Monday, January 31, 2011

LAST CALL! Write a Story, Win a Kindle!

Enter our YA Mystery Short Story competition - Mystery Times Ten - and get a chance to win a brand new Kindle! Competition closes at Midnight PST TODAY January 31st, 2011!

We seek new mystery short stories that are targeted for the YA audience.

Winning Selections:

  • The Ten (10) Winning entries will be published in the Spring 2011 Young Adult Showcase titled Mystery Times Ten to be published by Buddhapuss Ink LLC.
  • FIRST PLACE winner will receive a NEW Kindle, Featured placement in the book, and a Buddhapuss Ink tote filled with swag.
  • SECOND PLACE winner will receive a $100 Gift Card, Featured placement in the book, and a Buddhapuss Ink tote filled with swag.
  • THIRD PLACE winner will receive a $75 Gift Card, Featured placement in the book, and a Buddhapuss Ink tote filled with swag.
  • ALL TEN (10) WINNERS will receive: two (2) copies of the finished book and the opportunity to “fast track” their next Young Adult or Middle Grade manuscript with our Editorial staff. “Fast track” does not mean you will receive a publishing contract, but we will guarantee that your manuscript is given a priority reading and response.
  • Some winning entries will also be featured on our website, blog, and/or Facebook page.


Buddhapuss Ink was founded with a mission to put our readers first and that’s just what we aim to do in Buddhapuss Ink’s first competition. All entries that meet submission guidelines will be read by and rated by judges from our YA Book Blogger Panel and our YA Teen Panel. The top twenty (20) entries—based on total points accrued—will then go on to our Editorial Review Panel.
Our YA Book Blogger Panel is made up of some of the best Book Bloggers on the web. These are people who are passionate about the YA market, who spend untold hours reading, reviewing and promoting books for this audience.
Our YA Teen Panel is exactly that—a group of teens aged 13-18 from across the USA who have been nominated by teachers, librarians, and book industry professionals. All of them are avid readers.
Our Editorial Review Panel is made up of  3 publishing professionals who have a combined total of over 50 years in the industry. The decisions of the Competition's judges will be final
  • Deadline January 31, 2011 Midnight PST
  • No manuscripts will be returned.
  • Winners will be notified and announced in April 2011.
  • Publication is scheduled for May/June 2011. 
Send your best words our way! We publish newcomers and established writers alike.
For all the RULES and Submission Guidelines please check our website!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amazon Says Kindle Sales Exceed Paperbacks--and Coincidentally, Profits Fall Even As Sales Rise Over $3 Billion

Amazon reported sales of $12.95 billion for the fourth quarter, up 36% from a year ago. But operating income actually declined, even with almost $3.5 billion in extra revenue, down $2 million at $474 million.

The company says they sold "millions of third-generation Kindles" in the quarter, and indicates "Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on" and "this milestone has come even sooner than we expected - and it's on top of continued growth in paperback sales." The company adds that, "since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the company has sold 115 Kindle books."

Curiously, with all that media growth--booming Kindle sales plus growing paperback and hardcover saves--the company's overall NA media segment is still not increasing in proportion. NA Media sales for the full year were $6.881 billion, up 15 percent from $5.964 billion a year ago, and in the fourth quarter media sales of $2.37 billion were up less, by 13 percent, compared to a year ago. International media sales also grew at just 11 percent, at $2.865 billion. The data is unclear, but some publishing people will conclude that Kindle sales and books sales are rising due to lower prices and no margin or deficit spending by the company.

In a conference call with investors on Thursday afternoon, multiple analysts tried extracting more information on the metrics of the Kindle business, as well as exploring the theme noted above. Like James Mitchell of Goldman Sachs, asking, "In the media business, if e-book sales are now bigger than paperback sales and paperback sales continue to grow, is there a big obvious reason why total media sales is growing at 13% rather than a slightly faster number?"

