Staff -- 1/29/01
B&N.com's Turvey Checks into ebrary | Globe Pequot Acquires Lyons Press
Trilogy Ups Offer In Battle for Chapters | Dover Purchase Adds To Courier Gains
Surprise Win In Whitbread | Bookstore Sales Up 9% in November
David Fickling Books Moves to Random House
Murray Named to Head HC Australia | Anderson Named President of PRI
B&N.com's Turvey Checks into ebraryTom Turvey, former Manhattan bookseller and director of e-books for Barnes &Noble.com, has left the e-retailer for online reference library ebrary , where he was appointed v-p of business development. Before working for B&N.com, Turvey worked in online marketing at HarperCollins and earlier was a bookseller at Posman in New York City.
Turvey told PW, "I'm really happy with my years at B&N and having the opportunity to work with so many talented executives. My new job here at ebrary will be much more focused and will be an interesting mix of what I do best."
Ebrary, of Mountain View, Calif., is scheduled to launch its Web site (at www.ebrary.com) later this year and will host a collection of books, journals, periodicals and maps that users can browse for free. Revenue is expected to come from patrons paying for materials they download or print out for about the same price as photocopying. Financial backers of the company include Random House, Pearson and McGraw-Hill.
Turvey will head ebrary's New York office, where he will be expected to shape relationships with publishers and copyright holders as well as with conversion houses that digitize texts for online viewing. Turvey also will develop relationships with sites that aggregate users into communities of potential customers--such as online bookstores, ISPs and portals--in order to drive eyeballs to ebrary.
Globe Pequot Acquires Lyons PressGlobe Pequot Press has acquired Lyons Press for an undisclosed price. Based in New York City, Lyons Press specializes in books on outdoor sports and has a backlist of more than 500 titles. Sara Davis, publicity director for Globe, said Lyons Press not only fits well with Globe's profile but expands it as well. In addition to its core outdoor book program, Lyons publishes a small fiction list, a new area for Globe that Davis said Globe intends to continue. Globe's publishing program focuses on travel and outdoor recreation books.
Founded in 1984 by Nick Lyons and now run by his son Tony, Lyons Press has 24 employees and sales estimated at more than $7 million last year. It published 190 titles in 2000 and had hits with the collection Hemingway on Fishing, Doctor on Everest by Kenneth Kamlerand Jay McInerney's Bacchus &Me. Globe will keep the Lyons Press name as an imprint, and Tony Lyons has been named a v-p of Globe and publisher of the Lyons imprint, while his father will continue to acquire titles and serve as an editorial adviser. Tony Lyons will report directly to Globe president and publisher Linda Kennedy.
Davis said Lyons's New York office will be kept open for a minimum of six months, and a decision about the long-term future of the office will be made shortly. She said Globe hopes to retain as many Lyons employees as possible, although some back-office functions will move to Globe's Guilford, Conn., headquarters. Lyons Press's plans to publish more than 200 titles in 2001 will go ahead as scheduled.
Backed by its parent company, Morris Communications, Globe has been on a buying spree lately, most recently acquiring Falcon Press last fall (News, Sept. 25, 2000). Prior to the Lyons acquisition, Globe had approximately 100 employees, published 250 new titles annually and distributed another 350 for U.S. and foreign clients.
Trilogy Ups Offer In Battle for ChaptersTrilogy is not giving up the battle for Chapters without a fight. Just days after Chapters received an offer from Future Shop for $16.80 per share, Trilogy increased its offer to $17 per share, and unlike the Future Shop offer, which includes cash plus stock, the latest Trilogy bid is for cash. In addition, Trilogy is looking to acquire all the shares not already held by Chapters' management and insiders rather than the 50.1% stake it had originally sought. Future Shop said it has no plans to up its offer, but will keep the bid on the table.
