Publishers Weekly August 2, 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

Organizers of the National Book Awards plan to hold an in-person ceremony at New York City’s Cipriani Wall Street on November 17. Last year’s event was a virtual one, and the 2021 ceremony will retain some digital elements. Ann Seaton and Kristin Rasmussen have been named co-executive directors of the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. Seaton is the former director of operations for CALIBA, and Rasmussen is the general manager of Pages, a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Revenue at Reed Exhibitions, parent company of the London Book Fair and the retired BookExpo, declined 40% in the first half of 2021 compared to last year, and parent company RELX gave a tepid forecast for the business for the remainder of the year. Revenue at Hachette Book Group rose 14.8% in the first half of…

2 min
in the habit

Among the theories publishers have about why book sales rose in 2020 is the idea that people have been reading more during the pandemic. That theory has been borne out in part by a recently released survey by the U.S. Department of Labor that found average time spent reading among people ages 15 and up increased 21% in May–December 2020 over the same period in 2019. The data, taken from the American Time Use survey, shows that reading of all kinds increased from an average of 0.28 hours (a little under 17 minutes) per day in 2019 to 0.34 hours (a little more than 20 minutes) per day last year. The survey also found that time spent daily on leisure and sports activities as a whole increased at a slower rate…

1 min
print unit sales fell 4.9% in late july

With sales in nonfiction categories all falling again, unit sales of print books declined 4.9% overall in the week ended July 24, 2021, from the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Three political books were atop the adult nonfiction list, but sales in the category dropped 12.6%. Last year at this time, Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough was still riding high, selling more than 405,000 copies, and Ben Shapiro’s How to Destroy American in Three Easy Steps sold more than 54,000 copies. In the most recent week, American Marxism by Mark Levin stayed #1 in the category, selling nearly 128,000 copies, while a book on the Trump administration, I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, sold almost 91,000 copies…

5 min
for liveright, good editing is good business

Norton’s Liveright Publishing imprint has had many commercial hits and award-winning titles in the 10 years since it was relaunched by editor-in-chief and publishing director Robert Weil. Its recent awards include two 2021 Pulitzer Prizes, and it’s had several National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award winners over the past decade. Liveright specializes in serious works on history and literature and has published significant graphic works by Robert and Aline Crumb, Jules Feiffer, David Small, and Ed Sorel, and others. The house has been particularly successful publishing nonfiction works on Black life and the impacts of systemic racism—Weil started acquiring books by Black scholars in the 1990s while at St. Martin’s—as well as on popular culture. “We don’t do typical bestselling books, but people also like good books,” Weil said.…

4 min
llewellyn marks 120 years of publishing

Llewellyn Worldwide, which was founded in 1901 in Portland, Ore., celebrates its 120th birthday in early September in what v-p Gabe Weschcke calls a “happy, mature, successful, healthy phase” of its long history as one of the largest spirituality publishers in the world. The company was started by Llewellyn George, an astrologer who emigrated from Wales in the late 19th century and launched his publishing career with newsletters, books, and almanacs, including the Moon Sign Book, first released in 1905 and republished annually ever since. The A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator, released in 1910, put the publishing house on the map for the astrology community, and a revised version remains in print today. George moved the company from Portland to Los Angeles in 1920, and he continued to run it…

3 min

DEAL OF THE WEEK Yang Goes ‘Forward’ with Crown Entrepreneur, presidential candidate, and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang sold his next book to Crown executive editor Paul Whitlach. Set for release in October, Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy will examine what it is really like to run for president, while also issuing a “scathing indictment of America’s era of institutional failure,” the publisher said. In the book, it added, Yang argues that a series of reforms, including data rights and fact-based governance, are the keys to “jump-starting political and economic systems that are breaking down.” Crown took world rights from David Larabell at CAA. Green’s ‘Stardust’ Settles at Hanover In a three-book deal, Hanover Square Press senior editor John Glynn acquired North American and audio rights to…