CFO Thomas Szkutak kept declining to provide any information. On Kindle, he would only say, "we're continuing to invest in that business. We think it's a very good business for us, and we're excited about the long-term opportunity there.... We think it's a very efficient capital business, and we think that we certainly like the model that we have and the opportunity that it brings to our shareholders over the long term."

For the coming quarter, Amazon warned that operating income is expected to fall somewhere between 34 percent and 2 percent. That expectation of declining profits, along with fourth quarter sales that were still a little shy of Wall Street expectations, sent shares down sharply, almost 7.5 percent in this morning's trading after having risen before the report on Thursday. The company is continue to invest in more warehouses and data centers.
*From today's edition of Publisher's Lunch

Borders Gets Tentative Financing Commitment, But Has Lots of Hurdles

Faced with publisher reservations about its proposal to exchange missed payments for notes, Borders announced Thursday evening that GE Capital has agreed to provide the company with $550 million in new financing, but the deal is subject to a number of conditions, including receiving financing  from publishers and other vendors to the tune of $125 million. As reported in PW Daily Thursday morning, publishers remain extremely reluctant about accepting Borders' proposal and one publisher said the announcement had not changed his mind about rejecting the offer.  And for the first time in public, Borders said it hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bankruptcy.

In a statement, CEO Mike Edwards said that while Borders believes refinancing is the most practical route to revitalize the company “given the current environment surrounding Borders, and in order to assure that the company can pursue its efforts to position itself to properly implement its business plan, it is prudent as well for Borders to explore alternative avenues, including the possibility of an in-court restructuring.”  Borders wasn’t commenting beyond the release, but the wording suggests that a  prepackaged bankruptcy is a possibility.

In further comments, Edwards said that the company believes the commitment from GE positions the company to move forward, “and expects to demonstrate to its vendors how their support for Borders will be to the benefit of the company, the vendors, and their shared consumers.” Borders  said it needed an answer from publishers to its proposal before the end of January, and  the announcement is a clear indication it has yet to win publisher approval. “We are confident that whatever path Borders pursues to implement its strategy, we will be able to count upon the support of our vendors, who understand the critical role a strong Borders provides to the reading public,”  Edwards said.

The commitment by GE is subject to a host of conditions beyond reaching a deal with publishers “on terms satisfactory to GE.” Other conditions include completing a store closure program to be implemented as soon as possible; the successful syndication of $175 million of the senior credit  facility with other lenders;  GE’s completion of its business, financial and legal due diligence; the negotiation and execution of definitive financing documents; and the absence of any material adverse change in the company’s business or financial condition; and other customary conditions.

If it receives the financing, Edwards said Borders will be able to reposition itself as national retailer of books and other related products.  The company’s new business plan will focus on five areas, none of them surprises to publishers: continuing to expand and enhance the Borders Rewards Plus program; strengthen the company’s position as a purveyor of content by aggressively growing and e-book market share; expand and enhance the company’s overall retail mix, including non-book offerings, to improve profitability and offset the digital effect;aggressively reduce costs across the business, including costs in the supply chain network and store portfolio; make strategic investments in IT to improve the customer experience.

*From an article by Jim Milliot in PW Daily1/28/11

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Publishers Remain Cool to Borders Deal

Unless publishers undergo a change of heart, it appears likely that many will reject Borders’ proposal to exchange missed payments for notes. According to several sources, Borders wanted another meeting with publishers this week, but was turned down. In addition to being unhappy with the financial terms of the deal, publishers are not convinced that the chain has a viable turnaround plan. The chain, one publisher said, has made no compelling case about its future plans. Asked about how its discissions with publishers were proceeding, Borders issued the following statement: "We have a business strategy to reposition Borders business and brand for the long term. In this regard, we are focused on our refinancing effort.”
Borders wants an answer to its offer before the end of the month; January checks for publishers are due to be sent Friday. Publishers’ acceptance of Borders’ proposal is a key part of its effort to receive new financing. It is unclear what Borders’ next step will be if publishers decide not to go along with its offer.   
*From an article in today's PW Daily by Jim Milliot

