Seasonal Trade Book Catalogs: The What, How, Who, When–and Why

August 2001
by Alice Acheson

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Let’s begin with the “Why.” If you visited the various booths at the recent BookExpo America in New York City, you were offered catalogs announcing the publishers’ fall books. Without a doubt, you threw some of them away when you returned home. However, I’m equally sure that some titles interested you greatly, as competition for one of your titles, as ways to present your title–or the entire list–better, and maybe even as books to purchase.
Did your publishing company also prepare a catalog? If it usually does, but you didn’t mail it prior to the convention, you missed many opportunities. And if it doesn’t, you lost even more chances to capitalize on essential marketing.


It’s necessary to mail the fall catalog by April 15th (to arrive by May 1st), and the spring catalog by November 15th (to arrive by December 1st). (Note: Some publishers prepare a third catalog for summer.) The reason for this timing is quite simple. Book editors sit down on a specific day with all catalogs received and generally schedule their review coverage for the next six months, based on publication dates, titles with similar subjects, their editorial themes, etc. If you don’t send a catalog, they may still review your book, but you have placed one obstacle in your path.

Who should receive your catalogs twice a year? The list is long and expensive, but consider the possibilities, the exposure, and…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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