Torstar Profit Plunges 44 Percent
August 5, 2013

Declining print revenue at its newspapers and fewer readers for its Harlequin novels pushed profit at Torstar Corp. 44 per cent lower in its last quarter. "It was a difficult quarter as decline in results were experienced in both the book publishing and media divisions," chief executive officer David Holland said in a statement. "Management of costs remains a priority and helped to mitigate the impact of the revenue decline experienced in the quarter."

Digital-only imprints in the ebook era: inclusive or exploitative?
June 21, 2013

Poor old big-name publishers. Stick to your guns by insisting on the value of your traditional, print-centric gatekeeping, and you'll be shunted straight to the top of the endangered species list. Pander to the plebs by putting a fancy cover on fan fiction, and you'll be decried as an opportunist whore who has swapped literary values for trending hashtags. It's enough to make you run screaming out of your Bloomsbury redbrick and set up in a cheap little Hackney warehouse with a bunch of fixie-riding digital natives who can …

Suddenly, the Bookstores Are Crowded With Bullies
March 26, 2013

Publishing houses are flooding the market with titles that tackle bullying. The books are aimed at all age groups — from “Bully,” a picture book for elementary-grade students, to the “The Bully Book,” for middle school children, about an average kid who suddenly becomes everyone’s favorite victim, to “Sticks and Stones” by Emily Bazelon, a recent release for adults that includes both stories and analysis. According to World Cat, the number of English-language books tagged with the key word “bullying” in 2012 was 1,891, an increase of 500 in a decade.

Valentine's Day at Harlequin headquarters
February 13, 2013

You’d think that Valentine’s Day at Harlequin would be like Christmas at the North Pole. After all, the Toronto-based publisher releases more than 110 romance titles a month — more than 6 billion books since the company was founded. Talk about stamina!

But actually, the staff at Love Central sounds pretty low-key. The only thing you’ll see there that’s out of the ordinary on Valentine’s Day is some extra chocolate.

Cosmopolitan & Harlequin to Publish ‘Red Hot Reads’
December 5, 2012

Cosmopolitan magazine and Harlequin will publish a line of romances called Red Hot Reads, a series that “will present independent, adventurous women in contemporary settings and feature fast-paced plots, great dialogue and compelling romance.” The snappy...

BISG Study: E-Book Consumers Diversifying Their Format Preferences; Kindle Fire overtakes iPad among ebook consumers
August 2, 2012

E-book consumers are becoming more diverse in their format preferences, says the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)'s closely-watched Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading report. The third installment in Volume Three of this Bowker-powered study shows that the percentage of e-book consumers who exclusively or mostly purchase book content in e-book format has decreased from nearly 70 percent in August 2011 to 60 percent in May 2012. Over the same period, the percentage of survey respondents who have no preference for either e-book or print formats, or who buy some genres in e-book format and others in print, rose from 25 percent to 34 percent. The study also tracks changes in device ownership, showing that Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet has overtaken Apple's iPad among e-book consumers for the first time. Ownership of the Kindle Fire has grown from seven percent of respondents in December 2011 to 20 percent just six months later. Apple's iPad has remained static at 17 percent over the same time period.

Four Hours in the Totebag Capital of the World
June 8, 2012

If you have anything to do with the book industry, you are probably nauseated by the mere mention of that industry's annual tradeshow, which started on Monday and wraps up today.  But not everyone is some sort of book fanatic—some people just read books and are innocent about the disgusting process that brings them into being, like little children who don't know that babies are generated via

E-Book Consumers Say “Yes” to Tablets, says BISG Study
April 30, 2012

E-book consumers’ preference for tablets is accelerating rapidly as dedicated e-readers drop in popularity, according to the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)’s closely watched Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey. The second installment in Volume Three of the study shows that, over the course of just six months, consumers’ “first choice” preference for dedicated e-readers such as those from Amazon and Barnes & Noble declined from 72 percent to 58 percent.

Like Others, Harlequin Sees Sales Soften and Margins Hold Up
March 1, 2012

Canada's Torstar reported fourth-quarter and fiscal year results Wednesday, and the performance of Harlequin fits the general pattern of other publicly-reported trade publishers: sales were down a little, and operating earnings rose. This is what the digital transition looks like.

For the full year, digital comprised 15.5 of revenues of $459 million CA (down 2 percent from $468 million the previous year).