Friday, January 21, 2011

Markets Where Independent Retailers Do Best

A study backed by the ABA looked at over 300 metropolitan areas in the US to see where independent retailers perform the best. The top 15-ranked markets are:

1 Ocean City, NJ
2 Bellingham, WA
3 Medford, OR
4 Carson City, NV
5 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
6 Barnstable Town, MA
7 Austin-Round Rock, TX
8 Dalton, GA
9 Harrisonburg, VA
10 Gainesville, GA
11 Glens Falls, NY
12 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
13 Lewiston, ID-WA
14 Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
15 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
Download complete results and analysis

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Table Made of Books

Some folks at PW are looking for posts about stuff--furniture, principally--made of books. Here's the latest entry:  a table from the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis, where donated books were used to create the above display.  This pic came via Corey M Dalton.
They'd love to see what other stuff you can find! Email cteicher [at] or dm @PWxyz on twitter.

*From an article in PW DAILY

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social networking site partners with agency on contest

We just learned of what sounds like a great contest for writers. Here's the scoop:

A year-old social networking and digital distribution platform that aims to bring writers and agents together has created a contest to find “the next big crime fiction blockbuster.” Circalit, launched in February 2010 as a place for screenwriters to showcase their work to studios, began inviting novelists, playwrights, and short story writers to post their work in July 2010. Based in the U.K., the site is welcoming writers from around the world to submit entries to the contest at
The contest is one of many Circalit holds, wherein it forms a relationship with an organization or agency which will then consider taking on the top contenders for representation. Previous contests have sought short and feature screenplays, short stories, and novels. Winners of the latest contest will be considered for representation by the London agency A.P. Watt.
Anyone can read entries to the contest and vote for their favorites. Literary agency A.P. Watt will then read the top submissions and consider representing them. It is free to enter the competition; however, writers must create a Circalit account (which is also free) in order to submit their work for consideration.
Raoul Tawadey came up with the idea to start Circalit while working at a production studio, writing script coverage reports. The site has grown into a place where film writers, playwrights, and fiction writers can post their work, have it reviewed by peers and professionals, create a fan base, make industry contacts, market their work, apply for writing jobs, and enter free writing competitions.
Tawadey said, “There is a wealth of literary talent across the globe, only a fraction of which gets the recognition it deserves. Crowd-sourcing is a great way for the publishing industry to find literature that already has a proven readership. We hope this competition will give talented new writers the opportunity to get their work noticed and demonstrate the power of the internet to create a global talent pool.”
*From an article in PW DAILY

Borders Makes More Cuts, 45 More Laid Off

The downsizing of Borders continued yesterday with the news that it laid off 45 employees--40 at corporate headquarters and five in its distribution centers. According to employee message boards, Borders CEO Michael Edwards is expected to make an announcement Wednesday,  although a company spokesperson said nothing is scheduled.

The cuts in the Ann Arbor office cut across all departments. “The realignment at the store support center encompasses nearly all business areas, including IT, human resources, finance and merchandising,” Borders said in an e-mailed statement. “This decision is a result of Borders’ focus on reducing costs and readjusting its business model to improve profitability and cash flow.”

Last week, Borders announced its intention to close its LaVergne, Tenn. warehouse this summer.
As reported in Friday's PW Daily, Borders wants an answer before the end of the month on its proposal to exchange missed payments for notes and publishers appear likely to take all the time they can to make a decision to see if Borders improves its offer  Publishers are frustrated that they seem to be the ones bearing much of the financial burden in a financial restructuring. 
*From an article on PW Daily 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Borders: We Really Might Not Know Until Groundhog Day

Friday's Publisher's Lunch compared Borders' presentation to publishers on Thursday as Groundhog Day--a repetition of the same basic plan they had been talking about since late December--and it also appears that there may not be a final decision on the bookseller's fate until Groundhog Day itself, the rough deadline set by Borders.

