Penguin Random House ceo Markus Dohle was indeed on-site in Florida for the company's sales conference and opened the event on Sunday event. Whatever time he was absent from meetings finalizing the Obama deal, a spokesperson confirms "his engagement with our sales and publishing colleagues at many of our sessions."

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