Book manufacturer Phoenix Color has launched a new fulfillment service that it is offering to publishers who have at least one title printed by the company. Kelly Hartman, Phoenix marketing manager, said the new offering is a value-added service directed primarily toward small publishers. "With the number of distributors and fulfillment houses that have recently gone under, this service provides security to publishers that its fulfillment house won't disappear," Hartman said.

The fulfillment operation is being done in conjunction with Books International, which will store the inventory in its Dulles, Va., warehouse. In addition to warehousing the books, the service includes front-office functions such as order taking and processing (but no selling), and back-office services including invoicing and collection. Hartman said Phoenix doesn't view the fulfillment operation as a profit center, but rather as a service that will tie its customers closer to the printer.