Flat Start for Bookstore Sales

Bookstore sales were virtually flat in January compared to January 2011, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales were $2.070 billion, compared to $2.072 billion last January. Totals include sales from college bookstores and other outlets where books make up at least 50% of sales.

Big Quarter for Scholastic

Sparked by a strong performance in its trade group, total revenue at Scholastic rose 22% in the third fiscal quarter, ended February 29, jumping to $467.0 million. Net loss in the quarter was cut to $3.2 million from $25.1 million in the comparable period in fiscal 2011. In the children’s book publishing and distribution segment, revenue rose 38%, to $266.0 million, as sales in the trade unit soared to $112 million from $43.5 million in last year’s third quarter.

Leaver Joins Quarto

Sterling Publishing president Marcus Leaver is leaving the Barnes & Noble subsidiary to join the Quarto Group, based in London, next month in the newly created position of COO. Theresa Thompson, who has been with B&N since 2003, most recently as v-p of newsstands, will be promoted to executive v-p of Sterling and oversee all operations, including proprietary publishing.

Napack Joins Equity Firm

Brian Napack, who stepped down as president of Macmillan at the end of 2011, has joined the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. According to Providence, Napack has been named a senior adviser who will work with the firm “to identify and manage new investment opportunities in education and media and to support the firm’s existing portfolio companies.”