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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Monday, March 29, 2010

behind closed doors

So Borders has a big loan coming due this week, as Publishers Weekly pointed out in their e-mail newsletter today. And they also point out, which I'd noticed as well, that they were getting well along without announcing the timing of their earnings report for 2010. Will there be news before the end of the week on all manner of things?

There are a couple other things that I have noticed. I think Borders got a little tighter in their initial orders early in the year. Their orders for Peter V. Brett and for the Simon Green books coming out in June are a little lower than I might have expected, while there were some other books earlier in the year on the higher end of expectations. It's kind of like they went back to the very conservative ordering that was in place for several months following the September 2008 Lehman/economy taking thing.

That's the kind of thing I don't want to read too much into, because B&N and Borders can both go through phases when the're being conservative or aggresive and relying more or less on reorders vs. initials.

Early in March, Borders was slower than usual getting the new issue of RT Book Reviews, which I was eager to lay hands on since it had a very good review of Peter Brett's Desert Spear, and I ended up giving my $4.99 for that to Barnes & Noble. I was out on Long Island for I-Con this past weekend and on my way home from the convention on Saturday, I did some bookstore visits. The Borders in Syosset and Westbury were very light on magazines. Not quite as glaring when I went to the Columbus Circle store in Manhattan on Sunday, but even there, the magazine racks weren't as thick with periodicals as usual. There's clearly a major reduction in their inventory spend on magazines right now.

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