"We're doing very well, especially for illustrated books. We haven't seen a significant effect from September 11," Distributed Art Publishers publicity manager Alex Galan told PW. "We have books that are $75, $85 and $150, but books are part of those luxury goods that people are still buying. Our sales are up. Big books like the Richard Avedon: Made in France and Nest magazine's Every Room Tells a Story, edited by Joseph Holtzman, are a complete success. Of course, returns are yet to be seen."
Both the Avedon and Nest books, which have suggested retail prices of $75 and $45, respectively, have gotten a boost from being featured on DAP's new Web site, www.artbook.com, which had a soft launch two months ago. "We're not making an aggressive push for sales," continued Galan, who pointed out that all books online are sold at full list price. "As a publisher and distributor, we don't want to compete with our customers. It's a tool for people to find us and our entire list of over 2,500 art books."
To get an additional publicity wallop out of Every Room Tells a Story, DAP partnered with Bergdorf Goodman. The upscale department store helped DAP publicize the book, a collection of the best articles on lifestyle and decorating, from prisons to homes, from the first three years of Nest. In exchange, Bergdorf's had signed limited editions gift-wrapped with love bunnies paper, which is used on the endpapers of the book.
But that's not DAP's only alliance. In February, it teamed up with the Museum of Modern Art for the catalogue to its show on the German painter Gerhard Richter. Given that DAP has published every Richter book in the U.S., it was able to persuade the museum to sign with it. The two worked out a copublishing agreement despite the fact that Abrams has traditionally had a lock on MoMA titles. The Richter exhibit opened in New York on Valentine's Day and will travel to the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
In addition, DAP announced a new museum client for the spring, Palace Press, which is associated with the Russian State Museum.