Publishers Weekly August 16, 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

The ABA released the findings of an internal review into two July incidents that led to backlash from members about the association’s DEI efforts. In a letter from CEO Allison Hill to members, the organization outlined the steps it is taking to move forward. Clarivate said it has extended the deadline for completing its $5.3 billion purchase of ProQuest from November 8 to December 31 after receiving a second notice for more information from the FTC as part of its review of the acquisition. Australia-based Hardie Grant Publishing has appointed Jenny Wapner to fill the newly created role of publisher of its North American operations. Tony Lutkus, previously senior director, sales and marketing at Penguin Random House, has been named president of Diamond Book Distributors, the trade book distribution division of Diamond Comic…

3 min
harpercollins heads to $2 billion

Driven by what CEO Brian Murray said was higher consumer book spending around the world, revenue at HarperCollins rose 19%, to just under $2 billion, and EBITDA (earnings, before interest, taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization) jumped 42%, to $303 million, in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, compared to the prior year. Sales gains in backlist and frontlist, print and digital, plus two acquisitions and even favorable currency fluctuations all contributed to record sales and profits at HC last year. (Excluding the effects of exchange rates and acquisitions, overall HC sales were up 14%.) Murray was thrilled with the results, noting that revenue rose by double digits in nearly every country where the publisher does business. “We set records in any metric you use,” he added, noting that he hasn’t…

2 min
indie publishers post gains

HarperCollins and the other big publishers are not the only companies with growth stories. The Dominique Raccah–led Sourcebooks reported that net revenue in the first six months of 2021 jumped 48% over the first six months of 2020, while Salem Media said sales in its publishing division—composed largely of Regnery Publishing and Salem Author Services, the self-publishing unit—rose 55% in the period, to $12.3 million. Sourcebooks saw large gains in its international business, and in sales of fiction and sales via mass merchandisers. Shawn Abraham, who took over as head of international sales in 2019, credited a doubling of international revenue in the first half of the year to new partnerships with overseas distributors and rep groups. Raccah said sales at mass merchandisers were driven by gains in adult and YA fiction,…

1 min
print sales down again in early august

Unit sales of print books fell 8% in the week ended Aug. 7, 2021, compared to a year ago, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The biggest decline came in the YA fiction category, due to tough comparisons with last year at this time, when Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun sold about 527,000 copies in its first week. The top YA fiction book in the most recent week was Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End, which sold about 16,000 copies. Adult nonfiction sales dropped 15.2% in the week, and here too there were tough comparisons with last year. In the week ended Aug. 8, 2020, Sean Hannity’s Live Free or Die debuted with about 184,000 units sold, while Caste by Isabel Wilkerson sold approximately 78,000 copies in its…

1 min
too much or never enough?

There has been lots of buzz about all the books being written about the Trump administration. According to Axios, Trump gave at least 22 interviews to the authors of 17 new and forthcoming books, and the first wave of those books began to be released in late June. While Nightmare Scenario, about Trump’s response to the pandemic, didn’t benefit from a Trump interview, the authors of the other three new releases did interview the former president. The clear early winner has been I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, which has sold nearly 139,000 copies since its July 20 release, according to NPD BookScan, including more than 90,000 print copies sold in its first week. Michael Wolff’s Landslide has sold almost 50,000 copies since it went on…

4 min
bookselling profile: brazos bookstore

“We were diverse before it became something people identified themselves as being,” said Ülrika Moats, general manager of Brazos Bookstore in Houston. That approach makes sense, as Houston is the most diverse city in America, according to a recent study conducted by personal finance website WalletHub. “Some of our best-attended events over the past several years have been with authors Issa Rae, Jia Tolentino, Bryan Washington, and Ocean Vuong, which gives you a sense of the type of audience we have,” added Mark Haber, a PEN Hemingway Award–nominated novelist and the store’s operations manager. Of course, over the past year, in-person events have been canceled and, like other bookstores around the country, Brazos has had to shift to virtual events. This has opened the store up to more authors from the U.S.…