A Peek into the World of the Channel View Sales Department

Over the next few weeks we will be taking a look at the different departments within Channel View Publications and what the responsibilities of each department entail. To start us off, Tommi tells us what he does as sales director.

The job of the sales department in a publishing house is to ensure that the books have a clear route to market. That means that we listen to our customers and find out how they are most likely to order our books. We negotiate with large wholesalers, library suppliers, bookshop chains and individual bookshops, to make certain that our books are available to our customers wherever they choose to buy them.

Sales director briefing the editorial team

We monitor sales on a daily basis, and we pass on sales information to the editorial and marketing departments, so that we can be better informed about the success of our marketing campaigns, or we can plan what types of books we should be looking to commission in the future.

We employ a team of specialist sales representatives in countries like Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and the Philippines, to ensure that there is always someone local who can help our customers order our titles efficiently.

We regularly meet with the buyers from bookstores around the world, either at the Frankfurt Book Fair, or by making sales trips to the head offices of these stores where we make sure that the buyers are aware of all of our titles. As a specialist publisher, we are able to take all our new books to be displayed at the Frankfurt Book Fair every year rather than just a small selection of our list. We are proud of EVERY book we publish, or we would not publish it.

We work closely with our two main distributors, UTP Distribution for USA and Canada, and Marston Book Services for all other countries, to ensure that the supply chain is smooth and efficient.

Tommi visiting Chinese book importers with fellow publisher Seline Benjamins

One of the most exciting responsibilities of the sales department in a modern publishing house is to keep abreast of the latest technologies for delivery of book content. Working with our dedicated production department we are always looking to make sure that our books are available in the most popular formats that our customers ask for.

Since 1999 we have been making our books available to libraries as ebook publications, and we have watched this market grow from its infancy into the vibrant market it is now. We are rapidly expanding our ebook outlets, and now offer PDF downloads of many of our newest books from an evergrowing list of outlets including ebooks.com.

This month saw the launch of our first ever Kindle publication, Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert’s Bilingual Siblings, available exclusively from Amazon.

In the coming months we look forward to expanding our ebook offerings via Amazon, the Apple iBookstore and we expect to be announcing the availability of downloadable ebooks from our own website soon.

The most important part of this job is to listen to what our customers want. Whether you are an individual customer or a representative of the booktrade, we are always happy to hear from you. If you have any problems ordering our books, if you have an opinion on the price, or would like us to be delivering a different type of ebook, please do contact me. I cannot promise that we’ll be able to do exactly as you wish, but we will always try to take your wishes into account.

Tommi Grover

Mobility Language Literacy in Cape Town, January 19th-21st

I fought very hard, but in the end my colleagues persuaded me that I really had to swap the gloom of Bristol in January for sunny Cape Town… I’m very happy that they did, and not just for entirely selfish, vitamin D-related reasons. We have a fair idea of what conferences that we attend regularly, like AAAL, are going to be like: how many books we’ll sell, who will be there etc. But one-off conferences in places we don’t visit very often are very difficult to predict. I was the only publisher at the conference, which always helps in terms of book sales, but in my 6 years of attending conferences I’ve never sold every book I have with me during the coffee break on the first morning before. Things carried on in the same vein for the rest of the conference, which left me very little time to admire the view from my table…

And another first at this conference: I’ve never had one of these visiting the stand before…

It was very nice to meet lots of new and eager book buyers and potential authors. And although conference attendees are generally very enthusiastic about our books, it’s really exciting to go somewhere once in a while where people literally can’t get enough of them. It’s a useful reminder that we don’t publish books into a void. I attended lots of very interesting sessions, and even managed to squeeze in a day for sight-seeing after the conference. So anyone hosting an interesting conference somewhere sunny in the next couple of months is very welcome to get in touch!