Baker & Taylor has spent decades building strong retail relationships around the world for its wholesale business. The company wants to monetize their extensive network and created the Global Publishers Services. This will allow publishers to reach multiple sales channels, including traditional retail, online retailers, schools, libraries and consumers through e-commerce platforms. The big selling point is that it has a strong international reach, something that is very compelling for small and medium sized publishers.
GPS will collaborate with Baker & Taylor’s international wholesale team. “Baker & Taylor’s international wholesale sales can benefit as customers who have tended to order only directly from publishers can now add Baker & Taylor to their supply chain and order a wider range of titles through the wholesale channel,” noted John Bacon, VP of International Retail for Baker & Taylor.
The new program will be spearheaded by Chitra Bopardikar, Vice President & General Manager, who brings over 20 years of global sales experience. In her previous role at PGW and Perseus, Chitra helped build an international sales and client service offering for one of the US publishing industry’s largest group of independent publishers.
Chitra spoke with Good e-Reader in an exclusive interview and told me why GPS was launched. “We developed GPS to fill a gap in the distribution options available to independent publishers. With GPS, publishers receive global sales and marketing expertise, coupled with Baker & Taylor’s rapid supply chain solutions. Because we are boutique, we will aim take on a client publishers who fit the category verticals we know appeal to international customers. Ours is a unique solution that provides publishers with a high level of attention to their sales, strategy and development. Additionally, GPS is the only group providing an integrated approach between direct sales and wholesale, ensuring we optimize opportunities in each market for our publishers.
In comparison, major publishers who provide client distribution are often doing so to fill excess capacity. Plus there is internal competition from house imprints. Other distributors have hundreds of publishers, and may not be able to provide the same level of sales and marketing attention as we do.
Sourcebooks is the first notable publisher to buy into the new Global Publishers Services platform. It will allow them to expand their offerings in all territories outside of North America and the United Kingdom. Sourcebooks also agreed to partnerships with Copia and Vearsa. Copia will help the publisher bring ebooks to market in Australia, and Vearsa will help in South Africa, Germany and Poland.
“Sourcebooks has experienced double-digit growth for the past 10 years, and that’s coming from our historic strongpoints of nonfiction and fiction, as well as brand-new areas like our white-hot young adult program,” said Dominque Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks. “We have identified a sizable international opportunity to improve service for our books and authors around the world. As we considered potential partners for upgrading our global sales and distribution capabilities, it was clear that this set of organizations is the best equipped to help us walk into this significant global opportunity.”
Since Baker & Taylor launched in August a number of other companies have signed on. This includes Glitterati, Arcadia & The History Press, and Sellers Publishing.