Monday, 24 January 2011

Bucking the Trend

With all the woes of the Publishing Industry, it was welcome to see that in some quarters, business remains brisk as reported by The Bookseller this morning –

Quercus, Penguin and Simon & Schuster had record years through Nielsen BookScan’s Total Consumer Market (TCM) in 2010, bucking the downward trend of the entire UK books market. The gains, revealed in The Bookseller’s exclusive annual round-up of publisher performance and market share, come against a background of an overall contraction of the TCM, which fell 3% by value last year to £1.695m.

Stieg Larsson’s publisher Quercus saw its TCM revenue rise by 100% year on year to £23.3m, of which £18.6m (78%) was generated by the late Swede. It was Quercus’ second straight year of triple-digit growth, and the largest ever increase through the TCM by a publisher with revenue of £10m or above. Quercus’ performance helped the Independent Alliance score its fifth straight year of double-digit growth, up 14%.

Penguin was the only one of the top four publishing groups, which collectively account for 47.6% of the UK market, to have positive year-on-year growth. It rose 14% to £195.1m, increasing its market share from 10% in 2009 to 11.5%. The Penguin division, excluding Dorling Kindersley and Rough Guides, at £163.3m had its biggest year since TCM records began.

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Speaking of Quercus we are delighted see that Jane Wood has signed up Barbara Nadel to write a new crime series in which the author returns to her East End roots. The series will feature a white ex-policeman (and ex-soldier), now a PI, and an Asian Muslim woman who assists him. The London Borough of Newham is one of the most ethnically complex urban districts in the world, with a high rate of violent crime, gang culture and racism. To signal this change of direction, Barbara will write the books under the name B J Nadel. Quercus will publish the first book in the series in summer 2012.

Jane Wood said “I’m delighted that Barbara is joining Quercus. As a daughter of Newham she is uniquely qualified to write about this richly diverse borough of our sprawling capital city, an area undergoing immense change with the coming Olympics.”

Barbara Nadel said “I am very happy to take this opportunity to explore a new and exciting crime series”

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