Monday, October 17, 2011

Who’s Ready for Paperless Catalogs?

How do you feel about using digital catalogs?
What would you prefer: a traditional print catalog or a digital reference of new releases?

The debate over catalogs flared up recently when Random House announced that two of its catalogs will become paperless.

In Karen Schechner’s article “Random House Catalogs to Go Paperless,” Ruth Liebmann, vice president, director, and account marketing at Random House, Inc., says that the digital catalog will be “more up-to-the-minute, and thus more viable, practical, and useful.”

She also emphasizes that booksellers will have the latest information on publicity plans, marketing promotion, cover art, and more.

HarperCollins made the leap to digital catalogs back in 2009. According to Publishers Weekly, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster will switch to digital catalogs in spring 2012.

Now there’s an online service that offers access to publishers’ electronic catalogs. Above the Treeline’s Edelweiss allows retailers, librarians, the media, and publishing professional to browse electronic catalogs for free.

There seems to be a lot of benefits to electronic catalogs. But are they truly easier for booksellers? Are there drawbacks to digital catalogs? Please let us know what you think!

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