As a result of the transaction, HMH revised its outlook for 2018. The Company’s outlook for its continuing operations is unchanged, and the revision reflects changes resulting from the transaction only. HMH now expects 2018 net sales to be in a range of $1.270 to $1.350 billion and billings to be in the range of $1.285 to $1.365 billion. Content development spend for 2018 is expected to be in the range of $117 to $142 million, with total capital expenditures including non-plate capital expenditures in the range of $174 to $199 million. HMH continues to expect 2018 free cash flow from continuing operations to be negative (but improved from 2017 free cash flow from continuing operations) at the midpoint of the revised billings guidance range. In 2017, giving pro forma effect to the transaction as if it had occurred on January 1, 2017, HMH’s adjusted fixed and variable costs as a percentage of billings were 48% and 39%, respectively. For 2018, the Company expects its adjusted fixed and variable costs as a percentage of billings to be comparable to pro forma 2017 adjusted costs at the midpoint of the revised billings guidance range. Click read more below for additional detail.
Print sales are off to a slow start in 2019, according to NPD BookScan data. Through February 2, units were down 5.9% compared to the first four weeks in 2018. The decline doesn’t come as a total surprise. The industry knew it was facing a difficult comparison with last January, when Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury sold almost 800,000 print copies. The top seller so far in 2019 is Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which has sold 310,000 copies.
The popularity of Fire, as well as a number of other Trump-related titles, helped lift unit sales in the adult nonfiction category 4.9% in 2018 over 2017, but there are early signs that the fascination with all things Trump may be weakening. The first new Trump-related titles that have received heavy media coverage this year, Team of Vipers by Cliff Sims and Let Me Finish by Chris Christie, sold 15,000 and 13,000 copies, respectively, in their first week on sale, a far cry from the 197,000 copies Fire and Fury sold in its first week last year (it sold 326,000 copies in its second week). There are still a plethora of books about Trump and his administration to come, so it is possible that interest, and sales, could once again spike this year, but it seems clear that such a spike would require a book from someone who was deep inside Trump’s circle. With unit sales of political books falling 40% in January from a year ago, January sales of adult nonfiction overall were down 5.8%.
Unit sales dropped even more in adult fiction than in nonfiction in January, falling 8.7%. The decline in fiction sales is a little tougher to explain than the fall in nonfiction sales, since the beginning of 2018 had no blockbuster novel comparable to Fire on the nonfiction side. The top seller in adult fiction last January was No Middle Name by Lee Child, which sold about 81,000 copies in the month, while the January 2019 #1 adult fiction seller was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which has sold 79,000 copies. The five biggest sellers last January in adult fiction sold about 302,000 copies—roughly 6% more than the five top titles this January.
more at source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/79231-slow-start-for-print-units-in-2019.html