Ingram Publisher Services, Ingram Book Group's second foray into providing distribution and fulfillment services for publishers, has signed up its first clients: Applewood Press, Boston, which specializes in American history; Bloomberg Press, Princeton, N.J., part of the Bloomberg business media empire; Champion Press Ltd., a general book publisher in Fredonia, Wis.; and Make Believe Ideas, a new children's book publisher in London whose U.S. headquarters is in Nashville, Tenn., near Ingram's main office in LaVergne.

IPS goes live with Applewood on March 15, and the other three publishers will follow soon, according to Phil Ollila, v-p of publisher services at Ingram Book Group and head of the distribution effort. Ollila expects to announce more clients in "the next 60 days," with regular announcements continuing. While the company will "talk with anyone about fulfillment and distribution," so far it is attracting "publishers with an established line and brand that don't need much help editorially, but do need help in the details of fulfillment and distribution," Ollila said. The company is in the process of setting up a sales force, but its first four clients do not need that service.

Besides talking with "hundreds of publishers" in the 10 months since Ingram Publisher Services was founded, Ollila, a former Borders exec, has had discussions with a range of retailers about their needs. The "largest need" of independents from both the ABA and CBA markets, he said, is for efficiency. On the other hand, the chains have "conquered efficiency and now need seamless connectivity with suppliers."