Publishers Group West
About PGW

Publisher Services | Active Publisher List | Publisher Portal
Publishers Group West® (PGW) is one of the largest book sales and distribution company in the United States, representing over 100 independent client publishers. PGW® sets the standard for integrated, full-service distribution, provides complete digital conversion services, and is a top-ten vendor to book retailers and wholesalers across the country. Established in 1976, PGW headquarters are located in Berkeley, CA, with sales offices in New York City and Toronto.

  • Domestic and International Sales by Seasoned Professionals
  • Digital Sales, Conversion, and Distribution Services
  • Marketing, Editorial, and Design Consultation
  • Direct, Established Relationships with Key Retail and Wholesale Accounts
  • Web-based Sales, Inventory, and Financial Reporting
  • Title Management and Catalog Services
  • Advertising and Publicity Management and Services
  • Sales to Independent and Specialty Markets
Sales & Distribution Catalog & Marketing Advertising & Publicity
  Sales & Distribution

PGW’s sales and marketing staffs provide valuable counsel for client publishers on acquisitions, contract terms, pricing, format, and promotion strategies, as well as with art/design/production and cover copy. Sales projections from PGW help client publishers determine print runs and plan their seasons.

PGW’s sales staff of over 40 people includes national accounts coverage in New York and Berkeley, a house field force, and a six-person special sales group. Many specialty accounts are handled in house while commissioned groups are used for gift and gourmet accounts.

PGW field reps have twice won Publisher’s Weekly’s “Rep of the Year” award in recent years. PGW’s sales and marketing organization is highly respected throughout the trade, and has a knack for choosing breakout titles as well as for building bestsellers. PGW has had numerous national bestsellers in the last ten years, five of which sold one million copies or more.

Berkeley Office
The Berkeley-based sales team manages nearly half of all U.S. sales generated by PGW, including major accounts such as, Ingram, Costco and other ‘club’ retailers, regional retail chains, regional wholesalers, and airport stores. Most of PGW clients’ special sales are also generated by this group, either through a direct relationship with accounts or through PGW’s network of over 100 commission reps selling to gift and specialty stores.

New York Office
PGW’s New York office manages the major retail chains and key national accounts, including Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, and Books-a-Million, as well as international sales. As the epicenter of the book publishing industry and the location of many of PGW’s clients, the New York office also serves as a center for acquisitions, marketing meetings, consultation, and other PGW activities and services.

Online Publisher Services
The Helix Publisher Portal is PGW’s online reporting site where publishers go for information on sales, inventory, monthly statements, and other financial information, and to upload new title information and artwork. It also has a comprehensive reference section, which includes detailed information about PGW’s sales teams, deadlines, requirements, schedules of trade shows and events, and much more. In addition, weekly Publisher Updates and other important information are posted on the home page of Helix.

  Catalog & Marketing

The marketing department at PGW is a dynamic and integral part of the distribution enterprise and the hub of activity for a client publisher’s day-to-day needs. With primary publisher relations divided between five account managers, publishers receive the focused time and attention they need to help them run their businesses.

Account managers act as consultants and advocates to the publisher clients. They advise publishers on topics ranging from packaging and pricing issues to marketing plans and sales trend analysis. They also work closely with the sales department and its various divisions to assist them in the overall sales process.

In addition to daily contact with publishers by phone and email, account managers coordinate seasonal marketing meetings with publishers (three times a year). The agenda at these meetings includes a comprehensive year-to-year review of the publisher’s sales in all channels, analysis of market trends, formulation of backlist sales goals, and sales projections of new titles. For the meetings, publishers craft their own individualized agenda items to discuss, give new title presentations, and lead a strategy session of their overall program. In attendance at a typical marketing meeting would be some of the following people:

  • Account Manager
  • Vice President of Sales
  • Vice President of Field Sales
  • National Accounts Director and Managers
  • Director of PGKids
  • Director and Manager of Special Sales
  • Manager of Mass Merchandise Accounts
  • Sales and Marketing Assistants

Also part of marketing is the catalog department.

The catalog department represents one of PGW's most effective organizing tools. Each season the catalog department coordinates all of the new seasonal titles announced by publishers and manages the writing, editing, graphics, and printing of the main adult PGW catalog and various seasonal subject catalogs. A few large publishers produce their own catalog and the catalog department manages the database work and is in close contact with self-cataloged publishers to help them meet the needs of the PGW sales group. Back to Top

  Advertising & Publicity

The advertising department at PGW works closely with the publishers, account managers, and the various sales divisions to coordinate book trade advertising and account promotional activity. They advise publishers on the selection of appropriate advertising vehicles and handle the booking for all ads. 

The marketing department is responsible for administering and coordinating PGW’s publicity programs and databases in addition to acting as a resource to client publishers for other publicity.

One of the advertising department’s main functions is obtaining approvals for co-op requests. These requests include the following: in-store promotions, display ads with wholesalers and/or in trade magazines, online promotions, author signings, and newsletters. In most cases, either the account or the publisher requests approval.

  • A bookstore is having an author event and is asking for co-op money to support event costs (advertising in local venues, window and in-store displays, newsletters, mailings, postcards, flyers, etc.)
  • A bookstore wants to feature a PGW title in a display or newsletter
  • A national account wants to include a title in a nationwide display promotion
  • A publisher might want to find a way to promote book(s) at an account and may ask for advertising’s help in realizing this
  • A publisher wants to place a print ad in a trade publication and asks PGW to place the reservation and to approve co-op participation
Author Events
Author event co-op requests can vary greatly — some accounts may ask for $700, while others ask for $100. The average author event receives $150 to $200 in co-op support. PGW receives the request from the bookstore and then contacts the publisher for approval. The exception would be national account tours; these charges are typically combined with buys and static fees, and are non-negotiable.

Pre-Approved Newsletter Co-Op
The newsletter co-op program was established in 1995. Generally, publishers grant co-op to bookstores with store-produced newsletters at the levels of $50 (positive review) and $80 (positive review with jacket). As an added incentive accounts do not have to ask for the co-op in advance. The main requirement is that they send in the newsletter and the appropriate form within 90 days. Other restrictions are listed on the form. Not all publishers participate in the program. (PGW currently has approximately 40 participating publishers.) If an account claims co-op for a nonparticipating publisher, the request is treated as a standard co-op request and goes to the publisher for approval.

Advertising in Wholesaler Venues
Often a wholesaler will suggest an appropriate advertising venue for a title or publisher. If the sales rep agrees, advertising will ask the publisher if they would like to participate. Sometimes the publisher approaches PGW with interest in placing an ad in a wholesaler venue.

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