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Publishers Trying to Force Anderson News Into Bankruptcy

Publishers such as Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Random House Inc and Simon & Schuster Inc have filed suit in US Bankruptcy court arguing that Anderson News should be forced into bankruptcy.   The publishers collectively are owed $37.5 million according to the court papers.

This may be an issue, in part, regarding inventory.   Anderson News has warehouses full of inventory that hasn't been delivered to the retailers and isn't being returned, yet, to the publishers.   

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

7 Comments

  1. Kalen Hughes
    Mar 03, 2009 @ 12:51:19

    A bunch of us were talking about this recently . . . the authors with books trapped in those warehouses are freaking out. And rightly so.

  2. Jane
    Mar 03, 2009 @ 12:53:54

    @Kalen Hughes I think its interesting that both of the houses that aren’t tied up with Anderson are the two houses showing profit (although some of that is due to the imbalance in the dollar).

  3. Kalen Hughes
    Mar 03, 2009 @ 15:44:01

    Wow, didn’t know that. Quite a few authors stand to take a substantial hit if their books are held back because of this mess. And while everyone says that they “know” it's not the author's fault, and that the circumstances will be taken into consideration, we all know that when the next contract is due, it will still hurt people and that five years down the line the editors won't remember why the numbers sucked that time around. That particular albatross will be the author’s burden alone.

  4. JulieLeto
    Mar 04, 2009 @ 09:58:46

    Amen, Kalen. It will all be the author’s fault that their sales sucked…I don’t care what publishers say. Or the booksellers. Because B&N and Borders and Walmart base their orders on Bookscan numbers and they don’t care what was going on during that time. All they see are numbers.

  5. Leah
    Mar 04, 2009 @ 10:42:53

    I saw the Anderson man stocking books in our WalMart this morning, and the magazine racks were full again (they had been noticeably empty). I checked the name on the boxes and even the guy’s uniform to be sure. (He gave me a weird look). I don’t know if they’ve reached an agreement, or just an outside agreement with Wal-Mart. If it had been the regular magazine lady, I would have asked her, but I didn’t know this guy.

  6. Leah Hultenschmidt
    Mar 04, 2009 @ 11:38:12

    @Leah – Anderson Merchandisers is one of the main wholesales for Wal-Mart, so that may have been the stock person you saw, not Anderson News.

    @JulieLeto – From everything I understand, individual accounts base their orders on their own sales info, not Bookscan. B&N really only cares how well a book sold at its own stores. And Wal-Mart doesn’t even report to Bookscan, so numbers there wouldn’t make any difference.

    @KalenHughes – There always seem to be extenuating circumstances when an author’s numbers drop. Maybe Borders took 18,000 copies on a debut just to try it and with the next book readjusted to 7000. Obviously that would significantly affect sales. But all editors really have to look at when making a new offer is the net sales – no matter what the cause of it was. About two years ago, all books in a certain month took a hit because Wal-Mart was redoing its computer system and they didn’t want to have to keep track of all the inventory during the changeover. When authors who were affected by that had a new book out, the sales reps had to remind the buyer what had influenced the previous order, and everyone ended up back on track. Right now, Anderson News isn’t the only issue. A lot of AN’s previous accounts are being serviced by other wholesalers. But every single buyer out there is cutting back orders. True, that’s not the author’s fault in any way. It’s not the editor’s fault, the sales team’s fault, or even the buyer’s fault necessarily. It’s just the reality of the way the economy has changed business.

    @Jane – this is just speculation, but I would guess that just because the publishers who have been showing profit aren’t listed as part of the lawsuit doesn’t mean they haven’t been affected by AN’s woes.

  7. Steve Fischer
    Mar 04, 2009 @ 19:55:20

    I wrote and publish WHEN THE MOB RAN VEGAS. Anderson has been distributing the book to airports and the Las Vegas market for nearly 3 years – and right now, not only does Anderson owe us $30,000 – it’s sitting on an order we delivered to them two weeks ago … just before they closed.

    We spoke with ProLogix in No. Las Vegas – and they told me that they’ve heard nothing about returning inventory to us – and I was told that they are now owned by Hudson – Anderson no longer owns 50% of ProLogix.

    $30,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money compared to the big boys – but that $30,000 represents whether we can go forward with our business or not.

    This sucks!

    Steve Fischer, Publisher
    Berkline Press
    http://www.WhenTheMobRanVegas.com

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