The collapse of Melbourne-based book distributor Dennis Jones & Associates attracted little attention beyond the Australian industry journals last week, but as the casualties become clear the story has made the Sydney Morning Herald and it’s not a pretty picture.
Says the Herald,
Dennis Jones & Associates has been the go-between for small publishers and self-published authors and bookstores since its formation in late 1991. It ceased trading last week and voluntarily appointed a liquidator.
It’s important to be clear Dennis Jones & Associates was not printing or publishing, so self-publishers and small presses who have their books held by the company ready to distribute can collect them, as they are not considered company assets.
But that’s as far as the good news goes. Books already distributed present more of a problem, as the monies coming back from sales will be held by the liquidators.
Juliet Rogers, from the Australian Society of Authors, said,
As I understand it from the liquidators there are 1300 creditors, most of whom will be tiny publishers and self-published individual authors. Dennis Jones was the only person willing to give them a go and although other players will pick up the best publisher lists, on the whole, the individual authors are going to suffer. It could also not have come at a worse time with Christmas just around the corner.
Other distributors have been quick to step up and offer alternative services, but with so much trade already set in place for the Christmas period, authors and publishers needing to physically collect stock from the Dennis Jones & Associates premises and then arrange new distribution will lose valuable time and incur unplanned expenses just months from their busiest trading period.