There are two million books that are published in the world every year – ever wonder how book buyers choose what goes on the shelf? It is the job of the independent and in-house sales representatives to make sure that their titles stand out to the buyers – to make sure that the bookstores have all the information needed to make informed decisions about the books they include in their frontlist orders. This is where Edelweiss lends a hand. Edelweiss is a unique platform that publishers use to efficiently manage their catalogues, review copies, sales and marketing processes. This year Edelweiss has added a new product, Edelweiss Designer, to help publishers elevate their own presentations to customers, effectively getting their books into bookseller hands. Using the publisher data that is already collected during the catalogue management, Designer allows publishers to create bespoke beautiful presentations, tip sheets, one-pagers and promotions easily.
When selling titles, it is important to make the books look their best – that’s part of the sales practice, to make it look attractive. Recognising that the current tools for publishers were manual, were not specifically marketing tools but rather spitting out PowerPoints or PDFs and were a timesuck for those unlucky to be stuck with the task, John Rubin and the Edelweiss team got to work. ‘I think the opportunity that we started to realise is that we are getting all of this aggregated data, including marketing data, from publishers,’ Rubin, CEO of Edelweiss, stated. ‘Publishers started to see how great the data looks on the site, but still needed a way to reach those constituents that weren’t on Edelweiss – that documentation was vital to them.’ Seems like an easy fix – we have data, you need data, right? Not so fast. Getting all the data on a page was a challenge when considering the variability of the marketing content, how much content there is, what is important to certain titles and not others, the aspect ratio of different jacket covers, and more. ‘Our original take with Document Builder was a “nice try”, but ultimately, I don’t think we were prepared for how complicated creating a product while keeping it simple enough that anyone could use it easily would be. As the development tools have increased and we have learned more about the needs of publishers, we are excited about 2.0,’ said Rubin.
What sets Edelweiss Designer apart from all the rest is the comprehensiveness of all the data stored on the platform and the ease of use of the program. Templates can be custom built and shared between team members of the same organisation, but customisable that a last-minute change can be accommodated on any page at any time. Another perk is the shareable links for presentations. With Designer, sales representatives can send customers links to their presentations, which can be viewed regardless of whether the customer uses Edelweiss or not. No more worrying about how to send that 200-title PDF via email! While Edelweiss offers publishers a way to host their catalogues, create customer markups, market titles, get review copies in the hands of readers, stay ahead of sales trends and benchmark performance, staff don’t need to know how to use any of those perks to use Designer effectively. Collections can be made right in Edelweiss Designer to showcase the specific titles being marketed or to create bespoke tip sheets specific to a certain customer.
When asked why he thought Edelweiss Designer was a valuable tool for publishers, Rubin stated, ‘It fits in with our slogan – work better, read more. It’s all about making it so that book people can focus on the books more and not silly processes around people spending days trying to create a PowerPoint presentation.’ The Edelweiss team has currently been working with the US-based publisher, Rizzoli, to test Edelweiss Designer. A key factor in the success of a design programme to create marketing materials for books is being about to include those gorgeous inside spreads that show the character of the title. ‘Rizzoli is an amazing art book publisher and we felt like if we could make it work for an art book publisher displaying the image well, we could make something useful for all.’ All that collaboration paid off with Rizzoli using Edelweiss Designer to create their print catalogue for Fall 2022.
For more questions about Edelweiss+, or to see a demo of Edelweiss Designer please email Ruth Bradstreet at [email protected].
Joanie Borders is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Edelweiss. She works daily with UK booksellers, publishers and book organizations to help them market titles and events using Edelweiss products. While currently based in Charleston, SC in the US, she was fortunate to spend six months in the UK in the summer of 2021 and visit many of the wonderful bookshops.
Edelweiss gives over 150,000 book professionals a single source of information to sell, discover and order new book titles. Basic user accounts are free for all at edelweiss.plus.