wooden world map

How do university presses reach international markets?

If the press has world rights to your book, it will look to selling local language rights to international publishers. This involves working with rights agents and local publishers to find the best translators, and then to publish the book in the local market in local language and currency. This is often a great way to help a book reach a market that an English language edition might not, at a cost that works in that market.

At larger presses, the sales team will work with a network of global sales representatives to reach bookstores and institutions within any given market. These representatives are either based in the region or have worked in the region and have extensive experience and networks. Distribution channels such as Ingram also feed the book data all around the world, making it easy for customers anywhere to access titles. When a university press commissions a title, the marketing team usually sends the author a questionnaire. This requests contacts, institutions, publications, and events that are familiar to the author from around the world and allows the press to reach out into those markets. The marketing team will also carry out e-campaigns and social media reach-outs, write blog posts, attend events, and undertake various other activities that reach into local and international markets. During the pandemic many events have moved online, increasing the international reach of events, and so banner advertising, virtual exhibition booths and podcasts have the opportunity to be seen more internationally.

Publishers (especially smaller ones without their own team of sales reps) may rely on distribution companies such as Eurospan or Turnaround Publisher Services to reach markets outside their home country, although this is less common than using regional sales representatives

The growing availability of local print-on-demand services is also making it easier to sell books globally by significantly reducing shipping and customs costs and therefore the price of the imported book. Publishers utilising Lightning Source (LSI, part of the Ingram Content Group) have access to LSI’s own printing facilities in the US, UK, and Australia, as well as partner printers in a number of countries across Europe and Asia. This brings both environmental and financial benefits to both publishers and customers.

—Bristol University Press, February 2022