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Britain's Phaidon Press To Expand U.S. Operations
-- 5/18/98
As part of its effort to become a more global publisher, the U.K.-based Phaidon Press is establishing a North American sales and distribution organization in the U.S. The company's sales and editorial offices will be located in New York City, while warehousing and distribution will be conducted out of Harrisburg, Pa.
Phaidon's New York office currently has two employees: Mary Albi, v-p of sales and marketing, and Julia J rn, director of publicity and promotion. Phaidon publisher Richard Schlagman will spend most of 1998 in New York as well.

Albi has already hired six Phaidon reps (a number of whom are former booksellers), while Ken Woidill, director of distribution and operations, has put together a staff of six customer-service people. "The goal is to have all Phaidon people all the time," J rn told PW. To help plug some holes in its sales operations, Phaidon may use some commissioned rep groups in addition to its own staff, J rn said.

According to J rn, the New York office could finish the year with as few as five people or as many as 30, depending upon how many editors it can hire. Phaidon's current list of 50 to 60 titles is developed in the U.K., but the company would like to do more American-originated titles. The publisher focuses on art, architecture, photography, design and music categories and may add books on film and popular culture. The company had sales of L8.8 million in 1996, the last year for which figures are available. The U.S. market accounted for 28% of total revenue.

Its new sales force is expected to begin selling the Phaidon list immediately after BookExpo America. The Phaidon line had been sold by Chronicle Books.
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