The WSJ adds the name of the law firm that is representing Borders in the restructuring talks (Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman), and provides an estimated amount for the new credit line under negotiation with GE and others: "$500 million or more." That is considerably less than the $900 million line that originally was to expire this summer, and the subsequent $700 million line that was to kick in thereafter. 

The Journal adds that the new capital might allow Borders to "repay some $220 million in current outstanding senior debt," which is thought to be the current amount outstanding on their revolving line of credit. As of October 30, the company had drawn $294.9 million against their credit line (which stood at $232.3 million a year ago on January 30 with the addition of holiday sales). They also owed $59.9 million on their term loan. And then there were the biggest creditors of all, trade vendors, owed $444.9 million at the time. That's roughly $800 million owed--before accrued payroll and a variety of other liabilities, against, at full value, $895.8 million in trade inventories.

The Journal's account says "a possible sweetener was floated to provide [publishers] with collateral for the note"--but publishers have told us Borders has been offering vague promises of collateral all along for the loan they want vendors to provide. But the company's major asset is inventory, against which the lenders have held first security (and they also have had claim on Borders intellectual property and other assets), so it still isn't clear what the retailer would offer to back the loan.

There appears to be no mention of the equity holders--who want publishers to refinance the company rather than reorganize under bankruptcy protection so that their own shares are protected--injecting more cash into the company. The paper says GE 'wants publishers to show 'shared sacrifice,'" though it's not clear that any other parties (except perhaps some leaseholders) sacrifice anything under the terms that are being proposed to publishers. Bennett LeBow put up a mere $25 million and bought essential control of the company; publishers owed $40 million to $60 million each are being asked to wait years for a payoff the company may never be able to make with no equity or other compelling consideration. (When Pershing Square loaned the company just $42.5 million, backstopped by hard assets, they got 12.5 percent interest and big package of warrants.)

As has been maintained all along, a "person familiar with the matter" insists that "Kasowitz wouldn't prepare a bankruptcy filing for Borders except under a worst-case scenario." As we've pointed out before, that may be the essential problem. LeBow (and to a lesser extent Pershing Square) how worked furiously to avoid what's probably the company's best shot at long-term survival--in-court reorganization--because it would wipe out the equity holders. Even though Pershing Square's Bill Ackman has made it clear in the past how much he supports our "reorganization" procedures. Look at what he said about GM on Charlie Rose: "It has been hamstrung for years because it has too much debt and it has contracts that are uneconomic.The way to solve that problem is not to lend more money. They should do prepackaged bankruptcy.''

Remember that under bankruptcy code, it only requires three creditors to file a petition for involuntary bankruptcy if publishers believe that it is the best way to proceed. So it may be time to write less about whether Borders intends to file, and more about whether publishers will force a filing in the face of a deal that seems to ask them to bear the costs of keeping the bookseller going.
* From today's Publisher's Lunch

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Solving the Secrets of Mystery Buyers

Even as brick-and-mortar stores continue to be the largest sales channel for mystery books the percentage of mysteries sold as e-books rose from 1.7% in 2009 to 7% in the second quarter of 2010. Those were some of the findings of a research study on the mystery/crime fiction book-buying market sponsored by Sister In Crime and conducted by Bowker’s PubTrack service. According to the study, 39% of mysteries were bought in stores in 2009, while library borrowing accounted for 17% of the way readers obtained books. Online retailers represented 17% of unit purchases. And as e-book sales increases between the first quarter of 2010 to the second, the percentage of hardcovers fell.
Women bought the most mysteries in 2009, accounting for 68% of purchases and 66% of mystery buyers were over 45 years old. Buyers 18 to 44 bought 31% of mysteries. Mysteries are bought the most by readers in the suburbs, 48%, with readers in rural areas accounting for 27% of purchases and urban buyers 25%.
Knowing or liking an author was the top reason cited by readers for buying a particular mystery, a finding Sisters In Crime says makes author branding even more important.
*From an article on PW Daily 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trouble on the Raft: Defending an 'Other' Huck Finn

What to make of this wave of righteous hysteria?

