Friday, December 16, 2016

Publishers Lunch - Book trade news

Scholastic reported fiscal second quarter results Thursday morning, for the period through November 30, with another Harry Potter boost from Fantastic Beasts lifting sales, albeit less dramatically than the gains the previous quarter from HP and the Cursed Child. Sales of $623 million were up $21 million, or 3.5 percent, with operating profit of $111.4 million up $5.7 million.

Trade publishing sales were $98.5 million -- up $36.8 million "on the strength of Harry Potter publishing" (while in the
previous quarter, Potter drove a $69.6 million gain). Strong trade sales helped make up for declines of $4.8 million in book fairs and $13.2 million in book clubs.

As part of the company's continuous cost reduction programs, they also took a one-time severance charge of $3.9 million (though they take such "non-recurring one-time" charges regularly).

At the American Booksellers Association, longtime development officer Mark Nichols will retire following the 2017 Winter Institute after 16 years with the organization. As of January 1, 2017 Matthew Zoni will be promoted to director of development and publisher relations and will become a member of ABA's senior staff. Peter Reynolds will have an expanded role as project manager and with primary responsibility for the Indie Next Lists and the Indie Bestseller Lists. Gen de Botton will move up to ABC group manager. Additionally, David Grogan has been promoted to director of public policy and advocacy and will also join ABA's senior staff.

Kimberly Whalen has left Trident Media Group, where she was executive vice president, to open her own literary agency, The Whalen Agency. Most of Whalen's clients -- 16 named in the release -- including Sylvia Day and Maya Banks, are following her to the new agency. Representing a number of "hybrid" authors, her services include a digital publishing program that includes "jacket design, formatting, conversion, marketing, public relations and social media consulting."

Amazon has hired Sarah Smith to fill the position of editorial director for books that was vacated in July when Sara Nelson moved to HarperCollins. Smith was children's book editor at the New York Times for a year (after a long career with the newspaper) before moving to Johns Hopkins University as an instructor in their writing seminars.

At Algonquin Books, Craig Popelars has been promoted to associate publisher, where he will continue to direct Algonquin's marketing and sales initiatives while taking on new management and leadership responsibilities, working with both the Chapel Hill and New York offices.

At Skyhorse, Brianna Scharfenberg and Jaidree Braddix have both been promoted to publicist.

New Imprints
With Oprah Winfrey's new, previously-unnamed imprint at Flatiron Books launching on January 3 with Winfrey's own book
Food, Health and Happiness, the naming mystery has been solved: Her line will be called, An Oprah Book. So far the imprint's output is looking light; they just announced their second acquisition, Maria Smilios' The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis, scheduled for publication in 2018. When first announced a year ago, Flatiron said the line was "expected to include several non-fiction titles per year, chosen personally by Oprah."

Hachette Book Group will handle sales and distribution for Canadian comics & graphic novel publisher Joe Books into the United States as of July 1, 2017.

Cleis Press and Viva Editions will move print distribution from PGW to Red Wheel/Weiser, effective January 1.

Book Fairs
In 2017 the London Book Fair moves back to March 14 -- since Easter falls on April 16, with the Bologna Fair scheduled to start April 3 -- but organizers confirmed that in 2018 they will return to an April gathering, with the show starting April 10. The "market focus" guests will be Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

No comments: