When the University of Michigan Press reached out to ReaderBound for an initial conversation about a website redesign, we were immediately impressed by their rich and wide-ranging publishing program. The press had thousands of titles alongside many additional resources, a large team including in-house developers, complex ecommerce and fulfillment needs, and a biggie: a second publishing division (Michigan Publishing Services) that would require its own site.
Thankfully, the ReaderBound platform can be custom-tailored as needed and that foundation led us to several innovative solutions for Michigan, including multiple data feeds, two sites out of one content management system, and more.
“ReaderBound truly has publishers’ best interests at heart," says Portage & Main Publisher Catherine Gerbasi. "They know the book market, they’re such good listeners, they’re great problem-solvers, and they’re creative. I would definitely recommend them for their experience, expertise, and value.”
She adds that, “Sales through our website increased by close to 40%. Within a year, the site had more for paid for itself. The value for what we received is extremely high. No more constant bills for fixes. We’ve saved a lot of money moving to ReaderBound.”
[The site is] doing all kinds of stuff people didn’t anticipate. It’s opening our minds to new possibilities.
Annick Press has been publishing classic and contemporary children’s literature since 1975. While you most certainly know some of their most beloved titles, including Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess and Kathy Stinson’s Red Is Best, they’ve also been on the forefront of publishing exciting, diverse new voices; winning major awards; and providing teaching guides and resources to an enthusiastic audience of educators and librarians.
You’d never know it from the accolades Playwrights Canada Press receives for the books it publishes, or from the talented artists and writers who choose to work with the press, but Playwrights is helmed by only three people. As is the case for so many small presses, everyone has to wear several hats, not the least Blake Sproule, who serves as Playwrights’ managing editor as well as digital director.Playwrights needed a website that could bring efficiency to daily operations and end the tedious task of repeating ONIX processes for different platforms, a duplication of work that can eat up priceless staff hours.But that wasn’t all they were looking for. We sat down with the Playwrights Canada team to talk about what they were looking for in a website and how ReaderBound is helping them to achieve their business goals.
With 50 percent of book discovery happening online, and nearly half of all purchases taking place via e-commerce, book publishers require solid and secure websites that not only attract readers and book buyers, but that can also be relied upon day in and day out for promotions, reader engagement, and sales. A website outage -- even a short one -- can be disastrous.
As the fourth largest university press in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (WLUP) has been publishing scholarly monograms and collections, mainly in the area of social sciences and humanities, since 1974.
The press currently publishes 30 to 40 books per year -- an ambitious publishing program for a small team. This was a big factor in WLUP’s requirement for a website that was reliable, easy to update and maintain, and that provided lots of automated features to minimize the demand on staff time.
Change has been in the air at the University of Regina Press for the past several years; most recently with the launch of its new website. But it started back in 2013, when the press, after 40 years of operation as the Canadian Plains Research Center Press, relaunched with a new brand, a new publisher, and a new goal to expand its publishing program. “Canadian Plains had focused on Indigenous issues, and we have continued that focus,” said sales and marketing manager Morgan Tunzelmann, “but we’ve expanded to include a broader readership and titles.”
In 2020, Canada was the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the oldest and largest book and cultural trade fair in the world. It was a great honour and provided a tremendous opportunity to showcase Canadian literature and authors on the world stage. In the build-up, Gillian Fizet, executive director of Canada FBM 2020, observed “There’s big momentum building up, it’s like an Olympiad.” Canada FBM 2020 was the organization representing the Canadian publishing industry and operated with the funding and general oversight of the Department of Canadian Heritage. “Germans are really into Canada, but they don’t know that much about our literary landscape, in part because we’re often overshadowed by the U.S.,” she said. “When we accepted this honour and started talking to people in Germany, it became quite evident that we needed a promo tool.” ReaderBound provided this tool and accomplished several remarkable feats along the way.
Editor's Note: The Reading Canada site has served its purpose and is no longer active.
“We’re happy that the new site is geared to how our readers actually think about and search for books,” says Lam. “We’ve seen major gains in sales from the website and are finding a lot of customers are doing “deep dives” into our backlist – whether for a specific author or category.”