Publishers Weekly February 22, 2021

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.

United States
PWxyz, LLC
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51 Numéros

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1 min
the week in publishing

We Need Diverse Books is partnering with Penguin Random House to launch the Black Creatives Fund, a series of programs designed to get more books by Black writers published. Dhonielle Clayton (pictured), COO of WNDB, will oversee the initiative, which consists of three parts: a “revisions workshop,” a mentoring program, and market symposia conducted in partnership with the Brown Bookshelf. David Cully, who served in executive positions at some of publishing’s biggest companies and retired as president of Baker & Taylor in 2019, died on February 14 of cancer. He was 68. Matty Goldberg, v-p of sales and acquisitions at the Ingram Content Group, is retiring at the end of March after 45 years of working in the publishing industry. Lawyers for a potential class of e-book consumers have asked a federal judge…

4 min
looking at book engagement

Conventional publishing wisdom holds that books are in competition with other media for consumers’ time and money. But a new report sponsored by the Panorama Project, a cross-industry research initiative, finds that, at least in some cases, cross-media collaboration is possible. The report, “Immersive Media & Books 2020,” is based on responses from 4,314 consumers who took part in a survey conducted Sept. 18–Nov. 15, 2020. Though it was conceived before the pandemic to track how books fare in the entertainment media ecosystem, the report incorporates a range of findings about developments that occurred in the book industry last year. One top finding is that the 8.2% increase in unit sales of print books in 2020 over 2019, as recorded by NPD Book-Scan, was led by what the report authors call “avid…

1 min
bookstore sales dropped 28% in 2020

Bookstore sales rallied slightly in December from deep monthly slumps for most of 2020, but they were still down 15.2% in the last month of the year compared to December 2019. For all of 2020, bookstore sales fell 28.3% from 2019, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week. December bookstore sales were $879 million, down from $1.04 billion in December 2019. December was the best monthly store sales performance since February, the month before the global pandemic struck, when sales inched up 0.7%. In March, sales fell 33.2% as lockdowns kicked in, then plunged 74.2% in April as stay-at-home orders fully took hold. May sales were slightly better, falling 60%. Bookstore sales declines generally eased toward the end of the year. November sales were down 21.5%, following…

1 min
print unit sales up 21.3% in mid-february

For the week ended Feb. 13, 2021, unit sales of print books increased 21.3% over the week ended Feb. 15, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. It was the second consecutive week that unit sales rose by more than 20% over the comparable week last year. The increase was accomplished without the benefit of a big new hit and once again reflected strength across all major categories as well as big gains for backlist titles. The YA categories had the strongest gains, with nonfiction unit sales jumping 71.7% and fiction up 49.3% over 2020. Two anti-racist books—Stamped by Jason Reynolds and This Book Is Anti-racist by Tiffany Jewell—led the increase in YA nonfiction. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart topped the YA fiction list, selling almost 12,000 copies.…

4 min
the ipa’s vision for 2021

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi of the United Arab Emirates is the second woman and first Arab woman to be appointed president of the International Publishers Association since it was founded in 1896. Al Qasimi, who took over as IPA president for a two-year term on January 1, has been the Arab world’s unofficial publishing ambassador since she came on the international publishing scene in 2007, when she founded the Arabic-language children’s publishing house Kalimat. Since then, Kalimat has grown into a publishing group with a list of more than 400 titles published through five divisions, covering children’s books, books in translation, education, and comics. But Kalimat has not been Al Qasimi’s sole focus: in 2009 she founded the Emirates Publishers Association to assist other publishers in the U.A.E. The organization was…

4 min
bookselling spotlight: talk story bookstore

It didn’t take long during his first visit to Hawaii in 2002 for Ed Justus to know he had found his place. “When I got here, it felt more like home than any other place I’d ever been,” he said. The Virginia native was so desperate to stay on the island of Kauai that he quit his job at an entertainment company, rented a house, and began selling used and antiquarian books on eBay. Two years later, after being offered a month’s free rent in a building in the town of Hanapepe to launch a bricks-and-mortar business, Justus transferred 8,000 books from his home to the location and launched Talk Story Bookstore. He sold only used books for the first eight years, but in 2012 he began stocking new books as…