August Bookstore Sales Dropped 4.5%

Bookstore sales in August totaled $1.93 billion, down 4.5% from the same month in 2012, according to preliminary estimates released Oct. 29 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The August decline marked the third month in a row that bookstore sales fell significantly year over year, and sales for the first eight months of 2013 were down 2.6%, to $8.8 billion, compared to the same period in 2012.

Random House Acquires Figment

Random House Children’s Books has acquired Figment, the online writing community for teens founded by Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear in 2010, which has attracted more than 300,000 users. RH emphasized that the site will remain open to titles from all publishers.

KiwiTech Acquires Ruckus Media Group

KiwiTech, a Washington, D.C.–based mobile technology company, has acquired 75% of Ruckus Media, an interactive children’s multimedia app, education, and retail platform, founded by former S&S Children’s president Rick Richter.

Durham Named Publisher of Amazon Publishing

Following the news that Larry Kirshbaum will be leaving Amazon Publishing in January, the company said that Daphne Durham, who was named editor-in-chief of adult trade publishing last November, has been promoted to publisher of the adult trade and children’s businesses. A spokesperson for Amazon Publishing also said that the company’s New York office will continue to expand, and that it will soon announce the launch of new imprints.

HC Creates E-bookstore for C.S. Lewis Titles

HarperCollins, as part of a new service it is offering authors, estates, and other rightsholders whose books it publishes, has created an e-book platform that will allow the company to sell digital editions of C.S. Lewis titles directly to consumers from two Lewis Web sites, and

HMH to Raise $292 Million in IPO

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that it is moving forward with an Initial Public Offering through which it could raise up to $292 million. Proceeds from the sale will not go to the company, however, but to the stockholders. The company also reported a 7% increase in sales for the nine months period ended Septemner 30 and a smaller net loss.

Macmillan Expands Book-to-Film Unit

Macmillan is growing its in-house book-to-film division. Now called Macmillan Entertainment (formerly known as Macmillan Films), the unit, overseen by executive editor Brendan Deneen at Thomas Dunne Books, is expanding its focus to include all titles within the company. Previously, Deneen only set up Hollywood projects based on Thomas Dunne titles.

Creamer to Leave Touchstone

Stacy Creamer, v-p and publisher of Touchstone, will be leaving parent company Simon & Schuster Nov. 15, according to Susan Moldow, president of the Scribner Publishing Group, who made the announcement in a memo on Oct. 30. Creamer joined S&S in April 2009 and took over as publisher of the imprint from Mark Gompertz. Moldow will serve as Touchstone publisher until further notice.