Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HarperStudio and Borders Reach Agreement

Yesterday, the big publishing news was that Borders has agreed to take HarperStudio books on a nonreturnable basis.

You may recall that I blogged about HarperStudio, a new imprint of HarperCollins back in early April here.

At the time, The New York Times said:
The new unit is HarperCollins’s effort to address what its executives see as some of the more vexing issues of the book industry. “The idea is, ‘Let’s take all the things that we think are wrong with this business and try to change them,’ ” said Mr. Miller, 51 [HarperStudio’s president and publisher]. “It really seemed to require a start-up from scratch because it will be very experimental.”
The Wall Street Journal also wrote about the proposed imprint:
The new venture is aimed at improving the economics of book publishing, which has long been hobbled by the need to pay for space in stores and take back unsold books from retailers at full price.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported on the news from HarperStudio and Borders:
Under the terms of the deal, the nation's second-largest bookstore chain by revenue will get a deeper discount on initial orders of books published by the new imprint of News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers -- 58% to 63% off the cover price, instead of the usual 48%. In exchange Borders won’t return any unsold books to HarperStudio, instead probably discounting them in the store.
In April, I did a post on the practice of book returns. Read it here.

Now it remains to be seen whether Miller can do anything about the large advances.

Stay tuned . . .

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