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FOF Debuts Trade Imprint at BEA
Calvin Reid -- 5/11/98
Looking to raise its profile in the general trade market, reference book publisher Facts On File is launching Checkmark Books, a new trade imprint specializing in nonfiction titles for adults and children. The new imprint will make its debut at BookExpo America in Chicago and feature 50 titles a year in the areas of business, careers, fitness, health, history, pop culture, self-help, sports and nature.
General trade sales currently represent about 20% of FOF's total business according to Sarah Muir, director of trade sales, and she expects the number to grow to about 35% of business in 1998. "We've done well with trade books," she noted. While FOF has a long history of marketing some of its reference works to the trade, Laurie E. Likoff, FOF editorial director, pointed to flat sales in the library and school market as a reason for FOF to diversify, as well as more competition from other kinds of media for library and school budgets.

Nevertheless, Muir was careful to note that the library and school market continued to be FOF's "bread and butter," and that there had been a good reception for the Checkmark list from those traditional markets. The imprint will be supported by advertising, and FOF is planning a postcard mailing to 7000 booksellers from the BookExpo mailing list that will entitle 1000 recipients to a prize.

Although FOF will continue to move trade-oriented titles from its reference list to Checkmark, representatives from the house attended the Frankfurt and London Book fairs to acquire titles for American reprint. Among the fall titles to be featured at BEA are Easy &Elegant Christmas Trees by Claire Worthington (a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection) and The Heritage of Ireland: A History of Ireland and Its People by Nathaniel Harris.
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