Finance

Houghton Mifflin Plans To Cut $3.1 Billion In Debt
May 11, 2012

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers Inc. has formed an agreement with a majority of its creditors to eliminate $3.1 billion of debt, marking the publisher's latest effort to tackle a heavy debt load in the face of weak textbook demand.

The company plans to reorganize through a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, an effort it hopes to complete by the end of next month.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Houghton had hired restructuring advisers for help reworking its finances, citing people familiar with the matter.

E-book Price-Fixing: Finding the Best Model for Publishers — and Readers
April 25, 2012

The legal controversy over Apple's efforts to use the agency model when selling books directly to its consumers offers a good opportunity to examine the benefits and costs of adopting that approach, both for online retailers and their customers. Does the agency model of selling online harm consumers — and society in general — by raising prices for numerous products, not just for e-books? Or might the agency model offer significant, if often overlooked, economic and social benefits over the wholesale model for manufacturers, retailers and the general public?

Zondervan Offers Statement of Condolence on the Passing of Chuck Colson, Plans to Contribute to Prison Fellowship Ministries
April 24, 2012

Zondervan has announced plans to honor Chuck Colson’s legacy by donating a portion of the proceeds from Colson’s titles published with Zondervan to Prison Fellowship Ministries. These contributions are above and beyond author royalties that already go to the Colson estate. Through all his accomplishments as an author and Christian leader, Colson never lost focus on his passion for helping inmates. He founded Prison Fellowship Ministries in 1976, and today the ministry reaches prisoners, ex-prisoners and families of prisoners throughout the United States and, through Prison Fellowship International (PFI), in 115 countries worldwide.

PaidContent reporter confirms at least two Big Six publishers refusing to sign Amazon contracts
April 11, 2012

On PaidContent, Laura Hazard Owen has followed up with the Salon reporter who broke the story yesterday that the Big Six publishers may be refusing to sign Amazon’s newest contract. Owen contacted the Salon reporter, Alexander Zaitchik, for further details, and was told one source was “within the publishing journalism industry” and another was a contact at a major New York publishing house.

The terms causing the publishers to balk are “co-op fees,” which were traditionally fees publishers paid to bookstores to get them to plug their books in the store.

Libraries + E-books
March 1, 2012

Recently, the leadership of the American Library Association (ALA) met with senior management from several large publishing houses. Some of them allow libraries to purchase and own their e‑books (Random House; Perseus). Some of them are not making their e‑books available to libraries (Macmillan; Simon and Schuster). And some are somewhere in the middle (Penguin, until recently; and Harper–Collins with its "26 circulations" loan cap model). In all of our meetings with the publishing executives (all of the aforementioned except HarperCollins), we found that for those not making their e‑books available through libraries, the sticking point was identifying a business model that protected their digital editions from piracy and loss of sales. These are understandable concerns.

India: World’s Largest Book Exporter?
March 1, 2012

Indian service providers for typesetting, e-book, copy-editing and other production services are an established fact and part of virtually every major publisher's workflow.

To be sure, the business process outsourcing (BPO) of publishing services is a growth business, forecast to reach $1.2 billion in 2012 (according to a report by research and intelligence organization ValueNotes, "Offshoring in the Publishing Vertical: 2009"), including outsourcing for book, magazine and newspaper publishing—with 60 percent of these revenues being directed to Indian providers.

That said, it appears that we may be on the verge of a new addition to the existing Indian business model—an initiative that the Indian book manufacturing community has named Book City—Vision 2017.

Amazon: The Elephant in the Room
March 1, 2012

In 1455 Johannes Gutenberg produced his famous "Bible"—the first book printed with moveable type—launching what would become in subsequent centuries the modern publishing industry. In 1995, Jeff Bezos sold the first book through Amazon.com, launching what would produce in less than 20 years the end of the modern publishing industry.

Hyperbole? Perhaps not, when the earth-shaking influence of the e‑commerce giant's recent moves in publishing are taken into account.

How EDC Plans to Sell More Books After Dropping Amazon
February 28, 2012

The Educational Development Corp., which announced today that it is pulling all of its titles from Amazon, plans to increase its sales by abandoning the major online retailer, according to the company’s CEO.

Amazon accounted for about 13% of EDC’s sales in 2011, estimated Randall White, CEO of the publicly traded Tulsa, Okla.-based children’s book publisher. The exact number is uncertain because EDC sells to Amazon through distributors who also sell through other channels and do not provide EDC an exact breakdown of sales.

Edwards Brothers and Malloy Merge to Form Nation's Sixth Largest Book Maker
February 6, 2012

Edwards Brothers, Inc. and Malloy Incorporated, two leading book manufacturers, announced today that they would merge effective February 6, 2012, forming a new company called Edwards Brothers Malloy. The new company will have combined sales of $115 million and will be the sixth largest book manufacturing firm in the United States, offering publishers a global distributed print program and fulfillment services that combine to form a single print supply chain solution.

Publishers' Outlook 2012: The Industry's Next Bold Move
January 1, 2012

The year 2011 may well go down as the annum of the e-reader. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony and Kobo went all-in for holidays to get their e-readers, tablets and apps into as many hands, purses and briefcases as possible. In 2012, we'll see the results of that push, as publishers anticipate the next step in the digital evolution. Book Business interviewed executives across a wide swath of the industry, from giant trade publishers to university presses, educational outfits and upstart indies. We found that while digital is on the march, print is far from dead, and the next bold move in the industry may be maximizing the synergies between the two.