D on’t worry, Sudanese orphans waiting for a promised cut of Dave Eggers’s What Is the What and stoners jonesing for their Grower’s Guide—help is on the way. When book distributor Publishers Group West’s parent corporation declared bankruptcy, it owed money to about 180 indie publishers—including McSweeney’s, Grove/Atlantic, and High Times Books. But then tweedy white knight Perseus Books, a publishing group and distributor, offered to take them on, paying 70 cents on the dollar owed. “We’re relieved, given some of the other possible outcomes,” says McSweeney’s publisher Eli Horowitz, who signed on. So did Grove’s Morgan Entrekin, who says, “You’ve gotta look on the bright side.” But other presses are being more suspicious and indie about it: “Morgan’s deal looks different from my deal,” grouses Richard Nash of Soft Skull Press, one of 50 skeptics trying to get a better deal from Perseus. Also, he wants them to “do 100 cents of what should be going to those Sudanese refugees.” (McSweeney’s was donating profits from What.) “We are eager to do what we can to help,” says Perseus CEO David Steinberger.
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