Before we get started with the weekly “news”, I have to give a shout out to Shiny Book Review and say “thanks” for the wonderful review of the e-arc of Dave Freer’s middle grade/early ya novella, Without a Trace. You can check out the review here. The final version of Without a Trace will be available shortly from NRP.
Now to the latest news from the industry front. We may as well start with Borders. I have to say, I’m thrilled to see that the bankruptcy judge is not just rolling over and letting Borders do as it wants. Instead of approving the bonuses Borders wanted to pay its executives, bankruptcy court judge Martin Glenn said the Borders lawyers needed to negotiate with the U. S. Trustee to figure out something different from what had been proposed. I applaud the judge for remembering the workers in the trenches at Borders, those who have given so much, often for a number of years, with little consideration from upper management of late. “If this business goes down the toilet bowl, there are a lot of full or part-time employees who face the prospect of going out of work,” Glenn said.
The U. S. Trustee also deserves a pat on the back for realizing that these bonuses are premature at best, especially considering the fact that Borders has yet to show to the court — or its employees — how it will reorganize or pay its creditors.
But that’s not all the news concerning Borders this week. According to CoStar, Borders has begun filing papers with the bankruptcy court to amend or cancel a number of its leases. Let’s remember that Borders already has received approval from the bankruptcy court to close 226 stores. In the last three weeks, it has filed papers seeking approval to cancel another 12 leases. It is generally accepted that Borders will seek to cancel the leases on approximately 50 stores above and beyond the 226 already slated for closure. Seems to me like the numbers of store closings continues to increase. Is it any wonder why the U. S. Trustee and the bankruptcy judge felt the proposed payment of millions in bonuses to the execs was premature?
For a list of properties Borders is requesting lease terminations on, check pages 11 – 12 here.
In a follow-up to the announcement by Amazon that it would be closing its Irving, TX distribution center, so far, that hasn’t come to pass. There are several bills before the Texas legislature that might entice Amazon to stay. For more information, check out this article from the Austin Statesman.
On the e-book sales front, AAP (Association of American Publishers) has announced the February sales numbers. At first glance, things don’t look so good. There was an overall decrease in sales to the tune of 10.6% (a 5% fall for the year to date). Here is how it breaks down, according to Shelf Awareness. Note the huge increase in e-book sales.
|Downloadable audiobooks||$6.9 million||36.7%|
|Religious books||$48.9 million||5.5%|
|Univ. press paperback||$3.2 million||-5.5%|
|Children’s/YA hardcover||$32.4 million||-6.1%|
|Univ. press hardcovers||$3.5 million||-6.5%|
|Adult paperback||$81.2 million||-24.6%|
|Children’s/YA paperback||$26.1 million||-25.9%|
|Adult mass market||$29.3 million||-41.5%|
|Higher education||$24.9 million||-42.9%|
|Adult hardcover||$46.2 million||-43%|