The trends we noted in our recent analysis of third quarter deal reports — fewer overall reports, growing totals for adult fiction, but record numbers of “major” deals — come into concentrated relief as we narrow down into the traditional “pre-Frankfurt” dealmaking window in particular. Since 2021, the Frankfurt Book Fair has fallen a week later than usual, yet again our counts include one extra day of deal reports — but that makes for even comps to 2022 and 2021. For many years, FBF would come five weeks after Labor Day, so our count usually covers five weeks plus one […]
Consumer book sales have continued to fall versus last year and the big pandemic highs, but are still running at their third-best level in years. (Circana Bookscan has YTD units at 527 million, down about 4 percent from 549 million units a year ago.) Meanwhile, investment by publishers in future product both aligns with and diverges from the consumer sales trend. As a reminder, Q1 deals were weak — due in large part to the strike at Harper Collins and continued conservatism at Penguin Random House — and then rebounded in Q2, helped by later dates for the book fairs, […]
The late Paul Reubens’ publicist Kelly Bush Novak told WIAT CBS 42 in Alabama that the actor had “finished a first draft” of a memoir about his life and career before he died of cancer on Monday. “We are hoping it will be published posthumously,” Novack told the station.
The year opened with a weak first quarter of dealmaking, following two record years, but the market appeared to have been held back by the strike at Harper Collins, along with later dates for the spring book fairs. Now, we can see with more clarity that deal reports rose modestly in the second quarter, up 2.7 percent overall. The main weakness was in children’s books, which has looked overbought for a while. Indeed, children’s sales fell 9.8 percent, back to their level from 2020. Adult fiction continued its strong run — matched by consumer sales — rising 7.1 percent in […]
Deal reports took a discernible step back in the first quarter, after setting significant records in 2021 and then again in 2022. (Last year, the first quarter was the strongest period the whole year, with total US deal volume ending up down by 1.5 percent.) Total deals registered 4.4 percent lower than in the big Q1 2022, but “core” deals (excluding our digital deals category) declined 8 percent. Similarly, deals from the five largest trade publishers on their own also declined 8.5 percent, leading the market down, primarily due to the two biggest players. Digital deals rose sharply for the […]
Today we report on dealmaking statistics for both the fourth quarter of 2022 as well as the full year — which means that most of our focus is on the annual trends. To recap: The first quarter continued the boom from 2021, setting a new record for overall deal volume, as reported six-figure transactions softened a little to the second-best quarter in years. The second quarter hewed more closely to the sales pattern for print books, with deal volume declining 9.1 percent, but still well ahead of previous years, as reported six-figure deals held flat with 2021, still at record […]