Trends Distributors See

February 2006
by Jenny McCune

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For the big book retailers,
it’s My (electronic)
way or the highway; get on it or get lost. In effect, says Curt
Matthews, they tell independent publishers, We will not play ball with you unless you can play the
electronic game. Matthews, chief executive officer of IPG, adds
that the message the big chains and Amazon are sending independent publishers
also says, You’re too
much trouble, and the transaction costs are too great, unless you can do
everything electronically.


Or as Julie Schaper, president and
chief operating officer of Consortium Book Sales and Distribution puts it: “One
of the things you have to do is invest in technology in order to be


Those observations, and others
reported below, surfaced in interviews with five distributors about trends
they’ve recently spotted.


Electronic Communication
Is Increasing


Matthews foresees major
booksellers requiring that, within the next two years, all publishers and
distributors start sending orders, new publication information, delivery
queries, and other information and inquiries electronically. The big
booksellers also want vendors to be compliant with the ONIX (Online Information
Exchange) standard. (A full explanation of ONIX will appear in an upcoming
issue. Information on it is always available via ww…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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