Back on December 31st, news broke that Borders was suspending payments to some publishers. If you haven’t guessed already, it is pretty big news in the industry when one of the major booksellers has a problem like this.
A question many of you may be asking right now is, “what does this mean for me?”
You may have seen in the news that some in the industry have decided not to ship directly to Borders for now. This is the stand AtlasBooks is taking. In fact, it is the stand we have been taking for about 2 years now.
We’ve known that Borders has been struggling financially for years. We made this move in an effort to ensure that we, and therefore, our publishing partners, will be paid for inventory sent to Borders. Though we do not sell direct to Borders, the chain still has had access to and has sold books by our publishing partners. We also still present new titles to them. They order the books through wholesalers that we work with. This means that our payment comes from the wholesalers and per their payment terms with AtlasBooks. We have been preparing for a dilemma like Border’s for years, and now others are catching up.
There is speculation that Borders may file for bankruptcy. We will be watching and waiting, like everyone in the industry, to see if this comes to pass.
These are hard times for Borders, but they are still a force in the industry. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Despite its problems, Borders still accounted for 8.5% of dollars spent on books in the third quarter, according to Bowker’s PubTrace Service…For Many publishers, Borders remains their third largest account behind B&N and Amazon.”
At least for now, Borders is still alive and selling. And as long as they are, whether that be short-lived or if they rebound and move forward, we will be monitoring the situation, and if it makes good business sense, we will be getting books to them to sell in a way that is safe, yet still effective for our publishing partners.
So what does this mean for you, our publishing partner? In summary, your books are still available to Borders to be sold, but we believe your payments are more secure as they are coming from more financially stable trading partners.