Month: January 2016
Kwame Alexander, Newt Gingrich, Philip Glass, Annette Gordon-Reed, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Luis Alberto Urrea, Bob Woodward Among Participants
The Library of Congress continues its annual celebration of authors and readers, the National Book Festival, for its 16th year on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. All programs will be free of charge.
“The National Book Festival is a day for all to celebrate the joy and power of reading by connecting with their favorite authors and discovering new ones,” said acting Librarian of Congress David S. Mao. “No matter your age or favorite type of book, there is something at the National Book Festival for you. The Library is grateful to the generous sponsors who make this day of fun and discovery free to all attendees.”
The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival may contact the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many authors have already accepted the festival’s invitations this year, and they include:
- Kwame Alexander, Newbery Medal winner
- Douglas Brinkley, prize-winning historian
- Christopher Buckley, author of such satirical works as “Thank You for Smoking”
- Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and author
- Philip Glass, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
- Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winner
- Winston Groom, author of “Forrest Gump”
- Stephen King, best-selling, prize-winning author and literacy advocate
- James McBride, National Book Award winner
- Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
- Joyce Carol Oates, prize-winning author of more than 70 books
- Ed Piskor, alternative comics artist
- Michael Ramirez, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
- Diane Rehm, NPR host and author
- Salman Rushdie, Man Booker Prize winner
- Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner
- Bob Woodward, Pulitzer prize winner and author of 17 No. 1 best-sellers
- Luis Alberto Urrea, prize-winning author of “The Devil’s Highway”
- Gene Luen Yang, Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
Additional authors will be announced in the coming months.
The National Book Festival poster will be designed this year by Yuko Shimizu, an illustrator based in New York City and an instructor at the School of Visual Arts. Her work has appeared on The Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, Visa card billboards and Microsoft and Target ads, as well as on book covers for Penguin, Scholastic and DC Comics. She has published work in the pages of The New York Times, Time magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and many other publications.
The festival will feature more than 100 distinguished authors across many fields and in all genres of writing, with audiences ranging from young readers to adults. The festival will continue to feature its popular offerings dedicated to Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Graphic Novels, Picture Books, Science, Poetry & Prose and Culinary Arts.
For more information, see the National Book Festival website at loc.gov/bookfest/. The National Book Festival App is available for iPhone and iPad at the iPhone App store and for Android at the Google Play Store. Attendees with smartphones not compatible with either iOS or Android may use a fully functional web version of the app. Links to all are available at loc.gov/apps/. Follow us on Twitter @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest.
Just received their Economics & Finance catalog for 2016. About 136 titles available.
Deadline Is March 31
Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, which are made possible through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group.
The awards, which were initiated by Rubenstein, were first conferred in 2013 to support organizations working to promote literacy both in the United States and worldwide. The awards seek to recognize organizations doing exemplary, innovative and easily replicable work over a sustained period of time and to encourage new groups, organizations and individuals to become involved in promoting reading and literacy.
The application rules and a downloadable application form may be accessed at Read.gov/literacyawards/. Applications must be received no later than midnight Eastern time on March 31, 2016.
Last year’s winners were:
- The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000): First Book
- The American Prize ($50,000): United Through Reading
- The International Prize ($50,000): Beanstalk
More information about these organizations and 14 other literacy organization leaders is available in “Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2015: Best Practices.”
The Library of Congress Literacy Awards program is administered by the Library’s Center for the Book. Final selection of prize winners will be made by the Librarian of Congress with recommendations from an advisory board of literacy experts.
Three prizes will be awarded in 2016:
- The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) will be awarded to an organization that has made outstanding and measurable contributions in increasing literacy levels and has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth and breadth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy. The organization will meet the highest standards of excellence in its operations and services. This award may be given to any organization based either inside or outside the United States.
- The American Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to an organization that has made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels or the national awareness of the importance of literacy. This award may be given to any organization that is based in the United States.
