April Bookstores Sales Down

Bookstore sales fell 2.6% in April, to $969 million, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Bookstore sales have fallen every month this year, and through the first four months of 2009, sales declined 3.8%, to $5.21 billion. For the entire retail segment, sales were down 4.0% in April and 9.9% for the four-month period.

Arcade Files for Chapter 11

Arcade Publishing, the literary publisher founded in 1988 by Richard and Jeannette Seaver, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. The move comes approximately five months after the death of Richard Seaver. In its filing, Arcade explained that since the death of Richard Seaver, the company “has struggled in an effort to reorganize and seek investors. However, the loss of Mr. Seaver coupled with the ongoing financial issues in the publishing industry and the breakdown of the economy have all conspired to force the Debtor to seek relief in Chapter 11.” In its filing, Arcade lists total assets of $4.5 million and total liabilities of $6.3 million. The company said that, given the opportunity, it will be able to consummate a plan of reorganization.

Quebecor Rejects Donnelley Bid

Quebecor has rejected the latest unsolicited offer from Donnelley and is moving forward with plans to have its reorganization plan voted on by creditors on June 18. In a filing with the bankruptcy court, Quebecor said that after reviewing the revised proposal, the printer’s independent board had concluded that the reorganization plan offers “a superior recovery” than the Donnelley offer, while also posing fewer risks to completion. The new Donnelley bid was valued at about $1.8 billion. If all goes according to plan, Quebecor expects to emerge from bankruptcy by mid-July.

New Discount From Dover

Dover has introduced a new flat discount for independent booksellers who reach certain buying thresholds. Effective immediately, indie booksellers that do $2,500 worth of business annually with Dover and order $150 in frontlist per season will get a 50% discount on any order at any time. Booksellers that do $1,250 in annual business with Dover plus order $100 in seasonal frontlist get a 48% discount. Under the program, booksellers that qualify for the Dover offer are also eligible to receive the same discount for Creative Homeowner and REA titles, the other imprints in Courier Corp.’s publishing division.

Results Off at RD, Which Looks for Stevens Buyer

A one-time charge of $527 million tied mainly to a write-down of goodwill resulted in an operating loss of $535.9 million at Reader’s Digest for the third quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of $8.2 million in the third period of fiscal 2008. Total revenue fell 16.7%, to $479.1 million. Sales were off in all three operating segments.

In its filing with the SEC, RD also said it continues to explore the sale of Gareth Stevens, but said, “There is doubt as to whether a sale is probable.” The company announced in March it was looking to sell Stevens.

S&S in Pact with Scribd

Simon & Schuster has entered into an agreement with Scribd through which the online company will host 5,000 S&S titles. The books will be available for online viewing and for sale as e-books or print books. Most e-books will be priced at a 20% discount to list.

Berean Files for Chapter 11

Berean Christian Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it hopes to find a buyer. The limited liability company Berean Christian Stores Endeavor will serve as a “stalking horse” to draw out other interested buyers for the retailer. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are Berean’s two largest unsecured creditors.

Bunch of Grapes Re-opens

After being gutted by a fire last year on the Fourth of July, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore re-opened last Saturday morning at the Main Street location in Vineyard Haven on Massachusetts’s Martha’s Vineyard.Since the fire, the bookstore has changed hands and is now owned by its former events coordinator, Dawn Braasch, who reconfigured the store. Even the logo got a makeover.