I've been following the apparent demise of Publisher's Group West at Galleycat and other online outlets, but I haven't had much to say because I don't have much to add. It's a bad situation, and it leaves a long list of independent publishers in bad situations, including Canogate, RE/Search (which has published Charles Willeford's Wild Wives, and The High Priest of California, as well as other, strange, offerings.) and Ugly Town (Although Ugly Town hasn't published a book since Kill Whitey, in 2004, so I'm not sure if they're still around.)
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal today about Perseus' offer to buy independent publishers' claims for 70 cents on the dollar. The WSJ story requires registration, so I'm not going to bother to link. The most interesting fact in it, however, comes from one Albert Greco, who is identified as a professor at the Fordham Graduate School of Business. He estimates $8.88 billion in book sales in 2005, with $5.94 billion generated by the big 12 consumer publishers. Independents accounted for the other $2.94 billion then. That's a lot of money and a lot of books. I hope this all gets worked out without too many casualties.
There's an AP story about the mess here.
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