Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Borders Closing for Good
Borders, unable to find a buyer, has announced that it will liquidate and close all remaining stores. Passive Guy at The Passive Voice has summarized announcements from a variety of sources, each with a slightly different take on the situation. You can read PG's post here. The comment that most disturbs me, after the fact that nearly 11,000 people will lose their jobs, is that some publishers are now planning on smaller print runs since Borders will not longer be available to stock their books. While this makes sense from a short-term business perspective, long term that could have a detrimental effect on authors. With smaller print runs, sales will be lower. Currently, if sales are low, publishers drop authors. How with the new lower print runs affect the drop numbers? Will we see more authors being dropped by publishers, resulting in fewer selections on fewer bookstore shelves? Will those author be able to continue series that have existing audiences by indie publishing, or will the publishers control the rights to those series? I suspect the answers to those questions with vary among authors and publishers, but I have concerns about some of my favorite midlist authors.