THE LATEST NEWS:
25 June 2020
Hello from Elizabeth, Anne, Julianne, and Gin. We sincerely hope everyone is remaining safe and well during this difficult time. This update addresses Dreamspinner’s ongoing restructuring efforts and the current state of the publishing industry.
Website Orders and Royalty Repayment
On March 15, Dreamspinner announced that 100 percent of website sales would go toward author royalties. We are pleased to report that since then, we have paid $23,279.89 toward back royalties from website sales. As previously stated, this allocation of website payments toward royalties will continue until all outstanding royalties are paid.
In early March we received word that the SBA finally had all of the required paperwork for our loan. Then the pandemic hit. When the government announced 600 billion dollars in PPP loans, they suspended action on all 7a loans until July 1. This week, we received notice that our loan is back in process. While we hope to receive good news soon, our plan for business going forward is not contingent on receiving the loan. We continue to pay outstanding royalties as funds become available.
Since January 2020, Dreamspinner has continued the difficult process of adjusting staffing in an effort to reduce overhead and increase financial viability. Additionally, several staff members have been affected by the pandemic or other life emergencies. Responsibilities have shifted to accommodate these changes. We appreciate your patience as we redistribute tasks and revise procedures for maximum efficiency. If you cannot reach a staff member or do not know which staff member you might need, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will direct you to the appropriate channel.
We gather market information from various sources including distributing partners, the State Department, Publishers Weekly, and other industry specialists.
Our distribution partner, IPG, sends out a monthly report on the state of the publishing industry, and we want to share the information with you. They forecast that sales for 2nd quarter 2020 will drop 60% from last year, primarily in physical books. In turn this means that IPG is operating with a 60% reduction in staff, impacting production and response timelines. The good news: IPG’s early reports suggest that eBooks may see a less significant impact from COVID-19.
The closure of physical bookstores during quarantine impacted many things. Some printers have paused operations, leading to a significant delay in printing and shipping physical copies. IPG has also seen a large number of returns of previously ordered books. Return amounts are deducted from earnings prior to the payment being sent to us, which has impacted overall money deposited and our ability to pay down back royalties.
Initially, Amazon temporarily paused ordering for products other than household staples, medical supplies, or other high-demand products. This included print books, but not ebooks. Amazon has since loosened these restrictions.
The State Department reports a high impact on global publishing exchange and copyright trade cooperation. The international book market is faced with great challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bologna International Children’s Book Fair, London Book Fair, Paris Book Fair, BookExpo America, and other important international book fairs have been cancelled during the first half of 2020. While the Frankfurt Book Fair in the second half of 2020 is still scheduled to be held as planned, many important international publishing groups such as Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and HarperCollins have recently declared they will not send anyone to attend it. The closures and uncertainty worldwide have affected licensing of new titles and in some cases receipt of royalties from our translations sublicensing partners.
COVID-19 and Physical Copies
While third-party retailers continue to offer physical copies of books from their existing inventory and print on demand, sales of non-digital items through our website remain suspended. This limitation is due to staff restrictions being imposed by our printers and shipping companies to protect the health of their employees. We are still publishing paperbacks and are working toward adding third-party links for all paperbacks to the website.
Elizabeth, Anne, Julianne & Gin
5032 Capital Circle SW
Ste 2 PMB 279
Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886