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Further AMS Bankruptcy Updates

The New York Times finally picks up the Advanced Marketing Services bankruptcy story (what took so long?) and provides an overview of why this is big news in the publishing industry. “This is a huge disruption in this business,” said a publishing executive to Julie Bosman, who declined to be further identified because he was not authorized to speak for his company. “The publishers are going to end up taking a big loss.”

But Shelf Awareness reports some good news on the PGW front. Yesterday the distributor indicated that key accounts, including Amazon, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor , Bookazine, Books-A-Million, Borders, Costco and “myriad indies,” have expressed their support and will “treat their ordering and return patterns as business as usual.” In addition, PGW president Rich Freese wrote to publishers saying that the AMS bankruptcy court had approved payments to publishers for books that shipped or will ship on or after December 29. Checks for gross sales for the first week after December 29 should go out next Monday. PGW will send checks on a weekly basis for the time being.

The biggest irony of the AMS bankruptcy? PGW had a great 2006 as ynit sales rose 3% to 11.2 million, gross sales grew 2.2% to $187.3 million, net sales were up 5.5% to $138.6 million, and returns dropped 6.1% to slightly under 26%. “Last Thursday, PGW was having its best year ever. Now it’s teetering on the edge,” said one disbelieving publisher.

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