Finance

Libraries + E-books
March 1, 2012

Recently, the leadership of the American Library Association (ALA) met with senior management from several large publishing houses. Some of them allow libraries to purchase and own their e‑books (Random House; Perseus). Some of them are not making their e‑books available to libraries (Macmillan; Simon and Schuster). And some are somewhere in the middle (Penguin, until recently; and Harper–Collins with its "26 circulations" loan cap model). In all of our meetings with the publishing executives (all of the aforementioned except HarperCollins), we found that for those not making their e‑books available through libraries, the sticking point was identifying a business model that protected their digital editions from piracy and loss of sales. These are understandable concerns.

India: World’s Largest Book Exporter?
March 1, 2012

Indian service providers for typesetting, e-book, copy-editing and other production services are an established fact and part of virtually every major publisher's workflow.

To be sure, the business process outsourcing (BPO) of publishing services is a growth business, forecast to reach $1.2 billion in 2012 (according to a report by research and intelligence organization ValueNotes, "Offshoring in the Publishing Vertical: 2009"), including outsourcing for book, magazine and newspaper publishing—with 60 percent of these revenues being directed to Indian providers.

That said, it appears that we may be on the verge of a new addition to the existing Indian business model—an initiative that the Indian book manufacturing community has named Book City—Vision 2017.

Amazon: The Elephant in the Room
March 1, 2012

In 1455 Johannes Gutenberg produced his famous "Bible"—the first book printed with moveable type—launching what would become in subsequent centuries the modern publishing industry. In 1995, Jeff Bezos sold the first book through Amazon.com, launching what would produce in less than 20 years the end of the modern publishing industry.

Hyperbole? Perhaps not, when the earth-shaking influence of the e‑commerce giant's recent moves in publishing are taken into account.

How EDC Plans to Sell More Books After Dropping Amazon
February 28, 2012

The Educational Development Corp., which announced today that it is pulling all of its titles from Amazon, plans to increase its sales by abandoning the major online retailer, according to the company’s CEO.

Amazon accounted for about 13% of EDC’s sales in 2011, estimated Randall White, CEO of the publicly traded Tulsa, Okla.-based children’s book publisher. The exact number is uncertain because EDC sells to Amazon through distributors who also sell through other channels and do not provide EDC an exact breakdown of sales.

Edwards Brothers and Malloy Merge to Form Nation's Sixth Largest Book Maker
February 6, 2012

Edwards Brothers, Inc. and Malloy Incorporated, two leading book manufacturers, announced today that they would merge effective February 6, 2012, forming a new company called Edwards Brothers Malloy. The new company will have combined sales of $115 million and will be the sixth largest book manufacturing firm in the United States, offering publishers a global distributed print program and fulfillment services that combine to form a single print supply chain solution.

eBooks By the Numbers
January 1, 2012

1 in 5: The estimated number of illegal book downloads in 2011. With the surge of 
the e-book industry comes 
a nefarious side effect: 
piracy. Illegal downloads have doubled in the past year, despite publishers' attempts to combat the trend.

Publishers' Outlook 2012: The Industry's Next Bold Move
January 1, 2012

The year 2011 may well go down as the annum of the e-reader. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony and Kobo went all-in for holidays to get their e-readers, tablets and apps into as many hands, purses and briefcases as possible. In 2012, we'll see the results of that push, as publishers anticipate the next step in the digital evolution. Book Business interviewed executives across a wide swath of the industry, from giant trade publishers to university presses, educational outfits and upstart indies. We found that while digital is on the march, print is far from dead, and the next bold move in the industry may be maximizing the synergies between the two.

Publishing Insider Tipped Law Firms About E-Book Price Fixing Conspiracy
December 20, 2011

The decision by major publishers to strike a pricing deal with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has been the source of speculation and several antitrust investigations. Now, a new court filing suggests someone inside the industry was leaking the publishers’ pricing strategy.

In a brief filed in New York federal court this week, law firm Grant & Eisenhofer said it should get to represent consumers because it has special knowledge about how the scheme took place. The filing reads in part:

HMV makes a profit from Waterstone's, as losses deepen
December 19, 2011

The HMV Group made a profit of 11.5m from the sale of book chain Waterstone's, but the fillip did not prevent the CD and DVD retailer sinking further into the mire with operating losses for the six months to end-October up 25% to 30.4m after sales fell 18%. Total sales were 364.9m, down 17.6% on 2010 (442.7m). Like for like sales for the first half were down 11.6%, compared with a 15.5% drop in 2010. HMV sold Waterstone's to Alexander Mamut for 53m in June, and also sold HMV Canada at the same time. The trading loss from these