An Update on PMA’s Trade Distribution Program

December 1998
by Curt Matthews, IPG, Chicago Review Press

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(Editor’s Note: Those unfamiliar with this program may wish to consult the accompanying sidebar article, “How the Program Works.“)

The PMA Trade Distribution Program was initiated in 1991. To date, 300 titles have been accepted into the program and a total of 590,000 copies sold for a value of $4.8 million. Returns have averaged 16%. For 1998, sales will certainly be over $2 million and about 200,000 copies will have been shipped. This is an increase of almost 100% over last year.

The first catalog was a very modest affair with 12 titles listed, and it has to be said that not all the books in it were quite up to trade standards. In the current catalog (Fall-Winter ’98), 42 new titles are offered. The average initial sale (or laydown) per new title, for the four months the catalog has been in use, is 1,028 copies ($8,522 in billing). The highest laydown was 3,283 copies, the lowest 424. All of these new titles are well produced and a dozen of them are utterly superb. Most of the ’98 fall titles will sell out their initial print runs, and some will be strong performers over many years.

From the start, PMA’s Trade Distribution Program has emphasized backlist. Many books that were initially offered five and even seven years ago through the program are still selling well, some of them in second and third editions.

Every effort is made by the Independent Publishers Group (IPG), as the distributor for the program, to place…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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