Major Canadian Book Distributor Files Bankruptcy

Canadian book distributor H. B. Fenn, which distributed books for Tor, Hyperion, and several other publishers in Canada, has filed for bankruptcy. H.B. Fenn has 125 employees.

In the company’s news release it blamed this development on “ loss of distribution lines, shrinking margins and the significant shift to e-books, all of which have significantly reduced the Company’s revenues.” Quill & Quire explains:

H.B. Fenn suffered a major setback two years ago when its largest sales and distribution client, Hachette Book Group, opened a Toronto publicity and marketing office and took over sales for major national accounts including Indigo, Costco, and wholesalers North 49 and BookExpress.

One of its employees said they are ceasing operations immediately.

Robert J. Sawyer, in a comment on this post, said “I owe a huge amount of my career to Harold and Sylvia Fenn. Absolutely wonderful people, and a great company.”

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the story.]

4 thoughts on “Major Canadian Book Distributor Files Bankruptcy

  1. Canadian book distributor H. B. Fenn, which distributed books for Tor, Hyperion, and several other publishers in Canada,

    Not several. Many. Many many. It’s the biggest distributor in Canada and they tend to have exclusive arrangements within Canada with the publishers they deal with (or they did when I sold books).

    The (inaccurate because they still list Hachette) list of publishers their website says they distribute is:

    British Film Institute
    Business Plus
    Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation
    Center Street
    Cogito Media Group
    Creative Homeowner
    Dalmatian Press
    Disney Book Group
    Educational Development Corp.
    Feiwel & Friends
    Fenn Publishing Company Ltd.
    Filipacchi Publishing
    First Second
    Forge Books
    Gildan Audio
    Golden Books
    Grand Central Publishing
    Griffin Trade Paperbacks
    H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd.
    Hachette Audio
    Hachette Book Group USA
    Hachette Children’s
    Hachette UK
    Henry Holt and Co.
    Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
    Herridge & Sons Ltd.
    Hyperion Books For Children
    I. B. Tauris
    Ideals Publications
    Key Porter Books
    Leisure Arts
    Little Brown Books for Young Readers
    Little, Brown and Company
    Macmillan Audio
    Macmillan US
    Manchester University Press
    Marianne Richmond Studios
    NBM Publishing
    Orion Publishing Group
    Oxford University Press
    Oxmoor House
    P.S. Knight
    Palgrave Macmillan
    Pan Macmillan Limited
    Penton Overseas, Inc.
    Piggy Toes Press
    Priddy Books
    QED Publishing
    Rapido Trains Inc.
    Research & Education Association
    Roaring Brook Press
    Rodale Books
    School Zone Publishing
    Sequoia Publishing
    Seven Seas
    Sleeping Bear Press
    Springboard Press
    Square Fish
    St. Martin’s Minotaur
    St. Martin’s Press
    Time Inc Home Entertainment
    Tom Doherty Associates
    Tor Books
    Virgin Books
    Virgin Uk
    Warner Forever
    Wellness Central
    Whitecap Books Ltd.
    Windblown Media
    Yankee Publishing
    Yen Press
    Zagat Survey
    Zed Books

  2. I spotted this on the Quill and Quire website the other day, and included the news at the last of a loc I wrote to Steven on the latest issue of Argentus. Indeed, H.B. Fenn was the biggest book distributor in Canada, and I know not who or what will replace it.

  3. “…and I know not who or what will replace it.”

    e-Books, apparently. The day is coming when we’ll pay our forty bucks and get nothing tangeable for it — just the right to read a text. If things go very badly, we might only purchase the right to read the downloaded file *once.* It could erase itself in any number of ways.

    Need I say that I don’t like e-Books? They’re great for some things — collectibles I can’t afford, say, or technical books — but not for a work I love.

  4. @Lloyd: So then, Lloyd, it’s ultimately your fault I didn’t list all 127 publishers HB Fenn distributes and not just the ones of most obvious science fictional interest? 😉

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