1 What's your company called?
Signature Book Representation.
2 What services or products do you offer?
We provide a full range of services for our clients, including national representation in the UK and Ireland—from branch level to key accounts, wholesalers both national and regional, specialist, trade and non-traditional accounts. Our contacts within a changing book trade market have been built up over many years, and we have access to all significant trade outlets. As well as regular presentations to key players including Waterstones, WH Smith, Blackwell, Bertrams, Gardners and Bookspeed, we maintain a strong presence in Waterstones and Blackwell branches.
‘Hand-selling’ is a quaint phrase these days, but at Signature we understand the importance of targeted presentation to the right accounts, and are very proud of our record with independent booksellers. We regularly visit independents all over the UK, keep them updated on publicity developments and regularly design promotions with independents in mind. We also visit many of the UK’s top museums and galleries, selling a wide range of titles and suggesting exhibition tie-in titles from front and backlist.
Online sales are growing for everyone and we liaise regularly with internet booksellers, presenting titles for promotion and ensuring online presence for our client publishers. High street retailers and gift shops are a growing part of our market too, as are leisure retailers such as garden centres, zoos and aquatic and wildlife centres. We regularly visit specialist wholesalers who supply these accounts, as well as visiting some direct.
3 How can you help IPG members?
We can offer members sales representation if they think we are right for them. We choose who we work with carefully, as a successful relationship for both parties is our priority.
4 What do you enjoy about working in publishing?
We enjoy working closely with our client publishers and share their excitement when new seasons’ titles are published. We genuinely love what we do and every day is different. Equally, we have great relationships in the trade and visiting our accounts and buyers is a highlight of the job.
5 What do you think is the single biggest opportunity and the single biggest threat for independent publishers right now?
The trade is always changing and we are seeing sales outside the traditional channels growing. But we always have to keep a close eye on discounts so that everyone in the supply chain can make each book profitable.
6 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?