Industry News

Welcome
to Novel Rocket’s inaugural column on industry news. Strap on your seatbelt,
there’s a lot going on!
Random
House and Penguin have completed their merger as of July 1st. This
consolidation creates a company with over 10,000 employees and nearly 250
editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses.
On
Friday, Hachette Book Group announced plans to acquire Hyperion, the adult imprint
owned by the Walt Disney
Co.
 The deal is supposed to close this month. The result will
give HBG more than 1,000 adult backlist titles plus another 25 books to release
over the next few seasons.
Rumor
has it that HarperCollins is in preliminary talks to acquire Simon &
Schuster.
American
Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) announced the 2013 Carol Award finalists for
the best in Christian fiction at ICRS last month. For a complete list of
finalists, read ACFW’s press release.

The
2013 Christy Awards were presented at last month’s ICRS. The award honors
novelists and novels of excellence in Christian Fiction. For a complete list of
winners and finalists, visit the Christy’s site.

CBA (the
association for Christian retail) is ending Christian Store Week, a promotion
to spotlight Christian bookstores and drive traffic. The organization cited declining retailer
participation and reduced support to partner ministries.


In other news,
CBA reports an 8.55% sales increase for its member stores in 2012. However,
most independent Christian stores reported declines or flat sales, with a few
higher-performing stores upping the average. 

Ebook revenues
flattened out in January (the
latest month for which data is available),
prompting speculation that the rapid rise of digital books is beginning to
stall. The anemic January 2013 performance is attributed to a comparison with
January 2012 with ebook revenues driven heavily by the success of young adult
series like The Hunger Games. For both print and ebooks, YA revenue declines
outpaced those in other categories.

In other news,
BEA (BookExpo America) 2013 predicts there’s a strong season ahead for
children’s publishers, claiming the YA category continues to draw the most
attention and buzz.

Melissa Endlich,
senior editor for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Books tweeted that Love Inspired
will increase its output of releases from 168 to 192 books per year.


HarperCollins
Christian Publishing (HCCP), the parent company of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson,
has announced the formation of Zondervan Gift Books. The new division will
place “a strong focus” on inspirational gift books, devotionals and
journals, company officials said.
After
a four-year hiatus, ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association)
will resurrect their Publishing University (PUBu) this fall. The educational and
networking event will be held this fall at Wheaton College. 
A recent Harris
Poll indicated that consumers “showroom” products in brick and mortar stores but
purchase online.
In other news,
a survey released by
Kentico Software (The Mobile Experience Survey) found that approximately 63% of
consumers prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store versus online.
Megan
DiMaria is Novel Rocket’s industry news columnist. An author and speaker, she
enjoys cheering on writers and loves to encourage others as they journey
through life’s demands and delights. Megan is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands