Tokyopop, Harper Ink Manga Pact
After announcing in February that it would renew its distribution deal with Perseus/CDS, Tokyopop has instead jumped to HarperCollins, which will now distribute all Tokyopop titles in North America, beginning in June. This is also a copublishing deal that will allow Tokyopop to develop original manga from HarperCollins's prose authors, beginning with adaptations of Meg Cabot's bestselling YA novels. First titles will appear in 2007.
In a separate deal, Tokyopop reached an agreement with mobile content provider uClick to create downloadable Tokyopop manga designed for cellphones.
Hastings Expands Used Books
Hastings Entertainment will expand sales of used books to at least 23 new stores this year. The retailer began selling used books last year and now offers them in 14 stores. The company credited the sale of used books with helping to lift comparable-store sales of books 3.1% in the fourth quarter.
For the full year, Hastings said that same-store sales for books slipped 0.2% due to a slight decline in the sale of new titles. For the entire company, revenue and net income both dipped in the year, with sales off 0.8%, to $537.9 million, and earnings down to $5.7 million from $5.8 million.
Tower Launches Online Bookstore
Tower Records' on and off relationship with books is on again, now that the chain has launched an online bookstore offering 600,000 titles and a 40% discount on bestsellers. Baker & Taylor is handling fulfillment, data and software. Through the 1990s, books were a big feature at the chain, which cut back on bookselling after getting through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004. The chain has 89 U.S. and 144 international outlets.
Grolier Poetry Shop Sold
The 79-year-old Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass., the oldest poetry bookstore in the country, has been sold to Ifeanyi Menkiti, a poet and professor at Wellesley College. Louisa Solano, who owned the 404-sq-ft. store for 31 years, is selling because of ill health. The Nigerian-born Menkiti doesn't plan any changes other than adding more poetry from around the world, in particular Africa.
Tentler Heads S&S Digital
Simon & Schuster has renamed its online division S&S Digital Media and promoted Kate Tentler to head the unit as senior v-p. Tentler has been with S&S since the online unit was launched in 1996. The S&S Digital team will continue to run and upgrade the company Web site and online store.
Taylor Up at Lightning
David Taylor has been named senior v-p, global sales. He will continue as managing director of Lightning Source U.K. and split time between the U.S. and the U.K. offices.
Newhart, Poundstone At BEA
Comedians Bob Newhart and Paula Poundstone will perform at BEA's annual Book Industry Foundation benefit on Saturday, May 20. The two are first-time book authors: Newhart's I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This is coming from Hyperion in September, Poundstone's There Is Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say is a December title from Harmony.