- The International Prize ($50,000) will be awarded to an organization or national entity that has made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels. This award may be given to any organization that is based in a country outside the United States.
The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a public-private partnership. It sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.
Meet the Winners of the Title Contest and Honorary Author Contest for the Taylor Swift Fan Book to be Published by Simon & Schuster
New York, NY, January 27, 2016 – Simon & Schuster is thrilled to announce the results of the title contest and the honorary author contest for its crowdsourced book (www.swiftfanbook.com) to celebrate Taylor Swift’s first ten years as an artist.
The winner of the $2,500 title contest is Tenay Barker, who submitted the perfect title for the book:
Taylor Swift: This Is Our Song
A native of Buda, Texas, Ms. Barker is currently a freshman at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is studying computer science and hopes to be as great a role model as Taylor is someday. “I have always been a fan of Taylor Swift,” Barker says. “My title tries to express the way that Taylor and her fans have grown as one over the course of her incredible journey. She has been so dedicated to us, and we have been so dedicated to her, and I am so ecstatic that we can to do something for her tenth anniversary by creating this book.” Tenay may be congratulated on Twitter at @TenayBarker.
The winner of the $10,000 honorary author contest is Tyler Conroy, who submitted the following video:
Tyler Conroy, twenty-three, was born and raised in Conway, Massachusetts. A 2014 graduate of Iona College, where he directed and starred in the first ever Taylor Swift musical, Mr. Conroy has attended nineteen Taylor Swift shows and personally met Swift three times. At one meeting in 2013, he asked Swift to write the word fearless in her handwriting and he later got it tattooed onto his foot. “I am so excited to be selected as the honorary author,” says Conroy. “I love Swifties, they’re the most supportive and caring people in the world, and I’m honored to be able to represent them and everything it means to be a Swiftie. I can’t wait to meet so many new people and begin this journey to show just how impactful Taylor Swift’s career has been not just in the music industry but in the lives of her fans. She made being different cool and for someone who’s always seen myself as different, she’s given me a reason to stay fearless.” Tyler may be congratulated on Twitter at @tyvid5.
In addition to naming the winners, Simon & Schuster announced that, due to the large volume of high-quality submissions, over the coming weeks it will invite a number of additional fans who submitted compelling videos to become advisors and ambassadors for the book. If they choose to participate, these fans will be paid $500 each and may be named in the book in exchange for assisting with and completing certain editorial tasks to be determined by the publisher, and for helping to spread the word about the book generally.
The next contest, which runs from February 1 to March 1, is the $5,000 cover design contest. For more information, click here. If contestants wish to use text on their cover entries, this is the official title, subtitle, and author:
Title: Taylor Swift
Subtitle: This Is Our Song
Honorary Author: Tyler Conroy
Simon & Schuster advises entrants that effective book covers do not always use a lot of text, instead relying more on original imagery, so contestants are not obligated to use all of the available text for their cover design. Simon & Schuster is looking for the best overall cover based on the contest’s judging criteria.
*This book is a tribute to Taylor Swift, but she is not involved in its creation, nor has she authorized, sponsored, or endorsed it. *
New York, NY (January 7, 2016)—Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) today reported sales for the nine-week holiday period ending January 2, 2016. Core comparable store sales, which exclude NOOK products, increased 1.6%, marking the second consecutive holiday increase.
“We are pleased with the performance of our bookstores during the holiday period, with core comparable store sales increasing 1.6% on top of a 1.7% increase a year ago,” said Ron Boire, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “We were also encouraged by the improved performance of BN.com during December, as the site remained stable and traffic improved through the holiday period. As we look ahead, we see further opportunities to improve the experience and increase conversion on BN.com.”
Retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble stores and BN.com, were $1.1 billion, decreasing 0.8% due to lower online sales and store closures. Comparable store sales, including NOOK products, increased 0.6% for the holiday period.
NOOK sales of $41.2 million decreased 25.8%. Digital content sales were $21.3 million and device and accessory sales were $19.9 million for the holiday period.
