A liquidator has taken control of troubled Scottish publisher Freight Books and all employee contracts have been terminated.
As a result of a court order issued on 20th October, Ian Wright, m.d. of WRI Associates has been appointed provisional liquidator of Freight Books. Wright confirmed to The Bookseller that all six Freight employee contracts have been terminated and that he is in talks with potential buyers for the publisher's portfolio. He said he is hoping to make a decision about the sale of the business' assets by the end of the week. He added that the status of author contracts has "yet to be clarified".
This comes after the publisher was taken to court in September by Glasgow-based printing company Bell and Bain Printers over unpaid work dating back to the beginning of the year, joining a number of authors who were owed money by the publisher.
Founded as an imprint of Freight Design in 2011 by Davinder Samrai and Adrian Searle, operations at publisher Freight Books were thrown into disarray with the abrupt departure of Searle in April due to “irreconcilable differences over strategic direction”. In September, authors and agents called on Freight Books to provide more transparency about its financial status after it emerged its writers had not been paid for several months. It was also reported that Freight was in talks to sell the books side of the business, following an "unsolicited" request to buy the press.
Most recently, the publisher was accused of "rubbing salt in the wound" by sending an email to writers asking if they wanted to buy their own books, due to the "extremely uncertain” future of the publisher.
Samrai said: "If you would like to buy stock of your titles, it may be prudent to act sooner rather than later. I appreciate this may cause unease but depending on quantities, I may be able to supply at a better discount than the regular author discount. If you would like to secure books – please email me your requests and I'll do all I can to ensure you receive your books."