HMH Cuts Loss

Total sales inched up at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the first quarter—which ended March 31—to $166.6 million, rising 0.8% compared to the first three months of last year, and the company’s net loss was cut to $137.4 million, down from $225.3 million in the comparable period in 2012. Revenue in the trade segment jumped 24.8% to $39.8 million, while sales in the education group dropped 4.9% to $126.8 million. Trade sales were led by the acquisition of cooking titles from Wiley plus general interest and children’s books.

Harlequin Revenue Drops

Blaming the “unfavorable effect” of the transition to higher digital royalty rates for authors, as well as a tough global economy, Harlequin reported revenues of C$102.5 million for the first quarter of 2013, down C$4.1 million from the same period last year. Harlequin’s operating profit for the quarter was C$14.9 million.

Nelson, Zondervan Agree with Brilliance

Brilliance Audio has obtained the exclusive global distribution rights for audio “hard goods” from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan—the two publishing groups that form HarperCollins Christian Publishing. The three-year deal includes all frontlist and some backlist titles for nonfiction trade and fiction audio products on CD and MP3 CD. HC Christian Publishing continues to control all digital audio rights.

Senate Approves Marketplace Fairness

In a vote of 69 to 27 on May 6, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow states to collect taxes from online sellers that do $1 million or more in gross sales annually. The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (S 743) now moves to the House of Representatives, where passage is less certain. If approved by the House, President Obama has said he will sign the bill into law, which would likely take effect in early 2014.

Cohen, Rekulak Rise at Quirk

Jason Rekulak and Brett Cohen have both been promoted at Quirk Books. Rekulak, who was associate publisher and creative director, has been bumped up to publisher. Cohen, who was v-p, is now president. With the promotions, David Borgenicht is taking on the role of owner/CEO of Quirk Productions, which is the parent company of Quirk Books.

Knight Named Cleis Publisher

Brenda Knight has been named publisher of Cleis Press and Viva Editions. She was formerly associate publisher and founder of Viva Editions. Cofounder Felice Newman will continue as Cleis CFO and Frederique Delacoste, Cleis cofounder/copublisher, will remain president of Cleis Press and publisher of Midnight Editions.