Border Bankruptcy – Fewer Harley Magazine Sales

A lot of Harley magazine sales come from book stores, especially for the smaller circulation motorcycle magazines. After weeks of rumors about the financial condition of Borders Bookstores, we heard today that Borders (and Waldenbooks, which it owns) has filed for bankruptcy.

As we hear it Borders will be closing down about 200 stores in the near term and possibly more after that. What does that mean to the displays and sales of motorcycle magazines? Well, it’s not good news. Especially for the Harley magazine titles that are sold primarily in book store chains like Borders and Waldenbooks.

Fortunately our three motorcycle magazines – American Iron Magazine, RoadBike and our new Motorcycle Bagger Harley magazine will not suffer as much thatnks to our excellent distribution across many classes of trade at retail, including WalMart, most supermarket, drug and independent shops as well as book stores.

After visiting one of the local Borders bookstores scheduled to close I was amazed by how messy the magazine racks were. Also the fact that the store was selling magazines at 40% discount to the cover, which is cheaper than Borders buys the magazines in the first place. I suspect this is going to get messier going forward.

But, unfortunately, this news could be a serious blow to some of the smaller circulation motorcycle magazines. We will follow this and report what we find.


  1. Motorcycle magazines need to do two things. One, to make electronic publishing the new outlet for their copy. Downloadable versions for Kindles and apps for smartphones would be great. For those of us without the new gadgets, (two) but these magazines in traditional and non-traditional locations. Walmart, Target, Safeway, Krogers, etc. How about newstands in airports? Motorcycle dealerships? There are ways to market; you just have to think outside the (bookstore) box…