News Shorts
Staff -- 2/26/01

Disney Exec Named Prez of B&N Stores | Marsalis, Welch, Feiffer Highlight BEA Speakers
Bookstore Sales Rise 9%, to $15.3 Billion | Restructuring at RH Kids
Taylor & Francis Buys Gordon and Breach | InterTrust Buys PublishOne
Alibris Acquires | Thomas Nelson to Dispose of Ceres
Carroll Leaves Carroll & Graf | Paris's Salon Expanding Reach | New Rivers Press Shuts Down
BOMC '99 Loss: $18 Million | Cousens to Join Wiley | Obituary

Disney Exec Named Prez of B&N StoresBarnes & Noble has reached far beyond the bookselling business to pick the new president of Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Michael Berry has been appointed president of B&N's bookstore operation, succeeding Tom Tolworthy, who left the company earlier this year (News, Jan. 22). Berry, who joined B&N February 19, had been senior v-p of operations for the Disneyland
Michael Berry
Resort, where he was responsible for the daily operations of Disneyland as well as for the development of the recently opened Disney's California Adventure and the Downtown Disney urban entertainment zone.
In his new post, Berry will oversee all operations for B&N's superstores and mall stores plus all buying, merchandising and inventory management. Berry will report to Alan Kahn, chief operating officer of B&N. According to a company memo, Berry's position provides for even greater integration between buying and the company's field organization.

Also last week, B&N said that preliminary figures show that total bookstore sales were $3.55 billion for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2001, an increase of 8.9% over fiscal 2000. The company projected that bookstore sales in the current fiscal year will increase 6.4%, to an estimated $3.78 billion. During the year, B&N plans to close 40 B. Dalton outlets and open between 40 to 45 superstores.

Last year's sales growth was led by B&N's superstores, where revenue rose 12.3%, to $3.17 billion, with comparable superstore sales rising 4.9% in the year. Overall sales at B. Dalton stores fell 12.6%, to $372.2 million, in the same period; B&N attributed the decline to the closing of 61 stores and to a drop in comparable-store sales of 1.7%.
--Jim Milliot

Marsalis, Welch, Feiffer Highlight BEA Speakers Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and General Electric CEO Jack Welch are among the speakers announced for this year's BookExpo America, to take place June 1 to June 3 in Chicago. Two
Marsalis will hold
benefit at BEA.
new events have been added to the program, an Audio Book and Author Tea in cooperation with the Audio Publishers Association and a benefit evening concert by Wynton Marsalis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning musician and a prominent figure in the Ken Burns documentary Jazz. The concert, which will benefit the Book Industry Foundation and the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp in New Orleans, will beheld at 10 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel on June 2.
The Children's Book and Author Breakfast on Friday, June 1, will feature Sharon Creech (A Fine, Fine School and Love That Dog, HarperCollins/Cotler); Jules Feiffer (I'm Not Bobby, Hyperion/Di Capua); and Jack Prelutsky (Awful Ogre's Awful Day, Greenwillow).

The author breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3, will feature Marsalis (Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life, Da Capo Press); Peter Mayle (French Lessons, Knopf); John Welch (Jack: Straight from the Gut, Warner); David McCullough (John Adams: A Biography, S&S); Quincy Jones (Q: A Biography, S&S); and Isabel Allende (Portrait in Sepia, HarperCollins).

Among the authors who will speak at the literary lunches are Vernon Jordan, David Halberstam, Naomi Wolf, Joyce Carol Oates, David Schickler, John Edgar Wideman and Sebastian Junger. The Audio Book and Author Tea will feature James Patterson, Robert Crais, Jacquelyn Mitchard and Bill O'Reilly.

Next year's BEA will be held in New York City from May 3-5.

Bookstore Sales Rise 9%, to $15.3 Billion The soft bookselling climate reported by a wide range of bookstores in December was reflected by the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed total bookstore sales up 2.7% in the month, to $2.02 billion. The December gain was the second-lowest monthly increase in 2000 and dragged down the year-end sales increase to 9.7%, with total bookstore sales hitting $15.3 billion in 2000. Bookstore sales nevertheless outperformed the entire retail segment in both December and the year; total retail sales were up 1.4% in December and 7.9% for 2000.

Restructuring at RH KidsRandom House Children's Books has announced that it will realign several of its imprints. Under this plan, explained Beverly Horowitz, v-p and publisher at RHCB Trade Group, Random is seeking to futher distinguish the individual identities of each imprint.
Under the restructuring, Joan Slattery has been named publishing director of Knopf/Crown Books for Young Readers. She had been executive editor at the imprint.
Françoise Bui has been promoted from executive editor to the recently formed position of publishing director of Doubleday Books for Young Readers. The imprint will now focus its efforts exclusively on picture books.

