At Sourcebooks, unit sales rose 24% in the first six months of 2019 over the comparable period in 2018, while revenue increased 26%, according to company founder and CEO Dominique Raccah.
Raccah said the increase has been broad-based with 10 of its 12 business units reporting gains. One of the fastest-growing segments has been the company’s children’s group, Sourcebook Kids, which now accounts for 50% of the publisher’s overall sales. Recent top sellers include Moon’s First Friends which has sold 50,000 copies since its release in June, and P is for Pterodactyl whose sales have now topped 100,000 copies.
The company’s Landmark fiction imprint also had a strong first half of 2019 six months, led by unit sales of Kristina McMorris' novel Sold on a Monday; according to Sourcebooks the title has moved over 100,000 copies. Other strong sellers for the imprint include The Only Woman in the Room and The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
The company’s Put Me in The Story series continues to grow; Sourcebooks said it has published over 150 titles in the program, which allows parents to personalize picture books for their children. Touting the success of the series, for which some titles are based on books published by other houses, Raccah said Sourcebooks has "paid $2 million in royalties to our publishing partners." Sourcebooks expects to ship more than 1 million copies of the series this holiday season.
A less cutting edge format has also been good for Sourcebooks: calendars. The company published 26 calendars this year and will likely grow that number next year.
The publisher has not taken over production of its own audiobooks, however, and is still selling rights. Raccah said that may soon change, but up until now the company has been prioritizing other areas.
Another important source of growth in the period, on the retail side, was a jump in business with independent booksellers; Raccah said sales through the indies rose 32%. “We’re beefing up our resources to serve this community," she noted, pointing to the recent appointment of Chuck Deane has director of sales—trade. The company is also adding more sales reps.
Unit sales to schools and libraries rose 33% in the first half over 2018. In addition to organic growth, results include the purchase of Poisoned Pen Press in January. Sourcebooks itself was involved in a transaction this year when, in May, it sold a 45% stake in itself to Penguin Random House in May. Raccah said announcements tied to the PRH deal that will boost Sourcebooks’ growth will be made soon.