Four New Publishers Offer Programs for Indies in Wake of B&T Announcement

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Capstone, Scholastic, and Workman are the latest publishers to offer special programs designed to support indies in the wake of the news that Baker & Taylor is exiting the business of wholesale distribution to retailers.

In its May 1 announcement, B&T said the decision reflected a shift in the company’s business operations to align with the education focus of parent company Follett Corporation, which serves more than 90,000 schools and school libraries in the U.S., Canada, and internationally. Immediately following Baker & Taylor’s news, ABA CEO Oren Teicher addressed booksellers in a May 6 e-mail to American Booksellers Association bookstore members that described ABA efforts to support bookstores during this time, which included speaking to several publishers and wholesale distribution companies about their plans.

Now, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Capstone, Scholastic, and Workman are joining wholesale distribution companies Ingram and IPG and five other publishers — Penguin Random HouseHachetteHarperCollins, Peachtree Publishing, and Simon & Schuster —  in introducing initiatives to support independent bookstores following this change. Programs so far have included offering more direct accounts and increasing stock levels at publisher distribution facilities as well as at Ingram.

Publishers and wholesalers who have new initiatives in support of indie bookstores can e-mail ABA Senior Program Officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger with their informationDetails of every offer announced by a publisher or wholesale distribution company since May 1 have been added to a special page in the Book Buyer’s Handbook on; the details of any forthcoming offer will be added to this list as ABA is made aware of them.