As I'm sure some of you know, the future for Borders isn't looking so great in 2011. On December 30, they announced that they there are holding payments due to the publishers in the hope they can restructure their debt. Which has them inching closer and closer to Chapter 11, or worse, Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
And if that's not bad enough, some publishers are already refusing to ship new stock to Borders out of fear of not receiving payment. However, it's being theorized that continuing to ship Borders new inventory is just delaying the inevitable.
So what does this mean to the book business, to authors, to readers, and to publishers?
Some may think it doesn't meant anything. A lot of people buy their books off of amazon and other vendor sites. Some wave their Kindle or Nook high in the air and grin. Some probably could care less.
But it does have an impact. A potentially big one.
Borders sales make up for 10% of the publishing industry revenue. 10% may not sound like a lot, but if and when Border fails, that is 10% profit the publishing will lose overnight. This will force publishers to have to make decisions that may not want to, to avoid their own loss.
See article HERE for more in-depth info on this. Plus the dozens of other articles out there.
If Borders goes out, then that leaves behind one big chain store in the US. Yep, you got it. Barnes and Nobles (who is looking to buy Borders by the way). This could be a good thing for the independent bookstores.
There's a grass root operation starting up from several authors looking to create a charity collection of stories to save Borders.
So what led to this? I have my own theories. A lot of people will blame ebooks and leave it at that, but after some research (a form of procrastination), I've discovered its not just ebooks that are killing the brick and mortar chain book stores. (Even though there was a 300% increase in ebooks sales during holiday and a decline in trade sales) It appears that big box stores (Walmart, Target, etc) and Amazon are slowly driving the brick and mortar under.
If Borders does go under in 2011, that's 676 fewer American bookstores. Which sucks.
So what do you think publishers should do? Continue shipping stock to Borders --- at a risk to them and their clients --- to help Borders keep the tip of their head above water? Or should publishers pull out completely and watch the boat sink under?