Sourcebooks Reports Successful Year and Announces Initiatives

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

Sourcebooks’s Vice President and Editorial Director Todd Stocke issued a bulletin to colleagues in the publishing industry reporting record-breaking sales and exciting initiatives in the traditional and digital space. Coming just before Book Expo America convenes, it will certainly burnish the company’s reputation as an industry leader.

The text is below, but not hotlinked.

Richard Curtis

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Dear Friends –

Two weeks ago I watched our accounting department process the largest (by far) batch of royalty checks in our history, and I wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to all of you. This year Sourcebooks celebrates 25 years since its one-book founding out of publisher Dominique Raccah’s home. Today we publish 300+ new titles a year across a breadth of categories we never imagined. We have more than 2,000 titles in print from 1,700 remarkable authors. We’ve celebrated 27 New York Times bestsellers and more than 50 national bestsellers. And that only happens with the support and partnership of people like you.

As many of you know, making publishing more transparent and less mysterious for authors, readers, and partners is part of our mission. To wit, some notes from our results in Q1 of 2012:

· Our sales continue to grow, up 17% in Q1 despite fewer retail storefronts. This is all coming off a standout 2011 that was once again the best in our history.

· Although industry news is reporting a marked flattening of ebook sales (up 9.9% in February), ours are up 73% over prior year. Our marketing strength is a real asset in an ever-cluttered space for consumer discovery.

· Our print sales are up 3%. Yes, print, even in a Borders-less world.

· Our top 5 areas of sales are, in order: romance fiction; adult nonfiction; adult fiction; children’s books; young adult. It’s worth noting that we weren’t even in romance, children’s, and YA just 5 years ago.

As 2012 evolves, we continue to experiment on behalf of our authors.

· We recently launched an “online readers club” in the romance space called Discover a New Love that is generating some interesting news and data on what our readers are looking for, specifically experimenting in the areas of reader discovery and DRM (or the absence thereof) .

· “To free or not to free?” We’ve experimented and published some results on the impact of “free” promotions, and we’re seeing the results in this area change almost monthly.

· We’re testing an “agile publishing model” in adult nonfiction with Digital Book World headliner David Houle.

· As we have for 14 years, we’re continuing to deliver remarkable enhanced book experiences for readers – now entirely digital – and in the areas of poetry, adult nonfiction, and children’s books.

For those of you attending BEA this year, we’ll have several editors there and we’re looking for great new projects. Drop us a line, we’d love to see you! I’ll be there, as will Deb Werksman, Leah Hultenschmidt, Shana Drehs, Aubrey Poole, and Steve Geck. Who says publishers don’t bring editors to BEA anymore!

· You can find our catalogs online at www.sourcebooks.com/catalogs.html

· We recently overhauled our page for agents showing our acquiring editors and their interests. We hope you’ll find it to be much more thorough (plus photos!): http://www.sourcebooks.com/resources/editorial-contacts-for-agents.html

It’s been a remarkable 25 years for us. We’ve been able to do a lot of things we were told independent publishers couldn’t do. And we’re looking to continue to take leadership and drive innovation for authors in the next 25. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. We hope to hear from you soon!

Best Wishes,

Todd Stocke

Vice President, Editorial Director

Congratulations to recent New York Times bestselling authors Jill Mansell, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tim Bowers, Harlan Cohen, Grace Burrowes, Susanna Kearsley, Carolyn Brown, Mike Litwin and Jennifer Fosberry!

Our New York office has moved! The new mailing address is 232 Madison Ave., Suite 1100, New York, NY 10016. All phone, fax, and emails remain unchanged.

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