Posts Tagged ‘Word Alive’

More Social Media Graphics

NavPress – Canadian author – See our review on January 13

Baker/Bethany – Journal and Study Guide also available

Donna VanLiere (Christmas Shoes author) – Harvest House – Book 3 is March release

NIV Artisan Collection Bibles

NIV Artisan Collection Bibles

The Wonder of Creation – Room in lower centre/left to add store info

Tyndale: See previous graphics for alternative image

Order from Goodseed

CA Gifts – Mugs with matching fabric coasters (Some graphics here appearing to be cut off on the right margin are in fact intact when copied.)

Wall/Tabletop plaques – approx 8 designs – Word Alive

Scented candles from Abba – approx. 10 different styles – Word Alive

Harvest House Kids – mid February release

Canterbury Classics journal – Book Depot – blue one may be sold out

Books for Seekers – Nelson/Zondervan

Word Alive Press – Eastern Ontario authors

Revell – New Release Tuesday – January 2022

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  • None of these graphics were created specifically for this blog post, but I do appreciate hearing about where you are using them.

Foundation Folds Distribution into Anchor Distributors

October 22, 2019 2 comments

Canadian stores will consolidate ordering through Anchor/Word Alive

This is major news for Christian booksellers in Canada. Earlier this week we heard rumours of this, but today we received the official announcement. Rather than comment further, I want to run the press release exactly as it was sent to industry news outlets. I’m sure the finer details will play out over the next few weeks.

Bob Wood, Bob Whitaker, Pat Chown, (back) Jeremy Braun, Karen Fulton, Director of Operations Anchor Distributors

Foundation Distributing Inc. and Anchor Word Alive Inc. combine to improve efficiency and strengthen the Christian product supply chain

New agreement moves distribution of Foundation vendors to Anchor Distributors

ORONO, ON – October 22, 2019 – Pat Chown, Claire Prodger and Bob Wood, owners of Foundation Distributing Inc. (FDI) are pleased to announce an agreement moving all distribution and operations to Anchor Distributors in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, effective December 1st.

“We see this agreement as one that will aid current and new retailers in Canada in being more competitive against the growing online giants.  It allows for more cohesive marketing opportunities.” — Bob Whitaker, president of Anchor Distributors 

“Sourcing more product from a single location can provide better fill rates, save time, reduce freight costs and simplify day to day business. This agreement will strengthen the Christian Product supply chain and provide efficiencies that will benefit retailers in Canada.” — Pat Chown, partner, Foundation Distributing Inc.

“Anchor Distributors’ mission is to serve retailers by providing Christian and Inspirational resources to the market.  Anchor Word Alive and FDI share this mission and we’re working for a seamless transition. The 72 Hour Sale, 2 Day Sale and other sales and marketing programs will continue uninterrupted.” — Claire Prodger, partner, Foundation Distributing Inc.

“Bob Whitaker is a straightforward, forward-thinking person of integrity. There’s a common mission and purpose shared by the entire Whitaker, Anchor Word Alive team that made us confident this was the right path forward. This agreement is a progressive step for the Canadian market.” — Bob Wood, partner, Foundation Distributing Inc.

“Our customers in Canada are vital to the lifeline of our mission and business and this exciting change will allow us to continually improve to serve them better.” — Jeremy Braun, managing director for Canadian operations – Word Alive.

Anchor Word Alive Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Anchor Distributors (“Anchor”), which is a division of Whitaker Corporation established in 1970.

Word Alive Announcement Rattles Other Distributors

February 25, 2019 2 comments

Christian Book Shop Talk Exclusive – Not Available for Reprint

This image from the cover of an old Petra album is an apt descriptor for the state of Canadian Christian product distribution after an aggressive announcement from Word Alive.

We returned from holidays last week to discover that a February 12th email from Word Alive, titled “Important and exciting announcement for 2019!” was still being greatly discussed at the distributor level. The opening paragraph of the announcement includes:

Word Alive / Anchor are proud to announce that we have partnered with numerous companies (see list below) to provide greater distribution options for you in Canada for the coming year. Some of the Publishers listed are already represented by other Canadian Distributors and some will be exclusive to us. We have been specifically asked by these “non-exclusive” publishers to sell, market and distribute their resources. It’s been sometime since the Canadian market has seen this type of competition but, in the end, I believe it’s necessary for a healthy industry.

When I worked for Triwel (G. R. Welch) in the late 1980s, even though the company already had a significant roster of distributed publishers, there was a corporate push to get other distributors to renew contracts with U.S. companies on a non-exclusive basis. At the same time, R. G. Mitchell was vigorously protecting its exclusive contracts, to the point of sending threatening-sounding letters to dealers reminding them that violating the terms of RGM’s exclusive contracts — i.e. buying from other sources — was punishable under Canadian law.

The retail practice of buying from other sources is often called “buying around;” since you’re going around the Canadian distributor. It happens every time a store needs something right away for a customer, and the Canadian distributor doesn’t have it, but Spring Arbor does. Or the freight would be prohibitive with supplier “A” but it’s easy to throw it in with an order to supplier “B,” often helping to meet a minimum order set by supplier “B.” [As one of several stores which have been cut off from full trade discount by Spring Arbor for failing to meet their $5,000 annual purchase minimum, I no longer have the option of doing this efficiently.]

