A New Home For Independent Publishers
Steinberger says the company is now in a five-month transition services agreement that runs until July 31.
“During that period, we are going to continue to operate PGW,” he says. “… We’re going to think through how best to organize the combined company.”
Perseus made the offer to all PGW clients. In the end, 124 publishers came onboard, a group representing 85 percent of PGW client revenue.
A bidding battle between Perseus and Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group’s National Book Network began after AMS declared Chapter 11. Although National Book Network was offering to pay 85 cents on the dollar, AMS and its creditor committee publicly supported Perseus’ offer.
“We were really gratified with the response publishers gave us,” he says. “What many publishers said to us was, ‘The most important decision here is who is my long-term distribution partner. Who’s going to best represent my books and authors? That’s more important to me than getting an extra 15 cents on the dollar.’”
Perseus’ offer in total was approximately $20 million, Steinberger says.
As part of the deal, the publishers agreed to extend their existing contracts for four years.
With its acquisition of Client Distribution Service (CDS) in April 2005, Perseus, once an imprint of HarperCollins, gained its own distribution capabilities. The acquisition also gave the company a relationship with independent publishers who were clients of CDS. In August 2006, Perseus acquired another independent distributor, Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.
“We’re really trying to be the home for independent publishers,” Steinberger says of Perseus. “We have a very exciting mission. It’s also a very challenging mission. We’re trying to create a place in the market for independent publishing, and it’s a market that’s very much dominated by media conglomerates. Our goal is to enable the independent publisher to be entrepreneurial and to be creative, and to have control over his or her own destiny, but with the support of an organization that has real scale and … that really enables that publisher to succeed.” BB