The idea of preparing an alternative edition of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn occurred to me last year during a lecture tour designed by librarians to remind younger readers that engrossing literature predated the Harry Potter series. What shocked me was the number of public middle and high school teachers who told me they were prohibited by their school districts from introducing students even to Tom Sawyer, let alone Huckleberry Finn.

My aim, then, became the rescue of these two novels for students, parents, and teachers who have found the works, merely owing to one repugnant racial slur, disturbing to read in our integrated public schools. I approached NewSouth Books, an independent press receptive to manuscripts dealing with Southern literature and history, civil rights, and racial tolerance. Ironically, one of the publishers' initial concerns was whether they would be able to make enough teachers and readers aware of this optional edition. Undaunted by my up-front warning that textual purists and the Mark Twain establishment were likely to disapprove of any variant version, however slightly altered, NewSouth recognized its importance to schools and readily became the publisher for an n-word-free edition.

Even before we could get the book to press, a PW reporter noticed it and wrote an article anticipating its release. Within hours my e-mail inbox began to clog up with furious objections that soon made it clear that an organized Internet campaign had taken shape. I soon shared Huck's situation as he arrived at the Phelps farm, where "in a quarter of a minute I was a kind of a hub of a wheel, as you may say—spokes made out of dogs."

Some of the responders threw the racial slur around so freely that they resembled Pap Finn on one of his drunken tears. Most, however, stepped carefully around the very term they were castigating me for excluding. The gibes of my fellow Twain scholars hurt, coming as they did from colleagues whom I had assisted in the past and whose own work I had encouraged and praised.

As the crescendo rose and newspaper pundits saw fit to weigh in—nearly always without reading the excerpt from my "Introduction" that was posted at—three typical misconceptions became noticeable. There was a widespread impression that, in spite of the small press run planned for our edition, I would somehow cause Twain's original texts never again to be accessible to readers. Others, mainly those who had clearly never read Huckleberry Finn, insisted that by substituting "slave" for the n-word I had removed all racism from Twain's book and thereby deprived instructors of invaluable "teaching moments"—whereas, as any reader knows, it is hard to open Huckleberry Finn without encountering the institution of slavery and the unsavory racial attitudes of the 1840s. For indignant conservative columnists, this edition represented another instance of caving in to "political correctness." One editorialist predicted that I or someone else would next rewrite Moby Dick to omit all cruelty to whales.

What to make of this wave of righteous hysteria? Judging from the fury aroused in most e-mailers, many bloggers, and much of the media, one would have thought I had added the hated n-word to two famous novels rather than subtracted it. NewSouth's e-book is available now, the hardcover will soon be released, and I trust that a number of critics will be struck by the helpful erudition, affection for the novels, and respect for other scholars that this edition reflects. I have devoted my academic career to understanding and promoting Mark Twain's writings, and I still have faith that conscientious journalists, scholars, and teachers will ultimately perceive the value of this optional edition. It will not, of course, end the 40-year controversy over the n-word in Huckleberry Finn, but it might enable discussions of that book to set aside this issue for the time being and focus instead on Twain's powerful narrative, entertaining satires, and haunting messages about social conformity.

At this point I feel a little like Twain when he described (in Roughing It) how his campfire accidentally touched off a gigantic forest fire on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Unable to put it out, he decided that his only recourse was to row his boat into the lake and watch with rapt awe the magnitude of the immense conflagration he had unintentionally sparked.

Alan Gribben cofounded the Mark Twain Circle of America and teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery. Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: The NewSouth Edition, which he edited, will be released February 1.

