PMA’s Trade Distribution Program

October 1997
by Curt Matthews, IPG/Chicago Review Press

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This is an update on the PMA Trade Distribution marketing program which operates in conjunction with the Independent Publishers Group’s trade distribution services. I am the president of IPG.

The Trade Distribution program was initiated six and a half years ago to address a problem faced by many PMA member publishers, namely that the larger and better established distributors would not deal with publishers who had only one title or just a few titles in print. PMA approached IPG to see if a special program could be created that would overcome IPG’s reluctance to deal with very small presses and provide at least some PMA member presses with a secure entrĂ©e into the book trade.

The program that emerged operates as follows. Twice a year PMA gathers at its offices a committee of book trade professionals — representatives from the chains, major wholesalers, and independent book retailers. PMA members can submit finished books to this committee, which judges their potential for trade distribution. From the start, it has been the case that 25-30% of the books submitted are selected. The quality of the submissions has increased greatly over the years, but so has the competitive situation in the bookstores. (For a list of the titles most recently selected for the Trade Distribution program, see Jan Nathan’s column)

Publishers whose books are not selected are given an explanation as to why the committee did not think their books would suc…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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