I’m not entirely certain what to make of this news but Dorchester has sold both frontlist and backlist titles of some of its major authors. These titles have been acquired by Avon. In a statement from Avon:
HarperCollins has acquired several frontlist and backlist titles from Dorchester publishing and has also extended its distribution partnership. Authors include titles from Victoria Alexander, Nina Bangs, Christine Feehan, Sandra Hill, Marjorie M. Liu, Katie MacAlister, Lynsay Sands and CL Wilson. We are currently scheduling the Avon release of these books, and will sell, market and publish all acquired titles by these authors on a go-forward basis. We look forward to working with these talented authors to futher grow their brand recognition.
I’ve met people at Dorchester like the new editorial director, Leah Hultenschmidt, and they couldn’t be nicer people but rumors of Dorchester’s financial problems have existed for some time. I wish the best for the Dorchester staff and the authors.
Paulo Coelho follows in the footsteps of Stephen Covery and allows his Portuguese titles to be exclusively sold on the Kindle platform for six months. Coelho may be best known for his international bestseller, The Alchemist. The titles will be Portuguese.
BelleBooks, a southern women’s fiction publisher started by author Deborah Smith, launched a bestselling title using Kindle and resulted in author Gayle Trent signing with Robert Gottlieb. BelleBooks offered Trent’s story for free as a promotion. It became a much downloaded Kindle book and caught the attention of Mr. Gottlieb.
I know that I saw somewhere that BelleBooks claimed that its Kindle promotions have been good for promoting sales. Found the link. Smith says that the print sales have risen generally since they started the promotion. This blog post by author Debra Dixon points out that the free Kindle giveaways are like endcaps in the bookstore. Even if they don’t earn revenue for the author, the titles rise in prominence on the list and put the authors in front of the readers.
Holiday sales at Barnes and Noble and BAMM were down. At Barnes and Noble:
Total sales for the nine weeks ended Nov. 1 fell 5 percent to $1.1 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year slipped 5.4 percent. The company now expects third-quarter earnings to range between $1.20 and $1.40 per share, instead of $1.30 to $1.50 per share.
Online sales were up for BN by 17%, which includes the nooks that were sold.
For Books a Million:
Sales for the nine-week period ended January 2, 2010, totaled $122.1 million compared with $127.9 million during the same period of fiscal 2009, a decrease of 4.5%. Comparable store sales for the period decreased 6.2% compared with the same period of fiscal 2009.