Book Business On A Trampoline

Andrew AlbaneseThe business of books has more ups and downs than a kangaroo on a trampoline. This week, the Association of American Publishers StatShot program released final numbers for reported sales in 2014; Barnes & Noble also reported its third quarter earnings. The figures will not have investors or publishers calling out for champagne.

“Total revenue for the 1,209 publishers who report to StatShot rose a pretty healthy 4.9% in 2014, climbing to $15.72 billion,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “And for that, you can thank novelist John Green and his pals. The children’s/young adult segment led the growth, while sales of adult books actually posted a slight drop. In fact, the children’s/YA segment positively boomed, with revenue increasing a whopping 21%, while the K-12 instructional materials segment posted a 10.7% increase.”

Putting a positive spin on reporting for the third quarter ended January 31, 2015, the nation’s last-standing retail bookselling chain posted a large decline in the net loss from its Nook division, which helped to boost net income 14% over the comparable period in fiscal 2014.

“Even so, that 14% bump is not quite as robust as analysts had hoped for,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “I think B&N has a hard road ahead, even as consumer book sales jump with an economy gaining steam.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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