Optimizing ARCs fulfillment
thanks to Archery

Toronto-based publisher ECW Press has been an independent Canadian book publisher for almost 50 years. Listed by Publishers Weekly as one of the fastest-growing independent publishers in North America in 2015, they release between 50 and 70 new titles per year, covering a wide range of genres: nonfiction, pop science, pop culture, fiction, poetry, sports books and more. ECW’s books are distributed all over the US and Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

The context

Like any professional publisher, ECW’s operations can be broken down into 4 major steps:

  1. Manuscript selection
  2. Manuscript editing and design
  3. Printers & distributors coordination
  4. Marketing and promotion

These steps were established over the past several decades as the publishing industry developed into its current form, alongside the development of production processes and the media industry. Among the many tools used by publishers to spread the word about their titles, a key one is the ARC.

ARCs (Advance Review Copies) are books printed before the official release of a publication to be reviewed. They are a crucial part of most book releases, as they allow literary critics to read and review the book before anyone else, in turn helping to convince booksellers to add the title to their catalogue for the upcoming publishing season. In other words, ARCs are an essential marketing activity.

%

of ECW’s publications
have ARCs printed in advance
of the title’s launch

are included in ECW’s complete mailing list:
hundreds of proofreaders, sales representatives,
journalists, influencers…
ARCs are typically time-sensitive. The sooner copies are printed and delivered, the sooner they can be reviewed by critics. When printing their ARCs, publishers are therefore most concerned with how quickly they can get them printed.

What is Archery?

In a North American landscape increasingly defined by disruptions in both production and delivery, Rapido has created Archery: a life-saver for publishers who rely on fast turnaround and efficient supply chain management to make sure their ARCs are delivered on time.

Archery is a service created by Rapido in 2019 that allows publishers to have ARCs printed and delivered within a week across North America.

With Archery, Rapido:

  • prints short runs with its unbeatable turnaround times (3-5 working days) ;
  • keeps the copies in stock ;
  • ships the books as soon as your key contacts need to receive them.

The issue

When the pandemic hit North America in the Spring of 2020, small and large publishers alike were suddenly faced with unprecedented logistical challenges. With offices closed, people working remotely and national delivery companies overwhelmed with orders, many publishers saw their production and marketing activities painfully impacted. At ECW Press, ARCs were the very first thing to be interrupted. This is when they discovered Archery.

Before they entrusted Rapido with their ARCs, ECW Press internally managed the packaging and mailing of their thousands of ARCs. This time-consuming process involved everything from managing the mailing lists, packaging the individual copies and bringing them to the post office to be mailed. Considering that every year ECW sends out ARCs for roughly 50 titles, managing this process internally quickly became unsustainable.

were necessary to send out
all ARCs for a single title release
before ECW started using Archery

The results

Rapido Books has become a key partner of ECW Press’ marketing operations over the last publishing seasons, and this collaboration will likely only keep growing.

It just makes more sense on so many levels to have these books shipped directly from you, rather than shipped to us and then we ship them out” says ECW’s Marketing & Publicity Director, Susannah Ames.

At a time when most businesses are rethinking the way they organize their business processes, Archery is the easiest way to avoid publication delays, useless delivery costs and their associated carbon footprint. Archery also frees ECW’s staff to better focus on other marketing initiatives.

Personalized client portal

ECW Press can generate print quotes in just a few clicks, place orders and upload their mailing list. Rapido Books takes care of the rest!

Inventory management

With Archery, short runs are printed and kept in stock by Rapido, so that we can quickly ship to ECW’S contacts’ list when needed.

Better rates, quicker delivery

By letting Rapido Books take care of delivering their ARCs, ECW also benefits from our preferential shipping rates. Pay less for a better service!

75 titles
of ECW’s catalogue
were managed by Rapido
in 2020-21
≈600 hours
were saved by ECW’s
marketing team
over 2 publishing seasons

5,500+ copies

were printed and delivered
within 1-3 business days
to ECW’s key partners in Canada & USA
It has turned out to save us a lot of time, so it’s something we will definitely continue using even after we are in the office again.

The Rapido team is responsive, helpful and willing to reach solutions. Distributors are often so big that just to get an email back is challenging. With Rapido it’s easy to talk to somebody and solve any issue within a day.

 

Susannah Ames
Marketing & Publicity Director
at ECW Press

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