The Wall Street Journal

Audio Publishers Make More Than Noise
August 22, 2013

Audio publishers are moving way beyond their core audience to capture sales to both libraries and consumers. In June, Random House Audio Group launched an online/radio/print ad campaign that reinforces what librarians already know: you don't have to be a commuter or road-tripper to listen. Working out? Knitting? Ironing? The campaign website,, even features a "personal audiobook assistant" that can match how long your project will take to titles of similar length. The ad campaign caught the attention of the New York Times.

Feud Between Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster Is Finally Over
August 21, 2013

Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster have finally reached an agreement after months of squabbling over book pricing and other matters, reports to Publishers Weekly, noting that "the issue was causing a noticeable cutback in the number of [Simon & Schuster] titles the bookseller had on its shelves." Publishers Weekly first reported in January that Barnes & Noble has reduced its order of Simon & Schuster titles over "perceived lack of support" from the publishing company. In March, a senior executive familiar with the negotiations

Patricia Cornwell Changes Publishers, Lands Eight Figure Book Deal
August 7, 2013

After 18 years, best-selling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell is leaving Penguin for HarperCollins, making her the first major writer to jump ship since Penguin and Random House merged last month. Cornwell, best known for her crime novels based on medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, signed on for an eight figure, two-book deal with the HarperCollins' William Morris imprint. Penguin's Putnam imprint will release Dust, the 21st Scarpetta book in November, and William Morris will print the following one in the fall of 2014. 

One reason Barnes & Noble is struggling: It's carrying fewer titles
June 28, 2013

On Tuesday, the embattled baby changing station Barnes & Noble released its quarterly report and announced that it would no longer produce the Zune Nook tablet in house. And, while the Zune Nook’s catastrophic failure has rightfully received a great deal of attention over the last few days, there were a number of other uncomfortable and unfortunate truths in the report, including that Barnes & Noble is maybe not that good at selling books anymore, either (though it is still better at selling books than it is at selling tablets)

WSJ and HarperCollins co-publish ‘Crimes Against Women’
June 7, 2013

Written by Wall Street Journal Asia Editor Paul Beckett (@PaulWSJ) and Delhi-based reporter Krishna Pokharel (@PokharelKrishna) along with contributions from other reporters and editors from The Wall Street Journal, the book also examines two other narratives of exploitation and abuse in India and is available for download from Apple iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and Kobo.

Other highlights from the book include:

• Updates on the fate of the suspected rapists and the efforts of the young woman’s family to cope with her brutal death;

Workman Veteran Robert Miller Launches New Imprint at Macmillan
May 29, 2013

Book publishing veteran Robert Miller is launching a new standalone non-fiction imprint at Macmillan.

Mr. Miller, 56 years old, was ousted in March from his senior management post at Workman Publishing Co. In his new role, he is returning to Manhattan’s Flatiron Building where he started his career as an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s Press in 1978.

May 1, 2013

Atavist, a multimedia storytelling platform which launched in January 2011, has received acclaim for its unique mix of longform journalism and an innovative content management system. In fact, the company has already received high-profile investment backing from the likes of Marc Andreessen and Google's Eric E. Schmidt. Co-founder, CEO and editor Evan Ratliff says: "We are this kind of hybrid outfit in that we're not solely focused on software or publishing. We are a media and a software company."

This media/software combo wasn't in the original plan. The initial goal was to be an innovator in the space called longform journalism, pieces of 5,000 to 30,000 words meant to be read in one sitting. "We started as an outfit that just wanted to do publishing, and a certain type of publishing: These short [pieces] between book and magazine [length]," says Ratliff — books that would be "multimedia" and "enhanced." "In order to that, we ended up developing our own publishing software to publish to multiple devices at the same time."

Details on how News Corp. split will work
April 23, 2013

News Corp. is planning to split into two companies. One company will operate as a newspaper and book publisher and will retain the name News Corp. The other will be an entertainment company, called 21st Century Fox.

Here's how the split will work:

- Newspapers, book publishing and information services such as Dow Jones Newswires will be part of the publishing company. The 20th Century Fox movie studio, the Fox broadcast TV network and the Fox News Channel will be part of the media and entertainment company.

The real story behind the Penguin – Random House merger
February 15, 2013

Despite being one of the most important publishing and cultural stories of our lifetime, the news that the Department of Justice had approved the merger of Random House and Penguin yesterday would have been easy to miss. You’d have to do a search to find the New York Times story about it, for example, even though publishing is one of New York’s biggest industries. The Wall Street Journal report was similarly perfunctory, back pages stuff. Even PaidContent, which usually has the most insightful and detailed reportage…

Monday Musings: Inauguration Day Reading List | Tired of Sharing, Already?
January 21, 2013

We here at Publishing Business Today are fairly transfixed by today's confluence of the presidential inauguration and the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. We get a little choked up about democracy and civil rights, so the whole thing has got us a little verklempt. In the spirit of the day, we direct you to the King Center's extensive bibliography on Dr. King, Civil Rights and Nonviolence.