Random House has begun a reorganization of its company sales group. It is the first company-wide reorganization in three years, and Ruth Liebmann, director of independent bookselling for Random House, told BTW that a major impetus for the changes is that "a lot has changed in the last three years, in the marketplace, in the needs of booksellers, and in the needs of our publishers."
Under the new structure, Random House will maintain its three publisher-dedicated sales divisions, which were characterized as "essential" by David Naggar, senior vice president, director of Random House, Inc. Sales Group, in a company memo. The divisions are Random House Trade Sales; Ballantine Bantam Dell Doubleday Broadway Audio and Large Print Sales; and Random House Children's Sales.
While the restructuring is a result of "Random House [looking] at the bigger picture of how we do business," according to Liebmann, she said that Random House would continue to have "more people selling to independents that any other major publisher" after the reorganization was completed. "The goal is to continue to maintain maximum face-to-face interaction with booksellers," she said.
One change in the restructuring will be that Random House Trade Sales will now be composed of three sales divisions, not four. Duncan DeGraff will head Random House Trade Sales Division operations in the East; Steve Wallace will head operations in central states; and Mark Alexander will head operations in the West. Further details weren't available at press time. Liebmann noted that "some of the fine points are still being worked out and discussed in-house." In the meantime, however, she told BTW that booksellers were encouraged to contact the company: "As always, we welcome phone calls and e-mails from booksellers who want to discuss sales issues."
-- Dan Cullen