FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Bloomsbury’

Bloomsbury Reshuffles At the Top

Bloomsbury is splitting the joint role of chairman and chief executive, reports Booktrade.info. Jeremy Wilson, a Non-Executive Director of Bloomsbury since November 2005 and current Vice Chairman, Business Banking at Barclays Bank PLC, will take over as non-executive chairman from the end of September. Nigel Newton says he wishes to separate the roles in accordance with corporate governance best practice.

“For some time I have been considering separating the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive,” Newton said in a statement. “I see this as useful in achieving Bloomsbury’s ambitions in the years ahead, allowing me to concentrate on the development and execution of Bloomsbury’s strategy during a period when we foresee significant change in the publishing industry; I am very pleased that Jeremy Wilson has accepted the Board’s invitation to become Non-Executive Chairman. He brings with him valuable experience in business and finance within a FTSE 100 company; his skills and background make him well suited to become Non-Executive Chairman of Bloomsbury. I know that I can work closely with him which is crucial.”

Tony Blair to Meet Publishers This Fall

Even though it’s highly likely that a memoir from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is years in the offing, that doesn’t mean there can’t be stories about every permutation and combination relating to such a possible step. To wit, the Bookseller’s Katherine Rushton reports that Blair will meet publishers in London at the start of October, together with Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer he has instructed to sell his memoirs. Random House and HarperCollins are expected to make bids for the book, and Bloomsbury (in a partnership with Miramax) and Simon & Schuster have confirmed they are also entering the fray. Hachette is understood to have ruled itself out of the competition, although CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson declined to comment to the Bookseller.

As already speculated, Blair’s approach direct to the US is seen as an attempt to bag the biggest deal possible by capitalizing on his popularity there, Rushton explains. Securing Barnett, who won big money for Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan advance-wise (and also represents James Patterson now) is also likely to inflate Blair’s advance. Rushton also has more in the Telegraph today about the pre-Frankfurt plan for Blair.

WWII Is Hot, Hot, Hot

So posits the Telegraph in the wake of a new glut of fiction and non-fiction books who use World War Two as its backdrop, setting or purpose. “We’ve done incredibly well out of it,” says Jonathan Goodman of Carlton Books, whose bumper repackaged editions of classic Commando stories were one of the biggest hits in bookshops last Christmas, selling well into six figures, with two new volumes scheduled for imminent publication. Meanwhile Headline is republishing vintage true-life Second World War adventures including ODETTE, BOLDNESS BE MY FRIEND, and John Kenneally VC‘s THE HONOUR AND THE SHAME; Bantam Press has paid a six-figure sum for a series of Sharpe-style adventures about a Second World War infantryman by James Holland; and Bloomsbury will shortly launch my fictional series in a similar vein about a Flashmanesque hero named Dick Coward.

Period specialist and novelist Guy Walters has an easy explanation: “The Second World War is the greatest story ever,” he says. “It’s about the triumph of good over evil. It takes place all over the world. It has the ultimate baddy, who dies at the end in a squalid bunker. What’s more, we won and it’s always nice to read about a war we won.” The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are, publishers and authors argue, the second big reason for the Second World War revival. “At a time when we’re committed to wars where we’re not quite sure who the enemy is and whether or not we’re a peacekeeping force and whether it was right to go in there in the first place, there’s tremendous yearning and nostalgia for the decency and simplicity of the last Good War,” says Bloomsbury’s Mike Jones.

Bloomsbury Spends Big Money for Financial Database

The Bookseller’s Alison Flood reports that Bloomsbury has signed a seven year partnership for its electronic finance database with a “major” international financial organisation. The publisher, which first flagged up the possibility of the rights deal in April, believes it will “address a huge market and generate revenues for the next 10 years and beyond”. The database, “Finance-The Ultimate Resource”, offers up-to-date financial advice for finance professionals, both in print and online, along with daily updates, podcasts, video streaming and online events for the global financial community. Bloomsbury expects the profit impact of the new contract to arise between 2008 and 2014.

Bloomsbury Stays Optimistic About Post-Potter Fortunes

The burning question on most industry watchers’ minds is this: what will Bloomsbury do in a life without new Harry Potter books in the pipeline? CEO Nigel Newton keeps his chin up in an interview with the Guardian. The stock market’s ambivalent view on Bloomsbury’s preparations frustrates Newton, who has seen the company’s shares drift down to 166p, far from the 374p they reached when the sixth Potter was published two years ago.

