In an encouraging beginning to the second half-year, our sales numbers in the United States and Germany were up in July over the prior year. In the opinion of our booksellers around the world, Random House has a large group of very commercial titles for autumn.
On September 20 in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australasia, and on October 25 in Germany, we will launch our biggest book and audio of the year: “Brisingr,” the third novel by Christopher Paolini in his “Inheritance” cycle. First printing for the United States and Canada alone is 2.5 million copies—the largest initial print run for a title this fall from any publisher. “Brisingr” will be published by our Children’s divisions, and as with Christopher’s previous novels, “Eragon” and “Eldest,” the additional sales from adult readers will be enormous.
But even for our biggest books, in this retail environment there are no guaranteed successes. We will have to work harder for every sale.
As I complete my first three months as chairman and CEO of our great company, I can assure you of the continuing strong support for Random House and its people from our shareholders, our Bertelsmann CEO Hartmut Ostrowski, and the entire Executive Board. Their confidence in our company’s long-term profitability and growth potential is great.
With our biggest sales season about to begin, I thank you for your support, your teamwork and your commitment to our books and to our financial goals. I know you join me in our determination to outperform the marketplace for a strong finish to our fiscal year.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Member of the Executive Board of Bertelsmann AG