Amazon Sales Up
Amazon media sales in North America rose 14% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year, while overall sales rose 22% to $16.07 billion. Net income, however, fell 37% to $87 million. Total media sales (which include sales of print books and e-books) rose 7% to $2.5 billion, while sales of devices and general merchandise (including the Kindle) rose 28% to $6.1 billion. Every product in the top 10 bestselling items for the quarter was either digital or Kindle-related.
RLPG Buys Down East Books
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group has acquired the book assets of Down East Enterprises, which publishes books and magazines about Maine. The deal involves over 450 titles in four imprints: Down East Books, Shooting Sportsman Press, Fly Rod & Reel Books, and Countrysport Press. The magazines that feed those imprints will stay with Down East Enterprises, and RLPG will continue to publish books under the imprints.
Sontz to Head Powell’s Books
Miriam Sontz, most recently COO of Powell’s Books, has been named CEO of the Portland, Ore., independent bookstore, succeeding Emily Powell, the grand-daughter of the store’s founder.
Bole to Head IBPA
Angela Bole, currently deputy executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, has been named executive director of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), replacing Florrie Binford Kichler, who will retire from IBPA in June. Bole will be based in New York City and will start in her new role on July 17.
Freeman Leaves ‘Granta’
Granta editor John Freeman is leaving the magazine after the publication of the summer issue. Freeman, editor of Granta since 2009, splits his time between New York and London, and he will return to New York to teach writing at Columbia University.
Canada Okays Penguin Random
The Canadian Competition Bureau and the Department of Canadian Heritage have approved the Random House–Penguin merger without conditions. The merger is still expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
Thomas to Leave Hachette
Maja Thomas, senior v-p Hachette Digital & Audio, is leaving the Hachette Book Group to pursue other interests. Although she is leaving the company on April 30, she will return in July and work until the end of 2013 as a part-time consultant to Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch, offering advice on digital content issues as well as working on a new structure for the Audio and Digital groups.
Book Sales Slip At Hastings
Books remained the largest product category at Hastings Entertainment in 2012, but sales still fell 7%, dropping to approximately $101 million.