At Macmillan, Jackie Waggner has been promoted to director, national specialty retail; Joseph O’Leary to senior manager, sales operations; Anthony Jimenez to senior sales analyst; Leigh George to senior ebook account manager, US and international sales; Gretchen Fredericksen to assistant manager, publisher liaison; and Kathleen McCutcheon to sales coordinator for the adult merch team.
The American Booksellers Association‘s town hall session and annual meeting — usually held in conjunction with Book Expo — will convene online on Thursday, June 11, starting at 2:00 PM.
NPD Bookscan reported print sales for the week ending May 9, showing a strong week of Mother’s Day book sales. Total print book sales reached 13.56 million units — up 10.4 percent from 12.28 million units the week before (and up a similar amount from the same week in 2019, when unit sales were 12.24 million books). Higher value hardcover books gained even more than the overall market on a percentage basis, at 4.185 million units, up 14.9 percent from the previous week. Results continue to look more like a “normal” sales distribution, with adult books moving 8.7 million units, and juvenile categories selling 4.36 million units.
Meanwhile, we’re seeing renewed interest in our own Bookscan data services. Qualified Publishers Marketplace members (primarily agents and authors) can purchase an unlimited annual license to search Bookscan, and there’s even an option to subscribe to a “data package” of sales information for 5 ISBNs a month on an affordable basis.
Chinese literary writer Fang Fang‘s WUHAN DIARY: Dispatches from a Quarantined City (translated by Michael Berry), a compilation of diary entries and social media posts that document 60 days of lockdown, will be published by Harper Via as an ebook on May 15, with the audio to follow on May 26. The book will be translated into 15 languages.
Sourcebooks has created #ReadIndieForward, a “pay-it-forward campaign to help independent bookstores,” launched in partnership with Shelf Awareness. The program “encourages readers and authors to buy one book a week for the next eight to ten weeks from the independent bookstore of their choice, send those books to family and friends, and encourage them to pay it forward with their friends and families. The idea is simple: buy a book, share a book, tell your friends about it.” (It links to Bookshop and IndieBound — but remember to encourage readers to order from a particular participating indie store on Bookshop so that they get the full 30 percent of proceeds.)
Rakuten indicated in their earnings call yesterday that Kobo enrolled 2.2 million new customers worldwide in the first three months of 2020, as part of surging demand from the pandemic.
Penguin Random House US ceo Madeline McIntosh updated authors in the company’s monthly newsletter: “Happily, the structure on which our role as a publisher stands—the physical supply chain we use to take your books from printers to booksellers around the world—has stayed strong, thanks largely to the incredible leadership of our teams at our three distribution centers in Maryland, Indiana, and Nevada, and the ability of those teams to quickly implement and maintain safety protocols.” Also, notably, “After the early shock, readers and booksellers are finding each other again—largely online, but also via curbside pickups and alongside grocery retail.”
She notes: “As much as this crisis has brought heartbreak, grief, and seemingly endless uncertainty about the future, we know we will get to the other side, stronger for the struggle and equipped with a new set of ideas and tools for helping you reach readers. And we will continue to do all we can to help bring our bookselling partners to the other side with us.”