This is an open letter to the principals in the bankruptcy issue: David Steinberger of Perseus, Gary Rautenstrauch of AMS, Rich Freese of PGW, and Charlie Winton, who’s Inextricably Linked, judges and lawyers
We all know the facts. We’ve all had a cram course in bankruptcy law and seen the horrors and inequities close-up and personal so I’ll skip reiteration here.
Here’s what you guys should do:
Perseus, you give AMS the full amount of money owed PGW publishers, what is it, 30 million? Isn’t it about the amount you’d have paid if you’d come knocking on PGW’s door?
You thereby acquire PGW, which is, let us not forget, the plum of U.S. distributors. I mean, CDS and Consortium both did a good job in different ways. But PGW excells. PGW got soul. PGW is the Apple Computer of distributors. (And will be even better when unfettered by AMS.) I can tell you just how good they are, after having been distributed by Random House for 30 years, but that’s another story.
Now that Perseus has PGW, you give publishers 100% of what is owed them. Not 50 cents. Not 75 cents. 100 cents. It makes sense. Keep us afloat. We produced and printed and delivered and paid for those books. These amounts are not our profits, they are our receipts. Don’t play corporate hardball with us. You’ll have to foot the interest on the $$ paid, but you’ll get it back. You can afford it. Publishers have to sign on with you for a while.
What does AMS get? They get the same amount of money that bankruptcy courts can cheat all of us publishers out of. The same amount! You can’t get any more by tossing PGW publishers to the wolves. Isn’t this a no-brainer?
And isn’t this an elegant solution for the courts? All us parties are in the same boat. An orderly transfer of funds that puts both publishers and PGW back in business, gets AMS more $$ than they’d get by either selling PGW to someone else or nuking both PGW and its publishers. Minimal legal fees.
Written in Cafe Roma 8:30 Thursday morning, 1-11/07, after a sleepless knight and driving into SF across the GG Bridge on a cold clear morning