BTW News Briefs

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Langenscheidt to Close U.S. Operations

Langenscheidt has announced that it will cease operations in the U.S. by the end of November. The new distributor for Insight Guides, Berlitz, and Langenscheidt Dictionaries is Ingram Publisher Services. LPI recently sold its map and atlas business, and the publisher is currently winding down its distribution services.

Most publishing lines distributed by LPI already have new distributors. Only three product lines – Hammond Atlas, Mobil Travel Guides, and Fluenz CD-ROMs – are still being sold by LPI in the U.S.; November 10 will be the final day for orders.

Chronicle to Distribute for Two Creative Company Divisions

San Francisco-based Chronicle Books has signed an agreement to distribute titles from Minnesota’s The Creative Company (TCC).  Effective January 1, 2011, Chronicle Books will distribute titles from TCC’s Creative Paperbacks and Creative Editions divisions to the retail and library wholesale markets in the U.S. and Canada.

TCC will continue to sell its lists directly to school and public libraries.  

Milligan News Celebrates 75th Anniversary
Francisco Jimenez and Gennifer Choldenko at Milligan News.

Milligan News Company marked its diamond jubilee in October with an open house for customers and their families. The wholesaler specializes in providing books for schools and libraries.

On October 9, the company welcomed visitors to its San Jose, California, warehouse/store, where they were invited to browse and buy from its $2.2 million book inventory. Also on hand to sign books at the celebration were Francisco Jimenez (Reaching Out, Graphia) and Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone Shines My Shoes, Dial).

In 2005, Milligan News sold its magazine distribution operation to the News Group, so that it could concentrate on the educational book business.

LGBT Publisher to Launch in 2011

Don Weise, most recently of Alyson Books, announced this week that he was launching Magnus Books, an independently owned publisher of LGBT literature. The press, to be based in New York City, will publish 15 to 20 new titles per year, including fiction and nonfiction. Weise will serve as publisher for the company, whose first season will be fall 2011.

Weise, whose other experience includes positions at Cleis Press and Carroll & Graf, was named by Publishers Weekly as an industry “Change Maker” and listed among Out Magazine’s “100 Most Intriguing Gay Men and Lesbians” of the year. He sits on the board of the Lambda Literary Foundation.

Random House Site Explores Links Between Books & Film

Random House has launched Word & Film, a website that provides consumers with inside information, sneak peeks, and industry background on films and writers.

“The site is consumer-friendly, fun, relevant and informative in ways in which other movies sites cannot be because of its inside-the-industry feel and content with features and opinion coming from Random House editors and tastemakers, media, and, of course, Hollywood (actors, directors, producers etc.),” a company release said.

Random House stressed that Word & Film is not a movie tie-in site, but a platform for exploring connections between books and movies, books and TV, and Hollywood (as a business) and books. It also exhibits Random House’s books and includes background on movie favorites.

500+ Retailers to Celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) expects more than 500 independent toy retailers to celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 13.

Neighborhood Toy Store Day is an annual ASTRA event designed to communicate with consumers about the advantages of shopping at locally owned toy stores

“We are seeing a robust and enthusiastic response from our members for this first Neighborhood Toy Store Day,” said ASTRA President Kathleen McHugh. “Our members are making good use of the free step-by-step guide book, press releases, posters, buttons, and other materials ASTRA provided. They are creating fun, appealing events that fit their local market with the goal of drawing customers into their stores at the very beginning of the holiday season so toy buyers can see first hand what the neighborhood toy store has to offer.”

Among the events at participating stores will be the announcement of ASTRA’s 2010 Best Toys for Kids list, coupon and product giveaways, raffles, toy and game demonstrations, and live entertainment. ASTRA also said that many of its members are combining their celebrations with tie-ins to community buy-local campaigns and are donating a portion of the day’s proceeds to a local charity.

AAP Reports Decrease in September Book Sales

Publishers’ book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of September were $1.1 billion, a decrease of 12.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Sales were down across all adult and children’s hardcover and paperback categories for the month.

E-book sales continued to grow, however, with September sales reaching $39.9 million, a 158.1 percent increase over September 2009. Year-to-date e-book sales were up by 188.4 percent, according to AAP.

September sales of downloaded audiobooks increased by 73.7 percent over last year; sales of physical audiobooks were down by 42.6 percent.

Detailed statistics are available on the AAP website,

Prufrock Press Acquires Cottonwood Press

Prufrock Press has announced its acquisition of Cottonwood Press, a provider of education products for the language arts classroom for the past 25 years.

Cottonwood’s products range from activity books to humorous CDs and posters. Prufrock Press is a leading publisher for gifted, advanced, and special needs learners. Its list of more than 450 products includes textbooks, teaching guides, books for parents and teachers, activity books, and gifted education journals for teachers, administrators, parents, researchers, and students.