A Learning Experience

December 1996
by Peter Goodman, Stone Bridge Communications

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Having attended two meetings in San Francisco recently, I thought I would
share valuable information with the membership.

The first meeting was on “the future of distribution” and featured the
marketing director of NBN and Susan Reich of PGW and Harper SF. Some
interesting comments:Unless you have $15 million in sales, you will need a distributor to deal
with the problem of receivables and to get your books into the ever-expanding
chains.

Watch your distributor’s bottom line. Generally in contracts publishers
have them paying in 90 days, but many distributors are not getting paid by
bookstores for 107 days. The extra two weeks puts them in a precarious
cash-flow position. (This is probably part of what happened with Atrium.)

Ingram is devising a scheme whereby it will obtain book film from
publishers and then print for customers on demand. This elicited an audible
gasp from publishers in the audience. (The rumor was later independently
reiterated by another person at the second event.)

No one has a clue as to where the book industry is heading, but everyone
agreed that smaller presses must diligently work all the non-bookstore venues
they can find: sub-rights, serial rights, foreign rights, non-bookstore
accounts, special sales.

It is hard to get into chains, and to do so at a minimum, you must have
your entire marketing plan in place five months or more ahead of pub date.
You must be able to demonstrate credibility and a track record. Everyone…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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