Endeavour Press is being wound-up following a breakdown in relations between the two directors.
The digital-first publisher, which was founded by Matthew Lynn and Richard Foreman in 2012, entered voluntary liquidation at the end of last month, due to "irreconcilable differences between the shareholders on how to run a company responsibly", according to Lynn.
Liquidator Smith & Williamson LLP has now taken control of the business and is undertaking a solvent winding-up of the company.
In a letter to authors, liquidator Nick Myers of Smith & Williamson LLP said that all creditors would be paid and that the rights of the authors would be reverted to them once the company is dissolved. The directors have agreed that all of the company’s debts will be paid in full within 12 months.
Myers said: “Any and all royalties due now and in the future to authors and/or agents, will be paid in accordance with their contract agreements up to the date of when their book has been unpublished by the company on the Amazon network. We would advise that authors retain the copyright to their material and as such they may wish to enter into a new contract with another publishing company, to re-publish their book(s) once they have been unpublished with the company."
Lynn and Foreman have now launched separate publishing firms and are vying to win back Endeavour Press authors.
The seven existing members of staff from Endeavour Press have joined Lynn’s new firm, which he has called Endeavour Media. Meanwhile Foreman has set up two new companies, a publisher called Sharpe Books and a self-publishing firm called Author Enterprises.
Lynn told The Bookseller his new company has re-signed 515– more than half – of Endeavor Press' authors, while Foreman said his new press Sharpe Books has secured 50 authors including Damien Lewis, Saul David and David Dickinson.
Lynn told The Bookseller: “The winding up of the original company was the only way to resolve [the situation]. The Members' Voluntary Liquidation (MVL) is a solvent process - companies aren't allowed to do it unless they show they’re fine for money. Richard will be doing his own thing, we didn’t reach agreement and it was the only way to carry on. It would’ve been good if one of us had been able to buy the other out, but this was the only way to go forward."
He added: “It has been a disruptive process, but no-one will be losing any money. Liquidation is a very scary word, but it’s much less dramatic than it appears.”
He said Endeavour Media would be “very much like the old business, only with a slightly different name”. The company’s business model, of being digital first with a print arm, will remain the same. “There wasn’t a problem with the business. We’ve lost some authors in the process, but it’s going to be pretty much the same”, he said.
Lynn added that he felt confident about the prospects for Endeavour Media and hoped the transition period would be as seamless as possible. “We have the same team in place. No company is really about the shareholders, it’s about the team. They’re the people who authors and the estates have the relationships with.”
Foreman agreed liquidation was the best outcome for Endeavour Press.
"Although both professionally and on a personal level it was a sad decision to make, I felt that I had to make the choice to wind-up Endeavour Press", said Foreman. "I did my best to save the company but I was unable to do so. In order to protect my own interests - and those of various agents and authors - it was important to put the liquidators in place. Royalties will now be paid and the rights and files of authors are being reverted."
Foreman added that he had founded his new publisher in order to "continue to support" Endeavour Press' authors, as well as to "find new voices and create new bestsellers".
"I will continue to enjoy working with various friends and contacts in the trade, from Amazon to Bookbub.. The staff at Sharpe Books are looking forward to publishing bestselling authors, as well as discover new writers", he said.