Hachette Up In '09

Despite a 20% decline in fourth-quarter sales, Hachette Book Group USA had record sales and EBIT in 2009, the publisher said last week. The decline in the last period was due mainly to the exceptional sales of Stephenie Meyer titles in the final quarter of 2008.

For the entire Lagardère publishing group, HBG USA's parent company, total revenue in 2009 rose 5.3%, to 2.27 billion euros ($3.1 billion) and would have been up 6.5% excluding the impact of foreign exchange. While slowing Meyer sales hurt the U.S., rising sales in the U.K. led to gains there. France had a strong finish to the year, led by the illustrated books and general literature categories, which benefited from The Lost Symbol.

Businessman Buys 'Kirkus'

Herb Simon, the owner of the Indiana Pacers who became wealthy developing shopping malls, has acquired Kirkus Reviews from the Nielsen Company, which was prepared to close the pre-publication magazine. Under the new ownership, Kirkus Reviewsand its associated businesses will operate under the name Kirkus Media and will be led by Marc Winkelman, CEO of Calendar Holdings, who is co-owner with Simon of Tecolote Books, an independent bookstore in Santa Barbara, Calif. Although Winkelman said plans for Kirkus are being “refined,” the magazine will continue to publish with its current staff.

Bowker Buys BML

Bowker has acquired BML (Book Marketing), a leading provider of research on the U.K. book market. The company will become part of Bowker's Publishing Services division, headed by Kelly Gallagher, which includes a similar service in the U.S., PubTrack Consumer. Based in London, BML has been providing research and information to the U.K. book industry for 20 years and had been part of Publishing News Ltd.

Nook Heads to B&N Stores

After running out of stock on the Nook e-reader shortly after its launch this past holiday season, Barnes & Noble is back in stock with the device and began shipping Nooks to stores last week. B&N believes selling Nooks through displays in its stores will allow it to make up ground on Amazon's Kindle.

'Mockingjay' Set for Aug. 24

Scholastic will release Mockingjay, the final volume in Suzanne Collins's bestselling Hunger Games trilogy August 24. A first printing of 750,000 has been set.


In our January 11 “Year in Bestsellers” feature, The Help is credited on page 26 to the Hachette Book Group; it is published by Putnam's Amy Einhorn imprint. The same paragraph notes that The Shack is distributed by Hyperion; the distributor is Hachette.