City Lights Bookseller of The Year; Koltnow Rep Winner

City Lights Bookstore, founded in 1953 in San Francisco by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, has been chosen PW's Bookseller of the Year for 2010. Ron Koltnow, Random House's New England sales rep, has been named Rep of the Year. City Lights and Koltnow will receive their awards at a ceremony to be held at BookExpo America, and feature stories on both will appear in the April 26 PW.

January Store Sales Up

January bookstore sales rose 2%, to $2.28 billion, according to preliminary estimates released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. Results include sales from college bookstores as well as trade stores. Sales for the entire retail sector rose 2.9% in January.

Borders Cuts Store Staff

Borders cut an unspecified number of store personnel earlier this month. The company would only confirm that it had taken steps “to improve performance and profitability,” but employee blogs were filled with news of layoffs. A post from someone claiming to be a general manager said the cuts were made based on job performances with the lowest-performing employees let go.

Third Quarter Up at Wiley

Given a boost by favorable exchange rates, total revenue at John Wiley & Sons rose 14% in the third quarter ended January 31, rising to $427.4 million. Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, revenue would have been up 5%. Net income in the quarter jumped to $42.4 million, from $33.4 million.

Revenue in the professional/trade segment increased 10% (7% excluding currency changes) to $107.1 million. The division's business, technology, and consumer categories were up. In the STMS business, sales rose 13%, to $228 million, and revenue in the higher education segment rose 23%, to $92 million (13% excluding currency changes).

Nine-month revenue for all of Wiley was up 5%, to $1.26 billion, or up 3% excluding currency fluctuations. Net income was $115.5 million, up 11%.

Wiley in Pact For Bloomberg Imprint

John Wiley has formed an alliance with Bloomberg to publish business books under the “Bloomberg Press, a Wiley imprint” banner. The deal also calls for publication of Bloomberg BusinessWeek—branded books. Wiley will take over the entire Bloomberg backlist, publish books already in the pipeline, and sign new titles. Bloomberg announced last year it intended to close the press. Wiley hopes to begin shipping Bloomberg titles by April 1 and plans to do approximately 25 books annually.

Amazon Cuts Colorado Associates; Protests Build

Reacting to legislation that it said would force it to begin collecting sales tax in Colorado, Amazon ended its associates program in the state March 8. The company said it is not opposed to collecting sales tax “within a constitutionally permissible system applied evenhandedly.” If Colorado scraps its new law,” Amazon said it would “welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.”

Amazon's action brought immediate reaction from ProgressNow Colorado, which called on its 200,000 members to boycott the online retailer until it reinstates the program, describing Amazon as “playing political football with Colorado business partners.” Also protesting the move was a group of Colorado independent booksellers as well as the ABA and MPIBA, which sent a joint letter to Colorado's Gov. Bill Ritter urging him to continue to support the new online sales tax. Amazon's actions “are nothing short of outrageous,” the groups wrote in their letter.

Red Wheel Inks Deal with Ravenous Romance

Red Wheel/Weiser, known as a publisher of nonfiction titles, is entering the fiction market through an agreement with e-book publisher Ravenous Romance. Red Wheel has licensed world English rights to 12 Ravenous paranormal romances that the company will publish under its new Red Silk Editions imprint. Red Wheel will launch the line in June and plans to release two $12.95 trade paperbacks per month.