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Below you will find a guest post from Juli Barcelona, Digital Strategist at Barcelona Creative Group, regarding the recent development of a web store solution for a publisher client of ours. – Keith Shay

There are many elements that need to come together successfully when developing a fully integrated, managed content e-commerce site for a publisher. Recently, Ware-Pak helped a new publisher move inventory into their book fulfillment warehouse. As Ware-Pak’s trusted website development agency, we were happy to work with Liberty Fund to develop a new e-commerce site so their transition would be turnkey and as hassle-free as possible.

We worked with the publisher to establish their objectives for the design and functionality of the e-commerce site, and identify the additional features they needed to accommodate their customers. A few of these included the ability to create ‘kits’ (book sets), training their marketing personnel to use the shopping cart going forward and developing a custom and secure payment module.

Developing an effective web store solution is about more than great design. It needs to be seamlessly integrated with a publisher’s existing website; customers need to know they’re making secure transactions; and the order information needs to be transferred to the fulfillment partner in a timely manner for fast and accurate order processing.

Beyond the technical and functional goals of the site, we needed to develop an e-commerce solution that was cost effective and launch it on time so the publisher could test the site and experience a smooth transition into Ware-Pak’s warehouse.

Seamless Integration

At Barcelona Creative Group, understanding our client’s marketing objectives and helping them achieve brand consistency are responsibilities we take very seriously. Since Ware-Pak’s new client already had a website, we strived to integrate the e-commerce site with their existing site. The result is a web store that has a look and feel consistent with their existing website, but with streamlined functionality.

User-Friendly and Secure Shopping

When accepting orders online, publishers want to ensure their customers are safe on the site and that they have a positive user experience. Developing a user-friendly site that allows the shopper to find the book or product they need, go through a simple, secure purchasing process and receive their order in a very timely manner is crucial. Making complete and organized product information easily accessible is really critical to the success of any publisher’s e-commerce site.

“When you are a publisher who has hundreds of items or more, knowing your data requirements for orders and getting the product information into that format makes importing the items into the e-commerce cart happen much more smoothly. Liberty Fund was able to provide us with all of their product details in a format that helped the project stay on track, on time and cost effective. Communicating with each other to build an e-commerce site that fit the needs of Ware-Pak and their client resulted in a winning solution for everyone. ” Juli Barcelona, Digital Strategist, Barcelona Creative Group

Cost Effective and On Time Delivery

When Ware-Pak informed us of the publisher’s move-in date to the warehouse, we knew we needed to work smart in order to launch a fully integrated e-commerce solution on time. To keep the development running smoothly from start to finish, our team needed to be detail oriented and cover all of our bases. Developing a timeline and a list of items to be addressed at every stage was key.

In the end, we were able to deliver a cost-efficient, fully functional and integrated e-commerce solution on time. The publisher’s customers are secure when they purchase and Ware-Pak receives order information quickly so they can tackle the order fulfillment with great speed and accuracy. The site’s content management features allow the publisher to add new products and promotions at any time.

If you are a publisher looking for a secure, fully functional and integrated e-commerce solution, Barcelona Creative Group can help. Our relationship with Ware-Pak provides us with great insight into the publishing industry. We understand what’s really important – from brand identity, to website development, e-commerce and order fulfillment services. We offer smart strategies and integrated marketing solutions.

For more information about Barcelona Creative Group, visit us online at barcelonacreative.com or contact Juli Barcelona, President and Digital Strategist by email at juli@barcelonacreative.com or by phone at (708) 448-8077.

Find: barcelonacreative.com
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Recently I read an article in Association Now magazine, entitled “Economy Study Offers Insights on Future Expectations.” Association Now magazine is regarded as the premier publication for association executives. The article discussed reasons for the association industry to be optimistic. It also presented statistics that were a result of polling numerous executives in the association field on how the recession has affected their business and how they plan to respond in 2011. Below are some of the numbers that I found most important to share with you:

36.5 – The percentage of CEO’s planning for total revenue to increase in the coming year.

6.4 – The percentage of members who say they believe their employment situation will be worse in the coming year.

19.1 – The percentage of CEO’s expecting increased membership revenue in the coming year.

37.9 – The percentage of CEO’s who are more concerned about membership retention now than they were last year.

16.3 – The percentage of members who say they will drop their membership on the next renewal regardless of who pays their dues.

Since 1963, Ware-Pak has operated with speed, accuracy and 24/7 accessibility in order to provide associations with third party fulfillment and warehousing services so that they save on overall costs through outsourcing. With total supply chain control taken care of, associations can focus on strengthening member relationships.

Ware-Pak’s location in suburban Chicago can also help associations reach 58% of their membership within the U.S. population in 2 days, which helps lower costs and provides a key advantage as fuel costs continue to rise. Giving associations the ability to experience an overall savings of 5% to 7% on order fulfillment services can have a substantial impact on your association’s bottom line.

