Catalog FAQ’s


What makes the ABC catalog different?
Unlike many other catalogs, the ABC catalog is fully vetted, which means that the book choices are determined by ABC, not by the publishers or other third parties. This makes for a much more involved editorial process, as well as a final product that ABC booksellers can really use and recommend. Consequently, the publisher costs for inclusion in the ABC catalog are less expensive than other catalogs which allows them to support a large number of the books ABC requests. Supporting a book in the ABC catalog gets publishers a big bang for their marketing buck. Read more about the selection process here.

What’s the procedure if I have a book I’d like to place in the ABC catalog?
Because the catalog book list starts with bookseller recommendations and books that have received excellent review attention, there is no formal process for submitting a book for consideration. We do welcome input from publishers throughout the year in the form of catalog mailings, advance copies, and publicity updates to let us know about key titles and great reviews. These materials should be sent to the ABC office.

I am a consumer, and I’d love a copy. What should I do?
E-mail our office, and we’d be delighted to send you one!

What if I want a store imprint, but only want 500?
Because of the design and logistics of creating a custom imprint, the breakpoint for making an imprint economically feasible is 2,000 catalogs. Many stores that want to have their store information on a lesser quantity customise their catalogs by adding a store label or a business stamp once the catalogs arrive.

When can I expect my catalogs to ship?

We shoot for a print date of 10/1, and an in-store date of 10/15.

How do you choose the cover image?
In December of each year, ABC sends out a call to its publisher members for images from books in the forthcoming year that would make a great cover for the ABC catalog. The ABC Board reviews the submissions and picks an image at its annual winter retreat in February.

How many catalogs do you print?
Between 385,000 and 450,000 on an annual basis, distributed through roughly 250 ABC stores around the country, as well as ABA stores that receive the Children’s Whitebox.

When do most of the books publish?
The majority of the books in the ABC catalog publish between 1/1 and 10/1 of the year the catalog is printed. We do include a small number of books—about 30—that are backlist favorites and award winners from previous years. We work hard to include a good number of books publishing just as the catalog is coming out to insure that the catalog stays as fresh as possible into the new year.

How are these catalogs used by stores?
These catalogs are used in a wide variety of ways by ABC stores including direct mail, in-store displays, newspaper inserts, school giveaways, as the basis for bookfairs, staff trainings and more.

Can I get the book list in advance?
Yes. As soon as the book list is finished it is available by e-mail and fax from the ABC office, as well as posted to the files section of the ABC list serv. When you order your catalogs, please indicate if you prefer e-mail or fax receipt.

For any additional questions not addressed above, feel free to e-mail Kristen at the ABC National Office.

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