Baker & Taylor has launched a new publisher services business called Baker & Taylor Publisher Services that will offer distribution and other functions to children’s, trade, K‐12, higher education and academic publishers.

To help direct the new division, B&T has hired Mark Suchomel as senior v-p of sales & client services. He will be joined in guiding the new division by Ken Fultz who has been promoted to senior v-p of operations. Suchomel is a well-known distribution executive who was president of IPG and, most recently, president of client services for the distribution arm of the Perseus Books Group before its sale to Ingram.

BTPS will utilize the assets of Bookmasters, the distribution and printing business Follett Corp. acquired along with B&T in April 2016. Bookmasters specializes in distribution for small publishers and self-published authors. While it will continue those services, Suchomel told PW he also plans to sign larger publisher clients.

Suchomel noted that, in addition to reaching trade accounts, BTPS will be use B&T’s ties to the library and school markets to distribute to those accounts. While Suchomel and his team will focus on the domestic market, they will also work with B&T’s Global Publishers Services team (headed by Chitra Bopardikar) to offer publishers worldwide distribution.

With the creation of BTPS, the Bookmasters name will no longer be used in relationship to B&T’s distribution business. The name will live on though, housing B&T's printing and manufacturing businesses, which Fultz will continue to oversee.

Citing the reach and experience of Follett and B&T, David Cully, B&T president, said: “Launching Baker & Taylor Publisher Services was a natural choice when you consider our strength in diverse markets and trusted role as a partner to many publishers.”