InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Wiley’

Sherry Jones & The Jewel of Medina: Which Side Are You On?

mark-weston-headshot.jpgNeither Andy nor I was able to make it to Mark Weston‘s book party last week, but luckily for us Wiley publicist Cynthia Shannon thought to ask the author of Prophets & Princes, a history of Saudi Arabia, what he thought about Random House pulling the plug on The Jewel of Medina, Sherry Jones‘s novel about A’isha, the youngest of Muhammad’s wives.

“I agree with [Denise Spellberg],” Weston emailed Shannon after reading the original WSJ op-ed that started the public furor. “You don’t turn scripture into soft core pornography.” While admitting that he hadn’t read any of Jones’s novel, Weston says, apparently going by what the scholar who told Random House they were exposing themselves to terrorist attacks has said about the book, “it seems to be a work that will enflame rather than enlighten… Turning the Quran into a bodice-ripper is not the way to show Muslims the advantages of freedom.” (Note: Based on a reading of the novel’s prologue, I question Spellberg’s characterization.)

“Sherry Jones can write and self-publish whatever she wants,” Weston added. “Random House is free to decide that a book is not worth the trouble if publishing it will cause people to die. Should the world’s most violent men have a veto over what gets published? No. But publishing The Jewel of Medina would make radical Muslims stronger, not weaker. In the long struggle for freedom, let us choose a more intelligent cause.”

Strong words for a book Weston hasn’t even read yet. (By the way, who gets to decide which acts of expression are “intelligent” enough to enjoy the support of enlightened free-thinkers? Just asking.) And novelist Andrew Klavan would probably have even stronger words in response to Weston’s dismissal—starting with “Nuts!” and working his way up to a NSFW vocabulary from there.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Fashion Writing

Fashion WritingStarting September 23, work with the contributing editor at ELLE.com to get your writing published in fashion magazines and websites! In this course, you'll learn how to write fashion headlines, runway reviews, and fashion features, write compelling pitch letters, and gain insight into the fashion industry. Register now!

Wiley Overall Sales Rise

Wiley released its 10-Q financial report over the weekend, reporting that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 of $388.6 million increased 48% from $263.4 million in the prior year’s first quarter, or 46% excluding the favorable impact of foreign exchange. Gross profit margin for the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 decreased to 63.8% from 67.7% in the prior year mainly due to a lower gross margin on Blackwell sales and the adverse impact of a $6.2 million acquisition accounting adjustment to revenue and gross profit. Excluding the acquisition accounting adjustment, Blackwell’s gross margin was approximately 57.8%. Excluding Blackwell and the effect of foreign exchange, gross profit margin declined 40 basis points to 67.3%.

Operating and administrative expenses increased 37% over the prior year mainly due to $43.7 million of incremental operating expenses related to Blackwell. Operating and administrative expenses excluding Blackwell and the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange increased 4%, principally due to employment costs to support business growth. Amortization of intangibles increased $6.1 million, principally due to acquisitions. The Blackwell acquisition contributed approximately $5.6 million of the increase.

Let The Web Be Your Travel Agent

The concept of free and Google Book Search and electronic publishing might scare off many a trade publisher, but for the right projects, perfect matches can be found. The WSJ’s Jeff Trachtenberg looks at how travel publishers are embracing the web for their needs, realizing that by offering free Web content based on their books, they can attract enough traffic to generate advertising and other revenue — as well as promote their titles. Publishers such as Wiley, Frommers and Fodor’s are realizing that by offering free Web content based on their books, they can attract enough traffic to generate advertising and other revenue — to the tune of $10 million and $15 million in advertising annually — as well as promote their titles.

These initiatives raise a question in Trachtenberg’s mind: Could this go further, where advertisers are targeting readers of a particular author? So far, the country’s biggest-selling writers have steered clear of ads. James Patterson, the former ad executive turned novelist, offers all sorts of free content on his Web site, including brief excerpts of some of his novels. But the site hasn’t solicited advertising, concerned that ads for other businesses could turn off Patterson fans and hurt book sales. “We’re considering side businesses but we have to put them through the filter of whether it advances the value of the Web to our readers,” says Steve Bowen, president of James Patterson Entertainment. “It’s a hollow victory if you end up undermining your core business.”

Wiley 4th Quarter Profit Slides

The Associated Press reports that educational publisher Wiley said Wednesday its fiscal fourth-quarter profit slid modestly, but sales rose on its February acquisition of Blackwell Publishing. For the quarter ended April 30, the company posted earnings of $14.3 million, or 25 cents per share, down 1 percent from $14.5 million, also 25 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 46 percent to $390.2 million from $266.6 million a year ago. Excluding revenue from Blackwell, revenue climbed 7 percent to $284.4 million. For the full year, Wiley earned $99.6 million, or $1.71 per share, down 9 percent from $110.3 million, or $1.85 per share, in the prior year.

Today in M&A: Vista and Ingenta, Wiley and Blackwell

Mergers, there be mergers everywhere. Reported in PW Daily yesterday (but we neglected to mention till now) is that Vista International, a specialist in comprehensive back-office software for publishers, and Ingenta, focused on online publishing technology, are merging to create Publishing Technologies PLC, an international firm offering a wide range of publishing-specific software products to the industry, effective this month.

Meanwhile, Wiley released a statement that it has finalized the acquisition of the outstanding shares of Blackwell Publishing, one of the world’s foremost academic and professional publishers. The purchase price of 572 million pounds was financed with a combination of debt and cash. Together, the two companies will publish approximately 1,250 scholarly peer-reviewed journals (over 1 million pages) and an extensive collection of books with global appeal.