Cuts at Pegasus
While fighting the Trilogy offer, Chapters moved to reintegrate Pegasus Wholesale into its operations by eliminating 34 positions in the wholesaling unit, primarily in the sales, marketing and purchasing areas. The staff changes are the result of converting Pegasus from an industry wholesaler to a unit that serves only as a distribution and fulfillment center for Chapters' stores and online divisions.
Chapters' attempt to turn Pegasus into a major industry wholesaler met with little success. In the third quarter ended December 30, 2000, only $600,000 of the company's $48.7 million in sales came from third parties with the rest generated by business with other Chapters' divisions. Pegasus had a pretax loss of $3.9 million in the period.
Excluding Pegasus, revenues for the company's retail and online operations rose 5.2% to $247 million ($165 million) and pretax earnings jumped 76.7% to $12.9 million ($8.6 million). The improvement in earnings was the result of a 13.3% profit gain to $17.9 million at Chapters Retail and a decline in the loss at Chapters Online from $8.5 million to $5 million. Sales at the retail division increased 4% to $231.5 million, while revenues at the online division were ahead 27.1% to $15.5 million.
On the retail side, sales at superstores rose 11.6% to $139.8 million in the quarter with comparable store sales up 1.3%. Sales through traditional stores fell 7.3% to $77.7 million due to the closing of 24 stores over the course of the year, which offset a slight 0.4% increase in same-store sales.
--Leah Eichler &Jim Milliot
Dover Purchase Adds To Courier GainsCourier Corp. reported that Dover Publications, which Courier acquired last August (News, Aug. 21, 2000), had sales of $8.6 million and net income of $200,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2001 ended December 30, 2000. James Conway, president of Courier, said he was "satisfied" with Dover's first-quarter results.
The solid first quarter is not keeping Courier from making changes at the publishing house, particularly in the technology area. In addition to upgrading Dover's internal ordering systems, Courier is developing the publisher's first Web site at www.doverpublications.com. The site, which is expected to be ready by mid-February, will promote Dover's list as well as allow customers to order titles.
For the entire company, Courier reported that sales rose 18% to $53.3 million and net income increased 36% to $3.0 million. The company noted that in its book manufacturing segment it grew well in the educational and religious areas, but that sales were soft in the trade category.
Surprise Win In WhitbreadLondon's literary pundits were sent reeling by the dark-horse winner of the 30th Whitbread Book Award, Britain's most significant literary prize after the Booker. He was Matthew Kneale, who won the £22,500 (about $33,000) award for his English Passengers (Hamish Hamilton; Doubleday in the U.S.), a tale of a 19th-century voyage to Tasmania by a group of fanatical colonists led by an anti-Darwinian vicar.
The popular favorite (who also lost out in the Booker) was Zadie Smith with White Teeth (Hamish Hamilton; Random House in the U.S.), while the most hotly tipped work and the literary favorite was Lorna Sage's elegiac autobiography Bad Blood (Fourth Estate; no U.S. publisher), whose author died only two weeks before the results were announced.
Kneale said in his acceptance speech that the book had taken him seven years to write, and paid tribute to the patience of his agent, Deborah Rogers, and his Penguin U.K. editor, Andrew Kidd.
Bookstore Sales Up 9% in NovemberDespite reports of disappointing holiday sales by many major book retailers, the Census Bureau reported that bookstore sales rose a solid 9.1% to $1.17 billion during November 2000. The bookstore gain bettered the 5.8% increase posted by the entire retail segment. For the first 11 months of the year, bookstore sales rose 10.9%, to $13.28 billion, while the entire retail sector had a 8.7% increase in the January-November period.
David Fickling Books Moves to Random HouseRandom House Children's Books and the Random House Group Children's Division, U.K., have jointly announced that David Fickling Books will move to Random House in both the U.S. and the U.K., effective February 1. Previously, Fickling had been publishing director of Scholastic
Under this agreement, David Fickling Books becomes the first bi-continental children's publisher; authors and illustrators on Fickling's list will now be able to have their books published simultaneously in both the U.K. and the U.S., by the same editor and publisher.
