Finance

MacMillan Agrees to $20 Million E-Book Prices Settlement
April 29, 2013

Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s MacMillan unit agreed to pay $20 million to consumers to settle claims it conspired with Apple Inc. (AAPL) and other U.S. publishers to fix the prices of electronic books.

The agreement resolves both a lawsuit by U.S. states and a consumer class-action lawsuit, according to an April 25 letter the Texas attorney general sent to U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote in Manhattan.

Down East Books sold to Maryland publisher; will retain Rockport offices, staff
April 26, 2013

Down East Books, formerly a subsidiary of Down East Enterprise, which also publishes Down East Magazine, has been sold to Maryland-based publishing house Rowman & Littlefield.

According to Down East Enterprise president and CEO Bob Fernald, the sale went into effect on April 1. Down East Books will keep its Rockport offices, as well as editor Michael Steere and two sales representatives, and will retain all but a few of its more than 450 titles in four imprints, including Down East Books, Shooting Sportsman Press, Fly Rod & Reel Books and Countrysport Press.

The Penguin Random House Book Powerhouse Is Coming Very Soon
April 26, 2013

 It was not so many months ago, in October of last year, when we learned that publishers Random House and Penguin would merge, per their parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson. Today it appears that the merger is on schedule, and may even happen more quickly than anticipated, reports Crain's Matthew Flamm: An internal memo went out to Penguin staffers Friday morning in which Penguin Group CEO John Makinson said the merger will close early in the second half of the year. So, soon!

UK Indie publisher staff see pay and benefits rise
April 15, 2013

 Staff at independent publishers have seen increases in pay and benefits over the last three years, according to the IPG's most recent salary survey.

The survey, conducted in February and March with 72 IPG companies contributing data, showed that two out of every five IPG member directors were paid in the £60,000-plus range, compared to a third at the time of the IPG's last salary survey in 2009. The most common pay bracket for managers was £35,000 to £40,000, up from £25,000 to £30,000 in 2009.

Trade Publishers' Net Revenue Grows 6.2% for Calendar Year 2012
April 11, 2013

US Trade publishers’ net revenue grew by 6.2%  compared to calendar year 2011, according to the Association of American Publishers “StatShot” monthly report for December 2012, released today.
 
The report also showed increases year over year for net revenue in the Trade categories of Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction and Children’s/Young Adults.
 
In formats, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction saw growth in eBooks, downloaded audiobooks and paperbacks while Children’s/YA eBooks, hardcover and board books saw increases.  The eBook format in the Religious Presses category also grew as compared to 2011.

Is Your Model Obsolete? Innovation is the new essential competency for book publishers
April 11, 2013

Your business model is the description of how you make money. Is your model to sell your book through bookstores (clicks and bricks)? Or are you a publisher selling multiple titles the same way you always have? You may have added ebooks to your product line and assumed this was a new business model. It is a variation, not a new model.

If you have not changed the way you generate revenue in the past year, your business model is probably obsolete. And you are not maximizing your revenue opportunities.

Look at Amazon.com as an example. It launched with an innovative business model as an online bookstore. Then it started offering other products (clothing, computers) requiring different distribution networks. Then Amazon began selling digital books, music and movies online. Soon it added its own branded products (Kindle), web services and is now investing millions of dollars in warehouses for same-day delivery of groceries and other merchandise. Amazon’s business model changed regularly over 18 years to meet and create new opportunities.

Fifty Shades of Grey publisher Random House posts record profits
March 26, 2013

EL James's Fifty Shades trilogy sold more than 70m copies in 2012, driving Random House to record annual revenues and profits.

The publisher's operating profit leapt 75% year on year to €325m (£275.7m) in 2012. Revenues at the Bertelsmann-owned company, which is awaiting final clearance on a merger with Pearson's Penguin, grew 22.5% year-on-year to €2.1bn.

James' Fifty Shades of Grey and sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed became the book publishing phenomenon of 2012, shifting more than 70m copies between March and December.

Looking for a Simon & Schuster title? Barnes & Noble might not be your best bet
March 25, 2013

Book retailer Barnes & Noble has reportedly reduced the amount of titles it stocks by Simon & Schuster authors and lowered the number of S&S books on display as it continues to be embroiled in a debate with the publisher.

Neither the chain nor Simon & Schuster would specify exactly what is being negotiated, but sources cited  by The New York Times told the newspaper that Barnes & Noble wanted more funds for displaying S&S titles in coveted spots in the store and to pay lower costs for the books themselves.

Sound Off: What does the SCOTUS' Wiley v. Kirtsaeng decision mean for books, publishing
March 20, 2013

By now you've likely heard that the Supreme Court has ruled, in a 6-3 decision, in favor of immigrant scientist Supap Kirtsaeng in Kirtsaeng V. Wiley.

In what's being heralded as a win for consumers and libraries, and a loss for publishers, the SCOTUS overturned a previous ruling against Kirtsaeng, who had been buying textbooks printed (legally) abroad—where they cost significantly less than they do in, say, the United States—and then reselling them in the U.S. on eBay and turning a handsome profit in the process.

In a statement yesterday, Wiley's President & CEO Stephen M. Smith wrote: "We are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided in favor of Supap Kirtsaeng and overturned the Second Circuit’s ruling.  It is a loss for the U.S. economy, and students and authors in the U.S. and around the world."

Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future
March 19, 2013

After centuries in which books and the process of publishing them barely changed, the digital revolution has thrown the entire business up for grabs. It’s a transformation that began with the rise of Amazon as an online bookseller and accelerated with the resulting decline of the physical bookstore. But with the shift to ebooks—which now represent upwards of 20 percent of big publishers’ revenue, up from 1 percent in 2008—every aspect of the existing framework is now open to debate: