C. E. Petit is crunching the numbers over at his website right now about the Borders bankruptcy and how it may impact publishers as creditors in the Chapter 11 proceedings. Go read his posts from yesterday (Feb. 20) and today, great stuff.
This is a wise time to learn about the financial health of any publisher you have contracts for novels with that are still in print, or if you are planning to sign a contract in the near future with a publisher.
If the publisher is part of a publicly traded conglomerate on the stock exchange (and you know the name or ticker symbol) you can easily look at the SEC filings at
The quarterly (10-Q) and annual filing with the SEC is where the good stuff can be found, like how much cash they have on hand (Cash and Cash Reserves), cash flow, and their debts. You’ll want to take your time and read back as far as the database will allow you to get a good feel for what is going on in a particular company.
As for private publishing companies, if your library has access to Hoover’s (http://www.hoovers.com/), you might be able to get some info on their finances from there.
Also, another resource to turn to for help in doing financial research on a publishing company is your nearest Reference Librarian. Librarians are a wonderful resource for this sort of research.