The Reality of Publishing Economics Has Changed for the Big Players
September 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

A veteran agent who was formerly a publisher confirmed a point for me about how trade publishing has changed over the past two decades, particularly for the big houses. This challenges a fundamental tenet of my father’s understanding of the business. (And that’s the still the source of most of mine.) I had long suspected…

A Rough Six Months for Big Book Publishers
September 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm

The trade publishing segment has been operating in a low-growth environment for several years, and that trend appears to have continued into 2016. Financial reports for the first half of 2016 from five major publishers showed that none of the companies had a sales increase in the first half of the year; HarperCollins had the…

Barnes & Noble Reports 6.6% Drop in Sales in Q1 2017
September 9, 2016 at 9:25 am

Barnes & Noble has not started fiscal 2017 on the right foot. The bookstore chain announced its 2017 Q1 earning yesterday, reporting a 6.6% drop in sales and 6.1% decline in revenue. The press release stated that sales were below expectations and that B&N experienced a net loss of $14.4 million in Q1 2017, compared…

Wiley's Education Business Continues Decline; Bright Spots in Journals and Professional Development
September 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Today education, journal, and professional publisher John Wiley & Sons released its Q1 results for the 2017 fiscal year. While the publisher experienced growth in its journal and professional development businesses, its education division saw significant revenue declines, thanks to low-performing textbooks. Wiley’s overall revenue decreased 4% from Q1 2016, declining from $423 million to…

What the Big 5's Financial Reports Reveal About the State of Traditional Book Publishing
August 5, 2016 at 2:47 pm

This post examines the latest quarterly financial reports from the big 5 book publishers and tries to draw some conclusions from the data. The big 5 are, of course, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. These companies are often seen as emblematic of the state of traditional trade book publishing in…

2% Revenue Rise for Elsevier in First Half
July 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Elsevier's business trends "remain positive", with underlying revenue growth of 2% for the first half of 2016, parent company RELX Group has reported. Revenues for Elsevier — the Scientific, Technical and Medical division of the RELX Group — for the six months to 30th June were £1,056m (2015: £987m), 80% of which were generated by digital.

Press Release: Announces First Quarter Sales up 28% to $29.1 Billion
May 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

SEATTLE — April 28, 2016 —, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2016. Operating cash flow increased 44% to $11.3 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $7.8 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015. Free cash flow increased to $6.4 billion for the trailing…

Bertelsmann Plans to Raise Stake in Penguin Random House
March 25, 2016 at 8:30 am

Bertelsmann has reported a 4.7% rise in full-year core profit and reiterated its plan to raise its stake in Penguin Random House, the book publisher which helped to drive the earnings increase. The German media group controls RTL entertainment company and owns about half of Penguin Random House, publisher of bestselling authors such as John…

PRH Drives Revenue Growth at Bertelsmann
March 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Today Bertelsmann, the majority stakeholder in Penguin Random House, reported that its total revenue grew 2.8% to €17.1 billion or about $19.2 billion in 2015. The company reported that PRH played a significant role in that growth, increasing its revenue by 11.8%. That increase is significant, especially in light or recent reports from the AAP…

HarperCollins UK Profits Tripled in Financial Year 2014-15
February 2, 2016 at 11:02 am

HarperCollins UK's profits tripled year-on-year in the 12 months to end June 2015, accounts newly filed at Companies House have revealed. Revenues were shown to grow by £6.6m to £186m and profit before tax by £8.9m to £13.1m (£4.2m in 2014). This is the first time these figures have been published as parent company News Corp…