Publishers Weekly July 19, 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
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51 Numéros

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1 min
the week in publishing

The ABA faced withering criticism from booksellers after walking back its promotion of Abigail Shrier’s anti-trans title Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters to member bookstores. The organization apologized to trans booksellers and noted that further action will be taken. Kindle Vella, Amazon’s new mobile-first, interactive reading tool for serialized stories, officially launched last week. Amazon said that the program, operating through its KDP self-publishing platform, is starting with “thousands of stories containing tens of thousands of episodes.” A contract dispute between agent Brooks Sherman and his former employer the Bent Agency has wound up in court, with both parties filing claims against each other. May bookstore sales soared 130% over May 2020, hitting $632 million, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2020, the weakest sales performances of…

3 min
testing the waters

With the waning of pandemic-related restrictions and increasing vaccinations around the United States and the world, fair and event organizers have begun looking into conducting in-person shows, while publishers are also dipping a toe into participating in live programming. On the event front, August will see what could be the largest roster of live book fairs since the pandemic struck in early 2020 and the London Book Fair was canceled at the last minute. Notably, many of live U.S. events are focusing on genre work in comics, mystery, and romance. Among the biggest will be Bouchercon, which will be held in New Orleans August 25–29, under the motto, “Blood on the bayou.” Michael Connelly will receive a lifetime achievement award. Bouchercon, in fact, will be the first event that Kensington Publishing will…

6 min
reaching readers through dollar stores

One of the fastest-growing sectors in retail over the past decade has been the value channel. This includes dollar stores and dollar sections, such as Target’s Bullseye’s Playground, as well as other low-price retail formats, such as off-price chains like Burlington and TJ Maxx. Books in dollar stores typically represent a small percentage of each chain’s sales, and the category tends to be remainder driven. But there are opportunities for sales of new books, especially for children, if publishers can make the economics work. “It’s a very important channel for consumers to access incredible value, and that’s important,” said George Papp, CEO at Papp International, whose business was founded to sell books to dollar stores in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. “It’s a service to the communities these stores are…

1 min
print unit sales fell in early july

Unit sales of print books fell 1.3% in the week ended July 10, 2021, compared to the similar week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Declines came in all nonfiction categories, including adult nonfiction, where units dropped 10.2% from the week ended July 11, 2020. Last year at this time, books on race and social justice were selling in large numbers, taking up six of the top 10 slots, while John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened was #1 on the category list, selling nearly 57,000 copies. In the most recent week, How I Saved the World, by Fox News host Jesse Watters, was #1 on the category list, selling just under 34,000 copies in its first week. Two other new books hit the top 10 adult…

1 min
call for information

Feature: SF, Fantasy & Horror Deadline: July 28 Issue: September 20 Needed: Information on new books and trends in adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror, with priority given to standalones, series launches, and debuts. We also plan to look at hopepunk, as well as gender identity and sexuality in adult SFF, including how writers use SFF settings to interrogate conceptions of gender and sexuality, and the escapist joy of queernorm fantasy/future worlds. Pub dates: mid-September 2021_March 2022. New titles only, please; no reprints. Please send pitches to and and put “Call for Info: SFFH” in the subject line.…

2 min
pavlin named editor-in-chief at knopf

Jordan Pavlin has been named senior v-p and editor-in-chief at Knopf. The appointment fills a vacancy that has been open since December 2019, when Sonny Mehta, the vaunted Random House imprint’s longtime editor-in-chief, died. Pavlin had worked with Mehta for 23 years. Pavlin’s first job in publishing was at St. Martin’s Press, in 1990. From there she went to Little, Brown, before joining Knopf in 1996 and rising to become the house’s senior v-p and editorial director. She has edited such authors as Nathan Englander, Jenny Offill, Tommy Orange, and Karen Russell. She will continue to report to Reagan Arthur, executive v-p and publisher of Knopf, Pantheon, and Schocken. Other Knopf editors will also to continue to report to Arthur. In making the announcement to the staff, Arthur called Pavlin “one of…