A July 18 letter from Penguin Random House CEO Nihar Malaviya confirmed that long-rumored layoffs have become a reality at the nation’s biggest publishing house.

According to Publishers Weekly, PRH CEO Nihar Malaviya said that any growth the industry has seen recently has been offset by increased costs across the board, and that publishing leaders expect these increases, including inflation, to continue.

AAP StatShot numbers for May reported year-over-year sales up slightly for adult trade books, with 2023 showing $426.5 million against $403.4 million in 2022. A 14.1% decline in May in the children’s/YA segment was offset by gains in sales of adult books and college course materials, leading to total sales in the month holding even with 2022, PW reported.

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“For the first five months of the year, AAP adult sales are actually up slightly very slightly—but not enough to make up for inflated costs, it seems, and, what many publishing leaders fear may be softening consumer spending for the coming months,” PW senior writer Andrew Albanese tells me.

In addition to the PRH layoffs revealed this week, HarperCollins announced the closure of its young adult books imprint Inkyard Press, and independent book distributor IPG said it had laid off nine employees.


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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