HMH Trade Group Down

Sales in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade group fell 5% in the second quarter ended June 30, 2014, dropping to $37.3 million. The unit had an operating loss of $1.7 million, compared to operating income of $446,000 in last year’s second quarter,

Bookstore Sales Fell 7.9% In First Half

Bookstore sales for the first six months of 2014 were down 7.9% compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline included a 7.5% drop in June bookstore sales, to $703 million.

LifeWay Pulls Mark Driscoll’s Books

In a move that had been rumored for some time, LifeWay Christian Resources has suspended sales of Mark Driscoll’s books, pulling them from its website and from the shelves of its 180 Christian bookstores.

Harper Has New Indie Fund

HarperCollins has started what it is calling the HarperCollins Promotional Fund (HCPF), a program that will provide additional funds to independent retailers to help them market the publisher’s books.

Quarto Results Off

Revenue at the U.K.-based illustrated book publisher Quarto Group fell 3% in the first half of 2014, to $65.6 million. Operating profit dipped to $2.8 million from $3.0 million in the first six months of 2013.

Writer’s Digest, BookBaby Partner

Writer’s Digest has partnered with self-publishing service provider BookBaby to launch a new self-publishing division called Blue Ash Publishing. Authors who publish with Blue Ash will receive 100% of net earnings on all sales and will retain full ownership of their work.

Romanello Joins S&S Children’s

Jennifer Romanello, who left her publicity job at Hachette in June 2012, has been named v-p, director of publicity at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Romanello, who had been v-p and executive director of publicity at Hachette’s Grand Central division, has been running her own public relations firm since she left the publisher.