Want Your Part of $400M in Additional Book Sales?

Or Why you need CoupletTM

(Photo of Bob Maurer)
By Bob Maurer
March 5, 2008

You can only sell your books when your client, usually a major book handler or distributor, knows your books are available to sell. Couplet is the tool that will allow you to make sure that every major client always has the most up-to-date, accurate and complete information on your titles and promotions.

Consider the following information provided at the April Book Industry Study Group's (BISG) meeting by a senior executive of a major book retailer1 — in 2004, this retailer sold over 260 thousand titles, representing 54 million units, or $400 million in new books that have since been declared out-of-print (OP/OSI). When a copy is not present in their supply chain, this retailer must direct their customer to the used and out-of-print books. You the publisher don't receive any money for used book sales. You want consumers to buy new books, not books you've already sold.

This retailer has 11 thousand titles, representing over 350 thousand units and worth over $6 million, with a status of "Open PO's on OSN" (Out of Stock with No due date). They also have over 9 thousand titles, representing over 192 thousand units and worth over $5 million of "Open PO's of titles past their publication date". How many of these books are really out of publication, and how many are just old data in the retailer's system because the publisher has not provided up-to-date information?

This retailer has almost 6 million titles in their database. Of these, 63.7% are missing commentary. Commentary information is very useful in their sales efforts. Even more importantly, their sales have been shown to increase by 60.5% for books with cover images available, as compared to sales of those same books without cover images available. Of the 6 million titles in the database, 67.6% are currently missing a cover image.

How many of your books, sitting on your or your distributors' shelves right now, is this retailer not selling because they have incorrect, incomplete, out-of-date or missing information on your titles? How many sales to this retailer are you missing? How much of that $400M belongs to you?

If this retailer is missing opportunities to sell your books, then what about other major book handlers? What about your distributors? What about your other clients? Doesn't it make sense to have a tool, specifically designed for your needs, that allows you to easily, quickly and accurately transmit current title and promotional information to your major clients so that they can sell more of your books?

Couplet is that tool. Designed to support the BISG's ONIX standards for bibliographic information, Couplet will allow you to easily manage all your title and promotional information and transmit it electronically to anyone you wish. Because Couplet is standards driven, that means that any client whose systems comply with the standard will be able to quickly and easily incorporate your information into their title database. They will have accurate and up-to-date information and will be able to sell more of your books.

Couplet does not stop at the ONIX standard. At Publishers' Assistant, we reviewed the specific requirements of the ONIX implementations at Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor and Amazon, and have built features into Couplet to align with each of those implementations. We are currently working on similar requirements for other major book handlers.

At a price of $99.00, Couplet is also a fantastic value. Purchase your own copy of this fantastic publishing industry communication and title management tool and start selling more books today.

1 Presentation given at the BISG "Making Information Pay 2005" Seminar on April 7, 2005. Presentation given by Joseph Gonnella, Vice President of Inventory Management and Vendor Relations, Barnes and Noble. To see the actual presentation given by Mr. Gonnella, please go to http://www.bisg.org/docs/MIP05_Gonnella2.ppt

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