I never realized just how “writer-unfriendly” both B &N and Borders were until I started talking to the writers here at Crimespace. I always thought the biggest pain in the ass was the publishing houses, but now I’m starting to think otherwise.
Very hard-nosed business policies in both areas. And writers know that it takes either time or a heavy dose of publicity to make it. Time isn't something big businesses like to spend. They like a quick turn-around. Hence the returns policy. And heavy publicity costs publishers money. So there you have it.
From what I've read, it looks like a group of shareholders will buy the company outright. B&N probably won't away, it will only switch owners. But then again, when you go private, ANYTHING could happen. You don't have to answer to shareholders.
Just out of curiosity, I looked up Haft on wikipedia.... there's a novel here, if you ask me. ;) After graduating from Harvard with his MBA and Masters in Design, Robert was President of Dart Group, founded national discount book chain Crown Books in 1977 and discount automotive chain Trak Auto in 1981, as well as founded Cabot Morgan real estate company, Dart Financial, and purchased a controlling interest in Shoppers Food Warehouse.
Crown Books enjoyed booming success in the early 1980s and 1990s, and Robert expanded the chain rapidly, and envisioned expanding the name to other lines, including Crown Software and Crown Music, some of which never saw actualization.
In the heat of a bitter divorce, Robert's father, Herbert Haft, then Chairman of the Dart Group, which owned a controlling share of Crown Books and Trak Auto, fired the Board of Directors of Dart Group, Crown Books and Trak Auto and Robert as the book chain and automotive chains president. Robert counter-sued and won all claims. After Robert left, the new management rocked the 250-store book chain and 300 store automotive chain, and both previously successful chains fell into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
With a portion of the money from the sale of his interest in Dart Group, and proceeds from a 1994 wrongful-termination lawsuit, Robert purchased Phar-Mor discount drug chain in 1995, founded and grew Vitamins.com which had Internet, retail, and catalog operations, and has lead National Diabetic Pharmacies and other health care businesses.