“The real question is what is going to happen in 2008 and 2009 and why should shareholders feel reassured about their holdings,” said Newton. “Well you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you look at the list we have put together and the strategic decisions we have made for the business, you will see a very strong publishing group in action.” Though Newton hints at a takeover prospect, Bloomsbury might also be prey to being taken over. “A challenge for Bloomsbury is how the company spends the next load of Potter money,” said Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller. “It will be a target for private equity because there will be this large cash balance on its books. Bloomsbury will probably give out a decent dividend or buy a few good businesses – or else a buyer will come in. It will not be an easy few years, but the company has strength in depth across its publishing lists.”

Obligatory Harry Potter Roundup

  • Bloomsbury delays Potter reprint, instead looking to move stock between shops to minimise returns. No news on Scholastic‘s plans as yet. [The Bookseller]
  • Pity the readers stuck with a copy that was missing pages. [The Seattle Times]
  • More on pirated copies in Bangalore. [NDTV]
  • Then again, why does the media only care that it’s Harry Potter being pirated, not all the other books? [Metroblogging Bangalore]
  • Charles Arthur has more on the piracy business. [Guardian]
  • J.K. Rowling to work on two books – one for kids, one for not – next. [USA TODAY]
  • Suburban moms try to understand the Potter phenomenon. [Boston Globe]
  • Even More HP7 Stats

  • Barnes & Noble sold 1.8 million copies of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS on Saturday and Sunday in its stores and online, 38% more than it sold of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince during its first two days on sale.
  • Nielsen Bookscan has tabulated first-day UK sales for Harry Potter of 2,652,656 copies
  • Bloomsbury announced that 398,271 copies of the UK edition sold in Germany in the first 24 hours.
  • Random House Audio reports projected opening two-day sales of over 225,000 units in its compact disc and cassette editions–up 40 percent from the previous title.
  • In Canada, Raincoast Books announced sales in the first two days of 812,000 copies.
  • HP-1: Asda Prices HP7 at 5 pounds

    Supermarket Asda has set a new benchmark for pricing as it will be selling HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS for an unprecedented £5, 72% off the recommended retail price, reports the Bookseller’s Graeme Neill. Bloomsbury said they were “bemused’ by Asda’s pricing and warned that it will sell out very quickly, disappointing those keen to pick it up cheaply. “We are confident that readers will still choose to buy their books at other retailers across the country amid crowds of fans looking for a magical atmosphere rather than just a cheap price and they are more likely to continue to have it in stock,” said Marketing Director Minna Fry, who added that pricing the book at 5 pounds means incurring an extra 2.5 million pounds of debt for parent company Wal-Mart. Ah, the joys of price wars…

    HP-2: Spoilers, Embargos, All That Jazz

  • Another advance review of DEATHLY HALLOWS, without spoilers, but Mary Carole McAuley comments that “once the pieces fall into place, it all seems rather obvious. No other outcome would have been as plausible.” [Baltimore Sun]
  • Bloomsbury is confident that UK press won’t break the embargo. See the flying pigs over in the sky? [The Bookseller]
  • Nicholas Clee is astonished that Asda knuckled under to Bloomsbury. [Guardian blog]
  • More on the breach of contract suit launched by Scholastic against DeepDiscount.com. [BBC]
  • UK retailers will line up like civilians to buy their copies cheap from Tesco. [Times]
  • Boston teens hide their eyes from spoilers and predict their own ending for HP7. [Boston Globe]
  • Did Harry Potter change the world? Maybe, maybe not. [WaPo]
  • HP-3: BA Slams Potter Discounts

    Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association (BA), has slammed the “crazy” levels of discounts being used by retailers to flog the latest Harry Potter book. Godfray said the book industry had been “considerably weakened by this deep discounting”, reports the Bookseller. The strong comments follow a day of extraordinary developments after Potter publisher Bloomsbury forced supermarket chain Asda to apologise for accusing it of “holding children to ransom” by raising the price of the final Potter book. After withdrawing its supply of the book, the chain apologised unreservedly and withdrew the comments.

    However, Godfray admitted that the BA could not interfere. “The publisher sets a Recommended Retail Price and it is up to the individual retailer to decide on the selling price.” Which means that statements like these, while they attract media attention here and elsewhere, don’t really amount to much…

    << PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>