General Information about Itasca Books
Itasca Books operates its own order processing and shipping facilities, in
close affiliation with Bookmobile, our digital book printing service. Keeping
these essential functions in-house enables us to offer highly cost-effective
distribution services for publishers and responsive customer service for
Fulfillment of Both Consumer and Book Trade Orders
Consumer orders come in via our toll-free 800 number, our fax line, postal mail,
and our own bookselling Web site www.itascabooks.com. These ordering services are
provided for every title, along with electronic credit-card order processing,
to service direct-to-consumer, mail-order, and advertising campaigns of our
client publishers. Itasca Books staff are available via email or telephone to take
orders, answer questions, and solve logistical problems.
On the book trade side, we distribute to wholesalers Ingram and Baker &
Taylor, and to retailers, including Amazon and other online and bricks-and mortar
booksellers, wholesalers, and retailers.
For the distribution services provided to our client publishers, Itasca Books
charges a fee based on the net billing generated by the shipment of each
publisher's titles. The "net billing" is the amount invoiced to customers (not
including freight charges), less amounts credited for any returned books. This
fee structure ensures that Itasca’s incentives are in harmony with the aims of
the publishers it represents: neither the publisher nor Itasca Books benefits
from books that are merely handled rather than sold.
For storage and services not related to a book trade sale, we charge fees
according to competitive rates.
Making Money in Book Publishing
We must emphasize that while Itasca Books provides sale, distribution, and
fulfillment venues through traditional book distribution channels, most sales
to major wholesalers are not cost-effective or efficient, and may only provide
a cash return over a period of years. If you intend your sales to be a profit-making
venture, the focus must be on direct sales of the title, with you playing the
key role in developing channels for sales and follow through. We can
assist and steer, but the marketing of your books is completely in your hands.
Book Quality Standards
It is in our mutual interest that books we represent be well received by
customers. To that end, books must look and feel like any book sold in
bookstores. Each book must have a copyright page, an ISBN, and a Bookland
EAN barcode and price printed on the cover of the book. We can supply ISBNs and
barcodes for you at an additional cost. Specific requirements are listed on
the What We Need Checklist.
Partial Title Lists
Retailers and wholesalers will expect all of your available titles to come
through Itasca Books Distribution, including existing and future titles. We
can’t, unfortunately, take partial publishers’ lists. Additionally, publishers are
linked to a specific distribution company through Bowker (see the What We
Need Checklist). If Itasca Books is distributing one of your titles, we must
distribute all of them.
Each outgoing order is double-checked before it is shipped, and returns are
efficiently and accurately handled. Every returned copy is carefully inspected
and shippable copies are returned to stock. (Many distributors now simply
discard all returned books whether or not they are damaged). Hurt copies are
handled according to individual publisher's instructions.
Retailers, wholesalers and consumers receive credit for books they return to
Itasca, following normal book industry practice. Your account is in turn
debited this amount, with a portion of any postage costs that were incurred
Warehousing and Insurance
Warehousing: Itasca Books stores books in a dry, heated warehouse.
Insurance: Books are insured for loss and catastrophic damage under Itasca
Books business insurance policy, with the value set by the printing cost of the
first print run prorated per book. They are not covered from normal damage
and attrition in warehouse operations or shipping to and from resellers and
consumers. In addition, you are not insured through our policy for any loss of business resulting from loss or catastrophic damage to the books while they are being stored or handled
by Itasca Books. The cost of insurance is included in the storage fees detailed
on the attached fee schedule.
Shrinkage: There may be shrinkage or damage incurred in either storage or
shipping, and even in packaging from the printer. This is normal when
warehousing fragile products. Shrinkage will not be compensated for by Itasca
Itasca Books disseminates ordering information, publication data, and a
cover image (provided by you) to book trade databases including those
published by Bowker, Baker & Taylor, Amazon.com, and Ingram Book
Company. We will, at our discretion, submit titles to Barnes & Noble. Itasca
Books will be specified as the exclusive distributor of the publication to the
book trade. The “book trade” includes online bookstores, brick-and-mortar
bookstores, book wholesalers, and any other reseller that utilizes
Amazon.com, Bowker, Baker & Taylor, or Ingram databases for ordering
books. Because of the consortium arrangement that Itasca Books offers for
clients, you will have the advantage of getting into major distribution chains
plus the advantage of combining your titles for sales with other publishers.
Itasca Books maintains a web store to accept consumer orders for your titles
on our Web site, www.itascabooks.com. The site processes credit card
information and we pick, pack, and ship the order, as well as handle customer
service issues related to the order. You can use this Web site and shopping
cart for direct Web site links, advertising, and promotional activities.
Selling Books Yourself
You may sell copies of your books to any individual, reseller, or organization
as long as such a sale does not create the possibility of cross-returns. (Books are generally sold on a returnable basis. A “cross return” is a situation in which
a purchaser of a book returns the books for credit to a different vendor
than the one they ordered the book from originally.) During the length of the Itasca
Books contract, Itasca will remain the sole distributor of your books to the book trade.
Ending Your Relationship With Itasca
Most books have a definite lifespan. Unless you have an ongoing publishing
program you may need to end your relationship with Itasca Books when that
happens. Allow a minimum of seven months to do so. Itasca is contractually
obliged to accept returns from vendors for seven months after a title is taken
out of print. Your storage and monthly admin fees will end when the title is
taken out of print and your books are removed from the warehouse, but
returns will continue to be debited when they are received–as they were when
the title was active–until the end of the seventh month. During this period
you will still be obligated to pay any fees or compensate Itasca for returns
from wholesale customers.