Eurospan was launched in the mid-1960s to provide a marketing and distribution capability for a group of medium-sized US textbook publishers, to include Houghton Mifflin and Scott Foresman and Co., which none could afford to mount individually. By combining their potential, the fledgling company was able to compete successfully on their behalf with European-based subsidiaries of the American publishing giants.
As the years passed, Eurospan successfully adapted to the changing needs and priorities of its marketplace and grew steadily by adding first a range of US academic publishers and then a number of mid-sized university presses to include the University of Massachusetts Press, the University Press of Kansas and Rutgers University Press (all of whom, nearly thirty years on, are still clients).
In the mid-1990s, and to accommodate rapid expansion, publishers were divided into three separate and distinct marketing divisions - Academic & Trade, University Presses and Medical. Then, with the acquisition, in 1996, of Electronica Books & Media, a sales agency specialising in the distribution of US technical societies and institutes, a fourth division - Scientific & Technical - was created. In more recent times, the addition of a number of prestigious academic and professional reference publishers and a select group of NGO’s such as the World Bank, United Nations and the IMF, saw the birth of a Reference marketing division followed closely by one specialising in Intergovernmental Organisations.
Eurospan’s end customer is most usually a teaching or research academic, or a professional practitioner, and in many case the library affiliated to one or other of these two groups. Notwithstanding Eurospan’s emphasis on direct marketing, the vast majority of sales are ultimately effected through bookshops, wholesalers, library suppliers and, more recently through e-tailers such as Amazon.co.uk and The Book Depository. This phenomenon reflects the UK and Europe's traditional practice of routing book orders, howsoever generated, through a recognised bookselling channel, most usually in the purchaser's immediate vicinity.
Eurospan is one of the few agents able to provide the complete range of sales, promotion and distribution services under one umbrella. In joining Eurospan, publishers increase their sales, enhance image and minimise all associated costs of servicing a multifarious marketplace comprising different countries, languages and practices. More importantly perhaps, agreement with Eurospan provides a European base which - with the continuing expansion of the EC - is a prerequisite in order to benefit fully from the related opportunities.
A ONE-STOP SOLUTION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
In addition to its comprehensive coverage of Europe and Africa (including the Middle East), Eurospan is now fully functioning both in the Asia-Pacific arena and in Latin America & the Caribbean. As a consequence, it is now able to offer its clients complete international coverage outside North America.
In Asia-Pacific a network of sub-agents and sales representatives, reporting to a Regional Manager, covers five key territories – Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, the Far East and Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. This group is backed by New Title catalogues, NTA’s and full metadata feeds. All direct marketing into the Asian territories is co-ordinated from our London HQ but, in the case of Australia, a branch office in Melbourne, is responsible for print and “e” promotions to academics and their libraries and to professional markets (e.g. to teachers, ophthalmologists, occupational therapists, and drug/alcohol counsellors). Being on the ground there also enables us to “place” review copies with the media, to take advantage of meeting/conference opportunities, and to more easily arrange co-operative promotions with local booksellers. Eurospan also has a booth each year at the New Delhi world Book Fair, the Beijing Book Fair and the Shanghai International Book Fair.
In Latin America, we cover forty-one countries in all across three regions – Central America, South America and the Caribbean – and have engaged sales representatives to cover bookstores in each. Sales support is provided by an in-house team of Spanish/Portuguese speakers. Our initial focus has been on Brazil and Mexico, two countries committed to investment in the academic sector and trading in the early months of this initiative has been brisk. Though Eurospan’s expansion into Latin America only began this year, we already have a dozen or so clients signed up to this initiative and expect to welcome many more on board before the end of 2013.
We are proud of our long-standing relationships with client publishers. Many associations go back thirty years or more, whilst our first client – Teachers College Press, who joined us in 1972 – is still with us after 41 years ! This reflects not only our continuing success, but also an ability to understand and accommodate the changing needs of the publishers we serve.
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