September Bookstore Sales Fell 8%
Bookstore sales in September fell 8.2%, to $1.39 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Last September was the final month of Borders’s going-out-of-business sales. For the first nine months of 2012, bookstore sales were down 1.6%, to $11.64 billion.
Schneider to Head Follett
Mary Lee Schneider, former president of Digital Solutions and chief technology officer at RR Donnelley, will take over as president and CEO of Follett Corp. November 26. She is the first person outside of the Follett family to head the company.
AAUP Picks Berkery
Peter Berkery Jr. has been named the new executive director of the Association of American University Presses. Berkery, who has been v-p and publisher of the U.S. Law division of Oxford University Press, will assume his new position March 1, succeeding longtime AAUP director Peter Givler.
Family Christian Stores Acquired
Family Christian Stores, the largest Christian retail chain, with 280 stores in 36 states, has been acquired from its private equity owners by the chain’s management team in partnership with three Atlanta-based investors. The new owners pledge to contribute 100% of Family’s profits to Christian ministries serving widows and orphans in the U.S. and abroad.
Lagardère Third Quarter Up
Sales at Lagardère Publishing rose 4% in the third quarter ended September 30, to 626 million euros, due in part to favorable currency fluctuations and a strong performance in the literature category led by the release of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. The release of Vacancy led to a 7.3% increase in general literature sales in the U.S. (Hachette Book Group), 17% in the U.K., and 12.4% in France.
SCIBA Director Steps Down
Jennifer Bigelow, who was at the helm of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association since 1999, has resigned as executive director effective December 31. No replacement has been named.
Abrams has reorganized its adult group management team in a move aimed at more aggressively exploiting the illustrated book publisher’s assets in the digital marketplace and expanding internationally. Steve Tager has been named to the new role of senior v-p, chief marketing and business development officer.
Subscription From Melville
Melville House is hoping to entice readers to its classics series, the Art of the Novella, through a subscription offer that gives readers both print and digital copies. The subscription offer on the series includes three different options—print-only, digital-only, and a combination-—at a mix of price points depending on subscription length.