Sept. Bookstore Sales Dip
Bookstore sales fell 2.9% in September, to $1.45 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales for the entire retail segment rose 7.2% in the month. Bookstore sales for the first nine months of the year were off 2.3%, to $11.78 billion.
Dial-A-Book Enters China
Dial-A-Book's Chapter One Web service hopes to display as many as 25,000 English-language book excerpts in China over the next year under an agreement reached with Xinhua China Ltd., China's largest book distributor. Although the majority of D-A-B's current excerpts are of trade books, the company is looking to add more titles from STM publishers.
50 Cent Settles at Pocket
Pocket Books/MTV Books will launch an imprint backed by 50 Cent called G-Unit Books. Set to launch in early 2007, G-Unit will focus on street lit, both novels and graphic novels.
MediaBay Sales Fall
Sales at MediaBay tumbled 64% in the third quarter ended September 30, to $1.4 million, although the net loss was cut to $2.2 million from $3.7 million. The company, which is betting its future on the digital distribution of spoken-word audio, launched its first digital product offering, Soundsgood.com, shortly after the quarter closed.
Yale, 'New Republic' in Venture
Yale University Press is joining with the New Republic to start Yale/ TNR Books, a line to launch in fall 2006. The line will focus on American and international politics as well as art and culture. TNR will help promote the books and serialize many of them.
Jordan to Head Paraclete
Pamela Jordan has joined Paraclete Press as CEO and publisher. The Cape Cod, Mass.—based Christian independent is looking to expand its title output and genre coverage in the coming year. Jordan said that she's looking to up the house's list from 28 titles this year to a projected 40 in 2006, while also branching out into topics like travel, biography, YA and grief.
Google Tries New Name and Rentals
Google has changed the name of Google Print to Google Book Search. In an entry on Google's blog, marketing manager Jen Grant says the hope is that the new moniker will clarify the objective of Google Print, a program that helps people find books, not print them.
Meanwhile, Google representatives were in New York last week to work on a plan with publishers that would permit customers to rent books online for about one week. No word on if the two parties are close to a deal.
This week has seen a number of shifts on the distribution front. Osprey Publishing is moving its warehousing functions to Random House January 1. And Consortium has signed on seven new clients, all small U.S. houses: 4N Publishing, Feral House, Millipede Press, Paul Dry Books, Manic D Press, Pegasus Books and Wave Books.
'Hokum' Stirs Controversy
Some media outlets have had second thoughts about covering Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor, edited by Paul Beatty, after seeing the book's jacket. A national radio show canceled a planned interview with Beatty after receiving the book, and publisher Bloomsbury also got a call from an editor at an African-American glossy who found the image offensive. Bloomsbury has stuck with the jacket, which the author chose after rejecting an all-type woodblock treatment as "overly bland and cowardly."
Correction: Google Ads
Publishers receive most of the revenue generated from ads that appear on Google Print pages, not a small portion, as reported in "Searching for Digital Dollars" (Oct. 31).