Here We Go . . .

I really don’t want to spread a sense of “doom and gloom” about the publishing industry, but wow, this bit of info about Borders from GalleyCat is not very encouraging:

GalleyCat has received a copy of a “special alert” sent from a major book distributor specializing in independent publishers to its clients, warning them that Borders, whose financial difficulties are widely recognized, “now tell us that they will not be paying us for two months due to anticipated excessive returns,” a situation the company views with understandable concern. [. . .]

Therefore, the distributor is telling its clients they need to make a decision this weekend: “Publishers must either instruct [us] not to ship their titles to Borders [or] accept the provision that [we], for Borders business only, will guarantee payment only for the publishers’ historical printing cost of books that are not paid for, rather than for the whole amount of any unpaid invoices.” (As the memo explains, the printing cost of a $14.95 paperback is roughly $1.50, compared to the $7.48 the distributor bills Borders.) The new policy is contrasted to what the company says other distributors do, asserting that some of its competitors are refusing to take any credit risk at all on inventory sent to the struggling chain.

Rumors about the coming demise of Borders have been floating around for months. Hopefully this is just a recession induced hiccup and not the beginning of the end . . .

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