Traditional Sales

What Does 2016 Hold for Digital Publishing?
January 1, 2016

What is going on with e-books? As 2016 dawns, what’s driving a decline in trade e-book sales is one of the big questions hanging over the publishing industry.

Post-Christmas Boom in Ebooks Expected to Fade
December 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

When it comes to the business of books – a staple of under-the-tree gifting – there are actually two Christmas stories. The first – for physical books – ramps up throughout December and ends by Dec. 25. In Canada, a typical week sees about 700,000 books sold. But, in the weeks before Christmas, that number…

Do Book Publishers Have a Post-Barnes & Noble Plan?
December 22, 2015 at 11:22 am

Apologies to any middle children reading this. Honestly, I think you’ll be just fine. Well, sort of. But woe to the business that finds itself sandwiched in the middle! It doesn’t matter what you make or what you sell, middle market players are always in a truly bad position. I think this is even truer…

Big-Box Bookstores Don’t Have to Die
December 17, 2015 at 10:56 am

You could say I have a sentimental attachment to the chain bookstore. Growing up in an intellectually impoverished American suburb, I spent much of my free time in now-defunct locations of Borders and Barnes & Noble. I read garbage, mostly: popular history magazines, Star Trek novelizations, art tomes whose pages I scoured only for frank…

How Books are Booming in the Middle East
December 10, 2015 at 2:26 pm

With Islamic State militants taking greater control of strategic towns in Syria and Iraq, the publishing heartland of the Middle East is being thrown into disarray. These traditionally more literature-oriented countries have long suffered from a lack of coherent cross-border book distribution but that problem is now compounded by Isis disrupting the major arteries. But…

A Bookshop Where Everything Is Recommended
December 8, 2015 at 2:50 pm

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the journalist and editor Aaron Hicklin was standing among some still-empty shelves in his newly completed bookstore, One Grand, in a former mercantile building in the town of Narrowsburg, New York. In less than one week, he would open the doors to the shop, but at the moment he was…

Indie Bookstores Beat Out B&N in D.C.
December 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

The American city that spends the most money on books, magazines, and newspapers—Washington, D.C.—will soon be left without any chain bookstores. Despite the recent revival of the brick-and-mortar bookshop (in London, and Seattle, and even The People’s Republic of China, not to mention Washington itself), The Washington Post reports that Barnes & Noble is slated…

Asking Why Trade Publishers Fail Is the Wrong Question
December 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Your average trade publisher is a laundry list of bad business characteristics: Consumer customers (the worst/least predictable kind of customer). Entertainment good (the worst/least predictable kind of product). A market that’s shifting increasingly to the blockbuster model (the worst/least predictable kind of market). Dominated by vendor duopolies (Amazon and B&N in the states, Amazon and…