Wiley to Buy Sybex
John Wiley & Sons expects to close its acquisition of computer book publisher Sybex Inc. by the end of the month. Sybex, based in Alameda, Calif., has a backlist of more than 450 titles and sales of more than $10 million. It will become part of Wiley's professional/trade division.
Frontlist Boosts HM
Strong sales of new books by Jonathan Safran Foer, Buzz Bissinger, Dan Shaughnessy and the Williams sisters helped lift sales in Houghton Mifflin's trade and reference group 4% in the first quarter, to $27 million. HM CEO Tony Lucki said that with frontlist sales off to a good start, he now expects that the trade group "will hit its goals, at a minimum." Lucki's original forecast called for sales in the trade group to be flat in 2005.
For the entire company, revenue increased 5%, to $146.4 million, and operating loss increased 6% to $121.0 million. Sales in the school segment increased 5%, to $85 million, while college sales rose 9%, to $20 million.
A better than expected first quarter prompted Audible to raise its sales forecast for the full year.
The company projects that sales for 2005 will be between $62 million and $65 million, up from its original projections of $59 million to $62 million. Sales in 2004 were $34.4 million. In the first quarter, sales jumped 91%, to $12.9 million, which the company attributed to a big increase in new members plus $1.8 million in sales generated through iTunes. Net income in the quarter rose to $889,391 from $57,772.
Quarks and Stamps
The U.S. Postal Service has honored physicist Richard P. Feynman with his own stamp, just a month after Basic Books published the letters of the celebrity scientist. The letters, collected in a title called Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track, were edited by Feynman's daughter Michelle, who spoke at an event at Yale honoring him.
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Tarbox Out at DC Comics
Less than a year after the launch of CMX, DC Comics' manga line, Jake Tarbox, CMX group editor, has resigned. Tarbox departs in the wake of a controversy over the editing of the Tenjho Tenge series to remove explicit sexual content. Fans have protested the edits. DC Comics has declined to comment on the controversy or on Tarbox's departure.
Larsen Exits 'Kirkus'
Anne Larsen has stepped down as editor of Kirkus Reviews after 20 years in the post. In an interview, Larsen said she made the decision to leave in order to "reclaim my life." She noted that the job of review editors in general has changed during her tenure. "It's harder to do the winnowing that used to be more obvious. There's a lot more packaging [in books]," she said. Parent company VNU had not named a replacement at press time.
Results Up At TWBG
Sales and earnings rose at the Time Warner Book Group for the first quarter, the company's parent company reported. TWBG landed 10 titles on the New York Times bestseller list in the quarter, with Your Best Life Now, Honeymoonand Blink all hitting number 1.
Tokyopop Offers Jr. Cine-manga
Tokyopop has reached an agreement with Hasbro Properties and Sesame Workshop create cine- manga titles for kids aged 3 to 6. The new format will be called Jr. Cine-manga; titles, priced at $3.99, will be available in July.
New Poetry House
Charlie Wright, a businessman and former executive director of the Dia Art Foundation, is launching Wave Books, a poetry press based in Seattle. Wright has acquired the nonprofit Verse Press and will fold it into Wave Books. Verse Press cofounders, poets Joshua Beckman and Matthew Magruder, will join Wave as editors. Lori Shine will be managing editor.