Bookstore sales rose 1.3% in March, to $1.03 billion, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales have increased every month so far in 2008 and finished the first quarter up 5.1%, to $4.46 billion. The 1.3% March increase was the smallest gain in 2008. The sales increase in the bookstore segment was higher than for the entire retail segment, which rose 3.9% in the quarter. March retail sales inched up 0.5%, to $379 billion.
Yesterday's Shelf Awareness reported:
Gibbs Smith has launched the Gibbs Smith Books Blog. The Salt Lake City, Utah, publisher suggested that on the site "chefs, for instance, will post excerpted recipes from their upcoming books. Interior design authors will offer up tips for creating your own Country French-style kitchen. Environmentally conscious authors can share their philosophy on how to live in an Earth-friendly manner. Children's authors will be able to interact with the blog-reading audience, challenging them to a virtual game of checkers or tetherball with the help of entertaining videos."
On Monday, HarperCollins issued a press release:
HarperCollins Publishers today announced the development of an interactive, electronic sales catalog, the most advanced catalog available from a major publisher. The catalog will offer booksellers an up-to-the minute online tool enabling them to order books . . . HarperCollins will preview the catalog at Book Expo America, May 29-June 1, 2008, and will launch a beta version in six to twelve months.
Working with the latest in Content Management System technology, the catalog will use a dynamic application linked to all HarperCollins' publishing data systems. Book covers, prices, on-sale dates, reviews, quotes and important media alerts will be updated in real time as soon as they have been entered. Booksellers will be able to create lists and place orders online as they review front list book pages, and an author's entire backlist will be visible as well.
The catalog pages will feature links to rich media content including author interviews, promotional videos and audio samples for many titles. With HarperCollins' 15,000 title Digital Warehouse and Browse Inside application, booksellers will be able to read a portion of a large selection of galleys and complete Advance Reader Editions for certain titles.