Bookstore sales slipped 1% in October, to $799 million, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. For the first 10 months of the year, bookstore sales were down 1.5%, to $10.89 billion, compared to the same period in 2012.

For the entire retail segment, October sales rose 4.7%, while sales for the first 10 months of 2013 were up 4.2%

Simon & Schuster posted a sales increase of 7%, to $224 million, while operating profits increased about 8% to $41 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2013. Sales of e-books and digital downloads led the gains, with total digital sales up 39% over the third quarter of 2012. At the end of the quarter, digital sales accounted for 27% of all S&S revenue compared to 21% at the end of last year’s third period. Print sales were also up in the third quarter.

Tags: publishing

HarperCollins is releasing HarperCollins Unbound, a new, free app for Apple and Android smartphones that allows consumers to scan HarperCollins print books for additional digital content.

"E-books are in the later stages of the innovation curve and have settled into reasonably predictable consumption patterns. The likelihood of future growth will, in part, depend on improving the value perception of e-books among less committed users."

Study: E-books Settle In

Bookstore sales fell 4.5% in August. The August decline was the third month in a row bookstore sales had a meaningful drop and sales for the first eight months of 2013 were down 2.6%, compared to the same period in 2012. Meanwhile, sales for the entire retail segment rose 4.7% in August and were up 4.3% in the eight month period.

HarperCollins is the latest publisher to tinker with a Netflix-style e-book subscription service, announcing on Tuesday that it has struck a deal to make its backlist books available on Scribd, a Web site for sharing documents and books.

Scribd, a digital distribution, document storage and book discovery platform, is launchng a subscription e-book service that will give users access to an unlimited number of books for $8.99 a month. The all-you-can-read service can be accessed by all smartphone, tablet and laptop device platforms and will offer thousands of backlist books to subscribers—including a majority of the HarperCollins’ backlist—as well as the opportunity to buy titles directly.

The addition of Thomas Nelson was the cited as the primary reason for a 15% increase in revenue in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 at HarperCollins.

Love what News Corp said about the shift to digital sales “lowering manufacturing costs.” How many times have we been told the cost differential is minimal?

BTW, Digital sales accounted for 19% of global HC sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. That’s right…it’s now 1/5 of sales.