Welcome to Novel
Rocket’s August column on industry news. In publishing, there’s never a dull
- On Friday The
U.S. Department of Justice released its proposal
for injunctive relief against Apple for Apple’s role in the e-book
price fixing conspiracy. This action comes after a federal judge found Apple
and five major publishers violated antitrust laws in moving the
e-book business to the agency model in 2010. Meanwhile, a hearing is set for
August 9th when Apple will contest several details of the proposed order. For more info…
- According to a
recent filing, publishers have paid a total of $166,158,426 to settle state and
consumer e-book price fixing charges, including an additional $3,909,000 to
settle consumer claims in Minnesota. Pending a
reversal on appeal, Apple will eventually have to pay to settle the state and
consumer claims as well. For more info…
- Blaming the
challenging economy, Guideposts is disbanding its trade books program and
suspending sales of its fiction and nonfiction through retail channels,
effective spring 2014. Fiction and nonfiction will continue to be published,
but will be sold only direct to consumer, as it had previously been until 2006.
Guideposts’ Summerside Press imprint, has also been shut down.
Christian Stores has acquired Johnsen & Taylor Bookstore. Terms of the
agreement were not released.
Dundurn Press is acquiring Thomas Allen Publishing, the publishing arm of
Thomas Allen & Son.
- Apparently it’s
war. Overstock.com is
challenging Amazon by discounting 360,000 titles 10% below
Amazon’s prices. Amazon’s response was to lower prices on thousands of
bestsellers. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne says he plans to keep up the pressure
on Amazon by continuing the deep discounts through midnight August 7. For more info…
- Second quarter sales at Simon & Schuster held even at $189 million in the period ended June 30, 2013. E-book sales rose 39% in the quarter at S&S and accounted for 29% of total revenue compared to 21% in the second quarter of 2012.
- Revenue fell 7%
at Harlequin in the second quarter ended June 30. The decline is attributed to
currency fluctuations, continued weakness in its North America book club
business, and a deeper than expected decline in overseas sales. Print retail
sales in North America were stable in the quarter and that e-book sales were up.
Global digital sales were 24.5% of total revenue in the quarter compared to
20.4% in last year’s second quarter.
- Amazon reports
that total revenue rose 22% in the second quarter ended June 30, to $15.70
billion. Amazon’s 10 top selling products in the were all digital
products—Kindles, Kindle Fire HDs, accessories and digital content.
- Bookstore sales
fell 1.0% in May, to $953 million, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. May was the second consecutive month
that bookstore sales declined and reflect in part the strong sales of the Fifty
Shades trilogy last year. For the first five months of 2013, bookstore sales
were nearly flat with 2012.
- Despite being
heavy technology users, most young Americans still read and borrow printed
books from libraries, according to a new survey. The most recent
poll by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, reports
that 75% of young adults ages 16-29 said they have read at least one book in
print in the past year, compared with 64% of adults 30 and older. For more info…
- Books-A-Million jumped
into the print-on-demand business with the Espresso Book Machine from On Demand
Books. One EBM is planned for its Portland, Maine store, and a second will be
added to a location that is still to be announced.
- In a major blow
to the Authors Guild, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit has vacated
Judge Denny Chin’s 2011
ruling granting the organization class action status in its
suit to stop Google’s library scanning project. More info…
- Crossing Oceans by Novel Rocket founder Gina Holmes hit the ECPA bestseller list again three years after its release. (It’s #9 on the fiction bestseller list). Way to go Gina!
- Dan Balow, a 30
year veteran of the Christian publishing industry has recently joined The Steve
Laube Agency as director of
publishing development and literary agent.
- Bryan Norman,
associate publisher at Thomas Nelson, is leaving the Nashville publisher to
become a literary agent with Alive Communications based in Colorado Springs, CO.
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.