Borders Meeting Set For Thursday; Warehouse to Be Closed

The meeting that could shape the immediate future of Borders Group is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Publishers, according to sources, will largely be represented by  lawyers and finance executives who hope to hear more about the retailer’s new finance and turnaround plan from the Borders’ team. Publishers were unimpressed with the presentations made by Borders last week and the sense is that if Borders expects publishers to accept their proposal for publishers to exchange missed payments for notes, they need to hear a much more robust plan.  

Borders also confirmed that it will officially shut its LaVergne, Tenn. warehouse by mid-July. The company has been downsizing the distribution center for about one year and said that due to excess capacity it was closing the facility, a move the will eliminate 310 jobs. Borders will now ship from two warehouses in Carlisle, Penn. and Mira Loma, Calif. Although it said the closing is part of its longterm plan to improve operating efficiencies and cut expenses, Borders said the closing “is not related to Borders’ previously reported refinancing effort or the delay of certain vendor payments in connection with the refinancing effort.”

*from an article in PW Daily by Jim Milliot

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Authors, are your FiledBy listings current?

FiledBy, the online directory of author listings and Web sites, has entered into an agreement with Ingram that will put FiledBy’s updated, author-generated book information into such databases such as Ingram’s iPage. Ingram will supply the data to more than 100,000 online and brick-and-mortar booksellers and libraries, and will also stream its book and author data to FiledBy for inclusion on the FiledBy site.

Notes: E-Books Top Print Books Atop USA Today List

First signs of a Christmas e-bonanza: of the top six titles on USA Today's bestseller list that appears tomorrow, e-book versions outsold the print versions. Of the top 50 titles on the list, 19 had higher sales of the e-book than the printed version. This marked the first time that USA Today's top-50 list had more than two titles whose e-book version outsold the print edition.

"Lots of consumers woke up Christmas morning with new e-reading devices ready to load them up with e-books," Paul Bogaards of Knopf commented. Last week Knopf sold about 165,000 e-book versions of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson and 155,000 print copies. The Larsson books held three of the top four spots on USA Today's list.

Saying the e-jump in sales is not sustainable, Kelly Gallagher of Bowker nonetheless predicted that e-book sales could double this year from their level of about 9% of trade sales last year.

*from an article in today's Shelf Talker

Borders Watch: More Execs Gone; B&N Objects to Deals

More bad news from Borders: the New Year's weekend executive suite purge that claimed Thomas Carney, the longtime legal counsel, and Scott Laverty, the chief information officer, also includes Tony Grant, v-p of real estate, Bill Dandy, senior v-p, marketing, and Larry Norton, senior v-p for business development and publisher relations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Norton, who joined the company in August 2009 as senior v-p, merchandising and distribution, was one of only a handful of people in Borders's top ranks with book world experience--for many years, he held sales positions at Simon & Schuster and William Morrow.

The Journal also reported that Borders will ask publishers today "to push back the due dates on bills as it works out a refinancing plan." One Borders supplier said that the retailer had halted payment on a check for books shipped in October.
Borders may be asking publishers to take interest-bearing debt, the New York Times said. "Several publishers said Borders owed them millions of dollars in payments, up to tens of millions each for the larger publishers," the paper continued. "Publishers said they had been told by Borders executives that more than two dozen vendors were owed money."
Yesterday Barnes & Noble objected to any potential special arrangements between Borders and publishers, saying via a statement, "We think the playing field should be even. We expect publishers to offer the same terms to all other booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers."

