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[Distributor] Anderson News / Anderson Media Corp.

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HapiSofi

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Middling-hot publishing gossip: ID distributor Anderson News may be going out of business. If they aren't, they've been doing something else fairly strange.

From Publishers Weekly:
Three weeks after Anderson News threatened that it could cease distributing magazines unless publishers paid a 7¢/per copy surcharge, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based distributor of magazines and books may be forced to exit the business. Not only did publishers refuse to pay the surcharge, but they stopped shipping to it.

On Saturday, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based distributor, which services 40,000 outlets, announced that it had suspended normal business activity, according to the Knoxville News. The suspension affects employees at Anderson News, Prologix East, Anderson Services and Twin Rivers Technology.
A more in-depth analysis of the story from "Shocko from Seattle" on Daily Kos:
The short form, best I understand it, is this: Anderson News and Source InterLink, two of the four big companies which deliver magazines to retailers (and I'm now the occasional magazine buyer for an independent bookstore, so I have some hands-on dealings with Anderson) tried to add an additional .07 handling charge per magazine in early January. The whole publishing industry is bleeding, and this was, apparently, their notion of a transfusion. Or a tourniquet.

The big publishing houses balked. Anderson and Source Interlink pulled the offer back, paid their next round of bills to the publishers, and 13 minutes later found that the publishers had withdrawn their titles. (That's all in the original link, I'm not going to retype it here.)

What this may mean is that Time-Warner and some other prominent publishers will find themselves not available on newsstands this week. Or next week. The profane leader of Source InterLink apparently has tied up a bunch of WalMarts and is claiming the exclusive right to rack magazines in those stores, thereby blocking Time-Warner. But in the meantime there's chaos for everybody.
Shocko's piece is a good solid informative read. I recommend taking a closer look at it.
 

Arkie

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Isn't Anderson one of Wal-Mart's main suppliers?

- Victoria

I believe so. I used to see Anderson News panel trucks around town and out on the highways, but havn't seen one for some time. I believe they serviced Wal-Mart stores as well as grocery store magazine racks.
 

JulieB

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Isn't Anderson one of Wal-Mart's main suppliers?

Based on what I read today, yes.

Dang. And I just dropped my subscription to the one magazine that gets delivered to my doorstep on time* because my two-year sub expired after nine months AND I've been bombarded by sales spam calls from their "partners."

*I've nearly given up on magazine subscriptions. Our mail is delivered by an arthritic mule. Plus, there are other delivery issues I won't go into here. I gave up and started buying at the newsstand.
 

CaoPaux

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Not only did publishers refuse to pay the surcharge, but they stopped shipping to it.

In the timeless words of Homer Simpson: "D'oh!"
 

Memnon624

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Were the publishers trying to tell Anderson "hey, you need us more than we need you"? Crazy stuff . . .

Scott
 

Susan Gable

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Oh, crud!!! Last I knew it was Anderson who handled getting the H/S books into Walmart.

That could mean that my new book won't make it onto Walmart shelves.

Crap. Do you know what that will do to my sales figures?

I was in my local Walmart today and found the old Supers still there, not my new one. But the official release date isn't until tomorrow.

Those of you who have local Walmarts, if you're in any of them in the next week or so, would you mind looking for my book and letting me know if you find it?

If my sales figures tank for this book, and it's because Walmart didn't get them, at least I have something to offer as my 'excuse."

Sigh. Sometimes this business is so much fun.

Susan G.
 

Sheryl Nantus

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Oh, crud!!! Last I knew it was Anderson who handled getting the H/S books into Walmart.

That could mean that my new book won't make it onto Walmart shelves.

Crap. Do you know what that will do to my sales figures?

I was in my local Walmart today and found the old Supers still there, not my new one. But the official release date isn't until tomorrow.

Those of you who have local Walmarts, if you're in any of them in the next week or so, would you mind looking for my book and letting me know if you find it?

If my sales figures tank for this book, and it's because Walmart didn't get them, at least I have something to offer as my 'excuse."

Sigh. Sometimes this business is so much fun.

Susan G.

have no fear, sweetie - this past weekend your book WAS at my local Walmart in Uniontown, PA!

although I had already bought my copy at Borders...

:D
 

Susan Gable

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have no fear, sweetie - this past weekend your book WAS at my local Walmart in Uniontown, PA!

although I had already bought my copy at Borders...

:D

Oh, PHEW.

Although...this means if the book tanks it's my fault. LOL.

Thanks, Sheryl. That's really a load of my mind. (And my mind is loaded enough. <G>)

Susan G.
 

HapiSofi

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Were the publishers trying to tell Anderson "hey, you need us more than we need you"? Crazy stuff . . .
I suspect the publishers were telling Anderson that times are ferociously bad for magazines, and they couldn't afford to give up any more of their profit margin.

Times really are awful for anything that relies on ads. A few weeks back I mistook the latest New Yorker for a promo piece -- it was that skinny. Wired has visibly shrunk. The Sci-Fi Channel is putting cheaply-made near-softcore ads into valuable time slots. What that all says is that ad revenues are way down.

You hardly ever see publishers going head-to-head with their distributors. I have to assume those magazines don't really have a choice.
 
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Susan Gable

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If Source rescinded the fee, why did the publishers cut them off? This sounds very weird.

It was a slap for what they tried to do. A warning. Don't f- with us or we'll f- with you.

Tha's my interpretation, anyway.

Susan G.
 

CaoPaux

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Anderson is indeed gone. Source InterLink survives after winning its lawsuit(s), although it still had to declare bankruptcy. Having recently emerged from same, there are now rumors of acquisition. (source of info)
 

Glen T. Brock

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Hello folks,

In my thirty years in the book business I've encountered several variations of this type of extortion. When I was dealing with WH Smith they began a 'delivery charge' to dealers for every shipment. As I remember it was about $5.00 per load. With two or three deliveries a week that can add up quickly. I've also heard of (but can't substantiate) small publishers being told that if they didn't pay a fee their magazines would never leave the warehouse. The biggest scam was Retail Display Allowances. The bookkeeping was horrendous and the payments were either very slow or not at all. The old Atlanta News Agency had a slogan that 'a book stole is a book sold.' They were fond of playing three card monty with deliveries with phantom shortages and refused returns.


I dealt with Anderson News when they were a specialty distributor of coin books, materials, and guides. They had a solid reputation then. I'm very saddened to read of these new shenanigans but, as the industry collapses from electronic publishing, I'm hardly surprised. When I got into the book business there were bookstores practically on every corner in Atlanta. When I got out of the book business there were only a very few newstands left. That was in 2001. The industry was on the ropes then and evidently they are down for the count now.

Sad.

Glen T. Brock
 

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