Based on the holiday sales results, the Company continues to expect fiscal 2016 core comparable store sales to increase approximately 1%, and comparable store sales to be approximately flat. The Company also continues to expect full fiscal year EBITDA losses in the NOOK segment to decline versus the prior year.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report third quarter results on or about March 3, 2016
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation’s largest retail bookseller, and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 640 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s premier e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). The NOOK Digital business offers a lineup of popular NOOK (www.nook.com) and UK® tablets and eReaders and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store®. The NOOK Store features more than 4 million digital books in the US plus periodicals, comics, apps, movies and TV shows, and offers the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps™ available for Android™, iOS® and Windows®.
Interesting posts for writers, editors, publishers, or anyone in the the book industry.
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BOSTON – Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (“HMH” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: HMHC) today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015.
Third Quarter 2015 Highlights:
- HMH captured approximately 40% market share in its addressable domestic education market for K-12 instructional materials, including 45% of the new adoption market for the first nine months of the year.
- Net sales increased 4% to $576 million compared with $551 million in the third quarter of 2014. On an organic basis, which excludes the contribution from the acquired Educational Technology and Services (EdTech) business, net sales would have been $493 million.
- The EdTech business contributed net sales of $82 million for the quarter.
- Billings declined approximately 1% to $682 million compared with $692 million in the third quarter of 2014.
- Net income increased over 22% or $24 million to $131 million compared with net income of $107 million in the third quarter of 2014.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $192 million was 4% or $8 million lower compared with $200 million in the third quarter of 2014. Adjusted cash EBITDA was $298 million, 13% or $43 million lower compared with $341 million in the third quarter of 2014.
Full Year 2015 Outlook and Recent Highlights:
- In light of a softer open territory market and smaller supplemental and residual market, the Company is revising its full year 2015 guidance for billings, net sales and content development spend. Our addressable open territory market is expected to grow by 1 percent for the full year. While this is a rebound from the first half of the year, it is 5 percentage points below our initial expectations. Billings are now expected to be in the range of 1% to 4% lower than full year billings in 2014 and net sales are expected to be in the range of 3% to 6% higher than net sales in 2014. Content development spend is expected to be in the range of $110 to $120 million.
- On November 3, 2015, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of an additional $500 million of shares of HMH’s common stock bringing the program total to $1 billion. On a pro forma basis, as of the end of the third quarter, approximately $760 million would have been available for share repurchases under this aggregate program which may be executed through the end of 2018.
- The Company is planning to increase its debt by an additional $250 million, subject to market and other conditions.
“In spite of market challenges and revisions to our 2015 guidance, our underlying business remains healthy. We continue to lead our core domestic education market, and have been encouraged by the strides made in key strategic growth areas,” commented Linda K. Zecher, President and Chief Executive Officer of HMH, “In 2015, we set out to accelerate the growth of our professional development and services lineup, build on our consumer and early childhood offerings, and further enhance our industry-leading digital capabilities. We have taken clear and meaningful action on all of these fronts, which we believe will be key contributors to our future success. We have expanded our share repurchase program to an aggregate $1 billion given our confidence in the long term prospects of the business.”
Eric Shuman, Chief Financial Officer of HMH, stated, “To date in 2015 we have continued to generate free cash flow, invest in our growth, execute on key strategic initiatives and maintained a leading 40% market share despite the overall anticipated contraction in the domestic education market this year. We believe that this is a testament to the ongoing strength of our business and further underscores our long-term growth potential.”
Third Quarter 2015 Business Highlights:
Education Segment: HMH continued to see encouraging demand for its education products in the third quarter of 2015 despite the anticipated contraction in the overall domestic education market this year relative to 2014. The Company captured 45% of the new adoption market year-to-date, bringing total market share in the domestic education market through the first three quarters to approximately 40%. Within this, HMH captured more than 50% share in the California math adoption and an approximate 30% market share in the Texas social studies/world geography adoption. Demand within open territories picked up for the third quarter, but growth for the year remains below initial expectations. Key open territory wins include New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The Company grew net sales in its professional development business in the third quarter 2015 by 40% compared with the same quarter in 2014. In addition, the recent integration of HMH’s education services organization and the EdTech services business brings together valuable offerings, experiences and employees to create a best in class organization.