Wendy Loggia will be publishing director of media services, overseeing paperback series and media-related projects, including movie tie-ins. She had been a senior editor.

Karen Wojtyla has been named to the new position of publishing director of global projects. Formerly exective editor at Delacorte, Wojtyla will seek to acquire book projects from as-yet-untapped areas of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America. Wojtyla will also continue to edit books for Delacorte.

In addition, Diana Blough has been named to the new position of director of trade title development. Formerly director of new business development, Blough will now act as a liaison between the editorial groups and the sales department. She, along with all of the publishing directors, will report directly to Horowitz.
--Jason Britton

Taylor & Francis Buys Gordon and BreachTaylor & Francis Group PLC, the academic journal and book publisher, has acquired the Gordon and Breach scientific publishing group for $31.5 million. The deal includes GB's Harwood Academic division, but excludes its art book and magazine publishing units. GB publishes about 260 journals and 100 books annually in the scientific, technical and medical field from its offices in Newark, N.J., as well as in the U.K. Taylor & Francis will be looking at ways of integrating GB within its existing publishing structure in the U.K. and in its offices in Philadelphia and New York.

T&F CEO Anthony Selvey said the purchase "is consistent with our strategy of expanding our scientific, academic and professional books and journal publishing through acquisitions and organic growth." In recent years T&F has acquired 16 companies, eight since 1998. With estimated revenues for 2000 of £114 million ($182 million) and profits of £24.5 million ($39 million), T&F publishes 550 journals and has a backlist of 20,000 books.
--Amanda-Jane Doran

InterTrust Buys PublishOnePublishOne, a business-information publishing service offering secure digital content distribution and online marketing, has been acquired by InterTrust, a firm specializing in digital rights management technology and e-commerce applications.
Kirk L vner, founder and CEO of PublishOne, said the acquisition would accelerate the development of new services for business publishing. "PublishOne will be able to have a far broader impact on the industry by combining its expertise and offerings with InterTrust's technology, partnerships and resources."
Launched in 1999 by L vner, PublishOne ( publishes and distributes business and professional information via the Internet. PublishOne offers publishers flexible and secure DRM (digital rights management) software that allows its customers to set variable restrictions on the access and pass-along of their digital content. The company partnered with Adobe Systems to support the secure distribution and sale of content in the PDF file format.

Prior to the acquisition, InterTrust ( was also a PublishOne partner. InterTrust, based in Santa Clara, Calif., developed and licenses a well-regarded, general-purpose DRM technology; it also initiated the MetaTrust Utility, an international network of InterTrust e-commerce partners using its technology.

David Ludvigson, president of InterTrust, said the deal "significantly expands our presence in publishing. PublishOne brings us an outstanding customer base as well as invaluable expertise in developing and delivering an end-to-end DRM service."
-Calvin Reid

Alibris Acquires Classicforum.comTo accelerate its European expansion, used and antiquarian online bookstore Alibris has acquired the assets of, a used and rare book listing service with offices in the U.K., Germany and France. The deal helps Alibris extend its reach abroad and gives dealers an expanded customer base if they decide to stay with the merged company.

Alibris (, which sells directly to consumers, retailers and wholesalers on a private-label basis, opened a London office in July 2000 and has forged alliances with companies outside the U.S., including Canadian retailer Chapters, now owned by Indigo. Alibris president and CEO Martin Manley told PW that expanding globally is one of the company's key strategies. "That's what allows us to scale this business," he said.
--Karen Raugust

Thomas Nelson to Dispose of Ceres
Thomas Nelson is looking to divest Ceres, its candle manufacturer and marketer, in a bid to improve the results in its troubled gifts division. The company took a one-time charge of $5.7 million in the third quarter ended December 31, 2000, for classifying Ceres as a discontinued operation, a move that resulted in a net loss of $5.1 million in the most recent quarter, compared to net income of $2.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2000. Income from operations was $498,000, compared to $2.7 million last year, while total sales for the third period rose 17.8%, to $72.7 million.
Although sales in the gift division increased 14.4%, to $18.3 million in the quarter, revenues "were far below our expectations," company chairman Sam Moore said, adding that the division lost money in the quarter and in the first nine months of the year. Nelson, which hired Fran Salamon to run its gifts division late last year (News, Dec. 4, 2000), is searching for strategies to turn around the unit's performance and has already implemented a reduction in its number of product offerings.

On the publishing side, sales were up 19% in the quarter, to $54.4 million, with Bible sales particularly strong. Sales of electronic reference products also continue to show steady gains, Moore said.

