Books-A-Million reported that revenue for the period ended October 30 fell 5.5%, to $104.8 million, with comparable store sales off 5.8%. CEO Clyde Anderson called the comp sales performance “disappointing” and said cost-conscious consumers buying fewer hardcover books was a factor in the decline. The net loss in the period rose to $1.7 million, from $1.6 million. BAM will push a range of nonbook products in the fourth quarter, including new toy, gift, and electronics departments, video games, more DVDs, and the introduction of the Nook range of e-readers including Nookcolor.
September Bad For Stores
Bookstore sales had their worst month of 2010 in September, with sales down 7.7%, to $1.51 billion, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The September decline follows a 6.5% drop in August and resulted in a 2.6% decline in bookstore sales, to $12.31 billion, for the first nine months of the year.
New Titles Weak at Hastings
Comparable-store sales of new books declined 9.3% in the third quarter ended October 31 at Hastings Entertainment. Hastings said “it is certainly the case that electronic book readers are impacting new book sales,” and hinted that it is ready to stock fewer new titles, observing that in addition to selling more bargain and used books, Hastings is positioned “to adapt to changes in consumer preferences.” Sales of used and value books rose 7.8% for the quarter, resulting in a 6.2% drop in book sales overall in the quarter.
In all, store sales held even at $112.3 million, and the net loss declined to $3.1 million, from $3.4 million.
RH Closing Tricycle
As of January 31, Random House Children’s Books is discontinuing the frontlist publishing program of Tricycle Press, in Berkeley, although it will continue to sell the backlist. As part of the change, v-p and publisher Nicole Geiger and her four-person editorial team will leave the company on that date. Tricycle marketing and publicity manager Laura Mancuso will stay on in the same capacity at RHCB. RH purchased Tricycle’s parent, Ten Speed Press, in 2009; the adult list is not affected by the Tricycle closing.
Changes at Dorchester
Robert Anthony has been named to replace John Prebich as head of Dorchester Publishing. Anthony, most recently CFO and CEO at Backe Marketing (John Backe owns Dorchester), promised to revitalize the struggling company, including paying all author royalties. In addition, Dorchester will do a full trade paperback publishing program to complement its e-book efforts, which will release its first list November 23. Trade paperbacks will begin shipping in January. Dorchester will be using Ingram Publisher Services to distribute the trade paperbacks and Ingram’s Core Source for digital distribution.
Copia Debuts; Antolino Departs
In an unusual series of events, Copia, DMC Worldwide’s book retail and social venture, has gone live. At the same time Copia senior v-p Anthony Antolino, who directed Copia’s launch, is leaving Copia and DMC immediately. Copia has also canceled plans to produce its own line of branded digital readers and instead will partner with yet-to-be-named device manufacturers to deliver the Copia software on their devices.
Amazon Acquires Toby Press Titles
Amazon has acquired the rights to 120 books published by the Toby Press. Toby CEO Matthew Miller is refocusing his business on his Koren and Maggid imprints, acquired last year, and moving the house from Connecticut to Israel. Miller will continue to publish some titles under the Toby imprint, but most new books—about 250 titles a year-—will be under Koren and Maggid. AmazonEncore and AmazonCrossing will republish Toby Press titles in print editions and Kindle editions in the U.S. and internationally.
Printing Returns Profits To Courier
Led by its manufacturing unit, total sales rose 3% at Courier Corp. for the fiscal year ended September 25, to $257.1 million. The company returned to profitability, posting net income of $7.1 million compared to a loss of $3.1 million in fiscal 2009. Book manufacturing sales rose 5%, to $222.8 million, as all three of its printing areas had a sales increase in the yearSales in the publishing segment fell 2%, to $46 million, as gains of 4% and 16% at Dover and REA, respectively, were offset by declines at Creative Homeowner.
Borders launched a revamped Web site with more products and more discounted books. In beta for most of last week, Borders.com opened via e-mail to all 40 million people who signed up for its Rewards programs, offering free shipping.
The new site is discounting more (Web discounts are different from those in physical stores) and has marked down over 100,000 titles.