Trade Publishing Segment: In the third quarter, revenues of HMH’s Trade Publishing segment slightly decreased, but we continue to build our offering and pipeline of new books that we believe will drive year over year growth in this segment. HMH recently released the critically acclaimed Girl Waits With Gun and Rosemary, the Hidden Kennedy Daughter. Randall Munroe, best-selling author of What If? will release a new title, The Thing Explainer, this month. Additionally, HGTV reality stars The Property Brothers’ debut title Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House, and the memoir of U.S. women’s national soccer team captain, Carli Lloyd are both slated to be released next year.
Key Growth Areas:
Consumer: To support its consumer growth strategy, in October 2015, HMH officially launched Curious World, a subscription-based interactive content service that offers children aged three to seven an ever-expanding collection of games, videos, and eBooks mapped to key learning areas. Additionally, the Company recently acquired select eBook and technology assets of MeeGenius, an eBook subscription service for children up to eight years old.
Digital capabilities: The Company announced the HMH Marketplace – an online destination for educators to discover, share, and sell resources that enhance the teaching and learning experience. Launching in early 2016 in beta, the marketplace will combine applications by edtech developers and start-ups with original content made by teachers for teachers, in a one-stop shop for supplementary education applications that integrate with and support core curriculum.
Additionally, HMH solidified a new partnership with Osmo, the creators of a platform that is revolutionizing the way children learn on the iPad®. This strategic collaboration reinforces the connection between home and school learning and underscores our digital leadership.
International: HMH partnered with Trunity Holdings, Inc. to add new HMH digital curricula to Trunity’s eLearning Platform, enabling on and offline access to HMH programs for K-12 educators and students around the world. HMH programs Holt McDougal Physics, Holt McDougal Chemistry, and Science Fusion became available in international markets starting September 2015. The launch of these new programs follows a successful full-year pilot with the Institute of Applied Technology in the United Arab Emirates during the 2014-2015 school year.
Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results
Net Sales: Net sales for the three months ended September 30, 2015 increased $25 million to $576 million, up 4% year-over-year, from $551 million. Net sales were driven by the $82 million contribution from the EdTech business. Excluding the contribution from EdTech, net sales would have been $493 million. Net sales for HMH’s Education segment increased 5% or $28 million year-over-year from $504 million to $532 million, driven by the contribution from EdTech, partially offset by a $55 million decrease in the domestic education business. The decline in the domestic education business is largely attributable to the overall smaller adoption market in 2015 relative to 2014 which included large adoptions in Texas, California, and Florida. Partially offsetting this were strong results in markets such as West Virginia and Tennessee. HMH’s Trade Publishing segment recorded $43 million in net sales in the third quarter, a 7% or $3 million decrease, from $46 million in the same period in 2014. The decline was driven by strong prior year net sales of titles such as The Giver and the bestselling What If? partially offset by strong net sales of front-list culinary titles such as The Whole 30, The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook and Cake My Day.
Cost of Sales: Cost of sales in the third quarter increased by 3% or $8 million to $272 million compared to $264 million in the same quarter of 2014. During this period, cost of sales, excluding pre-publication and publishing rights amortization, grew by 7% or $15 million year-over-year from $205 million to $220 million, primarily attributable to higher volume, product mix, higher royalty costs, and technology costs to support HMH’s digital products. This resulted in cost of sales, excluding pre-publication and publishing rights amortization, increasing from 37% to 38% as a percent of net sales.
