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DIRECTOR’S DESK:
Opening Distribution Doors

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Trade Distribution Decisions

 

On one of the most sweltering days
in August, the PMA Trade Distribution Committee convened at Barnes & Noble
to discuss 166 candidates for distribution through Independent Publishers Group
in the Spring 2007 program. Typically, we try to hold this meeting at the same
time as the summer PMA board meeting so that many board members can attend
both. This time, nine members of the board joined the members of the committee,
who come from Borders, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Biblio, and
Independent Publishers Group.

 

Our Trade Distribution Committee
meets for a full day and discusses each and every book on the table, trying to
choose the ones that have a chance to enter the mainstream nationwide and keep
selling successfully throughout the country. Some of the books that members
send are great but not good bets for the traditional bookstore market; some are
priced too high; some face too much competition in their area; some cannot
compete with books already on bookstore shelves because they are not
professionally edited and/or designed. The scrutiny these books go through is
extreme. And we end up selecting a small percentage of the titles the committee
agreed to examine.

 

To help members learn what the
committee thought had a chance in the trade market this time, I have listed the
selected titles and their publishers below. As you can see, some of the books
arrived in prepub format. Often, it’s helpful to get books that are not yet in
final form because revisions can make them more marketable.

 

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Africa: An Artist’s Safari<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Maverick Brush Strokes, LLC

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Ambition and Arrogance:
Cardinal William O’Connell of Boston and the American Catholic Church
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Cobalt Productions

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>A Basketmaker’s Odysse<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>y, Word Weavers Ink

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Chance Murphy and the
Battle of Morganville
(prepub),
Kedzie Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Color Me Butterfly<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>, eL Publishing

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Criminal in the Caymans<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>, Kid’s Fun Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Discovering Korean Cuisine<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Dream Character, Inc.

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>e-Plan Your Wedding<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>, Mediasoft Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Emerging Black GOP
Majority
(prepub), Middle Passage
Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Exposed<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), SASS Publishing

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>From Fat to Fitogether<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Hound Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Grandloving: Making
Memories with Your Grandchildren
,
Heartstrings Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Healthy Mother Healthy
Child
, Whole Health Publishing

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>I’m Going to Be a Big
Brother
, Nurturing Your Children
Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>I’m Going to Be a Big
Sister
, Nurturing Your Children
Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Kami and the Yaks<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Bay Otter Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>L!ve List Latin America:
333 Places That People Love in Latin America
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Live Guides Inc.

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Littlest Christmas
Kitten
, Snaptail Press, a division
of Images Unlimited

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Meerkat’s Safari<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>, Meerkat’s Adventure Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Morbid Curiosity: The Art
of Mike Dubisch
, Medusa Road Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Orleans Embrace with The
Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré
,
Morgana Press, LLC

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Planning the Low-Budget
Film
, Chalk Hill Books

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Rise<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Lions Den Publishing, LLC

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Television Tightrope: How I
Escaped Hitler, Survived CBS, and Fathered Viacom
<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’> (prepub), Probitas Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>The Unconscious Actor: Out
of Control, in Full Command

(prepub), Small Mountain Press

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Vigil: You Never Know Who’s
Watching You
, Alight, an imprint of <span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>Swing Street Publishing

<span
class=95StoneSerifIt>Washaka, The Bear Dreamer<span
style=’font-size:11.0pt’>, Many Kites Press

 

The New Wholesaler Program

 

A new PMA program, coming in
October, is designed for publishers who may not be seeking a distributor but
would like to have a relationship with Ingram as a wholesaler. It’s crucial for
those interested to understand before they apply that participation is
contingent on a publisher’s having sales through the program of at least
$20,000, net of returns, by the end of the second year. If a publisher’s books
do not sell at that level, the publisher may be dropped from the program. (In
some cases, the publisher may be allowed to remain in a relationship with
Ingram if it provides a larger discount.)

 

Publishers with more than one
title in print and/or a line of books scheduled for development over the next
two years are most likely to succeed with the PMA/Ingram Wholesale Acceptance
Program. The deadline for applying is the end of September 2006. A committee
responsible for choosing participants will convene in mid- to late October.

 

As we all know, setting up a
relationship with a trade distributor and/or a trade wholesaler in today’s
competitive market is challenging for independent publishers. PMA is working to
make this a bit easier for the publishers that fit the profiles our committees
set.

 

 

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