Ever wonder how your finished book reaches bookstores? We thought it would be good to tell you a bit more about that process—and about the partner who makes it happen. Bookmasters, based in Ashland, Ohio, is vital to our overall operations. They perform several key functions for us, which can be broken into two pieces: sales and distribution.

Book Sales

Bookmasters, under the leadership of Randy McKenzie, Sales Manager for the Christian division, and Karen Broach, Christian Sales Specialist for Special Markets, along with their team, manages the sales operations for selling our titles to key account book buyers. This includes not only sales to companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but sales to other major accounts such as Christian Book Distributors (CBD) and chain stores such as LifeWay. They also work with major book wholesale distributors, including Ingram and Baker & Taylor. And under their leadership, we employ the services of Noble Marketing for sales into the independent Christian bookstore trade. Noble Marketing provides professional sales representation with six field representatives and one regional account representative throughout the United States, Canada, and international markets. They provide a physical presence with their representatives throughout the US in all fifty states and in all targeted markets, including independent general bookstores, bookstore chains, academic and seminary bookstores, and specialty accounts such as church denominations, book clubs, and various ministries.

Their reach may be wide, but Bookmasters continues to demonstrate their regard for every book they sell for us. This is one reason both sides of the partnership believe we are so effective.

“We feel that our partnership has been nothing but positive,” says Randy McKenzie, Christian sales director at Bookmasters. “We’ve enjoyed collaborating with Deep River to identify and chase after every sales and promotional opportunity we can find, and we’ve worked together to make sure each Deep River title featured in Bookmasters’ sales catalogs is presented as effectively as possible. Deep River’s authors continue to blow us away with the quality of their work. We hold the staff and authors of Deep River in high regard and are always finding ourselves more and more motivated to do our best work, because Deep River is consistently inspiring us with theirs.”

Nancie Carmichael with Randy and Kirsten of Bookmasters during the Christian Retail Trade Show.

This combined book sales team presents our titles directly to book wholesalers, retailers, online sellers, and others with whom they have long-standing relationships. By putting our print titles in front of the industry’s most important book buyers and decision makers, they open doors to new sales opportunities and can broaden the reach and visibility of our titles, including your book. Their combined effort gives us access to bookstore buyers who represent thousands of stores. And they include our titles in their seasonal sales catalogs, email blasts, and other promotions that they make available to wholesalers and retailers, as well as to independent bookstores, libraries, niche-specific book buyers, and more.

Warehousing and Distribution

Bookmasters also handles the warehousing and distribution of our book inventory. This includes all the needed picking, packing, shipping, invoicing, and credit returns for distributing our books to the retail trade. They have 230,000 square feet of warehouse and office space with 165 employees that ship over 7500 orders per week for their customers, including Deep River Books. Their location in midwest United States and their established relationships with shipping vendors worldwide allow them to efficiently fulfill orders both in the US and internationally. Using the latest industry technology, they make the title information for all of our books available to the US and international publishing industry trade, while working with us to ensure the accuracy of our books’ metadata—that is, the information about our books that appears in databases and on websites like Amazon.

Bookmasters has operated for 40 years and is owned by Follett Corporation, which has been in business for over 140 years. Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content, and multi-media for libraries, schools, and retailers. They have earned our confidence in their experience, connections, and dedication to excellent service.

Between selling our books, keeping our metadata up-to-date, and distributing copies to bookstores, Bookmasters has proven to be a valuable bridge between DRB and stores—and thus between you and your readers.