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 the 2000s, the addition of a select group of IGO’s, such as the World Bank, United Nations and the IMF, saw the birth of a new marketing division specialising in Intergovernmental Organisations. More recently, Eurospan Education, now housing more than a dozen publishers to include Teachers College Press (USA), Pembroke Publishers (Canada) and ACER Press (Australia), and Eurospan Databases were formed.
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 internet retailers 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.
A ONE-STOP SOLUTION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
In addition to its comprehensive coverage of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Eurospan is fully functioning both in the Asia-Pacific arena and in Latin America & the Caribbean. As a consequence, it can 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 and the Beijing 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. Though Eurospan’s expansion into Latin America only began in 2013, we now have around forty publishers signed up to this initiative and expect to welcome many more in due course.
We are proud of our long-standing relationships with client publishers. Many associations go back thirty years or more. One of our oldest clients – the afore-mentioned Teachers College Press – is still with us after almost 50 years! This reflects not only our continuing success, but also an ability to understand and accommodate the changing needs of the publishers we serve.