Macmillan Closure Affects U.K., Too; Not Yet Noticeable to Most Consumers

The Saturday "security incident" that has closed Macmillan Publishers this week and kept it from taking orders involved "the encryption of certain files" on the company's network, as indicated in updated statements. As a result, Macmillan "immediately took systems offline" to prevent further damage to its network.

In addition, according to the Bookseller, the problem has also affected Macmillan in the U.K.: Pan Macmillan has taken its systems offline. Pan Macmillan indicated that currently the best way to reach it is via several gmail accounts or phone.

While Macmillan works to restore its operations, readers should not notice the problems in the short term, several U.S. retailers and wholesalers told the Wall Street Journal. For one, Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt said that the problems would have to continue for several weeks to affect readers, adding, "I don't think there will be lost sales unless something cataclysmic has happened."

Readerlink CEO Dennis Abboud said that the mass merchandiser supplier wouldn't lose sales for another week or two. "After that, it gets dicey," he said.

Ingram's Phil Ollila said the company is meeting demand for Macmillan titles from retailers. "Our role is to fill in the holes in the market," he said.

Arsen Kashkashian, general manager of the Boulder Bookstore, Boulder, Colo., pointed out that July is a relatively quiet month for many publishers, saying, "If this happened in May or September, it would be much worse."

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