Holiday Retail Sales Dip at B&N, Nook Sales Plunge

Holiday sales for the nine-week period ended Dec. 28 fell 6.6% in Barnes & Noble’s retail segment and tumbled 60.5% in its Nook division, compared to the similar period in 2012. The sales decline in the retail division, which consists of B&N’s trade stores plus Barnes &, was attributed to a 5.5% drop in comparable store sales, as well as store closures. What B&N terms “core” bookstore comps—which exclude sales of Nook products—dipped 0.2%.

Huseby Named CEO of B&N

Barnes & Noble Inc., which has been without a CEO since William Lynch resigned last July, has promoted Michael Huseby to the post. Huseby joined B&N in March 2012 as CFO and was named president of B&N and CEO of Nook Media following Lynch’s resignation. With his promotion, Huseby will oversee all of B&N’s operations. Mitch Klipper, CEO of the company’s retail group, and Max Roberts, CEO of Barnes & Noble College, will report to Huseby, as will the Nook Media unit.

Bookish Acquired by Zola

Bookish, the social network funded by three of the Big Five publishers, has been acquired by Zola Books, a startup online retailer. Zola will take on about half of the Bookish staff and keep the Bookish name and url alive for at least the next several months.

HBG Expanding In Indiana, Moving in N.Y.C.

The Hachette Book Group announced plans to expand its distribution center in Indiana and relocate its New York City headquarters. In October, HBG will leave its home of eight years at 237 Park Ave. in Manhattan and head to Sixth Avenue and 52nd Street. The expansion of the Lebanon, Ind., facility will begin in March and will add 218,000 sq. ft. of space, allowing the company to boost its distribution business.

Rowman & Littlefield Buys Alban Institute Book Program

Rowman & Littlefield has acquired the book operations of the Alban Institute. The purchase involves about 270 active titles, mostly in the areas of church governance, leadership, and development aimed at the North American Protestant community.

Chicago Review Press Acquires Academy Chicago

Chicago Review Press Inc. has acquired Academy Chicago Publishers. Academy Chicago was founded in 1975 by husband-and-wife team Jordan Miller and Anita Miller; today it publishes fiction and nonfiction in a variety of genres and is best known for mysteries, Victorian literature, and works in translation. It has a backlist of about 300 titles and will become an imprint of Chicago Review Press.

Macmillan Acquires Cookstr

Macmillan has acquired cookbook and recipe Web site Cookstr, founded in 2008 by Katie Workman and Will Schwalbe. Schwalbe will stay on in an expanded role as v-p of editorial development and content innovation, and will acquire books to be released across Macmillan’s publishing imprints.

Skyhorse Launches New Imprint, Yucca

Skyhorse Publishing has unveiled a new imprint, Yucca Publishing, which is being developed through a partnership with the International Transactions literary agency. The imprint will feature both new and established authors who have “intent, literary strength, and fresh, new visions.”