Strong Gains at Indigo
Indigo Books & Music had net earnings of C$39.8 million ($34.6 million) for the third quarter ended December 31, a 16% increase over the same period last year. Total revenue increased 8%, to C$309.5 million ($269 million). Superstore sales rose 11.7%, to C$199.2 million, while small-format store sales increased 5.5%, to C$64.6 million. Online sales, through chapters.indigo.ca, rose 14.7%, to C$24.3 million.
Lampoon In Holtzbrinck Pact
National Lampoon is starting a publishing division, National Lampoon Press, and has signed a distribution deal with Holtzbrinck. NLP plans to do 10 to 12 titles annually, with its first six books ready to ship this fall.
RD Inks Marvel Deal
Reader's Digest Children's Publishing and Marvel Comics reached a deal to publish and distribute interactive books based on Marvel's popular comic book heroes. The books will be aimed at children aged four through 11 and will be released in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. beginning this fall.
Dutton Absorbs Pi Press
Pi Press, launched by Pearson Education in 2003 to focus on popular science, has been taken over by Penguin; its hardcover list will become part of Dutton and its trade paperbacks will be released by Plume. Founding Pi editor Stephen Morrow has joined Dutton as executive editor, along with associate editor Jeff Galas. Although the Pi name will be dropped, Morrow will continue to acquire new works in the science field.
S&S Audio Starts Kids' Unit
Simon & Schuster Audio will launch a children's division this summer and plans to release five or six titles by the end of the year, according to Chris Lynch, executive v-p and publisher of S&S Audio. The first three titles are print adaptations from the house's children's division, and the unit will work with outside content providers on future titles. Over the years, S&S's children's division has released a number of book-and-cassette packages, but the new audio division signals a more formal approach toward children's audio.
Nick Styant-Browne, an attorney in Washington State, has filed a lawsuit against Scholastic, charging that the publisher's negative option programs mislead consumers into buying books and educational items. The suit was filed on behalf of Carly Alcombrack Hart although Styant-Browne is hoping to make it a class action. In a statement, Scholastic said it "does not send unsolicited merchandise to consumers and respects all requests to cancel orders according to the terms of our programs."
Sendak Pops At Scholastic
This fall, Maurice Sendak will publish his first pop-up book, for the new Michael di Capua Books imprint at Scholastic. Mommy? has a September pub date and will get a 500,000-copy first printing.
Changes at 'PW, 'LJ'
Cevin Bryerman has been appointed associate publisher of PW. Previously general manager for Reed Business Information's publishing group, of which PW is a part, Bryerman will oversee the magazine's business development and sales operations.
At PW sister publication Library Journal, John Berry retired January 31 after a 40-year career at the magazine. Berry will remain editor-at-large and continue to write a regular column.
Cross Joins Ingram
Karen Cross has joined Ingram Publishers Services as v-p, publisher relations. Cross, who will be based in the San Francisco area, most recently served as executive v-p of marketing at Publishers Group West. IPS now handles distribution for 18 clients.
'Snake' Gets Pulled
After questions were raised about the striking similarities between Harriet Ziefert's April picture book A Snake Is Totally Tail and a same-titled children's book from 1983, Ziefert's Snake has been canceled. Ziefert was publishing the book through her own Blue Apple Books. In an apology, Ziefert said while she had "no recollection" of seeing the early book, she may have stumbled across it.