2008 was a good year for Hartline Literary Agency. We placed forty-plus books for our clients. We’re looking forward to a good 2009 in spite of the recession.
The recession has brought about many changes in the publishing world: layoffs at major publishers. The latest layoff is at Readers Digest, 504 people last week. One researcher noted that according to America’s Research Group, Christian bookstores’ share of business dropped significantly from 12.4% of the population shopping at a Christian bookstore last year down to 6%. The researcher, Britt Beemer, further noted that spending in Christian books stores dropped from $9.53 per visit last year to $4.58 this January. One-third of Americans reported that they are buying only essential and on-sale items.
In the midst of all this bad news, Melissa Endlich from Steeple Hill is looking for romance writers. Steeple Hill is increasing their releases per month from four to six books for the Love Inspired line. These are mass market books with a word count of 55,000 to 60,000. Overall, I don’t see quite as much gloom and doom from the CBA publishers. Most are still buying; however, some are cutting the number of titles per year, and some layoffs are expected. In particular, Thomas Nelson has probably made the largest cuts.
On the ABA side, from the Wall Street Journal: Dark days are upon the book industry. Last month alone, Random House announced a massive restructuring; Simon & Schuster laid off thirty-five staffers; the adult division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt stopped acquiring manuscripts for the rest of the year.
From PW: Simon & Schuster has formed a unified marketing group for its adult and children’s divisions under the direction of Liz Perl, who joined S&S last year as senior v-p for adult marketing. Under the reorganization, Perl will oversee the marketing responsibilities for the children’s division as well. According to a memo from Michael Selleck, executive v-p of sales and marketing, the new organization will be a “full-service, marketing and advertising/promotion group that delivers creative services, cross imprint and key brand marketing programs and retail marketing campaigns for both online and brick and mortar booksellers.” The organization, Selleck added, will also give all of the publisher’s imprints the ability to plan marketing campaigns for their books and authors.
Some recent book awards:
This year’s Baker Publishing Group Christian Book Award finalists include:
Bible Reference &
Children & Youth:
The awards will be announced Thursday March 19, at the Dallas Convention Center during Christian Book Expo in Dallas, Texas.
Nelson nominated for five Christian Book Awards.
Thomas Nelson announced that five of their products have been chosen as finalists for the 2009 Christian Book Awards:
Children & Youth:
Inspiration & Gift:
The 2009 CT Book Awards
Christianity and Culture:
The Church/Pastoral Leadership:
Christian Retailer reports: New Web Site Showcases Christian Book Videos. ChristianBookVideos.com recently launched as the one-stop viewing place for Christian book videos on the Internet. Book videos, also called book previews or Book Trailers, are video advertisements for books that employ techniques similar to those of movie trailers. To watch previews of Christian books on ChristianBookVideos.com, visit the Web site at www.christianbookvideos.com.
Borders has eliminated six vice presidential positions and ten director level jobs.
From “Publishers Lunch”: Having guessed at 500,000 Kindle sales for 2008, they still assume an iPod-like adoption curve that magically estimates 1 million Kindle sales for 2009 and, hang on, 3.5 million units sold in 2010. Except that iPod and Kindle are not nearly analogous (nor are the respective distribution approaches of Apple and Kindle). And there’s nary a mention of the rapidly emerging competition in ebook for smartphones that do not require purchase of a separate device.