College Art Association Sells Books Direct-to-Consumer

One of Bookmobile’s most recent art book publishers is the College Art Association. With Bookmobile’s services, CAA sells both print books and PDF eBooks from their website, such as the 2011 edition of the Directory of Graduate Programs in Art History, among others. The directories provide detailed information on 650 graduate programs in the arts in six countries. In the past, CAA sold only print books from a traditional print run, which created high overhead and additional warehousing costs. Bookmobile’s custom Direct-to-Consumer solution has eliminated 75% of CAA’s up-front costs and warehousing fees. Now, CAA handles the shopping cart and the sale, and Bookmobile takes care of the rest.

Founded in 1911 and based in New York City, the College Art Association “promotes the visual arts and their understanding through committed practice and intellectual engagement.” CAA has a niche market, and their in-house marketing can easily reach consumers to grow sales. CAA distributes an email newsletter to a 15,000-member audience, runs ads in venues their primary audience reads, sends out targeted mailings to reference and art librarians, offers purchasing alternatives for undergraduates on a limited budget, and in the future, will offer eBook purchasing options for institutions.

When print orders are placed, they are funneled to Bookmobile’s fulfillment arm, Itasca Books, where books are picked and packed from inventory maintained by Bookmobile. Bookmobile reprints as needed to maintain a two-week demand, but CAA only pays for printing once a book is sold, not before.

For PDFs, Bookmobile packages the PDF file and applies digital rights management with Adobe Content Server 4, and a link is provided to the customer. Bookmobile’s involvement is invisible. CAA also plans to make use of Bookmobile’s EPUB services to offer a product that reads easily on all platforms.

Bookmobile sends out monthly invoices to CAA, detailing each order (title, quantity, ship method, costs).

Betty Leigh Hutchinson, Managing Editor and Codirector of Publications at CAA, says:

An added bonus of working with BookMmbile is the excellent client service that they provide.

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