File Under: Keep in the Back of Your Mind

September 12th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

It’s a bit embarrassing to admit this, but we don’t have a clue from bankruptcy. Somewhere along the line, we developed broad categorizations — good bankruptcy and bad bankruptcy — and mentally slot related news into those areas. How and why we went to such trouble is lost in the mists of time. Thus as we report news that a publisher has slipped into Chapter 13 protection, we consider this: money is good, no money is bad.

Word has reached us that Imajinn Books has entered into Chapter 13 (filed in Colorado, we have a case number, the contortions required to get further details exceed our attention span). The publisher’s authors, as creditors, have been notified. Now our understanding of the whole Chapter 13 thing is that the publisher remains in business — and quick review of their website (which, frankly, couldn’t have been doing much to increase sales) indicates they are still accepting submissions from authors.

However, we believe that authors considering this publisher should think long and hard before submitting or entering into an agreement. Setting aside the website issue (which is a biggie — your site is your storefront), there are other authors in line for whatever funds become available from the publisher. While writing is a labor of love and all that, we’re a bit mercenary. There could also be rights issues if you license your work and the bankruptcy situation changes. Your work could become part of their assets. We think back a few years (okay, more like a decade) to the situation where Rough Trade went under…musicians were actually bidding on their works at auction, some with success (like Galaxie 500), some going home empty handed. Not everyone has the resources (time, money, knowledge) to pull this off, so exercise caution now.

File Under: Publishers and Editors