[ PW Home ] [ Bestsellers ] [ Subscribe ] [ Search ]

Publishers Weekly News

News Shorts
Staff -- 6/12/00

Reed to Launch E-Pub Expo | Retailing: March Store Sales Rise 7.7% | Transitional Year for Franklin Electronic | F&W to Acquire U.K.-Based David & Charles | Perseus to Buy Fisher Books | News from 'PW' to 'NYT' | NBA Names Judges for 2000 Contest

Reed to Launch E-Pub Expo
Encouraged by the reception electronic publishing received at BEA, the convention's parent company, Reed Exhibitions, announced last week that it will hold the first EPub Expo this fall at an undetermined site in New York City. The new event will feature a conference and trade show that will focus on the management, distribution and protection of digital content.

Reed hopes to attract industry professionals from the book, magazine, journal and newspaper publishing fields. The show is expected to last three days and will be managed by the BEA staff. Mark Dressler, an industry consultant who has helped develop the educational seminars at BEA, will work with BEA officials to launch EPub Expo. Dressler said the new event "will provide a critical link between all types of publishers, creating a venue in which these digital-content providers may discuss standards and practices for the future."
--Jim Milliot

Retailing: March Store Sales Rise 7.7%
For the third consecutive month, retail bookstore sales topped the $1 billion level, increasing 7.7% in March to $1.03 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. For the first quarter of 2000, retail bookstore sales were up 5.0%, to $3.62 billion. Despite the relatively strong gains, the increases in bookstore sales still trailed the performance by the entire U.S. retail sector, which recorded an 11.7% increase in March and a 12.2% gain in the first quarter.
--Jim Milliot

Transitional Year for Franklin Electronic
The sale of its REX product line in September 1999 resulted in lower sales but higher net income for Franklin Electronic Publishers for the year ended March 31, 2000. Total revenues at the company fell to $96.4 million from $103.8 million in fiscal 1999, while the company, aided by an $8-million gain from the sale of REX, posted net income of $2.7 million, compared to a loss of $30.2 million in the preceding year.

Franklin noted that results in fiscal 2000 were negatively affected by a loss of $1.2 million in connection with its distribution of Rocket eBooks. Franklin began distributing Rocket eBooks last spring and had sales of $1.5 million through the first nine months of fiscal 2000. Franklin stopped distributing Rocket eBooks during the fourth quarter.

Barry Lipsky, Franklin president and CEO, said the company plans to continue providing content to handheld devices in the current year. Franklin began that effort in the last quarter of fiscal 2000, when it started making the Physicians' Desk Reference available for downloading on various Palm platforms.
--Jim Milliot

F&W to Acquire U.K.-Based David & Charles
F&W Publications has reached a preliminary agreement to purchase the U.K. publisher David & Charles Group. The sale, for an undisclosed price, is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Like F&W, David & Charles operates several book clubs in addition to its book publishing program. The U.K. company focuses on books in the areas of fine arts, crafts, hobbies and gardening and will fit well with F&W's existing program.

Stephen Kent, F&W CEO, said the Cincinnati-based company will use David & Charles as a platform to expand F&W's business in the U.K. and Europe. Neil Page, managing director of David & Charles, will continue in that role and will also join the executive committee of F&W where he will lead F&W's international expansion efforts.

The acquisition of David & Charles is F&W's first major initiative since the company was acquired by an investment group late last year. At that time, Kent said he planned to grow the company through internal development and acquisitions. The purchase of David & Charles, which has annual sales of about $30 million, will push F&W's total revenues over the $100 million mark for the first time in its 80-year history. In addition to its books and book clubs, F&W publishes nine magazines, offers two distance-learning courses and operates a number of Web sites.
--Jim Milliot

Perseus to Buy Fisher Books
The Perseus Book Group added to its roster of publishing companies earlier this month when it agreed to acquire Fisher Books. Based in Tucson, Ariz., Fisher specializes in publishing books on pregnancy and childbirth, parenting, health and how-to. The deal is expected to close by June 30.

In addition to complementing Perseus's existing lines, the acquisition of Fisher will help Perseus increase its penetration into specialty retail and wholesale channels, said Jack McKeown, CEO of Perseus. Fisher will remain a separate imprint under the Perseus umbrella and will continue to be led by Howard Fisher, who cofounded the company in 1989. Fisher will report to McKeown as well as to David G hring, publisher of Perseus Publishing. Fisher will continue to publish about 25 new titles per year. Its bestselling title to date has been Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Dr. Glade Curtis; a new title by Dr. Curtis, Your Baby's First Year Week by Week, is set to be released this fall.
--Jim Milliot

News from 'PW' to 'NYT'
Launched last week on the Books page of the New York Times's Web site (www.nytimes.com/books), Publishers Weekly's news feed offers the latest PW articles to NYTimes.com readers. The site will be updated weekly with a selection of PW articles, culled from the magazine and PW Daily, the e-mail newsletter. Also featured on the Books page is a search PW function; visitors can search the PW news archives for articles from January 1997 to the present. PW Forecasts reviews are not included.

"Publishing stories from PW and its daily e-mail gives us the opportunity to augment the already strong industry news the Times regularly publishes," commented Bill Goldstein, editor of the Times's Books page, who is a former Book News editor at PW.

"PublishersWeekly's mission," observed PW publisher Fred Ciporen, "is facilitating the movement of books: the reading of books, the buying of books, the use of books in other media. We see the PW news feed to the New York Times [site] as a benefit to the trade and the general public."
--Dulcy Brainard

NBA Names Judges for 2000 Contest
Here are the judges for the four literary categories of the 2000 National Book Awards. Fiction judges are Breena Clarke, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, David Guterson, Ron Hansen (chair) and A.M. Homes. Young people's literature will be judged by Khafre Abif, Kathleen Burke, Brock Cole, Norma Fox Mazer (chair) and Lois Metzger Hiss. Nonfiction judges are Gioia Diliberto, Gerald Early, Brooke Kr ger, James Miller and chair Patricia O'Toole. P try will be judged by Agha Shahid Ali, Deborah Digges, Mark Coty (chair), Nikki Giovanni and Philip Levine.

Entries for the awards should be submitted on official entry forms with a $100 fee for each title, and should be postmarked no later than July 10. To be eligible, works must be written by U.S. citizens and published between Dec. 1, 1999 and Nov. 30, 2000. Official entry forms may be obtained by calling the National Book Foundation at (212) 685-0261.
Back To News

Search | Bestsellers | News | Features | Children's Books | Bookselling
Interview | Industry Update | International | Classifieds | Authors On the Highway
About PW | Subscribe
Copyright 2000. Publishers Weekly. All rights reserved.