'Anderson and Source Have Cost us Tens of Thousands of Dollars' -- The Publishers' Side of a Distribution Crisis
INBOX: Magazine distributors Source Interlink and Anderson News were attempting to collect from publishers a $.07 surcharge per magazine distributed, and have since ceased wholesale distribution. Have these developments had any impact on Wizard's publications?
SANCHEZ: I am actually dealing with that now as the new circulation director. Anderson and Source have cost us tens of thousands of dollars with their abrupt closure, which we are reluctantly absorbing. The $.07 charge is something we have not decided if we're going to do. I simply can't answer that right now.
INBOX: Why was it so costly?
SANCHEZ: We were informed initially that we may have a one-month hit of some kind when this happened. But our distributor also vowed that they could reroute 85 percent of the affected books through means other than Anderson/Source. What actually happened was that our allocation of Anderson books for two titles this month went undistributed. They were stuck in a warehouse somewhere. We had an offer to have a company come in and “try” to get them out, but they couldn't tell us what it would cost. And they also couldn't promise us that the books would ever make it to a shelf at all. We declined. The effect of lost circ caused a one-month hit of lost sales, for two February titles, on all Anderson outlets. That money, at this point, seems unrecoverable.
INBOX: Where does that situation stand now? Can you tell me about the options you're weighing at this point?
SANCHEZ: Our distributor is working feverishly on finding new distributors for those copies. I imagine the 15-percent loss of distribution mentioned initially will apply to this first month, in that only 85 percent of our quantity will find a home. After this month, though, they should have that down to maybe a 5-percent reduction. This is all crystal ball stuff, as it is all happening outside of my control. We speak to [our distributor rep] daily and try to stay on top of things. But at the moment, we're trusting our information rather than pursuing other options.