MVB U.S.'s Pubeasy added 882 client bookstores in 2020, a huge gain that put its total client list at nearly 4,000. The free-of-charge service allows booksellers to check price, availability, and the status of their orders as well as order directly from more than a dozen of the largest North American publishers and distribution clients. Pubnet, a sister company to Pubeasy also owned by MVB, allows publishers to place direct orders with more than 200 publishers through an automated process.

"I think the pandemic gave booksellers an opportunity to look at how they can streamline their operations as much as possible," Ted Hill, CEO of MVB U.S., told PW. In addition, said Hill, booksellers were keeping their inventory lean and it was essential for them to be able to check on the status of orders.

In March, Pubeasy is launching a new, updated website, one that promises easier navigation, improved search, richer data and for the first time, cover images. Several of the features are linked to enable more efficient ordering and the creation of order lists and better implementation with other systems.

"The system hadn't been updated in almost 20 years, so it was time to bring it up to date and enhance it," said Hill, who added, "with the new system we will be able to roll out new features and enhancements quicker and easier."

MVB, which is based in Germany, is working with Nielsen Book in the U.K. to modernize the platform. The Pubeasy platform is part of MVB's international expansion, which also includes metadata service companies Metabooks Brazil and Metabooks Mexico. "Right now, plans for the introduction of Pubeasy in Brazil are in the works," said MVB CEO Ronald Schild.

A preview of the new Pubeasy platform will be available for booksellers to explore during Winter Institute 16 next week.