Distribution is one area of the book business where more isn't necessarily better when it comes to client lines, at least as far as BookWorld Services Inc. is concerned. The Sarasota, Fla.—based company reduced the total number of clients in its Publisher Alliance division, which services one- and two-book publishers, to 100. "Three or four months ago, Publisher Alliance reached about 200 clients," said BookWorld president Ronald Smith. "We trimmed sharply from the bottom publishers that don't market."
Smith is committed to making the two-and-a-half-year-old division a viable part of BookWorld, which now has 200 clients among all three divisions—the other two are BookWorld and Christian Distribution Services. Cutting Publisher Alliance's client base was just one of the steps that Smith has taken to strengthen it. He also announced that Cheryl Lilley has been promoted from sales assistant to head the division. For Smith, "one of the beauties of Publisher Alliance is that it's a way of having a pool out of which a big fish jumps." One such book is Dave Ellis's Falling Awake: Creating the Life of Your Dreams (Breakthrough Enterprises), which offers 12 strategies for becoming more successful. Published in August, it is one of BookWorld's top 30 titles.
Although Smith expects sales to continue strong for Ellis's book, he predicts that a mass market from BookWorld's newest client, American Media Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer, will top the next inhouse bestsellers list: Sex, Power & Murder—from the Files of the National Enquirer (News, Oct. 7). Smith noted that with a print run of 240,000 copies, "that's the biggest print run, by far, of any book we've handled in our more than 10 years as a distributor." This fall, BookWorld began representing AMI to the trade and handling back-office functions for newsstand sales, which are handled by AMI's own Distribution Services Inc.
BookWorld signed two other new clients this fall: Silver Spring, Md.—based Beckham Publications Group, an African-American publisher previously represented by BookWorld, and VMR International in North Grafton, Mass., which publishes used-car guides, including the quarterly Standard Used Car Prices.