Scientific, business, and consumer book publisher John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:JW-A, JW-B) didn't exactly file a page turner, but its fourth-quarter earnings release showed that it booked slightly fewer profits on increased sales. The results are still respectable for a company that is 200 years old.

Revenues rose to $390 million in the quarter, a 46% increase due to its acquisition of Blackwell Publishing. If you back out Blackwell and favorable currency exchange rates, revenues were up a more modest 4% over last year.

Still, the professional and trade segment, its largest, grew 1% to $106 million (3% if you adjust for the change in inter-segment product prices), while the scientific category grew 6% to $61 million. Many readers of the Motley Fool are probably familiar with a number of titles that helped boost revenues this year, including Ken Fisher's The Only Three Questions That Count and the third installment in the "Little Book" series, John Bogle's Little Book of Common Sense Investing.

The "Little Book" series continues to produce results for Wiley. Joel Greenblatt's remarkable contribution, The Little Book That Beats the Market -- which fellow Foolish contributor Jim Mueller reviewed here -- remains on the best-seller lists, as does, curiously enough, SoDoku for Dummies. (Foolish contributor Ryan Fuhrmann also reviewed another book in the series: The Little Book of Value Investing.)

The acquisition of academic and professional publishing house Blackwell Publishing, closed back in February, looks like it will serve as a nice appendix to the rest of Wiley's business. Blackwell contributed $106 million to fourth-quarter revenues and $6 million in operating income, though it was dilutive to earnings in the quarter by $0.02 per share.

Book publishing, like newspaper publishing, has been experiencing some difficulties of late, as competitors Pearson (NYSE:PSO) and Thomson (NYSE:TOC) have discovered. Many publishers -- both book and newspaper -- have decided to bulk up by consolidating. Pearson, a textbook publisher, also puts out the Financial Times and was until recently was one of the bidders for Dow Jones' (NYSE:DJ) Wall Street Journal along with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NYSE:NWS). Thomson's bid for Reuters (NASDAQ:RTRSY) would create the world's largest business information company. Even Bloomberg may also be put on the block as its namesake founder is rumored to be considering a bid for President.

Wiley hasn't been involved with the recent big-name bids. Instead, its recent acquisition of Blackwell Publishing makes sense for the company and is contributing nicely to the bottom line. As Wiley closes the book on its second century, it looks like it could put out its own monograph: "The Not-So-Little Publisher That Could."

Motley Fool Inside Value 's lead analyst interviewed Christopher Browne, author of The Little Book of Value Investing, last December. A 30-day free trial subscription gives you full access to the interview as well as all of the newsletter's market-beating recommendation.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article though he regularly reads the Wall Street Journal. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a newsworthy disclosure policy.