S&S Sales Are Up; Harlequin and Harper Collins Down
The non fiction self help book by Joel Osteen, Become a Better You, helped to provide Simon & Schuster with good numbers in the fourth quarter. The Secret is still selling strong and it’s sequel, The Secret Gratitude Book, is set to be on shelves in December. Sales were up in all divisions resulting in a 9% gain in total revenue ($214.2 million). There was good growth in profits despite a good number of dollars being invested to convert ALL OF ITS TITLES to digital formats with an estimated 13,000 titles being converted by the end of 2007. Oh, Simon & Schuster, how do I love thee? Converting all of your titles and making them 35% off? You go on with your bad self.Simon & Schuster has had a great year with sales up 16% and operating profits up 90%.
HarperCollins revenue for the first fiscal quarter (ending Sept. 30) was down $38 million from the first quarter 2007. The decline was based on the lack of childrens’ book sales such as Lemony Snicket and Chronicles of Narnia which boosted sales last year. Despite the lackluster sales, HarperCollins had six books at number 1 on the NYT List with 51 books making the list overall. The HC marketing juggernaught is formidable but children’s segment sales were down, US adult group sales were flat.
HarperCollins serves as the distributor of the Harry Potter books and without that income, “things would have been worse” according to Jane Friedman, CEO.
Harlequin’s revenue drop of 2.7% can be blamed on currency exchange issues because without the currency fluctuation, there would actually be a small increase in revenue. Interestingly, Harlequin North America raised the prices on some series line and while that was met with a decline in units sold, the higher prices made up for the loss and actually showed a slight increase in sales. I suspect that there will be increases in other lines now as well.
There were drops in sales from the childrens’ lines and the adult lines were flat but because of decreased advertising and promotional costs (more internet?), Harlequin showed an increase in profit.
Via Publishers’ Weekly: