Doing Business with Catalog Companies

March 2007
by Linda Carlson

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Judy, looks fine as noted

Doing Business with Catalog


by Linda Carlson


You’re looking for
alternatives to bookstores? For nonreturnable sales? For significant sales
volume? The answer may be catalog retailers like Scholastic Book Clubs,
Signals, and White Flower Farm.


But besides a quality product
that’s priced right, you’ll also need patience, perseverance—and maybe a little
serendipity—to deal with them.


Just ask Carolyn Threadgill, the
Seattle-based Parenting Press publisher who sells children’s and child guidance
books through two dozen catalogs. She has licensed paperback book club rights
of The Way I Feel
to Scholastic and sells the board-book edition of the same title to it.
Starting before the hardbound was published in 2000, she contacted everyone she
could think of at Scholastic. It wasn’t until late 2001, when a Scholastic
buyer happened to visit the Parenting Press booth at a conference, that the
cataloger showed any interest in the picture book. Its book club paperback
edition was an immediate success, and Scholastic was among the buyers that
encouraged Parenting Press to issue a toddler edition in late 2004. As of this
spring, Scholastic has purchased 50,000 copies of the board book.


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