Scholastic's Leslie Garych and Tracy Van Straaten Talk Up the Ins and Outs of Online Catalogs
Scholastic and its activity-focused imprint Klutz Press have, like many book publishers, been experimenting with different delivery methods for seasonal catalogs. This year, Scholastic and Klutz have been making their lists available online through the Edelweiss digital catalog service, gradually transitioning more of their catalog resources from print to online. (There is no target date at present for complete conversion to digital.) Extra caught up with Scholastic's Leslie Garych, vice president of marketing services, and Tracy Van Straaten, vice president of trade publicity, to discuss the finer points of making the transition from a print-only catalog to one that is available both in print and online.
Book Business Extra: How long has Scholastic been offering its catalog online?
Leslie Garych: Our digital catalogs debuted with our summer 2011 list. We are currently still printing seasonal catalogs as well as producing the Edelweiss online catalog.
Extra: I know that many other publishers are contemplating the leap to online catalogs. What were some of the factors you considered when making the leap?
Garych: There are cost and time savings. They're environmentally friendly. They're easily updated and give you the ability to include additional assets and information beyond the confines of the print catalog. And they align with the digital direction of the industry and culture.
Extra: Can you comment on how much you're seeing in cost-savings from eliminating your print catalog?
Garych: We have been continually reducing the number of print catalogs and the savings there has offset the cost of the digital catalog.
Extra: Were you concerned about adoption of the online catalog by your buyers? What has the response been?
Garych: Rep and account feedback has been very positive regarding the digital catalog. However, there was concern about going 100-percent digital immediately, hence our gradual transition.