Publishing Hacks
Maybe Sony Can Learn New Tricks After All…

Bookscan -- Week Ending 2/12/06

I didn't do any Bookscan posts over the holidays and I thought I'd let things settle in a bit before revisiting the topic.  Here’s a breakdown of sales of the top 750 titles in the computer/tech category for the most recent week:

1. Wiley                              31%
2. Pearson                          29%
3. O’Reilly                           15%
4. Microsoft Press               13%
5. Osborne/McGraw-Hill         5%

Out of the top 25 titles for the week, Wiley had 9, Microsoft Press had 7, Pearson had 5, O'Reilly had 3 and Osborne/McGraw-Hill had 1.

In my last Bookscan post I noted how the programming topic had the most titles in the top 20 and how Office had been dominant prior to that point.  Well, Office is back...  There were 7 Office (and Office application) titles in the top 25 last week, making it the #1 topic for the week, at least when measured by number of titles in the top 25.  It's still a Microsoft Press and Wiley world on the Office front: Microsoft Press owns 5 of those titles and Wiley has the other 2.

If you pay attention to these periodic Bookscan posts you'll see how share can be affected by in-store promotions, the placement (and removal!) of dedicated bays, etc.  One of the publishers with recent share growth is currently benefiting from a couple of promotions that I've seen in two of the larger brick and mortar accounts.  On the other hand, one of the publishers seeing share shrink a bit is the victim of a lost promotional bay at one of the key accounts.


Joel Fugazzotto

How's the computer book publishing category as a whole performing? Is the category trending upward or holding steady over the last six months? What about returns after the holiday season? Heavy? Light? Medium?

Notice how I don’t ask for numbers. ☺

Joe Wikert

Hi Joel. There are lots of ways to look at this. Bookscan data is one way, account feedback is another. Overall, I'd say we've seen low single-digit growth over the past 6-12 months, year over year. Some might say it's been closer to flat. I'm not seeing an abundance of returns since the holidays. In fact, the returns rate on a couple of my key product lines have been at the lowest rates I can recall from recent history. That's also a function of stores taking on less inventory and the just-in-time inventory approach Amazon tends to use, of course. And thanks for not asking for numbers!

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