Ebooks Drive Profits at Big Publisher

shutterstock_168339971Ebooks now account for 22% of all revenues at HarperCollins, up from 17% a year ago. Huge sales of Veronica Roth’s hit series Divergent help swell ebook revenue at the company by 35% in its latest fiscal year, according to its annual earnings release.

Just how much of an impact have rising ebook sales had on the company?

While revenues increased 6% for the year, profits were up 38%, giving the News Corp unit a nearly 14% profit margin, practically gaudy in the modest world of trade book publishing.

Meanwhile, the rest of the company, which is made up mostly of Dow Jones Newswires, the Wall Street Journal and other information products, had a combined margin of under 10%, and that includes HarperCollins.

Much more.


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Simon & Schuster Earnings up, Early Subscription Service Results Good (Pub Lunch)
Sales and profits at publisher Simon & Schuster were up in the second quarter in low double-digits. While ebook sales fell off due to unfavorable comparisons with the previous year, CEO Carolyn Reidy praised ebook subscription services Scribd and Oyster for how they helped Simon & Schuster monetize a wide part of its back-list. She added that the company was looking into Kindle Unlimited.

Perseus-Hachette-Ingram Deal Collapses (DBW)
June’s blockbuster publishing deal that would see Ingram acquire the distribution operation of Perseus and Hachette acquire its publishing imprints and titles has fallen apart. No word on why but the complexity of the three-way deal is the early favorite among observers as the culprit. More from Pub Lunch.

Bookstores > Same-Day Delivery…For Now (DBW)
We ordered some books from Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s same-day delivery platforms to see which was better and how they stacked up in terms of time and convenience with going to your local bookstore. Turns out, bricks-and-mortar is still better…for now. Much more.

Google Adds Barnes & Noble to Roster of Local Delivery Retailers (NYT)
That means that Google’s new goods delivery service, Google Shopping Express, will now take orders from Barnes & Noble stores and deliver them to consumers the day they’re ordered. The program is just in a few urban areas to start.

Scribd Builds New Discovery Engine (DBW)
For Scribd, the name of the game is encouraging “serendipitous” discovery. What that is and how the company is doing it different than others is all explained here.

Amazon Makes Big Push in Beltway (Politico)
Amazon has ramped up its political campaign contributions as well as its spending on lobbying, likely in an effort to get the government to make moves in a number of areas of concern for the company, including sales taxes, Federal Aviation Administration regulation of drones and more.

How Amazon Plays Favorites (Bloomberg)
An account of just how the retailer favors suppliers that partner closely with it.

Author Letter to Appear in Sunday New York Times (PW)
An open letter to Amazon calling for it to change its negotiating tactics with Hachette to avoid harming authors’ incomes will be published as an ad in Sunday’s New York Times. It comes with the signatures of nearly 1,000 authors.

More Than Real (Pub Perspectives)
Augmented reality, or the layering of digitally delivered data on to real visuals (that is, stuff you see with your eyes) using mobile devices with cameras and geolocation technology, could help usher in one version of the future of publishing.

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