Monday, April 28, 2008

Strong Book Sales, Weak Outlook

According to The Tennessean:
Year-to-date, sales of fiction and nonfiction religious books are up 5 percent compared with last year, according to Nielsen BookScan USA.

But then, The Tennessean goes on to say:
Greco expects overall book sales nationwide to trail last year's pace through the summer….Greco said that given the uncertain economy, "this could be a bad year" for the sector.

They’re talking about religious books, both fiction and nonfiction. What got this started was news from religious publisher Thomas Nelson Inc., which announced the layoff of about 60, or 10%, of their employees. This was after an earlier announcement that Thomas Nelson would cut its number of yearly titles by half.

The President and CEO of Thomas Nelson, in his blog, From Where I Sit, said:
This change is designed to align us with a shift in the marketplace toward fewer titles generating more of the sales. It will also enable us to invest most of our resources where we can generate the biggest returns.

Publishers Weekly noted that
The layoffs come on the heels of Nelson’s announcement last week that it would bow out of both BEA and ICRS.

Layoffs are never good news, but Thomas Nelson seems to be trying to streamline and realign. The Tennessean tried to put a good swing on it all by saying,
Religious sales should pick up fall through Christmas,assuming the economy improves and depending on how much of their tax rebate dollars consumers spend on such purchases.


  1. I read Michael Hyatt's explanations on his blog and understand the reasoning, but from a writer's perspective, it will make it even more difficult to get published.

  2. I agree Lillie. Everything is connected, from publishers to agents to writers to publicists to copy editors and so on. When one realigns or makes cut-backs, it trickles (or rushes) down the chain.


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