Publish and/or perish

Writing for The Star-Ledger, Beth Fitzgerald takes a look at the precarious state of Borders. What makes this piece particularly interesting to me is the initial emphasis on customer reaction to the prospect of losing their chain of choice.

Writing for The New York Times, Motoko Rich reports on an effort by HarperCollins to trim the fat. Launching a new imprint, they hope to trade big advances for profit sharing and (even more interesting for people who follow the ins and outs of the Direct Market) eliminating returnability of unsold product:

“Under standard practices, booksellers can return unsold books, saddling publishers with the high costs of shipping and pulping copies. Mr. [Robert S.] Miller [former founding publisher of Hyperion and new HarperColins hire] said the publishers could share with authors any savings from eliminating returns. A spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble declined to comment on HarperCollins’ plans.”

One Response to Publish and/or perish

  1. […] [Retailing] Publishers Weekly reports that Borders Group has completed a financing agreement with its largest shareholder, Pershing Square Capital Management, under terms described as “more favorable than the original deal.” Beth Fitzgerald provides some background information on the bookstore chain’s current troubles. (Last link via David Welsh.) […]

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