HarperCollins Comprehensive Backlist/POD Program Launches

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
HarperCollins' Josh Marwell, Jeanette Zwart, Beth Steidel, Erica Barmash, Julie Blattberg, and Robert Zafirris at McNally Jackson for the launch of the Comprehensive Back List Program.

HarperCollins kicked off its Comprehensive Backlist Program today with a ceremonial first-run print-on-demand copy of Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett at nine indie bookstores with Espresso Book Machines® (EBM). The stores participating in the launch event were Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts; McNally Jackson in New York City; Northshire Bookstore  in Manchester Center, Vermont; Politics & Prose in Washington D.C.; Schuler Books & Music in  Grand Rapids, Michigan; Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver; Third Place Books and University Book Store, both in Seattle; and Village Books, Bellingham, Washington.

The Comprehensive Backlist program, announced last September, enables physical bookstores to promote and sell the entire HarperCollins backlist through a combination of offset printed books on their shelves and their in-store “Digital-to-Print at Retail” (DPR) capability using the EBM. With the push of a button, books not currently in stock can be printed, bound, and trimmed to a bookstore-quality, perfect-bound paperback book, with a full-color cover, in minutes.

 “Physical bookstores, as the recent robust holiday sales have shown, remain a critical channel for customers to discover and buy print books and we want all HarperCollins titles to be available there,” said HarperCollins President of Sales Josh Marwell. “The program is a win for authors who will have more books available in stores, and booksellers who will now be able immediately to sell many more titles to customers without the limits of physical space and inventory dollars.”

“With today’s launch of the Comprehensive Backlist program, HarperCollins has demonstrated the type of creativity and innovation that the entire book industry needs right now to better serve readers and to sell more books,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “We congratulate HarperCollins on today’s achievement and applaud their commitment to bricks-and-mortar bookstores.”

Sarah McNally, the owner of McNally Jackson, where a ceremonial first printing took place at 1:00 p.m. today, said, “I think this becomes the new normal. I think it can truly be the salvation of bookstores. I’m so glad Harper took this step and I hope others follow.”

Robert Sindelar, managing partner at Third Place Books, said, “The two biggest reasons we, and other indies, lose sales to an in-store customer is because of price or because the book is not in stock. Harper has taken a huge step in helping indies with EBMs get back those lost sales. If all publishers had a program like this, I guarantee our gross sales for the year would increase significantly.”

“The EBM at Tattered Cover is new — we’re still kicking the wheels and seeing what it can do,” said Neal Strandberg, the store’s operations manager. “As we are anticipating print on demand to be a part of the book-retailing future, it’s fantastic that HarperCollins has taken this early opportunity to add their books to this project, so we can continue to offer an extensive selection of books to customers, even though the real estate on the shelf doesn’t permit us to carry everything. What a wonderful power to be able to satisfy a customer’s need in the store.”

Booksellers interested in exploring HarperCollins “Comprehensive Backlist” offer should contact their HarperCollins sales representative. Additionally, HarperCollins staff will be onsite at next week’s ABA Winter Institute in New Orleans.

A representative from On Demand Books and the Espresso Book Machine will also be on hand at Wi7, on Thursday, January 19, at the Consultation Station.

Under an agreement between ABA and On Demand Books (ODB) announced in May 2011, On Demand Books is offering a 10 percent discount off the up-front software license fee to ABA members that purchase or lease an Espresso Book Machine before April 5, 2012. For lease agreements, the discount would be folded into the overall lease price. More information about the Espresso Book Machine is available at ondemandbooks.com.

Booksellers can keep up to date with breaking news about the HarperCollins Comprehensive Backlist Program by following @harpercollins and #podbookday on Twitter.