Publishers Weekly July 26, 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

Margaret Raymo, most recently senior editorial director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will join Little, Brown Books for Young Readers September 7. Among her achievements at HMH, Raymo cofounded the Versify imprint with Kwame Alexander, who is also moving to LBYR, where he will be edited by Raymo, in a multibook deal. Award-winning author-illustrator Floyd Cooper, lauded for his paintings depicting the African American experience, died on July 16 at age 65. Randall White, longtime Educational Development Corp. chairman, CEO, and president, has turned over leadership of the company to his son Craig White, who has been named CEO and president. Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House minority leader, bestselling author, and voting rights activist, will publish her first picture book, Stacey’s Extraordinary Words, on December 28 with HarperCollins Children’s Books imprint Balzer +…

3 min
where will 2021 sales land?

Few in publishing have been willing to venture predictions on how the industry will finish 2021, but during a July 21 presentation on print unit sales through the first half of the year, NPD Book-Scan analyst Kristen McLean laid out three possible scenarios. All assume that the rapid gains in print sales the industry has posted so far this year will slow in the second half. Indeed, she noted that since the end of what she called a historic first quarter, the year-to-date growth rate has lost about one point per week (from up 29% at the close of the first quarter to ahead 18% at the end of the second quarter). In addition, over the most recent two weeks for which data is available, sales have been down compared…

5 min
scholastic names new ceo, expects improvement in fiscal 2022

Last week was an active one for Scholastic, as the company appointed a successor to Dick Robinson, its longtime chairman, president, and CEO who died in June, and announced financial results for the fiscal year ended May 31 that showed marked improvement in the fourth quarter compared to 2020. In reviewing its financial results, Scholastic executives sounded much more optimistic than a year ago. At that time, Scholastic was dealing with one of the worst periods in its history—during the depth of the financial downturn last spring, Scholastic’s fourth-quarter revenue tumbled almost 40%, and it had an operating loss of $46 million compared to operating profit of $32 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. To compensate for the downturn, the company initiated a number of cuts, including reduced work…

2 min
print sales fell in mid-july

Unit sales of print books fell 3.9% in the week ended July 17, 2021, compared to the similar week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. It was the second week in a row that sales fell after a long string of weekly gains. Adult nonfiction units dropped 9.1% from the week ended July 18, 2020, despite having the top title, Mark Levin’s American Marxism, which sold nearly 330,000 copies in its first week. Marxism easily outsold two books examining the Trump administration: Michael Wolff’s Landslide sold about 25,000 copies in its first week, and Frankly, We Did Win the Election by Michael Bender sold almost 15,000 copies in its first week. A year ago, Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough was #1 on the list, selling…

4 min
bookselling profile: reads & company

In 2006, Jason Hafer and Paul Oliver opened Wolfgang Books in Phoenixville, Pa. After working in bookstores for years, owning one was Hafer’s dream come true, but the town was still emerging from decades of economic depression after its steel mill closed, and the time was not yet right for a bookstore to thrive. Oliver left for New York City, where he works as director of marketing and publicity at Soho Press. When Hafer closed the store in 2011, he took his knowledge of books and went to Rittenhouse Book Distributors. Hafer forged a handful of close friendships with customers at Wolfgang, including with Robb Cadigan, who had worked on a manuscript that eventually became Phoenixville Rising. “We had a lot in common,” Cadigan said. “He was writing and I was…

3 min
deal of the week

Knopf Enjoys the ‘Tranquility’ with Mandel Knopf’s Jenny Jackson bought U.S. rights to Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility from Katherine Fausset at Curtis Brown Ltd. The novel is, according to the publisher, “a story of time travel that probes many aspects of reality.” Written during the pandemic, Sea of Tranquility “moves from British Columbia in 1912 to an outpost on the moon in 2401” as it explores “themes that will be familiar to Mandel’s many readers—time, art, love, wilderness, what makes the world real—and introduces readers to a remarkable cast of characters.” The book is slated for 2022. RH Rolls Out Red Carpet for Harry Prince Harry sold a currently untitled memoir to Random House. Offering scant details about the acquisition, the publisher said the book will be released by…