Houghton Mifflin to Offer Free Freight October 1

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This week, Houghton Mifflin announced that its Trade and Reference Division would begin to offer free freight beginning October 1, 2006. In addition, Houghton announced two new retail backlist programs, both now available to booksellers.

The decision to offer free shipping was spurred by the fact that the publisher has made a "major overhaul of its terms of sale to reflect the realities of the marketplace where books are sold in a multitude of channels," according to a company statement.

"We're able to do this now because we've also addressed systems changes that allow for efficiencies across the supply chain," said Gary Gentel, corporate vice president and director of sales for Houghton's Trade and Reference Division. "Free freight, along with a simplified discount structure and an innovative and flexible retail backlist program, is a way to help our customers not only order more, but to actually sell more of our books by partnering with us in how our books are stocked and promoted at store level."

Houghton's free freight program offers retail bookstores a 46 percent discount plus free freight on trade imprints (including all trade titles from HM Adult, Reference, HM Juvenile, Clarion Books, Larousse, Kingfisher, Chambers, Beacon Press, and Old Farmer's Almanac) on a returnable basis. There is a minimum order quantity of 10 units.

The discount schedule for trade imprints on a non-returnable basis is 46 percent for 1 - 24 assorted units; 51 percent for 25 - 499 assorted units; and 54 percent on 500 or more assorted units. For retail distribution centers, the returnable discount is 48 percent (minimum order quantity of 10); the non-returnable discount for centers is 48 percent on 1- 24 assorted units, 51 percent for 25 - 499 assorted units, and 51 percent on 500 or more assorted units.

The two new backlist programs are:

  • Build Your Own Promotion: Stores choose Houghton Mifflin backlist titles in promotions they have already planned or they can design their own anytime during the year and up to six times each year. Backlist titles in the promotion are +5 percent, and there is a minimum order quantity of 25.

  • The Backlist Enrichment Program. Stores can use this program to find and fill gaps in their sections with bestselling Houghton Mifflin backlist titles. Backlist titles in this program are +5 percent on entire order and there is a minimum order quantity of 10 titles currently not in stock.

Further information is available from Houghton Mifflin sales reps.