By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Schild: ‘Reliable Visibility’A record number of North American booksellers have joined Pubeasy in 2020, according to an announcement from MVB US, which operates Pubnet and Pubeasy North American services and is a subsidiary of Frankfurt-based company MVB.
The Pubeasy platform is an online ordering service which allows booksellers to place orders directly with publishers. Publishers pay to be on the platform, but the service is free to booksellers. The Pubeasy site says that “booksellers receive a better discount” when ordering direct from publishers, rather than ordering through distributors or wholesalers.
The company is attributing some of this growth to the disruption of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, with MVB reasoning that retailers are looking to focus on saving time and lower costs.
So far in 2020, the company’s media messaging indicates, more than 750 North American booksellers have joined Pubeasy, representing a 600-percent increase over 2019.
In addition to Pubeasy—which offers current price, stock availability, and order status information from multiple suppliers in addition to electronic ordering—MVB markets Pubnet. That service “enables automated electronic ordering from the retailer’s point-of-sale system.
Taken together, the two services are engaged by more than 4,100 bookstores in more than 100 countries, connecting them to at least 3,500 publishers, conducting transactions based on global standards. MVB reports that it’s now planning a market entry in Brazil for both Pubnet and Pubeasy.
In a prepared statement, Ted Hill, CEO for MVB US, is quoted, saying, “We’d planned to step up our retailer outreach in 2020 with a strong presence at the national and regional bookseller trade shows, starting with the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in Baltimore.
“Then COVID-19 hit and we quickly realized that we’d need to shift our efforts to digital marketing.” Hill says that many booksellers had been hoping to economize by joining and setting up their access to Pubeasy and Pubnet. The downtime provided by store closures and restrictions, he says, gave them the chance.
Ronald Schild, MBV CEO in Germany, is quoted, saying, “Especially in these difficult times, efficient order management is extremely important for both bookstores and publishers. Supply chain issues such as inventory shortages and shipping delays make it necessary to have reliable visibility into the status of your orders at all times.
“The trend toward bundled, automated processes is thus further strengthened, as is clearly reflected in our user figures for Pubeasy and Pubnet.”
Schild echoes Hill’s understanding of the slow-business pandemic timing as helpful to retailers who might want to change over to MVB’s programs. And he says he sees these services as a way that “we can play our part in mitigating the negative coronavirus effects for our customers through efficiency gains and additional sales.”
In addition to planning a Brazilian expansion through Metabooks, MVB’s operation in São Paulo, the company says its internal software developers are planning improvements in Pubeasy, with more announcements on those to come in 2021.
More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.