Digital Drives Amazon
Sales in Amazon's North America media segment rose 18% in the first quarter, to $1.89 billion, while sales in the North America electronics and general merchandise group jumped 63%, to $3.3 billion. Overall, revenue rose 38%, to $9.86 billion, but net income fell 33%, to $201 million, as the company continued to make heavy investments in its operations. Sales gains were driven by a 51% increase in unit sales in the quarter, which the company said was led by an acceleration of growth in its digital businesses.
A bankruptcy court in Kentucky approved the results of the auction for five Joseph-Beth Booksellers stores. Locations in Lexington, Ky., and Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as the Joseph-Beth and Davis-Kidd names, went to Booksellers Enterprises, an affiliate of the chain's landlord in Lexington. Former Joseph-Beth owner Neil Van Uum purchased the Memphis store, to be renamed DK Booksellers, from liquidator Gordon Brothers, which got the Fredericksburg, Va., store. The latter will become a Books-A-Million location.
As the bankruptcy winds down, the Creditors Committee filed for approval of a settlement with the Ingram Book Group, which owned a 1% interest in Joseph-Beth. Under the terms, Ingram will pay roughly $3 million in exchange for a release from potential claims.
Hachette Forms Jericho Imprint
Hachette Book Group is launching a new faith-based imprint, Jericho Books, which will be part of HBG's Nashville division. Wendy Grisham, who has served as director of publishing for Hodder Faith, a Hachette U.K. company, has been named publisher and vice president. First books are set for 2012, and 12 titles a year are planned.
F+W Forms F+W Crime
F+W Media has acquired Tyrus Books and hired its founder, Ben LeRoy, as publisher and community leader of its newest vertical, F+W Crime. Through the new vertical, F+W Crime will publish a mix of e-books, hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and print-on-demand titles. The first e-book–only titles will be released in June, and F+W plans to release 200 in 2011. While some e-books will appear under the Tyrus name, celebrity genre titles will be released under Prologue Books.
MHE Results Off
First-quarter sales at McGraw-Hill Education declined 4.6%, to $302.7 million, and the operating loss increased by 22.2%, to $75.5 million. In the school education group, sales fell 4.8%, to $106.2 million. Sales in the higher education/professional/international group declined 4.5%, to $196.5 million.
In last week's Bookseller of the Year story, it was misreported that Anderson's Books is dabbling in consignment with Sourcebooks. Sourcebooks is not selling books to Anderson's on a consignment basis.