Sarah Shaffi reported on 22nd January that Quercus had put itself up for sale. I missed the news back then, so sculling around the internet on a dull night can pay dividends. I've also discovered that Zara Phillips has had her baby and its already a month old. How could I have missed hearing about that? What might I discover next?
Anyway, it seems Quercus is expecting a significant trading loss for 2013 and decided “it would be in the best interests of the company's shareholders to seek potential offers by means of a formal sale process. We now feel that the skills and experience of Quercus' team will flourish best within a larger organisation and so we've decided to put the company up for sale. In the meantime it's business as usual at Baker Street."
The independent publisher put its losses down to "continuing issues within the book trade which led retailers to adopt very conservative ordering policies", and "a lower than expected upturn in digital sales over the Christmas period to the end of the year".
Prospects of a merger with another publisher were squashed: "We like being an independent publisher, and that's how we want to operate. Obviously there have been headwinds in that direction across the trade, but one set of bad results for us doesn't mean the end of independent publishing."
All this after having one of the bigger hits of the last few years - the Stig Larsson novels. It just goes to show that even three best selling novels are not enough to keep a publisher afloat.