With only one book selling over 100,000 copies in 2015, sales at Regnery Publishing fell last year. Regnery parent company,Salem Media Group, reported that in 2015 total sales in its publishing division—of which Regnery is the largest part—dropped 10.9%, to $23.8 million. The net loss in the publishing division decreased to $816,000 from $1.6 million in 2014, although the company said that with the decline in sales, Regnery reported its first loss in 2015 in six years.
In 2014, the company had three big hits including America by Dinesh D’Souza and Blood Feud by Ed Klein. Last year, Regnery was counting on a new Klein book, Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary, to do well. However, the title significantly underperformed. Regnery president Marji Ross attributed the book's weak sales performance to the fact that the Republican presidential primaries grabbed so much media attention; she said this diminished opportunities to promote the book. Only Ann Coulter’s Adios, America sold into six figures for the publisher last year.
As part of its effort to lessen Regnery’s reliance on politically-oriented frontlist books (backlist accounts for only about 15-20% of annual revenue), Regnery launched a new imprint called Regnery Faith late last year. Ross, who is in the process of looking for a new person to head the imprint, said she expects to release about seven books through Regnery Faith this year; last year the imprint released three titles. She said titles in the imprint will be promoted through Salem’s network of radio stations, which reach millions of conservative listeners.
Another new initiative for Regnery this year is publishing fiction. On June 13, the company will release Liberty’s Last Stand by Stephen Coonts. Ross expects the novel to appeal to readers who are fans of Brad Thor of Vince Flynn. Regnery plans to see how Liberty sells before signing up more fiction titles.
In addition to its new programs, Ross is high on several new titles in its core political book segment, including D’Souza’s Hillary’s America which will also be the name of a documentary that Ross said will open in about 1,000 theaters this July.
The self-publishing company, Xulon Press, which is also part of Salem’s publishing division, was a bright spot. Salem reported that fees at the service rose 5.5% last year, to $5.4 million. Xulon’s book sales rose by $100,000, although Salem did not provide an actual revenue figure in its annual report. Total book sales in the publishing segment, which includes Regnery and Xulon, fell 7.7%, to $18 million, while e-book sales dropped 26.8%, to $2.0 million.
The third leg of Salem’s publishing division, magazines, had a small rise in revenue, to $3.2 million, last year.