The New York Times

‘Harry Potter’ Serious Business When It Comes to Early Shipping
July 20, 2007

The New York Times is reporting that Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the “Harry Potter” series, has sued an online bookseller and its distributor earlier this week for “flagrant violations of their strict contractual obligations” by shipping copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” before the time and date set by the publisher. A breach of contract suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois, in which Scholastic accused Infinity Resources, which owns the online retailer, of shipping books to some customers up to a week before the on-sale date, according to The Times. Levy Home Entertainment, a

Books By E-mail and RSS: Q&A With the Creator of
May 18, 2007, a Web site based in New York that currently offers a free service allowing users to read entire books via e-mail and RSS installments, recently announced plans for aggressive growth. DailyLit currently allows visitors to sign up to receive more than 370 classic and contemporary titles, free of charge, in installments designed to be read in less than five minutes. The contemporary titles used are available via Creative Commons, a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright, built within current copyright law, that allows you to share your creations with others and use music, movies, images and text online that’s been

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

The View From the Top
May 1, 2007

HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, one of the five largest book publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp., is strategically focused on a digital evolution that will shape the company’s goals and mission in the future. The foundation of this evolution can be traced back 10 years to when Jane Friedman was hired as the company’s president and CEO. According to Friedman, in the past 10 years HarperCollins has increased profits by more than 1,000 percent and its total revenue went from $600 million to $1.3 billion in 2006. The company publishes an average of 4,300 titles globally per year, with 3,100 employees

Pick a Title, Any Title
May 1, 2007

You only have so many titles to market to the public. How do you choose the right ones and how do you further their cause? It’s never an easy decision. One title you might acquire reads beautifully, but where’s the platform for marketing it? The author doesn’t exactly seem television-interview friendly. Another title has a famous person behind it, but it’s missing a little thing called substance. These are the dilemmas publishers face every day, and although choosing a title is certainly not easy, several publishers with a number of best sellers under their belts say that there are certain steps you can

Must-Read Interview: Insights on blog marketing for book publishers, social networking, e-newsletters and more
April 20, 2007

When it comes to incorporating multimedia—such as blogs, webcasts, e-newsletters, social networking, video, among others—into the business model, Christian publisher Baker Publishing Group is well ahead of the curve. Book Business Extra spoke with two executives from Baker’s different divisions: Jim Hart, the Internet marketing manager at Baker’s Bethany House Publishers, and Twila Bennett, the senior director of marketing at its Revell, Baker Books and Chosen divisions. In this exclusive interview, Hart and Bennett share their insights behind the company’s innovative marketing tactics. EXTRA: From a marketing and sales perspective, describe some of the innovative ways you are using blogs to increase your

Publishing to a Higher Power
April 1, 2007

Dwight Baker, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Baker Publishing Group—the third-largest publisher in the Evangelical Christian publishing market—arrived in his position from a different starting point than most publishing company presidents, and he’s using that fresh perspective to put his own personal spin on religious publishing. His approach seems to be working. The company’s annual sales in 2006 surpassed $50 million, four of its publishing divisions saw double-digit growth, and it has a current New York Times Best Seller on the market with 1.4 million copies sold. The family business was founded in 1939 by Dwight’s grandfather, Herman Baker. When Dwight was a teenager, he

‘The Secret’ is Out (of Stock)
April 1, 2007

The secret to publishing a runaway best seller is out, and you won’t need to read a book or watch a DVD to get in on it. “The Secret,” a self-help book by Rhonda Byrne, is perhaps the most controversial chart-topper since Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” By now you’ve probably heard its premise—that your own thoughts hold the key to a happy, healthy and successful life. Positive thinking attracts positive results, preaches Byrne and a team of “teachers” featured throughout the book. They call it the law of attraction. Your business didn’t fail because you missed a quota or hired the

Oprah Announces New Book Club Selection
March 30, 2007

On Wednesday, Oprah Winfrey announced on her TV show that Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” published in 2006 by the Knopf Group of Random House Inc., is her second book club pick of the year and just her third overall selection since September 2005 and the controversial “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. Oprah’s Book Club was established in September 1996, and since then, her selections have pulled some obscure works onto best-seller lists. However McCarthy’s book is a relatively safe bet for Oprah, already receiving much national acclaim. “The Road” is on the USA Today Bestseller List, a National Book Critic’s

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