Industry News

By Megan DiMaria

The year may be winding down, but the publishing industry is still in full swing. Welcome to November and this month’s installment of
industry news.

  • The Book Club Network has acquired Elk Lake Publishing. Author Kathi Macias has joined the staff as
    the Senior VP of Acquisitions for their planned fiction line, which will launch
    in early 2014. 
  • HarperCollins launched a new app yesterday that
    links print publications to digital content. The new, free app for Apple and
    Android smartphones, HarperCollins Unbound, allows consumers to scan
    HarperCollins print books for additional digital content. For more info . . .
  • A new twist in publishing? Will contracts from
    major publishers print-first imprints come with clauses indicating that the
    publisher makes no guarantee on format? PW gives us the skinny . . .
  •  A Christian publishing partnership has resulted in
    the creation of 1Source, a newly launched self-publishing company. 1Source offers
    authors a variety of services, ranging from editing to distribution. For moreinfo . . .
  • The Thomas Nelson group (HarperCollins Christian
    Publishing) has launched a new graphic novel initiative, Vital Shift. For more info . . .
  • Christian publisher Charisma House has launched
    Excel, a new POD self-publishing service. The company offers authors free
    high-speed typesetting, custom cover design, and preparation for electronic
    publication in formats for Kindle, Nook, iBook, and Kobo. For more info . . .
  • The Assemblies of God is partnering with Excel
    to launch Salubris Publishing, a custom book imprint for Christian
    authors. For more info . . . 
  • Amazon Publishing announced plans to launch a new
    literary journal.  Day One, a weekly digital magazine will focus on short
    fiction and poetry, including works from new authors and foreign authors in
    English translation. For more info . . . 
  • Apple’s saga continues. After being found liable
    for conspiring to fix e-book prices, Apple attorneys are disputing a $307
    million damage figure. For more info . . . 
  • A division of Saint Benedict Press, TAN Books, has
    acquired Neumann Press, a Minnesota publisher of Catholic titles for children
    and adults. For more info . . . 
  • Now this is interesting. Skyhorse Publishing will
    launch Carrel Books, a new imprint that caters to the public library market in
    the fall of 2014. For more info . . . 
  • Merry Christmas! It’s expected that online
    retailers will offer free-shipping this holiday season. For more info . . . 
  • However, according to a study by the National
    Retail Federation
    , consumers will take a conservative approach to spending this
    holiday season. For more info . . . 
  • As part of an ongoing evaluation of e-lending, Macmillan
    will expand its library e-book offerings to include its entire e-book backlist,
    more than 11,000 titles. For more info . . . 
  • You deserve a book today! McDonald’s restaurants
    is becoming a leading distributor of children’s books. It will insert 20
    million copies of four original book titles into Happy Meals during the first
    two weeks of this month. The self-published Happy Meal Books will not be
    available for sale beyond the promotion. For more info . . . 
  • A Netflix for books? Backed by HarperCollins, Scribd,
    the document sharing website has launched a subscription service for e-book
    lending. For more info . . . 
  • Family Christian Ministries has launched a new
    digital platform, iDisciple. FCM’s goal is to be “the iTunes of Christian
    content.” For more info . . . 
  • A new analysis of ISBN data shows that the number
    of self-published books in 2012 rose 59% over 2011, growing to over 391,000
    titles. For more info . . . 
  • Figment, an online writing community for teens,
    has been acquired by Random House Children’s Books. Founded in 2010, the site
    allows allows teens to develop as writers. Figment has more than 300,000 uses
    and has proven to be an effective marketing and promotional platform for the YA
    marketplace. For more info . . . 
  • Publishers Weekly has revealed the 101 Best Books
    of 2013
    . The titles, chosen from nearly 9,000 reviews, run the gamut of all
    adult genres. For more info . . .
  • Macmillan is expanding Macmillan Entertainment,
    their in-house book-to-film division. The division will pursue film and TV
    opportunities to include all titles within the company. For more info . . .
  • Amazon has announced exclusive content will be
    available for their newly unveiled Kindle First program. The offering gives
    pre-publication access to Amazon Publishing titles to device owners. For more info . . .
  • This is interesting. We’ll have to see what this
    prediction will mean for book sales. According to a new study, the millennial
    generation is expected to outspend baby boomers by 2017. Also revealed is that
    retailers underestimate the size and purchasing power of the younger consumer
    group. For more info . . .
  • As if we didn’t see this coming. According to
    project conducted by the Book Industry Study Group, E-books have become “a
    normal means of consuming content.” For more info . . .
  • Brick-and-mortar bookstores are playing the print
    card against Amazon. Some independent bookstores, as well as Barnes &
    , will not carry Amazon Publishing’s books. For more info . . . 
  • Simon & Schuster is going to launch a new
    science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint. For more info . . . 
  • Winners of the Top Shelf Book Cover Award program
    have been announced by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Formore info . . . 
  • Good news for brick and mortar bookstores—RiverRun
    of Portsmouth, NH has opened a second location in Southern Maine.
  • And now for some sad news. After 26 years,
    longtime Christian retailer J.O.Y. Bookstore in Sinking Springs, Pa., will
    close the end of the year. Also, Detroit’s oldest bookstore, Marwil, will close
    after 65 years.
  • And more bad news, August bookstore sales dropped
    4.5%. For more info . . . 
  • While in other news, total revenue at Amazon
    increased 24%, to $17.09 billion, in the third quarter of 2013. For more info . . .  
  • Bloomsbury Publishing has announced that sales are
    up in all its major segments, and total revenue rose 13% for the first half of
    2013, to 49.2 million pounds. For more info . . . 
  • Also, Bloomsbury has launched Sigma, a new imprint
    that will publish books in the popular science category. For more info . . . 
  • And, Bloomsbury Children’s announced the December
    launch of Bloomsbury Spark, its new e-book-first imprint. For more info . . . 
  • Xist Publishing creates digital-first children’s
    books. For more info . . . 
  • BelleBooks, has acquired ImaJinn Books. For more info . . . 
  • Neil Alexander, president and publisher of the
    United Methodist Publishing House has announced his retirement in spring
    2016. UMPH, which publishes church materials, Bibles, and scholarly and
    general trade books is known for their Cokesbury retail division and Abingdon
    Press. For more info . . .
  • LifeWay Christian Stores has announced their
    purchase of Berean Christian Stories has been finalized. For more info . . . 
  • The Natasha Kern Literary Agency has announced
    that Sue Brower, former executive editor for Zondervan, has joined the agency
    as their newest agent. For more info . . .
  • Amazon Publishing has promoted Daphne Durham to
    publisher of the adult trade and children’s businesses. For more info . . . 

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