Derby-based sports publisher is e-ased out

A sports books publisher has shut down after more than 30 years, blaming its demise on the growing popularity of e-books.

One of the titles from Breedon's popular and successful series on league clubs
One of the titles from Breedon’s popular and successful series on league clubs

Derby-based DB Publishing began life as Breedon Books in 1982, when Anton Rippon founded that company. Rippon, a member of the SJA, went on to publish The Complete Record series – exhaustive volumes on individual Football League, and later Premier League clubs, containing the complete history, results, scorers, line-ups and attendances of their every game as well as biographies of every player to have worn their colours.

Rippon sold the business in 2003, but in 2009 Breedon found itself financially overstretched and its owners placed it into administration. At the same time, DB Publishing was formed, with the same owners, and immediately took over Breedon’s staff and stock, continuing to trade from the same premises.

In recent years, the firm transferred hundreds of its titles to e-books that can be downloaded on to a range of devices, including the Kindle, iPad, Kobo and PCs.

Managing director Steve Caron told the Derby Telegraph that it was a “very difficult decision” to shut DB Publishing.

He said: “Our intention had been to sell e-books alongside our printed publications. But the e-book market has grown so much that it got to a point where it was affecting demand for conventional books.”

Caron said he would now concentrate on his other business, JMD Media, which was DB Publishing’s digital offshoot.

JMD, which will operate from Nottingham, deals solely with e-books and will sell titles that have been transferred from the printed books sold by DB Publishing.

Anton Rippon said: “When I started Breedon, I don’t think anyone had ever heard of fax machines, never mind e-books. Yes, the publishing industry has changed enormously in the past few years. But there are still plenty of thriving traditional print publishers. You’ve just got to be canny about the sort of books you publish and the way you run your company. It’s easy to say that e-books have ruined the publishing business but there is room for both.

“Some of the early football books we published are now collector’s items, selling for hundreds of pounds. I can’t see that ever happening with an e-book.”