Nov. Bookstore Sales Drop 8.6%

Bookstore sales declined 8.6%, to $941 million in November, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline follows a 6.6% drop in October and reflects the absence of Borders.

RH Takes Over Canada’s M&S

Random House of Canada will take over as sole owner of McClelland & Stewart, one of Canada’s oldest publishing houses. Established in 1906, M&S is home to many of Canada’s biggest literary names including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro, and Leonard Cohen.

Ditlow to Head Amazon Kids Publishing

Tim Ditlow has been named associate publisher for Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books,’s new children’s and YA publishing division. Ditlow was previously with Brilliance Audio.

Rakuten Purchase of Kobo Approved

The sale of the Canadian e-book retailer Kobo to Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten for $315 million has been approved by the Canadian government. Indigo Books and Music received $146 million from the sale. Indio CEO Heather Reisman said Indigo will continue to have “a very strong relationship with Kobo.”

MIBA, GLIBA to Hold Joint Show

The Midwest Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Booksellers Association will cohost one regional trade show this year and in 2013. The joint show, to be called the Heartland Fall Forum, will be held October 3–5 at the Renaissance Hotel in the Milwaukee Road Train depot in Minneapolis.

Amazon Touts Success of Lending Library

Despite all the criticism Amazon’s Kindle Owner’s Lending Library program faced from the Authors Guild and others in the industry, Amazon has announced that 295,000 borrows of KDP Select titles were made in December. The other statistics Amazon offered as success of the program include that the library now features a total of more than 75,000 titles and that KDP authors have earned $1.70 per borrow. Amazon also said that it is adding $200,000 to the monthly KDP fund for January.

Captain Underpants Returns

Scholastic’s bestselling Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey will return in August with Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers, the ninth book in the series. That story will be quickly followed by the 10th installment in the series, Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of Radioactive Robo-Boxers, set for publication in January 2013. The series, which hasn’t had a new book in six years, has sold more than 50 million copies and is published in 19 languages. The first two titles in the series will also come out as e-book editions for the first time on January 31.