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Big problems with Borders

Happy New Year!

Last week’s news about Borders was anything but happy and it could mean very bad news for all of us in the publishing business.

Evidently, this past week executives from the bookstore chain have been meeting with publishers to ask them for leniency in paying their bills.  At the same time, the company has been in talks with Wall Street firms about restructuring and bankruptcy though they are quick to say that bankruptcy isn’t being contemplated now.

But the fact is that Borders has said that they will delay paying vendors (book publishers) who undoubtedly shipped them lots of product for the holiday season.  If these publishers aren’t paid, that will sift throughout the business all the way down to the authors, of course.

What a shame that a company that expanded way too quickly and helped to put so many wonderful independent bookstores out of business is now in this state of disarray.  They have been so incredibly badly run for so many years, it is difficult to fathom.

I certainly don’t have a solution to this problem.  I am simply pointing it out and hoping that this will serve as a lesson to other companies, most particularly Barnes & Noble, who could find itself in the same spot.  And I hope that publishers and Borders will come to some kind of mutual understanding so that as few of us as possible will be affected by this state of affairs.

Here’s hoping anyway.

Your thoughts about this situation are welcome, of course.

5 Responses to Big problems with Borders

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Big problems with Borders | Dystel & Goderich Literary Managment -- Topsy.com

  2. No matter how many posts I read about this, I can’t really think of any way for Borders to save itself. It’s seemed like it was always *just* about to go out of business for the last two years, but has survived anyway, and I’m not sure how long they can keep that up. The fact that they can’t pay their suppliers right after the busy holiday season is troubling. Borders used to be my favorite bookstore, and when their selection of books drastically decreased, I was quite sad. I visited one in my hometown around Thanksgiving and things had seemed to improve a lot, and I’m disappointed it might have been an illusion (or perhaps just that one store was staying afloat).

  3. Sari Webb says:

    There could be a silver lining if Borders did self-destruct. The space they’ve occupied in the book retail world could create a vaccuum to be filled by a new generation of independant bookstores. And that wouldn’t be so bad.

  4. Pingback: Sifting through Borders | Carter Library

  5. John Brewer says:

    Beginning to look like the CD industry reloaded. We all knew this was coming. There’s no way that it can’t happen. Combine this with the sameness of the fiction being published and the abdication of males as a reading block and it isn’t really a surprise. As with the music industry, those who were forward-thinking, adaptable, talented, and most of all worked hard to develop new markets, survived and are prospering today.

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