For fast, accurate order fulfillment, savings to your bottom line and increased member satisfaction, maybe it’s time to take a look at what Ware-Pak can do to help you have a positive 2011! Feel free to contact me, Keith Shay, at (708) 534-2600 or kshay@ware-pak.com with any questions, or to receive a free quote.

“CBC is a great opportunity for new and existing publishers to become active in the industry and keep abreast of the latest trends,” said Kristyn Friske of Windy City Publishing.

As some of you may know, I am a member of The Chicago Book Clinic (CBC at www.chicagobookclinic.org). Today, publishing is changing rapidly, and now more than ever it is important to network with other professionals in our industry. The CBC provides a platform for educational, social, and professional interaction amongst professionals.

As a CBC member, you can find the largest book publishers and vendors in the world as well as smaller, cutting-edge companies. Anyone in book and media publishing, printing, editorial or design is welcome to join.

Here are some of the things you can expect as a member:

  • Free Educational Webinars – Hosted by industry professionals, many focused on publisher specific topics.
  • Windows of Opportunity – Networking receptions to discuss burning platform issues and get insight from others.
  • Publisher’s Corner – A special segment in The Quarterly newsletter.
  • Open Doors – A unique resource for you to connect with suppliers who can specifically meet your publishing needs.

“Being a member of CBC has helped me feel like a member of a local publishing community. I believe in the good that my employer’s products deliver, and I think it is important for us to have a presence in the publishing community. I would love to see more companies get involved,” said Erika Schulz Nygaard of McGraw Hill

I recommend giving CBC a try. A six-month individual membership is only $35. With your participation, the organization will only get stronger. You can use your knowledge and advance your company and career with the tools the Chicago Book Clinic provides. Simply complete the attached PDF membership application and either fax to 630-563-9181, or mail to the Chicago Book Clinic, 310 W. Lake Street, Ste 111, Elmhurst, IL 60126 or email them at: CBC@apexmanage.com.

I will look for you at the next CBC event.

Happy Holidays!
Keith Shay

This article was distributed from Gibbs Smith Publisher. We felt that this was a proactive and positive set of guidelines for authors to promote an upcoming book and generate. Below is the article. For more information and to be linked to the Gibbs Smith Publisher website, click here.

Author Marketing Toolkit

As the author, your efforts are indispensable
You are the expert on your topic and your assistance in promoting the book is essential to its success.

Online Marketing and Promotions
A major shift has taken plan over the years regarding traditional forms of book marketing towards online marketing and promotions. A savvy author will navigate the web and create buzz about their book through a variety of outlets. Your goal is to have quality, online content about your book and you, the author, in as many outlets as possible.

It is important for authors to start promoting their books ‘before’ they are published!
Promoting your book should begin prior to a books release date. You should spend as much time promoting your book as you have in researching and writing it. Authors need to begin creating buzz about their book on blogs, podcasts and with e-releases pre-publication. This tool box is designed to introduct you to these online marketing avenues.

Social Media and Online Marketing Outlets: Getting Started
There are many ways to promote you and your book online. This prioritized list will help you lauch your book in the online marketplace…

Blog and/or Website
There are several free sites that provide easy-to-follow templates and instructions on how to create a blog. These include: www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com among others.

Facebook (personal page and a fan page for the book)
Facebook is one of the most popular site to connect with friends and fans around the world. Facebook allows you to do just about everything a blog does but it reaches a large group of people in a short amount of time.
A fan page for your book is a great place to post reviews, media events, videos, or anything else related to your book. You can also link your blog to your Facebook page. That way, you don’t have to post updates to all your social networking sites.
To set up an account, go to www.facebook.com. After you have joined, don’t forget to create a fan page for your book as well. Doing so will make it so fan of your book will see updates as soon as they are posted.

Twitter is a mini-blogging site consisting of entries that are 140 characters or less. Is is a brief way to alert people of what is happening with your book. You can post links and we highly recommend you “tweet” about where people can find your blog and Facebook pages.
Once you have set yourself up on Twitter, you can also research what is going on in the book world and your market. It is important to be updated on changes in your market and this is a great way to do that.
To join Twitter, go to www.twitter.com. For more information about Twitter and specific book promotion benefits, visit http://booknetcanada.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=541&Itemid=450 and get those birds tweeting about your book!

Booktour.com is the world’s largest, free directory of author events. You can calendar all your book events on this site. By posting your events here, readers will not only be able to track where you are going, but also be alerted when you are in their area. It’s as easy as filling in a few blanks to add events to your page. For you, it is a one-stop tool for book promotion. Post pictures, bios, events, reviews, and other sites to your page. To sign up visit www.booktour.com.

Amazon Author Central
Amazon is the greatest online sales venue! One of the newest additions to Amazon.com is the ability to build an author page. To sign up, go to http://authorcentral.amazon.com.

