A “slow, but steady decline” is how Rhonda Herman, executive vice president at reference publisher McFarland & Co. Inc., characterizes the market for reference books. “We are cautious about sales and will feel lucky if sales remain flat.” The reality of an economic downturn is starting to sink in—McFarland’s volume is flat, Herman says, “but actual income is down 2 percent. The reason for this is that we are experiencing higher than normal overstock returns, which is not surprising in this market.” Both direct and indirect costs are hitting the bottom line at the Jefferson, N.C.-based publisher. Higher fuel costs are forcing up the
Brian R. Hook
“Wide open and full of potential” is how Anne Landa, rights and exports manager for Sourcebooks Inc., characterizes the market for licensing international rights. “It is simply about placing the right books with the right people and seeing the whole thing through,” Landa—who works out of her home office in San Diego, Calif.—says about selling licensing rights to publishers around the globe for Sourcebooks. International licensing rights increased 20 percent last year at the Naperville, Ill.-based publisher. Sourcebooks, an independent publisher of more than 900 trade titles, has had books translated into 36 languages and published in 34 countries. Landa says she expects the upward
The one thing that remains constant in the book publishing industry is change. That seems to be the underlying response from book publishing industry leaders interviewed by Book Business magazine in various market segments—trade, educational, professional, scientific, technical and medical, university presses among others. These top executives describe the challenges they foresee in the industry, and their strategies for making the years ahead profitable: • William J. Pesce, president and CEO, John Wiley & Sons Inc. • Lisa Holton, president, Scholastic Trade Books and Book Fairs • Philip Shaw, managing director, Elsevier Science and Technology Books • Eric Beck, vice president of sales and marketing, Continental
A blown knee, an injured ankle and a couch. What started as a chance encounter between a movie producer and a children's book author—both nursing injuries while at a brunch hosted by a mutual friend—has turned into a cross-media franchise to promote the recently published children's book "The Black Belt Club." The happenstance meeting led the people behind the book down a path with other savvy publishing companies engaging in a new wave of audience-building, sales-enhancing efforts that utilize multiple media. Michel Shane, co-president of Hand Picked Films Inc. in Los Angeles, had injured his knee while skiing. Dawn Barnes, karate-guru-turned-author, had injured her ankle.