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Hachette

Grand Central Publishing to Expand Forever Imprint’s List

Grand Central Publishing will nearly double the releases from its romance imprint Forever and its eBook-only counterpart Forever Yours this year.

The Hachette imprint expects to grow from last year’s list of 64 titles to an estimated 120 titles this year and more than 190 titles in 2014. They will also add editorial and marketing staff at these imprints. Forever currently publishes established writers like Jill Shalvis or Larissa Ione and has acquired books by self-published bestsellers like Jessica Sorensen and J.A. Redmerski.

Forever’s founding editor Beth de Guzman had this comment in the release: “With the romance audience more robust and diverse than at any other time, we are thrilled to expand our program to match the insatiable demand in the marketplace for romance books in every format available.”

Reagan Arthur Named Publisher of Little, Brown

Reagan Arthur, the editorial director of Little, Brown’s Reagan Arthur Books imprint, will be the next publisher and senior VP of Little, Brown. She will assume her new role on April 1st as Michael Pietsch becomes the new CEO of Hachette Book Group.

The release included this news: “In stepping into the role of Publisher, Arthur will retire the Reagan Arthur Books imprint she has led for three years.”

Arthur has worked at Little, Brown since 2001, earning her own imprint in 2008. She has edited Tina Fey, Joshua Ferris, Kate Atkinson, George Pelecanos and Ian Rankin.

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Digital Sales Now 26% of Overall Revenue at Hachette

In a recent earnings report, one major publisher noted rising eBook sales are diminishing net sales.

AppNewser has more details:

The Hachette Book Group reported today that the company’s net sales for the fourth quarter 2012 were down 5.7 percent. The company’s net sales dropped 3.4 percent for the entire year of 2012. The increase in eBook sales drove net sales down, as eBooks bring in less revenue, the company explained in a press release. Despite the drop in net sales, volume sales were up 1.2 percent for the year. HBG’s net sales from eBooks and audio products totaled 26 percent of overall revenue in 2012, up from 23 percent in 2011. The publisher also had seventy-one titles reach the New York Times eBook bestseller chart last year.

Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster Launch Bookish

Hachette Book Group, Penguin and Simon & Schuster have launched Bookish, nearly two years after the site was first announced in May 2011.

The site will recommend books and let readers shop for books. It also shares book excerpts and features essays from its editors and authors (we’ve included some excerpts below).

According to Digital Book World sources, the publishers have invested “about $16 million” in the new venture. Bookish also counted the participation of 16 other major publishers, including Random House, Inc., Scholastic, HarperCollins Publishers and Perseus Books Group.

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Promotions at Little, Brown & Company

A number of publishing professionals at Hachette’s Little, Brown & Company imprint were promoted this week.

Within the marketing/publicity department, four staff members have received promotions. Heather Fain has been named vice president, associate publisher and marketing director. Nicole Dewey has will now serve as vice president and executive director of publicity.

Sabrina Callahan‘s new title is now director of publicity for James PattersonTheresa Giacopasi has moved up to online publicity manager.

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eBooks Are 20% of All Sales at Hachette

The Lagardère Group, the corporate parent of Hachette, reported its third quarter earnings this week.

AppNewser has the full report:

According to the financial report, Lagardère’s net sales were approximately $795 million, up 4.2 percent on a reported basis during Q3. Hachette’s net sales were up 6 percent during the quarter, but were still below the prior year. Digital book sales at Hachette have remained a steady business and continue to represent 20 percent of all book sales from the group in the U.S. and the U.K., the same as last year. Digital accounted for 6.4 percent of total net sales for all of Hachette Livre, which includes international sales.

Hachette Restructures Sales Teams To Integrate Digital Books

The Hachette Book Group has restructured its sales force, bringing the print and digital sales teams together and integrating research and analytics into the company’s overall strategy.

The company said that the changes will not include layoffs, but they added new departments and made a number of promotions. Chris Murphy has been promoted to senior vice president of the newly formed retail sales department. HBG has also hired David Bowers away from Oxford University Press to serve as SVP of sales strategy and operations, another newly formed department.

Additional promotions include Rick Cobban, who has been named vice president of national accounts. Mike Heuer will be promoted to executive director of the National Field Force, and will lead the ID and field sales teams. Karen Torres has been promoted to VP account marketing and retail operations.

The Most Expensive Agency Priced eBooks

Three publishers will drop the agency model that kept eBook prices the same across all marketplaces, and the eBook price wars have already commenced. PaidContent confirmed yesterday that HarperCollins prices have already started to change.

Last week, a federal judge approved a settlement between between Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins and the Department of Justice. Soon eBook marketplaces can sell some digital books at a discount, reigniting the eBook price wars.

Prices on Hachette and Simon & Schuster digital books still contain the “This price was set by the publisher” tag on Amazon, but their price restrictions will also be lifted as part of the agreement. In the meantime, we took a look at the most expensive books from these publishers–a way to track the changes in agency model books.

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Hachette Book Group Sales Drop 4%, Digital Up 20%

The Hachette Book Group reported that its sales dropped four percent during the first half of 2012 in a financial earnings statement released August 30th. Meanwhile, Hachette’s digital sales increased 20 percent in the first half of 2012, as compared with the first half of 2011. The company reported that digital represents 27 percent of HBG’s net sales, which is up from 22 percent of net sales last year.

The company expects higher sales in the second half of the year, due to the typical growth in holiday season sales. In addition, the company expects J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy to help bolster sales.

Lagardère Publishing’s Hachette Livre reported net sales of around $1.1 billion during the first six months of 2012. Digital is growing within the division, representing 8.4 percent of total net sales for Hachette Livre, which is up from 6 percent for all of 2011. (Via Digital Book World).

Publishers to Pay $69M in eBook Pricing Settlement

55 attorney generals from different states, districts and U.S. territories have reached an agreement with HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster in the ongoing litigation over eBook pricing.

According to the terms of the deal, consumers who bought an eBook from any of the “Agency Five” publishers during April 1, 2010 until May 21, 2012 will receive compensation.

Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster will pay consumers who purchased eBooks from any of the five agencies accused of price fixing, including Macmillan and Penguin, who have yet to settle. Payments will begin 30 days after the settlement gets its final court approval.

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