Six-Month Store Sales Drop 4%

Bookstore sales for the first six months of 2007 fell 4.6%, to $7.33 billion, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales fell every month in the period, including June, when sales dropped 6.6% to $1.13 billion. For the entire retail sector, sales were up 4% in the first half of 2007, and increased 3.8% in June.

T&F to Buy Haworth

Taylor & Francis has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire the academic books and journals of Haworth Press. The company publishes about 194 journals and 150 books and monographs annually in areas ranging from librarianship to pharmaceutical science. The deal does not include Haworth’s small fiction imprint, Harrington Park Press, which is being sold separately.

Sierra Club, Counterpoint Ink Deal

Sierra Club Books has signed a new copublishing agreement with Counterpoint and will produce about eight titles a year starting in the spring. The new deal is similar to the copublishing arrangement Sierra Club has had for its adult titles with the University of California Press since 2002. UC Press will continue to distribute Sierra Club adult books until Publishers Group West takes over on January 1, 2008. Sierra Club Books copublishes its children’s books with Gibbs-Smith and its calendars with Crown.

Lonely Planet Tests Chapter Sales

Lonely Planet is testing a program in which consumers can select chapters from its guidebooks to download onto any device that accepts PDF files; chapters from different books can be mixed to create the desired guidebook. The publisher is testing the program on its Web site using its Latin American guides; some chapters are available for free while others range from $2 to $5 each. Since July there have been 13,000 downloads.

Sourcebooks to Do Romance

Sourcebooks, best known for its nonfiction works, is launching an imprint dedicated to romance. The house’s Casablanca line—which has published Jane Austen sequels and romance-related nonfiction—will now encompass all genres of romance fiction, including paranormal, time travel, contemporary, romantic suspense, historical, erotic and Regency. Sourcebooks’ new line launches this fall with three titles, and the imprint will eventually publish 15 to 20 titles per season, in a mix of mass market and trade paperback formats.

HC Adds iPhone App

HarperCollins has added a new application to its Browse Inside online search feature that will allow iPhone owners to download the first 10 pages of the first two chapters of 14 books being offered as part of a pilot program. As with other Browse titles, iPhone users can click on a button to order the title from a list of retailers.


John Grisham’s new comic novel, Playing for Pizza, will have a 1.5 million first printing, not 900,000 copies as reported last week in our listing of titles “On Sale in September.” That puts Grisham head-to-head with Nicholas Sparks, whose new melodrama has the same print run.