METRO VANCOUVER, B.C.–Atomic Fez Publishing is proud to announce they have signed a distribution deal with Midpoint Trade Books for supply of its catalogue of titles to libraries and wholesale trade customers in the United States of America. This agreement covers not only paperback and hardcover books, but widespread supply of electronic books as well.
The Publisher / Proprietor of Atomic Fez, Ian Alexander Martin, says this distribution agreement was “something that Atomic Fez very much needed to complete the preparations for Mark H. Williams’ Sleepless Knights. Without some proper way of satisfying the public clamour for the novel, the author would be done a disservice after all his hard work, given the tale’s appeal to such a wide swath of the reading public.”
Representing 275 independent publishers across the United States, UK, Canada and Australia, Midpoint Trade Books provides full service book, eBook and audio sales; as well as a marketing and distribution. It is based in the Flatiron District of New York City, with additional offices in Kansas, Michigan and San Francisco.
Since Midpoint aggregates many publishers under one name, they have a much larger catalog and market presence. This makes the books they carry, including Atomic Fez’s, more attractive to larger retailers such as Chapters/Indigo, WH Smith, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble; as well as the internet branches of retailers and the many international versions of Amazon, and the incalculable number of American public libraries.
Midpoint was founded in 1996 by a group of industry professionals, including current President Eric Kampmann and Executive Vice President Chris Bell. Today, Midpoint retains the same entrepreneurial spirit with which the company was founded, which was something that Mr. Martin felt was a key factor to the partnership being mutually beneficial. “Taking risks because it’s exciting is no way to run a business,” he explained. “Taking a risk which is a qualified one – using pre-orders or reviews as an indication of potential sales – is something which any small press publisher does, but always with a varying amount of success” when independent houses attempt things on their own. Midpoint understands that, and provides the ability for me to realise that goal for the authors.
“There is no way I could handle even a fraction of the work load Sleepless Knights is going to create,” Mr. Martin added. He pointed-out the review last week from Publishers Weekly which earned a star making the title “Highly Recommended” in the estimation of the reviewer. Additionally, the book was reportedly featured on the ‘Table of Contents’ page in the printed edition of the issue. “With attention like this prior to the official publishing date of august 5th,” Mr. Martin continued, “I’m confident this is a book that people are going to not only want to read, they’ll take the time to do it. All of the books Atomic Fez has published more than earn their place in people’s reading time, but once in awhile a book really hits all the right notes so that you know it’s something anyone, no matter their tastes, will share your enthusiasm about.”
The recent surge in eBook sales has seen a considerable need to create distribution on the electronic format. The Association of American Publishers reports eBooks represented 22.55% of the total share of the USA trade publishing market’s net revenue in 2012, compared to a miniscule 0.005% a decade earlier¹. BookStats recently released statistics showing this translated into 457.093 million units for a total value of $3.042 billion last year². This growth has expanded even to the typically staid European market, with eBooks reaching 2.4% of the German Book Market in 2012, representing a 140% increase from only the year before³. Additionally, the Institute for Publishing Research projecting that eBooks will represent 20% of the overall reading market by 2015. Additionally. most readers do not buy physical books once they switch to buying eBooks (and these readers are often the most voracious).
|• Amazon Kindle
• Barnes & Noble
• Sony eReader Store
• Kobo Books
• Books on Board
• Apple iBookstore
• Blio Store
• Book Depository
• WH Smith
|New supply of electronic
titles to Public Libraries
• Net Library
• Follett Software Company
• eBook Library
Recognising this but being unable to break into the market in any meaningful way was something which Mr. Martin found frustrating. “Kobo, the Kindle store, and directly through the Atomic Fez site, the eBooks are available – and always without any DRM to screw things up for readers down the road – but sales of the books just haven’t matched what the growing market represents taking place. The problem is that, when you’re doing everything yourself, you’ve only got so much time, so much influence, and so much cash, to try and make a big enough splash readers take note of your titles.
