Ingram Book Group has added a new feature to ipage, its e-business Web site. Called pubsource, the new service allows booksellers to check availability and to order products directly from participating publishers.
Ingram quietly launched the service earlier this month; Random House, HarperCollins and the Holtzbrinck Group are the first three publishers to take part. Jim Chandler, chief commercial officer for Ingram, said he expects to have two more publishers on board by BookExpo America. He noted, however, that pubsource is not designed to work with a large number of publishers. "It's intended for a modest number of participants," Chandler said.
By adding an ordering function to what has been an information site, Ingram hopes to make ordering more cost effective for booksellers, Chandler said. Publishers manage their own home pages and all titles are available for purchase through pubsource. When a bookseller places an order, Ingram sends it directly to the publisher for fulfillment. Pricing, terms of delivery and customer service are all handled by the publishers. Chandler said pubsource is not meant to be a new revenue source for Ingram, but rather to provide a service for retailers and publishers.