Revenue

Is “Giving It Away” Good Business Strategy? An Interview with Nolo Vice President of Editorial Mary Randolph on her company’s progressive approach to legal publishing
September 21, 2007

In business since the 1970s, Nolo––a Berkeley, Calif.-based trade publisher specializing in legal publications––established a presence on the Web in 1994 and has been aggressively pursuing online opportunities ever since. Mary Randolph, the company’s vice president of editorial, recently spoke with Book Business Extra about Nolo’s stance on controversial topics such as Open Access and Google Book Search, and why the company believes in giving away a lot of its content. Extra: What do you feel are the biggest challenges your publishing segment is facing right now? Mary Randolph: We are primarily a trade publisher, and our main markets are bookstores and libraries. As we

Weinstein’s Wisdom
September 1, 2007

By Jim Calder Michael Weinstein’s 31-year work history reads like a list of top publishing companies: Macmillan, Pitman Publishing, Addison Wesley, Random House, McGraw-Hill, HarperCollins and Pearson Education, among others. Currently, Weinstein is vice president, EDP (editing, design and production) and manufacturing, at Oxford University Press. After decades working at some of the most notable companies in the industry and after many professional accomplishments, Weinstein’s career achievements now are being recognized. Weinstein is being inducted into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on the leading publishing executives in book, magazine and advertising production. And, he is only the second executive

Exercising Your Rights
September 1, 2007

Publishers of all sizes have to manage detailed and vital information about the rights they own, the rights they have sold, and the royalties they either owe or are owed. It can be a significant accounting undertaking. Especially with the burgeoning digital marketplace, book publishers are increasingly redistributing their content in any number of ways and thus, generating additional revenue––as well as the need to manage additional rights and royalties. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions on the market today, from services that help publishers license their content to those that help automate the tracking and payments process to save time and

Increasing Sales, One Chapter at a Time
September 1, 2007

It’s a good time to be a professional publisher. This industry segment continues to post above-average sales growth, while many of its publishers are at the forefront of the digital revolution that has been transforming the way we publish and read books. According to the Book Industry Study Group’s “Book Industry Trends 2007” report, sales of professional books increased by 3.2 percent in 2006 over the previous year, from $8.6 billion to $8.9 billion. This increase ranked professional publishing as the third-largest growth segment in dollar sales, behind only religious books (5.6-percent growth) and adult trade (3.9-percent growth). A ‘Glutted’ Market While the

Boosting Sales Is No Game to LeapFrog
September 1, 2007

In the first half of this decade, sales were skyrocketing for LeapFrog SchoolHouse—a division of LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. and publisher of interactive, research-based assessment and curriculum content for the PreK-8 education market. The Emeryville, Calif.-based company saw a boom in net sales from $8.8 million in 2001 to $55.2 million in 2004. In 2005, however, the company faced some hard (and controversial) times, and its sales began to drop. Last winter, LeapFrog SchoolHouse made a number of changes to get the company back on a growth track, including restructuring the organization, hiring a new president and focusing on its strongest segment within the

Handling High-Profile Book Deals: Q&A with Kate Jackson, Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, HarperCollins Children’s Books
August 17, 2007

Celebrity book deals appear to be more popular and sought after than ever by publishers. At the end of July, a bidding war broke out between publishers over Keith Richards’ autobiography, with Little, Brown and Company gaining the rights. Around the same time, it was announced that Martha Stewart had signed a 10-book deal with her longtime publisher, Clarkson Potter. The Viking Press was awarded the rights to the biography of the late comedian Chris Farley, which will be written by his brother, Tom Farley, Jr. Within days of Karl Rove resigning from his position as presidential advisor, reports surfaced of his plans

Beaufort Books to Publish “If I Did It”
August 17, 2007

New York-based Beautfort Books, founded in 1980, has finalized a deal with the Goldman family to publish “If I Did It,” the O.J. Simpson title that HarperCollins previously rejected. In late 2006, HarperCollins canceled plans to publish the title and destroyed 400,000 copies of it, after a public outcry against the planned publishing. “The team at Beaufort Books will be working closely with the Goldman family to bring this book to the attention of the American public,” says Eric Kampmann, president of Beaufort Books. “We will be working diligently, to not only publish this book well, but to honor the memory of the

2007 Publishing Executive Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
August 3, 2007

Book Business magazine has announced the 2007 class of inductees into the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on leading publishing executives in book, magazine, catalog and advertising production. Michael Weinstein, vice president, editing, design and production and manufacturing, Oxford University Press, is this year’s inductee in book production. A 31-year veteran of the book publishing industry, he will be joined by the following inductees to the 2007 Publishing Executive Hall of Fame: • Louis Milani, senior director, publishing operations and business affairs, Consumers Union, and a 53-year veteran of the magazine publishing industry • Marie Myers, senior vice president

Hooked on Rapid Growth
August 1, 2007

Hooked on Phonics was created in 1987 as an instructional program to assist school-age children who were struggling with reading skills. Sold primarily through infomercials, the name grew increasingly recognizable as more and more television viewers stumbled upon the advertisements and their memorable “Hooked on Phonics worked for me!” tagline. Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, the company introduced a handful of additional products, including “Hooked on Math,” but still remained true to its original direct-to-consumer sales model. In 2005, Hooked on Phonics, now known as HOP LLC, was acquired by Baltimore-based Educate Inc. (which also owns Sylvan Learning Center) and was

Lantern Books Exec ‘Cynically Optimistic’ About the Future
August 1, 2007

Martin Rowe labels his view of the book business “cynically optimistic.” The director of publishing for Lantern Books, a relatively small, independent publisher of spiritual, social, environmental and animal advocacy titles, Rowe draws upon a diverse career that has led to his well-rounded view of the business of book publishing. And this view, he says, is changing as rapidly as the industry itself. Prior to co-founding New York-based Lantern Books with the company’s CEO and president, Gene Gollogly, Rowe held positions in distribution, research and promotions, as an author, and in a handful of other roles that even included a job in a bookstore.