Publishers Weekly August 30, 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

Anitra Budd, who has been affiliated with Coffee House Press for 20 years, was named executive director and publisher of the Minneapolis indie publisher. She will begin her new role on October 1. Following a $5 increase for the price of Amanda Gorman’s Call Us What We Carry, Penguin Random House said it would “honor the original price for all customers who preordered the book prior to the price change.” Booksellers had been pushing preorders for the book at the lower price ($19.99) since January and were concerned they would need to absorb the $5 hike. Milkweed Editions will launch a series of books centered on neurodivergence and what the publisher calls “different ways of languaging.” Its first title, Hannah Emerson’s The Kissing of Kissing, will hit shelves in April. Organizers of the…

4 min
has b&n turned it around?

A little more than a year ago, Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt used the forced closure of nearly all of his physical stores to begin refurbishing the interior of each location, as well as to review each store’s title selection. Daunt had planned to remake the stores over an 18-month to two-year span, but the retail lockdown, coming less than six months after Daunt took over as CEO following the acquisition of B&N by Elliott Advisors, forced his hand. While Daunt appeared confident B&N could weather the Covid storm, others in the industry were not so sure how much time the new owners would give Daunt to turn around the bookstore chain at a time when the viability of physical retail was being called into question. However, as bookstore sales…

1 min
print unit sales rose 1.6% in mid-august

Unit sales of print books rose 1.6% in the week ended Aug. 21, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Sales of adult fiction had the biggest increase, with sales up 26.3% over the week ended Aug. 22, 2020. Three new releases lead the way: Bloodless by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child was the top seller in the category, selling more than 38,000 copies. In fourth place on the adult fiction list was Danielle Steel’s latest, Complications, followed by The Noise: A Thriller by James Patterson and J.D. Barker, which sold approximately 21,000 copies and 17,000 copies, respectively. Sales of young adult titles rose 18.4% over 2020. There was no new big book that lifted sales, but rather strength throughout the category. They…

6 min
indie publishers happy with 2021, so far

In our second installment on how independent publishers are faring in 2021, presses reported a generally good year through the first six months of 2021, and while they are optimistic about the rest of the year, uncertainty about how the supply chain will hold up is raising concerns. New Press had a record year in 2020, and publisher Ellen Adler doesn’t think the publisher will reach that sales level again anytime soon. “Beginning in May and continuing well into the fall, sales in 2020 were through the roof,” she said. Like some other publishers, New Press is using 2019 as a comparison for 2021, and by that gauge sales are up 29% from the same period in 2019. According to Adler, titles on criminal justice, social and racial justice, and progressive education…

2 min
monthly statshot, june

Source: AAP StatShot Sales for the 1,358 publishers that report to the AAP StatShot program increased 18.1% in the first six months of 2021 over the comparable period in 2020. The largest gain came in the K_12 instructional materials segment, which had a difficult first six months of 2020, when schools were closed due to the pandemic. In the January–June period in the first half of 2021, K_12 sales rose 35.2%. Higher educational course materials had a 15.1% increase in the six-month period. The two trade segments, which had small increases in the first half of 2020, posted double-digit increases in the first six months of 2021, with adult book sales rising 18.9% and children’s/young adult sales increasing 14.6%. Sales of religious books increased 10.7%. The increase in the first six…

3 min

DEAL OF THE WEEK Minotaur Goes All In for Hit Spanish Series In a world English rights agreement for a six-figure sum, Keith Kahla at St. Martin’s Press’s Minotaur imprint preempted Juan Gómez-Jurado’s trilogy, The Red Queen. The series has become a runaway hit in Spain, where it was first published over two years ago; SMP said the thrillers that make up the trilogy (in English Red Queen, Black Wolf, and White King) have sold more than 1.5 million copies. The series follows a gifted freelance crime solver named Antonia Scott, known as the Red Queen for her ability to quickly and accurately assess crime scenes, who’s forced out of retirement to solve a series of grisly murders. Rights to the series have also sold in a number of other foreign…