The Rep Route to Nontraditional Sales

January 2008
by Linda Carlson

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The Rep Route to Nontraditional Sales

by Linda Carlson

How do you sell more books? You expand your market—to more bookstores, and usually to more retailers overall: cookware shops, baby boutiques, card and gift shops, maybe even neighborhood hair salons.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Especially when you know that nonbook retailers seldom get discounts of more than 50 percent, usually pay their own freight, and buy nonreturnable.

What could be better?

There’s only one catch: selling into these markets is often far more challenging than selling into traditional book channels.

Nonbook retailers seldom buy the way booksellers do. They don’t buy from book reps, from book distributors, or from book wholesalers. Instead, they usually work through gift, gourmet, or other specialty sales reps, independents working geographic territories on a commission basis.

Some specialty retailers buy through niche wholesalers or distributors, such as New Leaf Distributors (new, which sells to new age stores on consignment terms like those of book wholesalers; Nutri-Books (, which sells to natural foods and new age stores; and Integral Yoga (, …IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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