The Us Academic Book Market


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The Us Academic Book Market

  1. 1. The US Academic Book Market: Selling to the Trade Publishing Workshop, Beijing, September 4, 2007 H. Dirk Koehler, Publisher, The World Bank, Washington, DC This presentation is based on a presentation by Jose de Buerba, Distribution Manager, The Office of the Publisher, The World Bank, Washington, DC
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Market Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>New Title Data Dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Wholesale </li></ul><ul><li>Retail </li></ul><ul><li>Sales Representatives </li></ul><ul><li>Distributors </li></ul><ul><li>Events and Exhibitions </li></ul><ul><li>Useful Links </li></ul>
  3. 3. Market Characteristics <ul><li>Two very clearly defined seasons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fall: July to December </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spring: January to June </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The importance of the catalogue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strongly recommend publishing two per year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should mostly include new and forthcoming titles (as far as six months in advance) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OK to include popular backlist, clearly indicating that fact, e.g. by “previously announced” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different catalogues for different audiences: library market, trade accounts, individual and other direct customers </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Market Characteristics (ctd.) <ul><li>Not only/mostly for the trade, but important: </li></ul><ul><li>Web presence is absolutely crucial (“If it can’t be found on the web, it doesn’t exist”); most people now consider full text online as supporting – not cannibalizing -- print sales </li></ul><ul><li>Direct marketing through mail and phone has become less important in the last few years </li></ul><ul><li>Email, RSS, and other e-promotion very important </li></ul>
  5. 5. New Title Data Dissemination <ul><li>Very important for trade accounts and very time consuming for publishers (but can be outsourced, e.g. see below) </li></ul><ul><li>Important to have good supporting systems for data retrieval (data should be ONIX compliant) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade accounts usually request data 6 months in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Each company has different specifications and asks for data in different formats </li></ul><ul><li>Bowker also feeds data to trade accounts (but publisher has to feed Bowker) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Screenshot BowkerLink
  7. 7. Screenshot Editeur: ONIX
  8. 8. The Wholesale Market: Baker & Taylor <ul><li>Largest US academic wholesaler, includes YBP and Majors </li></ul><ul><li>Main customers: academic libraries, international sales, trade </li></ul><ul><li>Visit buyer at least twice a year (New Jersey) </li></ul><ul><li>Important to prepare sales analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata VERY important (two files), include three BISAC subject codes for each book plus other bibliographic information </li></ul><ul><li>Submit data at least 3 months in advance of publication date, and make sure all titles are in system when mailing catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>Orders received via EDI (publishers warehouse EDI compliant) </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Operative marketing opportunities available (recommended) </li></ul><ul><li>Active continuations department for standing orders </li></ul><ul><li>TitleSource3 & Pub Alley (more expensive) allows publishers to track demands, upload data, compare sales of related titles… </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Wholesale Market: Ingram <ul><li>Main customers: bookstores and other trade accounts, also strong in the library market (less so than B&T) </li></ul><ul><li>Also requires metadata, different format than B&T </li></ul><ul><li>Visit buyer at least once a year (Tennessee) </li></ul><ul><li>Strong in trade market: returns usually high (for WB they supply Borders) </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Op marketing mandatory (minimum $1,200) </li></ul><ul><li>Lightning Source part of the group and located down the road. Automatic supply of POD titles </li></ul><ul><li>Online web for publishers also available (I-page) </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Wholesale Market: Blackwell’s Book Services <ul><li>Specialized in library sales </li></ul><ul><li>Funded in 1879 </li></ul><ul><li>HQ in UK, USA and Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Very strong export market and library tenders </li></ul><ul><li>No electronic title feed required, send information via e-mail, catalogues and sales kits </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher Online Service (POS) available </li></ul>
  11. 11. Other Wholesalers / Jobbers <ul><li>Follet Library Services (also retail) </li></ul><ul><li>The Book House </li></ul><ul><li>Emery Pratt </li></ul><ul><li>Brodart (public libraries) </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern Books </li></ul><ul><li>Rittenhouse (health titles) </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew’s Book Company (health titles) </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Retail Market: Barnes & Noble <ul><li>820 stores in the US nationwide </li></ul><ul><li>Need to submit metadata to their distribution center </li></ul><ul><li>Four different store categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Chain, Academic Stores, Academic Text Services, online store ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Chain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit buyers twice a year (usually at the beginning of each season) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Small presses / niche publishers get to see only one buyer for all subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to persevere and have at least a few good trade titles to get to subject buyers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For each title need to submit a “new buy sheet” (in paper) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present titles 3 to 6 months in advance </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The Retail Market: Barnes & Noble (ctd.) <ul><li>Academic stores (around 30) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate buyers, same process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Academic / text services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No brick and mortar stores, only fulfill textbook orders by universities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online store: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to provide metadata, upload digital covers for each title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales usually much lower than </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Screenshot Barnes&Noble Publisher & Author Guidelines
  15. 15. The Retail Market: Others <ul><li>Borders Inc. (HQ in Ann Arbor, Michigan) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buys for US, Latin American, and Asian stores </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Follets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly academic stores (e.g. Stanford University) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also provide text book services to universities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other independently run university book stores (e.g. NYU) </li></ul><ul><li>Powell’s </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Bookstores: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g., Politics and Prose, Olsson’s, Cody’s, Modern Times </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For online stores, particularly amazon, see separate session </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sales Representatives (“Reps”) <ul><li>Sales reps are a good option to cover the retail (also call on wholesalers) </li></ul><ul><li>Call on all stores, including national chains </li></ul><ul><li>Biannual sales conference to present new titles, sales kit VERY important (blurb, key selling points, cross-marketing opportunities, audience, recommended stores, etc…). </li></ul><ul><li>Commission anywhere from 5 to 10% depending on customer (no commission on text book orders) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Distributors <ul><li>The distributor should sell direct and to the trade, and do marketing. For publishers based outside the US he should also do fulfillment and keep adequate stock. </li></ul><ul><li>Downsides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An additional intermediary reduces margins for publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing efforts have to be spread across other publishers distributed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk that he does not cover the retail market well </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Upsides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower operational costs for publishers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross marketing opportunities with other lists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Active North American distributors include NBN, RENOUF, BERNAN, Stylus, Boskage, etc…. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Important Events and Meetings <ul><li>Book Expo America </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong trade focus, less relevant for academic market </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meetings of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ALA (American Library Association) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SLA (Special Libraries Association) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Co-Operative stands are a good option to attend the above meetings plus other more specialized ones </li></ul>
  19. 19. Useful Links <ul><li>Baker and Taylor Publisher’s Services </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Ingram Publisher’s Services </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Blackwell’s Publishers Information </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes and Noble Information for Publishers </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Borders Information for Publishers & Artist </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>