David Vigliano has reacquired the publishing assets from Ron Burkle’s Y Entertainment Group, after selling them his literary agency in 2014. Having operated as AGI Vigliano since then, the agency returns to its original name of Vigliano Associates. Vigliano said in the announcement, “I’m excited to take what I’ve learned and put it to use as I return to operating independently.”
Former chairman of Walt Disney International Andy Bird will join Pearson’s board as an independent non-executive director on May 1.
NPD Bookscan reported sales for the week ending April 19, which continued the pattern we have seen since the beginning of broad shelter-at-home orders: Overall print sales are down about 10 percent in units compared to a year ago. But adult sales are suffering far more, down by approximately 24 percent. And dollar sales are surely down more than units, though Bookscan does not measure that. But the biggest declines are in hardcover books — down almost 19 percent for the week compared to a year ago. (As you’ll remember from last week, if you know what you’re doing you cannot do a straight year-over-year comparison because of Easter. So we have compared the recent sales week to the matching week after Easter from 2019, or the week ending April 27.)
Rick and Becky Riordan will match up to $100,000 in contributions as a part of the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign. Riordan told the ABA, “Like most successful authors, I would not be where I am today without the support of independent booksellers… Becky and I are eternally grateful to our indie bookseller friends. We’re proud to help support them through this unprecedented challenging time.”
Amazon is the donor behind an anonymous £250,000 donation to a fundraising campaign for UK indie bookstores launched by The Book Trade Charity. Organizers told the Bookseller they revealed the donor’s identity to “quash mounting speculation.”
Author Karen Kingsbury helped save her local store, Landmark Booksellers in Franklin, TN, asking her Facebook followers to help out. “She offered fans pre-sale, signed additions of her new book through the small store online and sales took off. ‘It has resulted in the sale of what’s going to be 5,000 books before it’s over with and that’s in a weeks time, week to ten days time. Which is absolutely amazing,” said the store’s co-owners. “Before, we were literally praying God what do we do? So it was a miracle that this happened, no question about it.”
In honor of World Book Day, AAP ceo Maria Pallante, Authors Guild executive director Mary Rasenberger, and ABA ceo Allison Hill posted a joint “call to save America’s bookstores.”
Kensington will formally retire the traditionally-sized mass market paperback, and starting September 29 all of their titles will be printed in the larger 4.75 by 7-inch “Mass Max” format (or what we long ago dubbed mass upperbacks). Books previously priced at $7.99 will cost $8.99, while paperbacks already priced at $9.99 will remain the same.
Ceo Steven Zacaharius says in the announcement, “Not only does the Mass Max format allow for larger, easier-to-read font and spacing, but it also means people who like to save their books don’t have to worry as much about breaking the spine while reading them. We feel this upgrade offers readers a better experience, better value, and an attractive product that looks more like a small, gift-sized trade paperback.”
Baker & Taylor Publisher Services will handle sales and distribution for Starfish Bay Publishing as of July 1 in the US and Canada, and took on Messianic Jewish Publishers & Resources worldwide as of May 1.