“So when Laura Robinson” – Midpoint’s New Business Manager and National Accounts Manager – “pointed out that they handle eBooks, my heart skipped a beat. After skimming down the list of retailers Atomic Fez’s books could be brought to, especially the Public Library market, there wasn’t any question that signing an agreement with Midpoint was going to be a cornerstone of our step up in the next few years. At long last, this is going to put the words written by Atomic Fez’s authors in front of a huge number of readers’ eyeballs compared to before now.
Citing text on the Midpoint Trade Books’ website quoted below, Mr. Martin says “it’s obvious that Midpoint is dedicated to create the kind of connections that small press houses need” to make the difference between being a hobbyist concern and an on-going, professional concern.
The digital marketplace has expanded well beyond Amazon Kindle. It now includes retailers, libraries, and independent eBook websites — and new sales avenues are developing all the time!
At Midpoint, we have developed an extensive sales network for eBooks. Midpoint eVolve gives you access to this network, so that you can provide customers with more opportunities to buy your books.
The digital marketplace offers a huge growth opportunity for publishers, but entering that market can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why we created Midpoint eVolve. eVolve is a full service eBook solution, which includes consultation, conversion, distribution, sales, secure digital storage, and reporting.
Principal to any distribution agreement is the physical movement of printed books from one place to another, mostly from the distributor’s warehouse to a retailer’s location. With Midpoint’s use of Leisure Arts’ distribution centre located in Little Rock, Arkansas, shipments by common carrier can reach either the Pacific or Atlantic coast in two days, while both UPS and FedEx deliver to most of the USA within one to three days, at regular non-priority rates. Even postal shipments tend to get to their destinations faster when shipped from Little Rock. In fact, more than 98% of all orders ship from the warehouse within 24 hours of being released, and more than 99% of orders ship accurately
Midpoint’s storage of its inventory using Leisure Arts facility enables use of the latest technology and equipment in order to provide fast, efficient service. The distribution center is an air conditioned, secure, state-of-the-art facility, equipped with high-flow sprinklers and both fire and burglar alarm systems. The modern wire guide system ensures safe and efficient movement of products and can handle pallet loads of up to 4,000 pounds.
While specific dates and details weren’t available, discussions regarding distribution agreements with firms in both the United Kingdom and Canada which are allied with Midpoint are expected t be concluded soon.
Mr. Martin cites Midpoint’s approach to pro-active sales demonstrated through their positive, friendly environment at conferences and expos attracts large numbers of people to their booth at events. Midpoint is known for having a particularly strong presence at Book Expo America – aka “BEA” – and The London Book Fair. Author signings at the Midpoint booth provide their publishers with a strong platform for promoting their authors and titles.
In addition to international events such as those, Midpoint is always interested in other opportunities to connect with the publishing industry. They often have a presence at The Frankfurt Book Fair, ALA, CBA, NEIBA and other regional trade shows.
“All in all,” Mr. Martin concluded, “things couldn’t look brighter for Atomic Fez than they are right now. There’s not just the awesome novel Sleepless Knights from Mark H. Williams on the way, there’s a system ready to go to make it available as widely as possible in any edition people can want. Not only that, it’ll apply to the entire current Atomic Fez catalogue of genre-busting fiction. Things feel ready and, with this agreement in place, things are ready.”
Links from this article:
- Atomic Fez Publishing: AtomicFez.com
- Midpoint Trade Books: MidpointTrade.com
- Sleepless Knights: AtomicFez.com/SleeplessKnights
- Book Expo America, “BEA”: BookExpoAmerica.com
- The London Book Fair: LondonBookFair.co.uk
- The Frankfurt Book Fair: BuchMesse.de/en/fbf/
- American Library Association, “ALA”: ALAAnnual.org
- Christian Booksellers Association “CBA”: CBAOnLine.org
- New England Independent Booksellers Association, “NEIBA”: NewEnglandBooks.org
¹ Library Journal, April 11, 2013: “Statistics: Ebook Sales Made Up 22.5% of U.S. Trade Publisher Revenues in 2012”
² Library Journal, May 22, 21013: “Ebooks, Online Drive Trade Sales Growth”
³ The Digital Reader, June 13, 2013: “eBooks Reached 2.4% of the German Book Market in 2012”