Reprinted with permission of Pulbisher's Weekly.
As speculation about the digital future of book publishing grab headlines, publishers are becoming more concerned about a company that could have an immediate impact on their business--Borders. In an article appearing on Debtwire, the financial news service reported that frustrated with the slow-paying practices of the retailer, a group of smaller publishers has hired the bankruptcy group of Lowenstein Sandler as legal counsel. Debtwire quoted one publisher as saying some small publishers were having a hard time getting paid “in a timely fashion” and were contemplating taking some legal action.
In response, a Borders spokesperson said “Borders Group has continued to pay its vendors and is not aware of any material disputes related to its December 2009 payments.” Interviews with a number of publishers, both large and small, by PW found Borders to be current with its payments, though one small publisher stopped doing business with the chain at the end of 2008 because of its fragile financial condition. And while one of the large publishers interviewed by PW said Borders was current “on our terms,” he nonetheless said the poor holiday performance and the continuing financial struggles of the chain was “very worrying.”