Publishers Weekly July 12, 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.

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51 Numéros

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1 min
the week in publishing

Sales at rose 17% in the first six months of 2021 over the comparable period in 2020, to $29 million. The increase came despite a decline in the second quarter, as more indie bookstores began to reopen to in-store shopping this spring. Amazon and the Big Five publishers, in a filing last week, said they plan to soon file a motion seeking to stay all discovery in a lawsuit charging them with conspiring to fix e-book prices until the court rules on their motion to dismiss the case. Cindy Loh, most recently publishing director at Bloomsbury U.S., is joining Ameet Publishing August 1 as publisher. She will lead Ameet’s Lego Books publishing program. Net income at Educational Development Corp. jumped 79%, to $3.4 million, in the quarter ended May 31 over the…

4 min
half-year print sales soar

In the first half of 2020, unit sales of print books surprised many in the industry by posting a 2.9% increase over the same period in 2019 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan, overcoming a slump in sales in early spring following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Print sales finished 2020 up 8.2% over 2019, and that strong performance continued into 2021, with units jumping 18.5% in the first six months over the comparable period in 2020. With the exception of the juvenile nonfiction category, all the major publishing categories had double-digit sales increases in the first half of the year. Backlist had the strongest gains, up 21.4%, but frontlist sales were also solid, rising 12.4%. The increase in the first half of 2021 was led by the adult…

4 min
bookselling profile: baker book house

According to the Baker Book House company website, Christian indie bookstore Baker Book House and Baker Publishing Group have a history of only slowly warming up to technological innovations. For instance, the company’s manual typewriters were not replaced with electric typewriters until 1977, and its first desktop computer was purchased in 1987. It’s proud of a culture of austerity inspired by its founder’s frugal business practices, which once included providing each employee with only one pen at a time. During the pandemic, however, as bookstore marketing manager Becca Niswonger put it, “virtual events have taught us that technology is a huge benefit to the store and its customers.” By quickly embracing social media platforms, Baker Book House, which claims to be the oldest and largest indie Christian bookstore in North America,…

3 min
2021 bestselling print books (so far)

The first six months of 2021 saw sales of adult fiction buoy overall print book sales week after week. Still, there was only one runaway bestseller in the first half of the year, and it’s a children’s book: the 10th installment in Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man series, Mothering Heights, which topped the year-to-date children’s overall bestseller list and has sold upwards of 867,000 copies since its March 23 release. Another kids’ book, Dr. Seuss’s perennial bestseller Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, placed second overall, selling more than 584,000 print copies. This marked an increase of roughly 200,000 copies compared to the book’s sales last year at this time, when graduation ceremonies were not being held in person. (The decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, announced in March, to stop publishing six of…

4 min
deal of the week

Dorman Hunts Irwin’s ‘Fortune’ In a two-book deal at auction, Pamela Dorman bought Sophie Irwin’s A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting for her eponymous imprint at Penguin. The North American rights agreement was brokered by Madeleine Milburn at London’s Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. There has been a flurry of foreign rights sales for the novel as well, in Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and elsewhere. A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting is, Dorman Books said, “a clever, escapist historical romance” that follows bride-to-be Kitty Talbot, who, after being jilted by her fiancé in 1818 London, sets out to find a wealthy replacement to keep her family from financial ruin. Irwin lives in London and worked in publishing for a number of years before becoming a full-time freelancer. A Lady’s Guide to…

2 min
behind the bestsellers

TIKTOK BOOM The community of passionate readers who use the hashtag #BookTok have been exerting notable influence on sales, particularly for books that pack an emotional wallop. This week, two backlist titles, both of them #BookTok favorites, are among the 10 bestselling books in the country. In Adam Silvera’s 2017 YA novel, They Both Die at the End, Rufus Emeterio and Mateo Torrez “receive midnight phone calls from Death-Cast, a service that notifies those with less than 24 hours to live,” our starred review said. “The New York City teenagers connect via the Last Friend app and decide to spend their final hours together.” Madeline Miller’s 2012 debut, The Song of Achilles, “combines the poetic drama of The Iliad with a 21stcentury understanding of war, sex, sexual politics, and Trojan War heroism,” our…