Publishers Weekly December 21. 2020

Publishers Weekly magazine is the definitive professional resource covering every aspect of book publishing and book selling. Over 20,000 book and media professionals turn to Publishers Weekly each week for news and information. Publishers Weekly covers the creation, production, marketing and sale of the written word in book, audio, video and electronic formats.

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51 Numéros

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2 min
the week in publishing

This year’s “Person of the Year” editorial cover was designed by Madeline Gobbo, an artist, bookseller, and writer living in Los Angeles. Her essays, fiction, and illustrations have been published in Loose Lips by Amy Stephenson and Casey Childers and Texts from Jane Eyre by Daniel M. Lavery, as well as by Joyland,, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. Currently the events manager at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, she formerly worked as store artist at the Booksmith in San Francisco and holds an MA in fiction from UC Davis. Revenue at Scholastic’s book fairs dropped 79% in the quarter ended November 31 compared to the same quarter last year. The pandemic led to a large drop in the number of live school book fairs. Grove Atlantic has created a six-person…

4 min
no place like home

In response to a PW survey assessing the impact of Covid-19 on work policies, 93% of publishing employees said they have worked remotely at some point this year—and of those who have, 96% said they continue to do so. The survey was conducted online between November 10 and December 1 and drew 404 responses. (Responses were from individual employees and were not grouped by company.) More than 97% of respondents in the New England and mid-Atlantic regions reported having worked from home at some point this year, and nearly all of those who have are still not back at their offices. In the southern and western U.S., 85% of respondents have worked from home, and more than 92% of those still are. Employees at bigger publishers were more likely to work from…

1 min
print unit sales rose 10.5% in mid-december

With gains across all categories, unit sales of print books rose 10.5% in the week ended Dec. 12, 2020, over the comparable week in 2019, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult nonfiction unit sales increased 14.5% over the week ended Dec. 17, 2019, as Barack Obama’s A Promised Land remained the top title, selling nearly 325,000 copies. Two newly released books also contributed to the gains in adult nonfiction: Bag Man by Rachel Maddow sold more than 46,000 copies, and The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson sold more than 36,000 copies. Adult fiction also had a good week, with sales up 16.3%. Charlie Mackesy’s The Mole, the Boy, the Fox and the Horse stayed #1 on the category list, selling more than 63,000 copies. Ready…

2 min
bookstores continue to use gofundme

It is no secret that this holiday shopping season is a make-or-break period for many bookstores around the country. A survey by the American Booksellers Association in October revealed that, on average, one store closed each week this year. Recently, several bookstores like the Strand in New York City and Harvard Book Store in Boston took to social media to ask customers to come in and buy books to offset severe business declines caused by the pandemic. Other store owners have turned to crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe to raise money. In April, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco raised $467,000 in four days via GoFundMe and has brought in a total of $496,000. “When people donate money, it is very affirming,” said Elaine Katzenberg, publisher and CEO of City Lights…

4 min
ipa’s hugo setzer stresses “sticking together”

Hugo Setzer is the CEO of Mexican publishing house Manual Moderno and has been president of the International Publishers Association for the past two years. Here he reflects on his tenure as the head of the organization. Bodour al Quasimi, CEO of the Kalimat Group from the U.A.E., takes over as president on January 1. Yuval Noah Harari, in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, wrote, “The big challenges of the twenty-first century will be global in nature…. The whole of humankind now constitutes a single civilization, with all people sharing common challenges and opportunities.” Harari couldn’t be proven right in a more dramatic way than with a pandemic that has challenged us all around the world and put us to a test, regardless of ethnicity, culture, economy, or religious…

3 min

DEAL OF THE WEEK Elizabeth Warren to ‘Persist’ at Holt In a world rights agreement, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren sold a title to Metropolitan Books. John Sterling, an editor-at-large at the Macmillan imprint, acquired Persist from Robert Barnett and Daniel Martin at Williams & Connolly. The book, Holt said, will cover “six experiences and perspectives that have influenced Warren’s life and advocacy.” A portion of the author’s proceeds will go to charities in Massachusetts. Persist is set for April 2021. S&S Kids Gets ‘Lucky’ Rachael Lippincott (Five Feet Apart) sold a YA novel to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Alexa Pastor nabbed world rights from Rachel Ekstrom and Emily van Beek at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. The Lucky List, S&S said, is about a high schooler named Emily who “finds…