On April 24, Book Sense and Levenger, Inc., a catalog and Internet company that provides high-quality tools for reading and writing, announced that the two companies had formed a marketing partnership to cross-promote their Web sites and merchandise. Starting in May, all BookSense.com Web sites will feature a Levenger link, and sales resulting from these links will earn participating booksellers an affiliate commission. Additionally, Levenger.com will have an affiliate link to BookSense.com.
"We could not be more pleased with this arrangement," said ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz. "There is a truly a natural synergy between the high-quality products sold by Levenger and the personal, professional service offered by our members."
Levenger co-founder and president Steve Leveen echoed Domnitz's sentiments. "Inspirational bookstores, run by passionate booksellers, are one of the things that make life a joy," he said. "I am proud to have Levenger join with stores participating in the Book Sense program in our collaborative work of delighting American readers."
This summer, Levenger and Book Sense plan to test-distribute co-branded catalogs through a number of Book Sense member stores. The catalogs, which will offer Levenger merchandise, will feature both the Book Sense and Levenger brand. The test will include in-store catalog placement and direct mail to bookstore customers. If the test is successful, the co-branded catalogs will be made available to all participating stores in time for the holiday season. As is the case in the online promotion, sales resulting from the co-branded catalog will earn booksellers an affiliate commission.
Additionally, Levenger will supply prizes to the Book Sense Book of the Year finalists and winners in the six award categories -- fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, children's illustration, paperback, and rediscovery. The Book Sense Book of the Year award winners will be announced at the Celebration of Bookselling at BookExpo America, on May 30 in Los Angeles. The finalists and six winners will receive reading-related gifts from the Levenger catalog.
Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida, and ABA's vice president, said that "this kind of marketing relationship is why Book Sense and BookSense.com are of such value to independent bookstores. Our ability to work with great companies like Levenger when we act individually is, understandably, limited. But when 1,200 stores speak with one voice, we become attractive to potential partners." --David Grogan