I don’t normally read Salon, but in my Mediabistro e-mail this morning I discovered a link to Priya Jain‘s article explaining the recent blow to independent publishers’ book distribution. It smartly begins with McSweeney’s call to all readers to buy heavily discounted materials directly from their web site–a curious request, at first, especially since Dave Eggers‘ new book “What is the What” is a bestseller.
The deal? Advanced Marketing Services, the parent company of the distributor Publishers Group West, went under and all assets, including those owed to publishers, were frozen. Until a new contract was arranged with Perseus, publishers were in limbo, but the deal doesn’t give them a better situation–or any more money–until August.
You’ve got two options to read more and judge for yourself (and understand how publishing and distribution works). Jain’s article, which stupifyingly seems to hold up the internet as the small publisher’s knight in shining armor, or McSweeney’s own bare bones, how it relates to us explanation on their web site. Either way, it is interesting that these independents are now becoming a conglomerate of sorts.