‘Tis the season to give a little, get a little and possibly even learn a little about the media profession and the world around you. In Part 1 of my roundup of books for print media professionals (Part II will be out next week), I get both high-minded and nostalgic. Two books stood out for me this season as especially germane to the print media brands. But at the same time, some exceptional revivals of historical magazine content serve as a reminder that book publishing has become one of the caretakers of the legacy of periodical brands. Here are some must-reads to give others—or gift yourself: click Read More below for more of the story
Hachette Book Group parent company Lagardère Publishing reported Friday that HBG revenues for the first half of 2015, down 7.8% from 2014. HBG CEO Michael Pietsch blamed the drop on “a tough comparison” to strong early 2014 sales and—in a reference to its new sales agreement with Amazon—pointed to a slowdown in e-book sales “due to e-tailers no longer discounting many e-books at a loss.”
In the first half of 2015, U.S. e-books represented 24% of net trade sales, down from 29% at the end of June 2014. The drop was due to a lighter schedule of titles and, Lagardère said, “the implementation of the agreement with Amazon.”
In 2014 HBG revenues declined 4.8% from 2013, reflecting Hachette’s battle with Amazon over terms, strong sales in 2013 and a decline (19%) in e-book sales in the 4th quarter of 2014.
Nevertheless, HBG reported 87 print bestsellers and 15 e-book bestsellers for the period. Piestch reported “major successes” such as Dan Santat’s Beekle, which won a Caldecott Medal, and Minions tie-in titles (attached to the animated feature film), which have shipped more than 2 million copies. The audio version of Malala Yousafzai’s I Am Malala, won a Grammy and other 2015 HBG bestsellers include David Baldacci’s Memory Man, James Patterson’s The 14th Deadly Sin and Dana Perino’s And The Good News Is.