Owner and President
The Book Company (asi/41010)
Q: Please give us some company background.
A: My wife and I started out as cookbook publishers more than 15 years ago, creating and selling small cookbooks for housewares companies to use as premiums and in-pack items, featuring a logo and product information inside. Moving beyond the cookbook arena into other published books while extending our reach to additional types of companies seemed like a natural extension. So in 2002, we decided to re-focus our business away from direct-selling and bring published books into the promotional product industry.
At that time, customizing published books was a completely foreign concept to distributors and their clients. It even took time convincing the top book publishing houses to allow us to exclusively distribute their books to this new market. Today, I’m proud to say we sell millions of books that support thousands of promotions for many of our industry’s top distributors and their high-profile, often Fortune 500, clients.
Q: Which of your books are hot sellers right now?
A: I’m often asked this question. Unlike every other supplier, with books there aren’t really hot sellers. Some years we sell more city/state books or quote books or business books or coffee table-style photo books, so there are topics that are “hot” but we don’t have bestsellers like a bookstore would. With our new, exclusively designed journal collections, our hot sellers include our Cool, Groove and Rhythm collections.
Q: What are some of the top markets for books?
A: Books are read, discussed, shared, displayed and never thrown away, so top markets are typically those that promote to a more educated audience. Any company or organization that deals with professional people including banks and finance, technology, insurance, health care, travel and professional services are several of the top markets.
Q: What makes books unique promotional giveaways?
A: Different from other typical promo products, books are communication tools and keepsake gifts. My experienced account teams are extremely good at finding two to three books to perfectly represent every end-user’s brand, theme, message and budget. With books, there is only one question that truly matters: “What are you trying to say and who are you trying to say it to?” It’s our job to help distributors find books that make their clients say, “Wow! I love it! I would never have thought of that idea!”
Q: What features should distributor sales reps note when pitching books to clients?
A: The most important features are the meaningful, keepsake nature of books, the opportunity for full-color customization on a book’s first page or front jacket and, of course, the message of the specific book itself and the meaningful connection that book makes with the recipients. Bottom line: books are impactful, rarely get thrown away, are easy to customize and come in almost every price range.
Q: How have your books been used in specific promotions?
A: Salespeople at the Boston-based technology company Iron Mountain give away customized copies of the book Leaders Eat Last, by popular business book author Simon Sinek, to their top clients and new prospects. The message on the customized promo page inside the book cover reads: “Just as Leaders Eat Last explains how loyalty is earned when leaders put the needs of others first, you can rest assured knowing Iron Mountain is your trusted information management partner who can be relied on to put your business objectives ahead of anything else.”