Product Launches

BISG To Release Book Industry Trends 2007
June 1, 2007

The Book Industry Study Group Inc. (BISG), a trade association for book industry standards, policy and research, is scheduled to announce its annual book sales estimates and forecasts in both dollars and units for the time period of 2005–2011, today during BookExpo America (BEA) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The estimates are part of the 2007 edition of “Book Industry Trends,” BISG’s research publication that has provided a view of U.S. book publishing sales for the past 30 years. The preview at BEA will feature highlights from the new publication, a description of the research methodology and sources of

Top 30 Book Manufacturers
June 1, 2007

If 2007 goes down as “The Year of RR Donnelley,” it will do so as a result of a 65-day span at the turn of the year during which the conglomerate announced it would acquire three industry stalwarts: Perry Judd’s, Von Hoffman and Banta Corp. But the past year has been about more than consolidation and leveraged buyouts. North American printers continue to grapple with the mounting menace that is offshore manufacturing, fluctuating paper prices amid a series of mill shutdowns, and the ever-evolving technological demands of their customers. And yet, despite these challenges, there are also a number of opportunities facing the market.

Barnes & Noble Reports Increased First Quarter Sales Results
June 1, 2007

Barnes & Noble Inc. recently reported that sales for the first quarter of 2007 increased by 3 percent to $1.1 billion compared to the prior year’s first quarter. Store sales reportedly increased 3.3 percent to $1 billion and BarnesandNoble.com sales were up 8 percent to $93.8 million, also compared to Q1 of 2006. The increase in sales was attributed to some successful titles including: Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret,” Chris Bohjalian’s “The Double Bind,” Mohsin Hamids “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” and others. For the second quarter, the company anticipates comparable store sales at Barnes & Noble stores to increase in the low to mid single digits,

Focusing on Faith
May 1, 2007

The large New York publishing firms might have been forgiven, in early 2000, for taking little or no notice of a slim volume of Bible commentary put out by Multnomah Publishers, a small religious publishing house based in Colorado Springs. The book, which analyzed an obscure Old Testament passage as a sort of self-help guide to releasing “God’s favor, power and protection” through prayer, was bought up by large evangelical churches and began to be talked about online and in so-called “small group ministry” sessions around the country. One year and 4 million copies later, everyone in the publishing world had heard of

Deconstructing Distribution
May 1, 2007

The recent collapse of San Diego-based wholesaler Advanced Marketing Services (AMS), and its distribution subsidiary that it took down with it—the much esteemed Publishers Group West (PGW) that it acquired only five years ago—reminded me of the remarkable way in which our industry sorts through 180,000 new titles a year and the millions more in print. Somehow, in a timely manner, the industry moves books into stores, superstores, specialty stores and gift shops, big-box discounters, grocery and drug store chains, and libraries of all kinds—aggregating more than 100,000 accounts that someone has to bill and collect on. Dramatic though the PGW collapse is, drilling

An Exhibition of Optimism
April 1, 2007

In the months following the Sept. 11 attacks, museum admissions declined sharply, exhibitions were cancelled, and in the turbulence, administrators began examining whether they could continue to publish books as a result. Today, “there is generally a very optimistic feeling, which is not to say it’s easy. It’s still very difficult, but it’s an exciting time, and I feel really good about our future,” says Yale University Press Publisher Patricia Fidler. “No one was saying that a few years ago.” Currently, her art and architecture division publishes 120 books annually, of which roughly 60 percent stem from Yale’s museum partners. Stephanie Medlock,

Future of Print Takes Center Stage at Book Business Conference & Expo
April 1, 2007

More than 1,000 publishing industry professionals converged on New York’s Marriott Marquis, March 5-7, braving a windy Times Square to attend the 2007 Book Business Conference and Expo. The future of print was a primary theme throughout both the exhibit hall, which housed approximately 100 industry suppliers and services, and the conference program, which was packed with more than two dozen sessions, roundtables and panel discussions relevant to book publishers looking for tools to manage their businesses in an ever-changing industry. “The conference hit on so many of the most significant issues facing book publishers that attendees and speakers alike were truly energized by

Random House Sales and Profits Up, According to 2006 Fiscal Report
March 26, 2007

Random House posted a 6.5 percent growth last year, according to 2006 sales data released Wednesday, during a press briefing in Berlin, by its parent company, Bertelsmann. Random House sales jumped to $2.5 billion last year, helping the New York-based publishing arm of the German media conglomerate to raise its operating profit 9.6 percent to $242 million. In a letter written to Random House staff, Peter Olson, Random House chairman and CEO, said the company’s fiscal performance “is especially impressive for having been achieved against the backdrop of a sluggish international book marketplace, a slightly unfavorable foreign exchange rate due to the dollar’s ongoing weakness against

You’re Hired!
March 1, 2007

Publishers rely on the Internet or classified ads to spread the word about new positions, but how can you guarantee you will attract people with the best or even relevant skill sets? Furthermore, the more important question may be: Exactly what skill sets should you be looking for in today’s constantly changing publishing environment? Beyond the obvious characteristics any publisher would want in a new hire—intelligence, loyalty, enthusiasm, writing and editing skills, an eye for layout, business and marketing savvy, and so forth, publishers may wonder if they should expand the perimeter of the required skill set to prepare for embracing the multimedia

Help Yourself to Opportunity
March 1, 2007

Whether it’s through Dr. Phil’s advice on “getting real” or Dale Carnegie’s strategies on “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” we seem to be incessantly compelled to better ourselves. Besides spiritual and professional self-help books, do-it-yourself books have exploded in popularity over the years (the “For Dummies” line published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. among them). But like any other market segment, the self-help book market faces challenges—challenges that are, in fact, similar to those most publishers are facing at the moment. They also face great opportunity in a changing marketplace—opportunity that some say could be easily missed. Community Is Key