Update on Borders Post

In case you’re interested, a copy of the entire memo from Borders to IPG that I referenced earlier is available on Ed Champion’s blog.

There are a few interesting paragraphs not included in the earlier GalleyCat post:

We think that the best course for IPG’s client publishers is to accept the option of still shipping to Borders. Borders has been paying IPG, they are reported to have cash on hand and access to credit in the future, and the last thing anyone wants is to have only one giant chain in the retail book market. Borders may prosper, and even in the worst case, given IPG’s uniquely flexible policy, the value of your inventory would be preserved.

On the other hand, booksellers and wholesalers in trouble sometimes resort to tactics that can damage publishers. Sometimes they return books that are selling well and then reorder the same titles. This allows them to start the payment meter over again, but of course it means more damaged copies. Sometimes they order far more copies than they need for the purpose of having more stock in their warehouse to comfort their secured creditors. Sometimes they have no reasonable expectation that they can stay in business, but order books just in case some miracle arrives to save them. We will not allow your titles to become pawns in any such games.

We do not see evidence of this sort of behavior to date at Borders, but we have, for some weeks now, scrutinized every one of their purchase orders, in some cases reducing them to reasonable amounts. Their performance has been erratic. We will continue this vigilance in regard to the titles of publishers who wish IPG to continue to ship them.

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