Saturday, September 10, 2011
Random House Moves to All-Digital Catalogs In 2012
Random House will move to digital-only catalogs next year, beginning with the summer 2012 children's lists (for which the selling season begins in early January) and the fall 2012 adult lists. They are using the Edelweiss electronic catalog service, as well their own web sites. The randomhouse.biz site will feature searchable, sortable information for the trade on forthcoming titles, and the divisional consumer sites will integrate and display new title data as well. PDF downloads will be available as well, though some of the site resource enhancements are a work-in-progress, and will be ready for the transition.
Random House director, account marketing Ruth Liebmann tells BTW, "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."
Spokesman Stuart Applebaum had no estimate of annual costs savings to share, but said, "For us, probably just as, and perhaps even more significant than the opportunity to redeploy marketing dollars to more consumer-centric motivators, will be the ability to soon provide our accounts and other interested parties immediate, constantly-updated news on publicity and marketing activities, cohesively unified online with the core title information and jacket images in full color (not a regular print catalog feature.) Essentially, one-click briefings for better-informed buying decisions by our customers about our new titles."
As for the other audiences who use print catalogs--including rights buyers--Applebaum says "our intention is to drive these groups to Edelweiss, which is free and accessible to all, as well as to our internal platforms," though individual divisions "may decide to prepare a limited amount of printed title presentations for the transition phase for those are not yet digitally inclined."
ABA ceo Oren Teicher endorses the transition, saying "Random House's transition from print to digital catalogs represents a carefully thought through execution of that goal.