For the first nine months of the year, the company had a net loss of $1.3 million, with sales up 15.1%, to $221.7 million.
-Jim Milliot

Carroll Leaves Carroll & GrafCarroll & Graf cofounder Kent Carroll is stepping down as publisher and editor-in-chief to pursue other publishing ventures. He will continue as a consultant through June to supervise the spring list titles that he acquired. Herman Graf remains president of the company and will assume the title of publisher.

C&G was founded in 1983 and in 1999 was sold to Avalon Publishing, a division of Publishers Group Inc. Susan Reich, president of Avalon, said, "I appreciate the contribution Kent has made in publishing a quality list. We look forward to building on the strong editorial base that Kent and Herman have established."
--Roxane Farmanfarmaian

Paris's Salon Expanding ReachOriginally conceived as a promotional event targeting consumers and booksellers, the annual Paris book fair--Salon du Livre--is increasingly B2B. This year (March 16-21) the French book promotion agency France Edition is stimulating still more rights traffic by organizing the visit of 50 publishers from elsewhere in the European Union (Britain included) that translate extensively from the French. This will supplement the presence of a small group of foreign publishers--Americans among them--that already treat the Salon as an incipient international fair.

A good day to show up would be Monday, March 19, when the doors open only for professionals. The Salon's chief asset is the presence of just about every publishing house in France--Paris and the provinces, sci-tech and professional as well as trade--together with publishers from other French-speaking countries and those who regularly trade with France. In all, over 500 booths have been booked on over 500,000 square feet of exhibition surface at the Porte de Versailles fairgrounds. Some 30,000 professionals are expected--principally booksellers, librarians and educators--and upwards of 235,000 visitors, who can buy books at the stands and take them home.

This year's Salon will feature an e-book seminar primarily European in scope, but the list of 60 speakers contains the usual suspects from the U.S.

Germany is this year's spotlight country, and German publishers and their official and semipublic institutions are mounting an impressive show.
--Herbert R. Lottman

New Rivers Press Shuts DownMinneapolis-based literary nonprofit New Rivers Press has suspended operations after 32 years. In announcing the decision, interim executive director Lisa Bullard cited a "series of calamities" that included distribution and production snags, heavy returns and medical problems faced by founder C.W. Truesdale and executive director Phyllis Jendro.

Specializing in regional authors and new and emerging titles, New Rivers had published more than 300 titles, including early works by p t Charles Simic and novelists Charles Baxter and David Haynes.

"A lot of the challenges we faced were the result of industry-wide factors," Bullard said. "But when coupled with some of our other problems, we simply didn't have enough cushion to sustain blow after blow. New Rivers has always operated near the edge--that's the nature of small press publishing--but without big marketing budgets, it's difficult to sell regional and emerging writers, and we were reluctant to change our mission."

Bullard is exploring possible partnerships with other nonprofit publishers, and she said that the press's first priority is to help its authors currently under contract to find publishers for their books.
--Brad Zellar

BOMC '99 Loss: $18 MillionAmong the hundreds of numbers released by the newly merged AOL Time Warner for 2000 were the final figures for the Book-of-the-Month Club for 1999, its last year in operation before it became part of Bookspan. According AOL Time Warner, BOMC had revenues of $321 million in 1999, an operating loss of $18 million and EBITDA losses of $15 million.

Cousens to Join WileyJohn Wiley has appointed Ellis Cousens executive v-p, chief financial and operations officer. Cousens, who will join Wiley on March 19, has been senior v-p and CFO at Bookspan, and he will succeed Bob Wilder, who is retiring. Cousens helped launch Bookspan, the book club formed through the joint venture between Doubleday Direct and Book-of-the-Month Club. Prior to joining Bookspan, Cousens had been v-p and global CFO of Will Pesce, Wiley president and CEO, said Cousens's "proven track record identifying, consummating and integrating strategic acquisitions and alliances will be of tremendous value to us."

Obituary: Edward E. FitzgeraldEdward E. Fitzgerald, former president and CEO of the Doubleday Book Clubs, Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club, died on February 11 in New Rochelle, N.Y., of complications from a stroke. He was 81 years old. In 1946 Fitzgerald cofounded Sport magazine, an early rival of Sports Illustrated, and was its editor for nine years until 1960. That year, he went to Doubleday and spent eight years as president of the book division, book clubs and bookstores. From 1968 to 1971, Fitzgerald was president of the McCall's magazine group, and started the McCall's Book Publishing Company. He was named president of BOMC in 1973 and founded the Quality Paperback Book Club a year later; he was CEO at QPB from 1979 to 1984. His memoir of his publishing days, A Nickel an Inch, was published in 1984.