Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 15, 2018

In the News: Skyhorse Cuts and London Book Fair Non-fiction Shines

As reported by Publishers Lunch:

Skyhorse Cuts 16 Jobs, 25 Percent of New Titles

Skyhorse Publishing announced “a major reorganization” that includes significant job cuts and plans to reduce their new-title output. The company says that 16 full-time positions were eliminated from a workforce that had totaled 77 people, and they plant to reduce new titles published by “approximately 25 percent” in 2018, down from an abundant 1,120 titles published in 2017. President and publisher Tony Lyons indicated the changes are “in response to shortfalls in Skyhorse revenues in 2017 and in early 2018, including issues related to its distribution deal and paper shortages, as well as changes in the marketplace in general,” according to the statement.

Lyons said: “These are difficult decisions, but we believe they will allow us to become more nimble, respond to trends, focus more on what our customers want, increase the quality of the books we publish, and create more impactful marketing plans. These changes will allow us to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace and position the company for future success.”

As reported by Publishers Lunch:

At the London Book Fair Non-fiction Topped the Dealmaking:

Consistent with our deal stats preview from Friday,  –the most notable trend from this London Book Fair dealmaking season is the surge of big deals – and “major” deals in particular — for nonfiction. And that’s without counting Hachette’s pickup of Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein’s next book, or other just-announced nonfiction from today including books from Ash Carter, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Senator Doug Jones. (Our LBF count covers the five weeks leading up to the show, from Monday, March 5 to Monday, April 9.) The 11 major nonfiction deals are the most we have ever reported in an LBF lead-up:

Overall six-figure domestic deal activity was just below flat, similar to the past two years, and relatively consistent for six years now. But you can see that big LBF fiction sales have been declining pretty steadily over the past five years as well:

Debut fiction sales are often the most closely watched — or at least covered — ahead of the big fairs. Consistent with the bigger picture, this has been a softer season there as well:

2018
27 debut fiction sales
2 major deals; 2 significant deals; 3 good deals

2017
37 debut fiction sales
4 major deals; 1 good deal (plus 2 major deals for debut thrillers)

2016
34 debut fiction sales
2 major deals, 2 significant deals, and 4 good deals.

In the final count, total deal volume with traditional publishers modestly reversed a four-year decline. Fiction sales were at their lowest level yet, in line with the statistics on big fiction deals, with nonfiction and children’s reasonably strong:

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


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