Book trailers are a growing trend in the industry. Creating a book trailer or video related to your book is an excellent way to promote your book prior to publication. With over 13 billion views each month, YouTube is the largest and best video website. You can also create a channel and post media clips from your television broadcast interviews. To set up an account, go to www.youtube.com.

LinkedIn is a professional network where you can connect with colleagues and college friends. It’s an easy way to broadcast news about your book to people in the professional world. You never know how someone in your network will be able to help you in promoting your book. To sign up, go to www.linkedin.com.

Know the Market
As an author, it is important to understand your market: where they are, what they’re doing, how to reach them, and growing trends in the marketplace. Here are some things you can do to stay up on the industry and your market:
1.    Subscribing to industry newsletters such as Shelf Awareness (www.shelf-awareness.com) and PW Daily (www.publishersweekly.com). There are free daily newsletters that keep you updated on the things that are going on in the industry.
2.    Joining online book clubs/discussion groups like GoodReads (www.goodreads.com) and Shelfari (www.shelfari.com) . There sites are all about books and can be great tools in getting information about your book to the people using and reading them.
3.    Research blogs related to your topic. Blogging is becoming more and more popular with more and more people following them. Find the people who are writing about your topic.

Additional Marketing Websites for Authors

Now Get Started!
Your self-promotion is in your hands. Don’t underestimate the power of social networking. It is a tool that will bring your book to a much larger audience. When a great book is more accessible for an audience that wants to find it, added to book tours and signings. You can reach more people than you ever knew. Word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool.

Below is a Guest post by Marsha J. Friedman
(Thank you Marsha for contributing to the Ware-Pak blog.)

Many new authors think the answer is either “when the book is done” or “doesn’t the publisher take care of that?”

But unless you are a Glenn Beck or Dan Brown, both of those responses are dead wrong.

The right answer is before you start to write your book! Before you type the first word, it is critical that you think about the projection in its entirety – including a plan for marketing and promotion and a budget as well. Here are a few questions you want to ask yourself in the process:

  • What do I want to accomplish with my book? Is it a marketing vehicle to build your credibility and grow your business? Or perhaps it’s a novel you’re hoping will turn into a series, with fans begging for the next installment. Your answers to this fundamental question affect not only what you write, and how you write it, but what kind of promotional effort makes sense for your book.
  • Who do I want to reach with my message? Know your audience. Are they teens, men, women, baby boomers or seniors? If you’ve identified who you are writing to, it will help hone your writing style and your message. But, it will also affect to a very large degree how you go about promoting your book and the marketing opportunities available for reaching your audience. For example, an effective digital promotional strategy that reaches busy young people will not necessarily hit the mark with seniors who are less likely to get their information from the Internet or mobile phones.
  • What title and cover design will get book buyers interested in what I have to say? The title of your book can play a key role in the promotion and sales of your book. And, with limited space available for the precise words that will effectively communicate how dynamic and interesting your book is, you can see how important that title can be. There’s also the actual design of the book cover to consider which can either forward your key message, or make it seem as dull as dishwater. My point is that an impactful title with a very creative cover plays an important role in the marketing of your book, but this is an expense you must calculate into your marketing and promotional budget. Speaking of budget – this leads me to the last point which is without a doubt, one of the most important points.
  • What kind of a budget do I need for the entire project? Regardless of whether your book will be self-published, or you’ve attracted the interest of a major publisher, a budget for marketing and promotion is an absolute must. And an effective book marketing campaign isn’t necessarily cheap, particularly if you’re going to hire a professional firm to execute a solid campaign. But, if you choose to do the promotion yourself, there are still expenses involved that you need to factor into your budget, not the least of which may be hiring someone in-house to assist you, either with your book promotion or your normal everyday work that will pile up because of the book promotion!

There is a reason I am hitting this point so hard. It’s because of the countless emails and calls I get from authors who didn’t really understand this would be necessary, and who are now sitting with great books in a warehouse or boxed up in their garage. I feel bad, but there’s nothing to compare with how frustrated or disappointed they feel after all the hard work, time and passion they’ve invested in the whole process.

I’m reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” It may be catchy, but it’s simply not true. Here’s the truth: the only way the world will beat a path to your door – or to bookstores, your website or listing on Amazon.com – is if consumers even know your book exists…and that means a great deal of marketing and promotion.

Instead of explaining about the books in the garage to the grandkids, wouldn’t it make a much better story to tell them how you became a successful writer?

For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI, a national public relations firm. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Teamster’s President Jimmy Hoffa Jr., Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, the Temptations.

She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Go to www.emsincorporated.com to signup for Marsha Friedman’s free weekly PR Tips today! More resources for authors can also be found at www.publicitythatworks.com. Or call 727-443-7115, ext. 202, or email her at info@marshafriedman.com.

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