Thursday, May 11, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Sales rebounded somewhat at HarperCollins in the parent company News Corp.'s fiscal third quarter, ending March 31, with revenues of $374 million. That's a $16 million gain from the same quarter a year ago, though that was a poor period for Harper; in the same quarter in fiscal 2015 sales were $402 million. And $7 million of the quarter's gain came from the impact of international acquisitions. In the conference call with investors, executives admitted that sales of Veronica Roth's Carve the Mark, while a contributor to the quarter, "were off to a slower start than anticipated." In the coming quarter, though Harper has new releases from Michael Crichton and David Williams, they "will have fewer frontlist titles [of note] than the prior year."

EBITDA did not bounce back as much, at $37 million -- compared to $36 million a year ago, and $56 million in the same quarter two years ago. Digital sales comprised 22 percent on revenues.

News Corp. had overall sales of $1.98 billion, up from $1.89 billion in the prior year, and they were break-even on continuing operations, compared to ($128) million loss in the prior year. Results were ahead of analysts' expectations and the stock rose after hours as a result.

Hillary Clinton is the "American Icon" appearing onstage at Book Expo that fair organizers have been teasing recently. "An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton," or rather an hour with her, is scheduled for convention's Main Stage on Thursday, June 1, from 6 to 7 PM (right when everyone's parties start). Attendance requires a separate ticket, and is open to registered Book Expo badgeholders only.

Vice president audio sales for Simon & Schuster Ken Oxenreider will retire on June 30. He has worked at Simon & Schuster for 40 years, and exclusively on audio for 20.

Jeramie Orton has been promoted to assistant editor for Pamela Dorman Books and Viking.

Former ceo of Penguin Putnam Phyllis Grann has written a children's book, I Will Talk To You, Little One, with artwork by Tomie dePaola. Grann has custom published the book with Simon & Schuster Children's Little Simon imprint and is donating over 200,000 copies to New York's City's First Readers Initiative, for distribution as a gift to families of newborns at 27 hospitals serving high-needs neighborhoods across New York. The project was inspired by Grann's late sister, Mary Kasindorf, an early childhood educator: "This book is my tribute to Mary and my gift to parents of newborns, encouraging them to talk and read to their precious babes." Literacy, Inc. is the facilitating partner for City's First Readers, and honors Grann at their benefit tonight.


The bookstore that will succeed Memphis's Booksellers at Laurelwood in the same location will be called Novel. The group of 20 local owners plans an August 1 opening in a redesigned space that will be, according to co-owner Christy Yarbro, "smaller and more compact and more modern." The store will rehire many staff from the previous store, including manager Eddie Burton.

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