Selling and Administrative Expenses: Selling and administrative expenses in the third quarter of 2015 increased 14% or $24 million to $192 million from $168 million in the prior year. This was primarily due to a $29 million increase related to the addition of the EdTech business along with higher labor and technology costs to support HMH’s growth initiatives, and partially offset by an $11 million decrease in sales commissions. Excluding the EdTech business, selling and administrative expenses would have been lower by 3%, primarily due to lower sales commissions.
Operating Income: Operating income for the three months ended September 30, 2015 decreased $13 million, or 12%, from $116 million for the same period in 2014 to $103 million, primarily due to the aforementioned changes in cost of sales, and selling and administrative costs partially offset by the increase in net sales.
Net Income: HMH recorded net income of $131 million in the third quarter of 2015 compared to a $107 million net income in the same quarter of 2014, an over 22% year-over-year increase, primarily due to a $40 million income tax benefit in the third quarter 2015, compared to a $3 million income tax expense in the same period last year, partially offset by a $6 million increase in interest expense along with the same factors impacting operating income.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Cash EBITDA: Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2015 was $192 million compared to $200 million in the same quarter for 2014, down $8 million or 4% year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA in HMH’s Education segment was $198 million compared to $206 million in the same quarter for 2014, a decrease of 4% or $8 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the Company’s Trade Publishing segment decreased $3 million year-over-year from $7 million to $4 million, a 48% decline. Corporate and Other costs, which represent certain general overhead costs not fully allocated to the business segments, such as legal, accounting, treasury, human resources, technology, and executive functions, were a loss of $11 million for the quarter compared with a loss of $13 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted cash EBITDA, defined as adjusted EBITDA plus the change in deferred revenue, was $298 million in the third quarter of 2015 compared with $341 million in the third quarter of 2014.
Cash Flow: Net cash generated from operating activities for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $163 million as compared to $301 million in the first three quarters of 2014. The $138 million decrease was primarily driven by lower billings stemming from a smaller domestic education market, and higher interest from the increase in the Company’s term loan. HMH’s free cash flow, defined as net cash from operating activities minus capital expenditures, for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $35 million compared with $161 million for the same period in 2014. As of September 30, 2015, HMH had $524 million of cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments compared to $743 million at December 31, 2014.
On November 3, 2015, the HMH Board of Directors authorized an increase in the size of its existing share repurchase program by an additional $500 million for an aggregate total of $1 billion. The aggregate $1 billion share repurchase program may be executed through the end of 2018. Repurchases under the program may be made from time to time in open market, including under trading plans, or privately negotiated transactions. The extent and timing of any such repurchases would be at the Company’s discretion and subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements and other considerations.
During the third quarter, HMH repurchased 2 million shares for approximately $48 million on the open market and through privately negotiated transactions bringing the year to date total to approximately $240 million of shares repurchased. On a pro forma basis, as of the end of the third quarter, approximately $760 million would have been available for share repurchases under the aggregate $1 billion share repurchase program.
The share repurchases align with HMH’s broader capital allocation strategy, which focuses on driving organic growth, pursuing strategic acquisition opportunities and returning capital to stockholders, when appropriate.
Additionally, subject to market and other conditions, the Company plans to increase its debt by an additional $250 million and use some or all of the net proceeds from the financing to fund a portion of its share repurchases under the share repurchase program among other general corporate purposes.
The Company is revising its guidance for full year 2015. HMH expects its billings to be in the range of $1,530 to $1,580 million, which is approximately 1% to 4% below 2014 billings and net sales to be in the range of $1,415 to $1,450 million, which is 3% to 6% up from 2014 net sales. The revision is primarily due to softness in the open territory market along with lower than expected net sales in the supplemental and residual market.
HMH’s addressable domestic education market, the market where it primarily sells its instructional resources for grades K through 12, is expected to remain at $2.7 billion in 2015 compared with $3 billion in 2014.
Additionally, pre-publication or content development costs for 2015 are now expected to be approximately $110 to $120 million, a change from the mid-year guidance of $120 to $140 million.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K-12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom. HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children’s books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.hmhco.com.