*From an article in today's Shelf Talker

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Two Borders Execs Resign

Borders' share price continued to drop as the troubled retailer announced that two senior executives, chief information officer D. Scott Laverty and general counsel Thomas D. Carney, resigned from the company. Borders did not offer reasons for their departure.
Borders executives, including CEO Mike Edwards, are meeting with publishers in New York this week in hopes getting publishers to sign off on a plan to refinance its debt. Borders’ announcement over the holiday weekend that it planned to suspend payments to publishers has prompted at least one major house and the distributor, the National Book Network, to suspend book shipments to Borders at a time when the retailer is looking for new financing for its debt.  
Although Borders is presenting publishers a new plan to refinance its debt, Borders’ spokesperson Mary Davis declined to comment on the suspension of book shipments and emphasized that the retailer remains solvent and that its stores are fully stocked. As PW reported yesterday, the retail chain has located a new bank willing to finance its debt if publishers and Borders management will accept several demands.
According to a source, the bank is demanding that Bennett LeBow, Borders’ largest shareholder, make a larger financial commitment to the company’s debt payments and the bank also wants publishers to accept a note/bond for the missed payments. But some observers have raised questions about the latter demand. If publishers are, in effect, giving Borders more attractive terms—i.e. a much longer time before having to make a payment—is this an unfair advantage over other retail chains as well as independent bookstores who are also struggling in the current economic climate? If Borders is given a longer payment term, will other retailers demand the same treatment from publishers?
Right now, in the face of Borders’ suspending payments, publishers don’t have much choice but to accept the bank’s terms. And calls made to other retailers and to the American Booksellers Association asking just these questions were met with a resounding, “No Comment,” from all parties. 
* from an article in PW Daily 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Borders To Offer New Financing Plan; Publishers Suspend Book Shipments

In the wake of the Borders Group announcement that it is suspending payments to some publishers, at least one major New York City house has suspended shipping titles to the retail chain. While it has been reported that academic publisher Rowman and Littlefield has also stopped making shipments to the retailer, the house is distributed by the National Book Network, which has suspended shipments to Borders for all of its distribution clients. While it is unclear how many publishers have suspended shipments to the troubled retail chain, the situation remains fluid. PW has learned that Borders has located a new source of financing and a group of Borders executives will be in New York City this week to present the plan to publishers.
While Borders declined to comment specifically on the suspension of shipments, spokesperson Mary Davis confirmed that Borders representatives would be in New York and “in discussions regarding the refinancing of existing senior credit facilities.” According to sources, a contingent of Borders executives will be in New York to discuss a new refinancing plan that includes new money from a new bank. However the new financing comes with a new set of demands, according to the source, which will include publishers taking a note in exchange for the missed payment from Borders as well as a call for a bigger financial commitment to Border’s debt service from Bennett Lebow, the retail chain’s largest shareholder. Nevertheless, publishers appear willing to make a deal, although one house told PW, “it would have been nice if they told us they had a plan before they cut us off."
While Barnes & Noble reported that comp store sales rose 9.7% for the nine week’s ending Jan. 1, including record sales on Dec. 23, Borders is reeling from a continuing drop in sales--third quarter comp sales dropped 12.6%. Borders carries about $450 million in trade payables on its balance sheet. While the company has faced crises over its debt service in the past and managed to find financing, the current crisis looks to be Borders’ toughest challenge ever.
*From an article in PW Daily

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Word is getting out! Read about our YA Mystery Competition at these fine sites!

Connecting: The Poetry and The Prose

Women of Mystery

Creative Writing Contests

Arts Grants Finder

Of course you can find all the info you need on our website.  Remember the contest closes on January 31, 2011! Don't miss out on the fun - "Butt in chair. Write like mad!"

We would like to thank these sites for helping us in our search for the next great YA Mystery Writer!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mom Still Likes You Best by Jane Isay - a review

Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between SiblingsMom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings by Jane Isay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I savored this book, dipping in slowly. Isay's years as an editor show in this tightly woven collection of sibling stories. No fat here, all meat. And what meat it is. Exploding both the myth of the eternally "loving" siblings, as well as the movie version of brothers and sisters forever at odds, she shows us reality. One where siblings love and hate, support and destroy, protect and shred each other, sometimes on a daily/hourly basis. I highly recommend this book for all siblings. The ones you love and the ones you haven't talked to in years! Buy, beg, or borrow a copy. Read it. Then give it to your siblings to read. You might just discover you have more in common that you thought! (I did.) Thanks Jane!