Consortium grew out of a small book wholesaling cooperative in 1985 to become a full-service distributor, and we quickly earned a reputation as an advocate for independent publishers. As our reputation and expertise grew, so did our publisher base. We now represent more than 90 independent publishers from the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Australia, enabling them to successfully reach the trade, library, and academic audiences for their books. We understand the importance of ideas, and our goal as a distributor is to introduce those ideas—some that may otherwise not be heard—to the world. Through an award-winning literary tradition, Consortium has fostered innovation and excellence in publishing—our publishers’ authors are among the most distinguished and honored in the publishing community. We offer an incredibly diverse range of books, including fiction, poetry, gay and lesbian studies, politics, music, art, history, and children's books, just to name a few. To our customers, Consortium represents a source for books of quality and distinction.
What We Do
Consortium acts as a representative of our publisher-clients to the book trade—including bookstores, chains, wholesalers, libraries and specialty markets. We act as our publishers’ sales and distribution departments through our in-house and independent representatives all trusted experts in aggressive and intelligent selling.
We understand the publishing process from binding to bookshelf. That includes production planning and implementation, marketing and sales. We respect the unique identity of our publisher clients and work to deliver truly personalized service through our publisher–focused color catalog, website, targeted marketing advice, personal sales conference presentations and customized distribution plans. We know what it takes to create and maintain a successful publishing program, and we work closely with publishers to make their individual programs a success.
Some of the outstanding services our publishers enjoy include:
- Warehousing and inventory maintenance
- Friendly and helpful customer service
- Shipping and returns processing
- Risk management, collections, and credit processing
- State of the art online sales and inventory reporting
- Top-notch sales representation
- Marketing services, including: Semi-annually updated marketing handbook, representation at trade and academic exhibits, Consortium-coordinated direct mail and advertising programs, event support, seasonal meetings to discuss forthcoming titles
In today’s challenging marketplace, even the best books can fail to find a readership. Avoiding this fate requires careful planning and positioning, a solid marketing program and talented salesmanship. Not only do we provide these services, we provide them in a creative and personalized way. We respect the individuality of each of our publisher-clients, and we know that what works for one publisher may not work for another. Consortium staff is highly adaptable and flexible, and we are keenly aware that in this ever-changing industry, we need to be.
As we continue to grow, we will never outgrow our publishers, our customers, and most importantly, the books that we’ve been entrusted to guide through the marketplace to their ultimate destination-into the hands of readers.
Click here for a Consortium brochure, complete with a current publisher list and information for prospective publishers.
Whether we like to admit it or not, the book business is a business, and the backbone of it all is sales. Consortium’s talented and knowledgeable sales force is made up of independent and in-house sales representatives covering the entire United States and Canada. Every day, our sales representatives work hard to get our publishers’ books on shelves (and ultimately into consumers’ hands), covering independent booksellers, national and regional wholesalers, chain bookstores, museums, university bookshops, and selected specialty accounts.
Leading the sales force is our sales director, and key national accounts (we're talking about the biggies here) are handled in-house. We work closely with our sales people and employ a full-time sales rep liaison to assist sales reps in their selling efforts.
The primary tool our representatives use to sell books is our frontlist catalog. It’s four hundred pages of good reading about good reading, and we cut no corners here. With two frontlist catalogs printed each year, Consortium is the only major distributor to offer full-color catalog presentation for every frontlist book every season. The spring/summer season catalogs are available in December, and the fall/winter season catalogs are available in May.
In addition to the frontlist catalog (and a variety of subject-specific catalogs directed at the academic market), Consortium’s publishers also enjoy a complete representation of their books on our website. In any way possible, we make it our mission to get books in front of readers.