Baker & Taylor has created its new Indie Retail website with the goal of making all of the company’s resources easily accessible to independent retailers through one central location. On the site, booksellers will find details about Baker & Taylor’s products and services, bios and contact information for the company’s indie-facing team members, critical forms and reference materials, and more.
Understanding that independent booksellers are very community minded, Margaret Lane, Baker & Taylor’s vice president of retail sales, sought to develop a website that reflected their needs. “We wanted to create a site that was specifically for this marketplace,” said Lane, one that didn’t speak to publishers, librarians, or the international market, but directly to booksellers instead.
On the Indie Retail homepage, a series of tabs helps booksellers navigate through Baker & Taylor’s products, services, and ordering and billing, while the site’s “Popular Links” make it easy to find such important information as returns policies, credit applications, and a Common Core microsite. “Anything we’ve ever had a customer ask us for is in the ‘Popular Links’ section,” said Lane.
The site’s Fast Facts — updated weekly by Baker & Taylor buyers — looks at new titles across several categories, hot sellers for the week, additions to the New York Times bestseller lists, upcoming publicity, and new movie tie-ins.
“One of my favorite features is the team page,” said Lane. Through photos and personal biographies, “booksellers can meet their inside sales rep that they might not meet in person.”
The sales team staff also contributes to the Fresh Press blog, which features posts about regional trade shows, cool new ideas seen at indie bookstores, and current titles that the team is reading and recommending.
To inform booksellers about the new website, Baker & Taylor has included information in its biweekly newsletter and has been getting the word out through sales reps and at the regional shows.
“This is for the indie market and only the indie market. You can learn everything you need to know about working with the Baker & Taylor here,” said Lane. “And by creating the site specific to independent booksellers, we can change it quickly, if we need to update a policy or if we’re bringing in a new product.”
Booksellers are welcome to reach out to Lane via e-mail with any suggestions for helpful resources they’d like to see on the Indie Retail site. Visit the new Indie Retail site here or head to the Baker & Taylor website and click on Physical & Internet Retailers under the Retailers tab.