Workman Makes Backlist a Priority

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Workman Publishing Company has updated its seasonal "Acorns" promotion with deep discounts, extended dating, and an expanded list of eligible backlist titles. "It's a great offer and hundreds of booksellers have responded positively by working with their reps to write aggressive orders under the plan," said Workman Sales Director Steven Pace.

The terms of the promotion are a 55 percent discount returnable (60 percent for nonreturnable accounts) and free freight on orders of 25 or more assorted units of 44 key backlist titles exclusive to the Workman imprint. The deal is one-time-only per ship-to each season. The Spring 2010 Acorns offer is in effect until June 30; new titles for the Fall Acorns promo will be unveiled at BEA. The 44-title spring list includes The Barbecue! Bible (Steve Raichlen), Stitch 'N Bitch (Debbie Stoller), The Wine Bible (Karen MacNeil), and The World Record Paper Airplane Book (Jeff Lammers and Ken Blackburn).

Now the independent publisher has added a sweetener to the Acorns offer: "If an account also places a promotional backlist stock offer order (all titles from all imprints combine) together with an Acorns order, we will extend 120-day dating on both orders!" Pace said. "In effect, we are giving booksellers great margin and extended dating, along with free-freight, on our entire backlist. And we don't exclude any backlist titles from the offer --Swing, Gallop, What to Expect, BrainQuest, 1,000 Places to See, Silver Palate, all of Steven Raichlen's titles, Water for Elephants, Backyard Homestead, all of our backlist are eligible for the general backlist offer."

Pace noted that Workman has offered "deep discounts on key backlist titles for years." The difference, he said, is "the list has expanded to twice as many titles as we've had in the past and this extra option of 120-day dating."

Workman focuses on promoting backlist titles because they comprise about 80 percent of its sales, and the publisher recognizes the role of independent booksellers in the success of those titles. "That's probably way outside of the industry norm," said Pace. "Because backlist is such a priority at Workman, we continue to market and publicize them long after most publishers. We spend a great deal of time working on our backlist with independents, and they've always responded positively to our efforts.

"I think Peter [Workman, the company's founder] is extremely generous to make these kinds of terms available to retailers," said Pace. "It shows his support for independent booksellers and the titles he's published over the years. It's just phenomenal to have these kinds of terms that really present no risk to the retailer."

For additional details or questions, booksellers should contact their Workman reps. --Karen Schechner