Holiday Sales Rise at Borders

Total sales at Borders Group rose 1.4% in the October 23 through January 8 period, to $1.3 billion. The company's superstores had the strongest performance; sales were up 4.1%, to $800.5 million, with same-store sales up 2.2%. Book sales rose 6% on a same-store basis, while music sales fell 12%.

Sales at Walden fell 8.3% over the holidays, to $279.2 million, due to a combination of store closings and a 2.6% decline in comparable-store sales. International sales rose 6.8%.

Sour End for Audible

Higher than expected operating and marketing costs, as well as the delayed launch of a new Web site, will result in a 2005 loss of between $1 million and $1.5 million at Audible Inc. The company had expected that pretax earnings in the year would come in between $1.6 million and $2 million. Revenue for the year is projected to range from $62 million to $64 million, compared to earlier estimates of $62 million to $65 million.

New Meredith Imprint

Ken Sidey, editor-at-large at Meredith Books and formerly an editor at several Christian magazines, will head up the company's new Christian imprint, Jordan House. The imprint's titles will be nonfiction, on topics such as parenting, marriage and Christian living. The first book will be released in October 2006, and Sidey expects to eventually publish eight to 10 books per year.

New Hyperion Imprint

Pamela Dorman, executive editor at Viking, is moving to Hyperion, where she will create a new imprint. The unnamed imprint will publish about 12 fiction and nonfiction titles annually aimed at female readers 35 and older. The initial list is expected to launch in 2007. It will include Vanity Faircontributingeditor Leslie Bennett's The Feminine Mistake, just acquired by Dorman and Hyperion publisher Ellen Archer. The book, which Hyperion says captures the ethos of the new imprint, will address the paucity of positive messages for women looking to integrate family and work.

New Soft Skull Imprint

Soft Skull has teamed up with the pop culture Web site to form the new imprint PopMatters Books. The imprint will bring the site's essays, reviews and other ruminations on pop culture into traditional print form. It will launch this spring.

S&S Takes Over Viz Sales

Simon & Schuster has broadened its distribution agreement with manga publisher Viz Media, and will now handle domestic sales for all Viz books, effective this month. S&S took over Viz's retail and wholesale distribution, warehousing and fulfillment in 2004. S&S v-p Joe Bulger said the deal will help extend Viz manga into "virtually every corner of the country."

Shannon Joins Random

Scott Shannon, associate publisher at Pocket Books, is moving to Random House, where he will be v-p, deputy publisher, Del Rey, mass market & licensing. Shannon, who will report to senior v-p and Random deputy publisher Libby McGuire, is assuming many of the duties previously held by Anthony Ziccardi, who left Random late last year for Pocket.

And, moving up in the ranks at RH, Tom Perry will add the title associate publisher of the Random House Publishing Group to his v-p and publicity director duties.

Algonquin Adds Trade Paper

Algonquin Books is launching a trade paperback line later this month called, simply, Algonquin Paperbacks. Associate publisher Ina Stern will oversee the list, which will do 10 titles per year, a mix of paperback originals and reprints.

BEA Tabs Bilheimer

BookExpo America has named Roger Bilheimer, a longtime consultant to the show, to oversee all special events for the annual convention. Bilheimer will assume many of the duties previously handled by Tina Jordan, who is leaving BEA to join the AAP.

Mixed Quarter for EDC

Educational Development Corp. ended a two-quarter slide in revenues in the period ended Nov. 30, 2005, with a 4% increase in sales, to $9.7 million. Earnings, however, slipped again, falling 8.6%, to $739,100, and were down 10% for the nine months, to $1.9 million. Sales for the nine-month period were off about 1%, $24.7 million. In the quarter, sales in the publishing division rose 15%, and inched up 1.3% in the home business unit.

Tanglewood Signs Penn

Tanglewood Press will be the new publisher of Audrey Penn's bestselling children's book The Kissing Hand, as well as its sequel A Pocket Full of Kisses, and four other backlist titles. The Kissing Hand, first published in 1993, sells 100,000 copies a year. Penn had been pubbed by Child and Family Press.


Last week, in "Supermarket Diet Is Grocer's Choice," we referred to Andy Martin as president of Sterling Publishing. He is actually v-p/publisher.