Presentations of books with hardly any copies, or titles that do not arrive on time or bookstores without the textbooks that the school asks for. No one expected it when it was announced in January that the distributors Àgora and Les Punxes were joining forces in a new logistics center, EntreDos, which would start operations on September 1. During La Setmana del Llibre en Català, the affected publishers began to worry about whether the news would arrive on time once announced and some reviewed the calendars in case any changes had to be made. If the first days there was surprise and hope that in a short time everything would be resolved, the situation has been delayed.
The bookseller Ester Galindo de la Viladrich de Tortosa, for example, explains that she has not received any orders since the end of July, among which there were many textbooks and recommended readings. On the other hand, she has received some news that they had not asked for. In Barcelona it seems that the novelties are already arriving, but reruns and novelties have not yet, explains Isabel Sucunza, from Llibreria Calders, who calculates that the two distributors add up to more than half of the titles they offer. “Now a reader asks for a book and if we don't have it, we direct him to another bookstore or suggest that he search and find another title,” she explains. On Saturday they organize a "recommendation table party", among which there will, of course, be the majority of background books.
Ignasi Moreta, from the Fragmenta publishing house, is confident that the situation will return to normal soon, and today the issue will be discussed at an editors' meeting with Les Punxes. “We suffer because news doesn't arrive when it's due and reruns don't arrive. And we depend a lot on the back book, where it is essential that booksellers' orders are fulfilled quickly, ”he says.
Yesterday, EntreDos issued a statement alleging "problems in the integration and automation of processes." The general director of Àgora, Joan Abellà, explains that a large part of the problem originated from "the beastly crisis of raw materials", which delayed the arrival of some essential iron structures and "the calendar was tightening". Since the facilities opened on August 22, they have not stopped carrying out the pertinent tests to put the system into operation, he says, "but a ball has been made that has been growing."
We are talking about finding a title among more than 18 million copies of some 210 publishing labels spread over 25,000 m², which reach some 2,500 bookstores. Without the necessary filming, the books were not where they should be and what had to be a fairly mechanized and very fast process became a mystery. The solution? According to Abellà, "the workforce has been oversized and a night shift has been started, and everything is being regularized to try to make up for lost time." Abellà, also general director of Enciclopèdia –and as editor, also affected–, assures that the novelties are “almost normalized and now, above all, the replacement and background books are missing”. Abellà trusts that at the latest in two weeks everything will be resolved.
Catalan version, here