News for Authors

Five Unexpected Places We Sell Your Books

by Pam Roman|October, 2016

The Special Markets sales team at Penguin Random House focuses on getting your books into markets outside of the traditional book trade. If you like to shop, you’re no doubt familiar with some of our top specialty retailers, such as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Paper Source, Papyrus, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and more. Read on to learn about five key places where we sell your books.


1. Corporations and Organizations

Our Premium Sales group sells books that are used as incentives by corporations and organizations. Land O’Frost, a nationally distributed brand of lunch meats, used the Who Was/Who Is series from Penguin Young Readers as a consumer-facing gift with purchase during the busy back-to-school season. In addition to qualifying for free books with every purchase of Land O’Frost products, consumers could enter a sweepstakes to win a complete set of more than 130 educational and inspirational books.


2. Literacy Organizations

Our Premium Sales team also works with literacy organizations to ensure that all children have access to books. First Book Marketplace has distributed more than 135 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books are key partners in this endeavor. Some of our top titles in 2016 so far include Richard Scarry’s A Day At the Airport, A Good Night for Ghosts, and Don’t Throw It to Mo!


3. The Christian Marketplace

Our Christian Booksellers Association sales team curates a list of audience-appropriate books for retailers including Family Christian, Mardel, and many church bookstores and ministries. This sales force provides extensive access for Penguin Random House books and authors, both adult and young readers, where these readers shop. Top-selling books in this channel include Whatever Is Lovely—which brings the major coloring book trend to the Christian marketplace—and I Love My Daddy Because…, a children’s board book.


4. Book Fairs

If you’ve ever attended a school book fair at your child’s school—or remember attending your own!—perhaps you’ve wondered how books got there. The Diversified Sales team works with Scholastic Book Fairs and Imagine Nation to ensure that Penguin Random House titles are well represented. Curating from a list of thousands of books, our team sells seasonally to those companies, ensuring that many communities, some of which have no traditional physical bookstore presence, can have access to hundreds of Penguin Random House titles. All kinds of books do well at these fairs, but some of the top titles include SuperChargers Portal Master Handbook and books from the Dick & Jane series.

The Diversified Sales team also sells to display marketers, which set up sales tables in corporate lobbies or teachers’ lounges, as well as to television retailers, such as QVC and Jill’s Steals and Deals.

5. Specialty Retail Stores

Perhaps most familiar to you as both an author and consumer is the Specialty Retail channel. Our National Accounts team focuses on retailers with multiple locations—from Papyrus to Anthropologie to Abercrombie—and on large department store chains such as Macy’s and Nordstrom. We also have representation in every state of the union via our Field Sales channel, which employs more than 200 outside agents who bring all of our books to predominantly mom & pop retailers.

Lastly, our in-house Category team sells across all genres to hundreds of accounts with specialties such as Outdoor, National Parks, Zoos, Museums, Health and Fitness, Games & Hobby, Educational, and so forth. We also work with author-owned businesses in this channel, such as restaurants or websites. If you have a business where you’d like to sell (or reorder) your books, you are welcome to reach us at 1-888-591-1200, extension 6.


Each of these Special Markets teams collaborates with your publishing team to bring your books to the widest possible audience. We hope you enjoy seeing your books in these unexpected places!


And don’t forget: as our sales teams diligently work to get accounts well-stocked for the holidays, remember that you can do your literary holiday shopping on the Author Portal with your author discount of 50% off ANY title (excluding e-books)! If you’d like to set up an account for easy reordering, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-733-3000.


Pam Roman is Vice President, Director, Retail & Wholesale Sales, Business Development for Penguin Random House.