Amazon Buys Goodreads
Amazon has acquired Goodreads.com, a Web site featuring user-generated reviews of books. The purchase comes amid mounting rumors that Goodreads, which CEO Otis Chandler launched in 2007, might start selling books directly from its site. The details of the purchase, set to close in the second quarter of 2013, were not disclosed by Amazon, but the retail giant confirmed that Goodreads will remain headquartered in San Francisco. Goodreads has 16 million members and 37 million unique visitors per month.
BAM Posts 2012 Profit
Books-A-Million’s bet on taking over a host of former Borders stores in late 2011 paid off in 2012, as the chain reported net income of $2.5 million for the fiscal year (which ended Feb. 2, 2013), compared to a loss of $2.8 million in the prior year. Sales rose 7.5% to $503.8 million, despite a 3.6% decline in comp store sales.
Miller Leaves Workman
Bob Miller, who took over as group publisher of Workman Publishing in March 2010, will leave the company April 5, Carolan Workman announced to the staff in a memo last week. In addition, she said that the health of company founder Peter Workman (her husband) “will not allow him to return to Workman in any significant capacity.” For the immediate future, the memo said, Susan Bolotin will serve as acting publisher of the Workman imprint.
Penguin Eases Library Restrictions
After a pilot program, Penguin said that as of this week it will no longer window its frontlist e-book titles available to libraries. With the change, all frontlist e-books will now be offered through 3M and Baker & Taylor under the same terms as existed in the pilot—basically one-year licenses.
Abrams Reveals New Wimpy Kid
The eighth book in the series will be published by Abrams’s Amulet Books imprint in the U.S. in November, with near-simultaneous publication taking place in seven additional countries: the U.K., Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, South Korea, and Norway. The publisher hasn’t announced a title yet.
Univ. of Nebraska Press Buys Potomac
Potomac Books has been acquired by the University of Nebraska Press. Potomac will continue to conduct business as usual in all respects: ordering, warehousing, returns processing, and all other contracts will remain under the purview of Potomac Books’ publisher Sam Dorrance, who will remain at the company’s Virginia offices, along with other staff members.
Winton Steps Down at Counterpoint
After founding Berkeley, Calif.–based Counterpoint over five years ago, Charlie Winton is handing over the reins to a new boss. Winton will be leaving his post as publisher, and on May 1, Rolph Blythe, a former marketing and publicity director at the company, will succeed him. Winton will remain chairman and CEO of Counterpoint, as well as executive editor-at-large, with Blythe reporting to him. Jack Shoemaker and Kelli Adams, editorial director and business manager, respectively, of Counterpoint, will also report to him.