Then came news that Simon and Schuster was laying off 35 people which is 2% of their workforce and Random House let a number of top people go and announced a restructuring that will include disbanding the DoubleDay Publishing group. To top the day off Borders stock went under a dollar. If it stays that way for three months they have to do a stock consolidation.
Black Wednesday. It comes on the heels of a report at the end of November that the economy has taken the largest drop in consumer spending in 28 years. While “Black Friday” did modestly better than anticipated retailers still are very concerned over the remainder of the Christmas shopping season. Historically this shopping makes up a major share of a business’s profits for the entire year.
Still, unless further bad news continues to come in, the majority of those publishers that I talked to forecasted belt tightening, cost cutting measures (hopefully not more layoffs), lower advances and slower acquisitions. I’ll continue to monitor all of the resources I have for further changes of direction. If you don’t have time to monitor this for yourself, I make changes immediately as I get them at my website: http://www.terryburns.net/Publishing_and_the_Economy.htm