Fickling's recent books include The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, Troy by Adèe Geras and Smarties Prize Silver Medal-winner The Red and White Spotted Handkerchief by Tony Mitton. He will continue to work from his home base in Oxford, publishing between 12 and 20 books per year, and will report to both Craig Virden, president and publisher of Random House Children's Books, and to Philippa Dickinson, chairman of the Random House Group Children's Division in the U.K.
Murray Named to Head HC AustraliaBrian Murray, currently senior v-p and managing director of HarperCollins general books group in New York, will become chief executive officer of HC's Australia/New Zealand subsidiary
Jane Friedman, HC president, said Murray's appointment is in keeping with the company's efforts to build a global publishing business. Murray joined HC in 1997 from Booz Allen &Hamilton, where he was a consultant in the company's media practice. He will report to David Steinberger, president of corporate strategy and international for HC.
Murray will be replaced in New York by Len Marshall, who has been named senior v-p of finance and publishing operations for the general books group. Marshall, who will report to Cathy Hemming, president and publisher of the general books group, has served as senior v-p of operations and supply chain since joining the publisher in 1997.
A spokesperson for HC also said that the company has begun a search for a successor to Therese Burke, who is stepping down as president of the general books sales group on Friday (News, Jan. 22).
Anderson Named President of PRIIngram Book Group has named Chris Anderson president of Publishers Resources Inc. and Ingram Fulfillment Partners, succeeding Y.S. Chi, who moved to Random House in December. Anderson, who joined Ingram in 1989, most recently served as senior v-p for business development at PRI and Ingram Fulfillment Partners. While PRI provides distribution and fulfillment service to publishers, Ingram Fulfillment Partners is the company's attempt to provide similar services to customers outside the book industry. The company recently started providing distribution support for e-retailers including BlueLight.com, a Kmart subsidiary, and OurHouse.com, subsidiary of Ace Hardware.
Candida Donadio, Agent
Candida Donadio, agent and mentor to such authors as Thomas Pynchon, Joseph Heller, Robert Stone and William Gaddis, died of cancer on January 20 at her home in Connecticut. She was 71. Donadio began her publishing career as a secretary at McIntosh &McKee, then moved to Herb Jaffe Associates in 1957, where she sold Joseph Heller's first novel, Catch-22, and Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus, among other American classics. In 1961 she joined Russell &Volkening where her clients included Pynchon, Gaddis, Stone, Michael Herr, Peter Matthiessen, Bruce Jay Friedman and Mario Puzo. Seven years later, Donadio and Robert Lantz joined agencies. Donadio later partnered with agent Eric Ashworth and then formed the Donadio &Olson agency with Neil Olson; Donadio retired from active agenting in 1995 due to illness.
Seymour Hacker, 83
Seymour Hacker, a renowned bookseller and owner of Hacker Art Books on W. 57th St. in New York City for more than 50 years, died on December 19. He was 83. As a young teen, Hacker learned the trade on Fourth Avenue, New York's onetime bookselling center; at 19 he opened the Abbey Bookshop, a general bookstore. After joining Albert Saifer to run a book auction house and working in the Merchant Marine, he opened Hacker Art Books in 1946, later expanding the store to include an art gallery. Hacker also published many reprint titles under the Hacker Art Books imprint.
Clyde Taylor, 64
Clyde Taylor, a publisher and later literary agent, died suddenly of complications from pneumonia on January 5. He was 64. Taylor began his publishing career at Macmillan and American Heritage, then moved to Putnam, where, as sub rights director in 1969, he sold Mario Puzo's The Godfather for what was then a record-breaking sum. As rights director at World Publishing, his big sales included Robert Ludlum's first novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance, and Jim Bouton's Ball Four. He returned to Putnam as publisher in 1978, then founded his own literary agency. In 1980, he joined Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Volume 247 Issue 5 01/29/2001