Today in AMS: PGW Conference Calls, Bankruptcy Court Hearings

By Carmen Comment

Publishers Lunch reports that Publishers Group West clients were explained in a conference call yesterday he details of the offer being formulated by Perseus Books Group, which has already secured distribution rights for Avalon Publishing Group and its imprints. The rough plan is for Perseus to pay 70 cents on the dollar of what clients are owed up to the date of the bankruptcy filing. PGW would continue operating as is for the next six months before clients accepting the Perseus offer would move over to their distribution facility. Though other offers could still be tendered, 70 cents on the dollar is a lot higher than what PGW clients were expecting.

So on the face of it, this looks like Perseus could well be PGW’s savior – or is it? Never mind that already the company is responsible for CDS and Consortium clients, and adding the full roster of PGW clients would give it a gigantic stake in independent publishing, with the ramifications and consequences still very much up in the air. Never mind that there’s no word on which of PGW’s clients were included in the conference call, as grumblings have reached GalleyCat‘s ears of “musical chairs”-like prioritization, potentially leaving some struggling independent publishers out in the cold, with little recourse but to shut up shop. In other words, the news sounds good – but optimism is far from guaranteed.

Meanwhile, today’s the day that the Delaware Bankruptcy Court will hear Simon & Schuster‘s petition for AMS to return stock delivered to them in the 45 days or less leading up to the company’s December 29 Chapter 11 filing. Radio Free PGW has the details on each side’s arguments, and chooses sides reluctantly as they find themselves “in the uncomfortable position of having to root for the bad guys–AMS.” Their reasoning? “victory for Simon & Schuster would have a cascade effect, opening the way for other publishers to take back millions of dollars of goods already shipped to AMS-PGW.”

And Bookselling This Week provides a most comprehensive update of the AMS bankruptcy fallout, with special emphasis on why the news is especially bad for McSweeney’s. A large portion of the revenues from the publisher’s new Dave Eggers novel, WHAT IS THE WHAT – a percentage of which were to be donated to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation to aid the Sudanese in America and the Sudan — is now tied up in the bankruptcy. “We shipped 60,000 copies during that period and the proceeds are not here yet,” said managing editor and publisher Eli Horowitz.