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Round Up: Revenue, eBooks Up and Down at HarperCollins, HMH, and Hachette

Over the past week 3 quarterly reports from major US publishers have crossed my desk, and rather than cover each one individually I waited to post a round up.


  • Revenues: $354 million, up 14%
  • Gross Profit $53 million, up 83% from last year
  • eBook Revenues grew by 46% over a year ago and represented 26% of company revenues, up from 21% last year.
  • press release

Hachette Livre

  • Revenues (US, UK, France, and elsewhere): €393 million, down 5.3% from last year
  • eBook Revenues made up 13.4% of net sales for the division (vs. 12.4% in the first quarter of 2013), including 34% of net trade sales in the US, as in the first quarter of 2013, and 40% of net adult trade sales in the UK (vs. 31% for the same period last year)
  • press release

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Revenues: net sales of $154 million
  • eBook Revenues: (not disclosed)
  • press release

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Jim Scarborough May 14, 2014 um 2:04 pm

Not surprising that Hachette is falling behind in sales and market share, and in ebook sales in particular. Whereas the other four major US publishers are making concerted efforts to adapt to the new realities of the publishing industry, Hachette just doesn’t get it and is still fighting a loosing battle.

Witness their current dispute with Amazon and yesterday’s controversial announcement that they will not provide copies of their Hugo-nominated novels as part of the Hugo Voters Packet. Three of the five nominated novels are published by their Orbit imprint and the authors have issued a joint statement opposing their decision but Hachette doesn’t seem to care.

Edward Bear May 15, 2014 um 2:11 am

Last year’s Hugo nominees and the samples provided were:
Throne of the Crescent Moon (PDF)(DAW)
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance (DRM-Free ePub, mobi, PDF)(Baen)
Blackout (password-infested PDF)(Orbit)
2312 (password-infested PDF)(Orbit)
Redshirts (DRM-free ePub, mobi, PDF) WINNER

Anybody think there’s no causation between making the full text of the book easily readable on whatever the reader wanted and who won?

Scalzi and Bujold, IMO, were the only authors who were really left in the race, once the other publishers decided to make it difficult to stuff the stories into your phone or pad and still keep them readable. (FYI, my eyes are no longer even middle-aged, and PDFs don’t reflow or scale the text sizes worth a damn.)

This year, Hachette is insulting the readers by merely publishing "excerpts," not the full story. Like I’m supposed to judge whether a book is worthy by reading an "excerpt."

Nate Hoffelder May 15, 2014 um 7:07 am

I saw a post about the excerpts on the Orbit blog. It’s going to be interesting to see who wins the Hugo this year.

Check Your Calendar: Hachette-Amazon Contract Dispute Started in November 2013 – The Digital Reader May 23, 2014 um 10:58 am

[…] think we now know why Hachette’s parent company, Lagardère, reported a 5.3% drop in revenue in their publishing division last quarter. They don’t break out the revenue based on market […]

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