August Store Sales Drop
Bookstore sales tumbled 7.7% in August, to just over $2 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline follows a 9.3% drop in bookstore sales in July. The summer slump pushed total sales through August down by 2.1%, to $10.55 billion. For all of retail, sales were up 6.9% in the first eight months of 2006 and were ahead 6.7% in August.
Disney Weighs Distribution Switch
Hyperion Books and the Disney Book Group are in talks with HarperCollins to move their distribution from longtime partner Hachette Book Group to HC. If the deal is completed, the two Disney publishing units will switch to HC by the middle of 2007. Disney executives cited HC's state-of-the -art back-office systems as the main reason for the potential move.
T&F Buys Erlbaum
The U.K.-based Informa, through its professional publishing division Taylor & Francis, has agreed to acquire the New Jersey academic publisher Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. LEA publishes more than 200 new books and 100 journal titles annually in the areas of behavioral sciences and education.
Quadrille to Open in U.S.
U.K.-based Quadrille Publishing will enter the U.S. market next year with plans to publish 25 to 30 titles. Since its inception, Quadrille has reached the American market through co-editions, but it has appointed Philadelphia-based consultant Keith Ashfield to oversee its American efforts and hired the Rosen Group for public relations. Ingram Publisher Services will handle sales and distribution to bookstores. Quadrille's titles focus on interior design, cooking, gardening and mind/body/spirit.
Google Adds U. of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin—Madison has reached an agreement with Google to digitize the collections of the university libraries and the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society. The agreement will initially focus on out-of-copyright collections, but is not limited to such works. Material in the combined collections will become part of Google Book Search.
Library Pulls Novels
The board of trustees of the Marshall, Mo., Public Library has voted to remove two graphic novels from circulation and form a committee to develop guidelines for selecting library materials. The two titles—Alison Bechdel's Fun Homeand Craig Thompson's Blankets—were challenged by a library patron who complained that the books are inappropriate because of explicit graphics (Foreword, Oct. 9). The books will be removed from circulation for now, but will be reconsidered after the committee has come up with a new selection policy. The policy will apply to all books bought by the library.
Nelson Sells Cool Springs To Founder
Thomas Nelson has sold its Cool Springs Press imprint back to Roger Waynick, from whom it had acquired the garden publisher in 2001. Waynick, now president of Waynick Books, said the Cool Springs line will provide a solid base for the new company. Waynick acquired 200 backlist titles. Nelson CEO Michael Hyatt said Cool Springs did not fit with the company's operations.