Finance

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:

Beware Random House's Ebook Imprints
March 10, 2013

Random House’s ebook-only imprints Hydra and Alibi have come under fire for having overly acquisitive deal terms.

Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware revealed a couple of weeks ago that, based on a deal memo she had seen, Hydra’s terms are dreadful. Author John Scalzi goes into much more detail about exactly why these terms are bad for its authors. Both posts are essential reading.

The biggest problems identified by Strauss and Scalzi are:

BBC says no deal done yet for Lonely Planet
March 4, 2013

 The BBC has denied "a deal has been done" to sell a majority stake in Lonely Planet, after a report said it was on the cusp of being sold to an American landowner. It said it was continuing to explore "strategic options" for the travel publisher.

Skift.com has reported that the majority stake in Lonely Planet is to be sold to reclusive billionaire Brad Kelley from Kentucky, US, in a deal which was scheduled to be announced next week.

Microsoft: Would They Really Want To Own Bookstores?
March 4, 2013

Barnes & Noble shares are showing impressive gains Monday following a fascinating article in Barron’s by my old colleague Andrew Bary speculating on the potential fate of the book retailer and its Nook ebook reader business.

As the piece notes, the company’s founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, is interested in buying out the company’s retail operations. But Andrew thinks investors should take care not to let him pull a Michael Dell and try to buy back the company on the cheap.

BBC selling Lonely Planet to Kentucky cigarette billionaire Brad Kelley?
March 4, 2013

Lonely Planet, the storied travel guidebooks publisher owned by BBC, is about to be sold. And the buyer is a doozy: reclusive Kentucky billionaire Brad Kelley, who spent the 1990s selling discount cigarette brands like USA Gold, Bull Durham, and Malibu, then sold the company for almost $1 billion in 2001, and parlayed that money into becoming the one of the largest land owners and conservationists in United States. The deal is in final stages of negotiation, and …