Random House Children’s and Random House Adult catalogs will be going digital only, beginning with their Summer 2012 and Fall 2012 lists, respectively. The change ensures the catalog information will be “more up-to-the-minute, and thus more viable, practical, and useful,” said Ruth Liebmann, vice president, director, account marketing, Random House, Inc.
Random House Children’s and Random House Adult catalogs will be going digital only, beginning with their Summer 2012 and Fall 2012 lists, respectively. The change ensures the catalog information will be “more up-to-the-minute, and thus more viable, practical, and useful,” said Ruth Liebmann, vice president, director, account marketing, Random House, Inc. “Better information means smarter buys.”
Digital catalogs also mean more accurate and timely information for booksellers. “So many independent booksellers are telling us that many of their frontlist buying decisions are now based on information that is often unavailable at the time our paper catalogs go to the printer, which can be as much as 10 months before the on-sale date: i.e., publicity information, marketing support, jacket art, etc.,” Liebmann said. “Having a digital catalog that is easily updated allows us to bring more practical real-time information into the sales call.”
Most reps will begin selling the Summer 2012 Random House Children’s list, the first catalog affected by the change, in January 2012, and the Fall 2012 Adult list in April 2012.
Above the Treeline’s Edelweiss platform is “the most comprehensive, targeted, flexible, and up-to-date vehicle for accessing the catalog electronically,” said Liebmann. “We already have many proven success stories of happy customers who no longer want paper and can attest to the Edelweiss’ advantages.”
The new catalogs will offer more extensive information from reps. “The most dramatic change is that the sales reps now have a chance to add much richer, personal comments to a digital catalog,” Liebmann said. “Digital catalogs allow the reps’ voices and ideas to be a bigger part of the conversation even before the frontlist call, which is a huge benefit to everyone.”
Among other resources for Random House title information will be the continuation of the searchable, sortable title information on the randomhouse.com and randomhouse.biz sites, as well as downloadable PDFs. Said Liebmann, “We aren’t the first publisher to move away from paper catalogs, so we’ve gotten a lot of very useful information from booksellers about how to make the transition as effective as possible.”
“Back when ABA first convened our Electronic Catalog Task Force in 2008, the intent was to work with booksellers and publishers so that the development of digital catalogs would be as uniform as possible across publishers,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. “Random House’s transition from print to digital catalogs represents a carefully thought through execution of that goal.”
To ease the transition further, Random House reps will be having ongoing conversations with booksellers as well as a greater sales-management presence at the fall regional trade shows, which will also feature Edelweiss programming.
One of the key steps Random House can take to support indie booksellers is to provide “the kind of marketing and publicity support that drives consumers into their stores,” said Liebmann. “Digital catalogs will free up precious rep time and home-office-based marketing time. Our reps are doing amazing things in their communities – presenting to bookstore customers, working with libraries and reading groups, too many things to list here – and we want to give them more time to help more bookstores sell more books.”
Booksellers who would like to find out more about the Random House move to paperless catalogs are encouraged to contact their Random House reps.
Edelweiss is completely free to publishing industry professionals, including retailers, librarians, media, bloggers, publicists, and others. A sign-up form and more information can be found at abovethetreeline.com/edelweiss/.