When Send the Light Distribution (STL) rose to prominence, the situation changed. This was a case of a U.S. one-source distributor selling into Canada, so their entire database was at the disposal of Canadian stores.  Buying around was easy, since STL’s freight costs weren’t as high as Spring Arbor’s. [Again, on a personal note, three years ago in a conversation with the head of one of the Canadian distributors he unexpectedly said, “What do you care what we do, you buy all your books from STL.” That simply wasn’t true, and I demanded an apology I have never received. I immediately halved my purchasing from that company, and it remains today at less than 50% of what it could be had he worked to repair the damage.]

With the buyout of Word Alive by Anchor Distributors things took on an added dimension. Some of us had already used Anchor in the past for bargain Whitaker House books (no longer available) and resources from small Charismatic publishers. Word Alive created a separate Canadian website and capped the freight at 3% on orders over $250. Despite this, everything in the Anchor database was available to Canadian stores including titles for which Foundation, HarperCollins and Parasource have had exclusive marketing and distribution rights.

[There are exceptions. I tried to buy The Case for Christ DVD a few weeks ago. The “Canadian stores only” copies were sold out, but the U.S. copies were in-stock, but they were locked out. To make matters worse, the U.S. price was converting to $19.99 Canadian, but the Canadian copies were still at the their original $24.99. On top of that, the U.S. price from Universal Home Video is currently only $9.99 U.S. That means U.S. stores buying from Anchor are overpaying as well. In Canada, we should be paying no more than $13.99.]

Here’s our take on what the February 12th email changes:

  • It announces that Anchor will now provide publisher services (i.e. expedite shipping) for Provident Label Group (CDs and DVDs) resulting in an exclusive distribution deal for Canada. “Provident has shifted the warehousing and distribution of their business over to Anchor in the U.S. As part of this transition, Word Alive will be the exclusive seller of their products in Canada. From an inventory perspective, this is a great advantage as you will now be pulling from the hub where all Provident inventory will be warehoused for North America so the stock levels will be an upgrade from what you’ve seen in the past. The Provident discount structure for Canada will be announced shortly and at this point it looks like we will begin shipping in April, 2019.” Correction [04/Mar/19 – Parasource announcement]: “Parasource will continue to distribute Provident Label Group product in Canada on a non-exclusive basis, as will Word Alive/Anchor Distributors.”
  • It verifies the acquisition of Worthy Publishing by Hachette Nashville (parent of FaithWords) grants Word Alive exclusivity. This was expected.
  • It offers Broadman & Holman books and Bibles at 45%. This is moot, since Parasource matched it.
  • It offers 45% on Baker Book Group (Baker, Spire, Baker Academic, Bethany House, Revell, etc.) Again, this is moot since Parasource currently offers 50% on these.
  • It promotes an extra 2% on Rose Publishing and Hendrickson. Not sure why this is here, as there is no claim of exclusivity in that paragraph. Hendrickson travelled from New England to the diagonal opposite end of the country in its purchase of Rose. I haven’t heard if activities will be consolidated.
  • It promotes an extra 2% on City on a Hill small group resources. There’s a hint of exclusivity here — “Word Alive has been asked to represent this line…” — but it’s not overtly stated.
  • It announces a 20% discount on LifeWay. Many Canadian stores were already doing better than this because of Parasource’s tiered curriculum discounts, and compared with the supposed “list” prices at CBD, the Canadian prices from Parasource on the curriculum seemed to be subsidized.

Back to the introductory paragraph in the email:

It’s been sometime since the Canadian market has seen this type of competition but, in the end, I believe it’s necessary for a healthy industry.

The “I” in the email is Jeremy Braun, Director of Canadian Operations. The truth of the matter is that the trade market for Christian books in Canada is constantly shrinking and desperate times call for desperate actions. It’s a strategic move, but if I worked for Parasource, it would be hard not to see the announcement as a declaration of war.




17-Year-Old Publishes First Novel

It’s not everyday that a 17-year-old Grade 12 student publishes a 467-page novel.  It’s even more significant when you consider that The Mask by Cassandra Nywening, a student at Chatham (Ontario) High School is actually the first of three in the Hidden Grace trilogy, with book two, The Charade already complete.   The book is being published through Word Alive Press.

The Chatham News thought it was significant as well in this article.   They pick up the book’s plot-line:

Nywening is releasing the first novel, entitled The Mask, in her Hidden Grace Trilogy, at a book launch being held March 20…

She describes The Mask as a fairy tale set in the 1800s. The main character is Rose Wooden, who lives with an aunt who hates her, and has given her a year to find a husband in order to get her out of the house. If Rose doesn’t find a husband in that time, she must marry the man her aunt has chosen for her.

Rose is destined to meet a prince who is unhappy and feels his life of royalty is fake. The prince is given a year to go out into the community in disguise to find a wife who wants to marry him for who he is and not his position.

“I talk a lot about justice and what is love,” she said.

The young author’s book will be sold through the usual online channels, but does the Word Alive deal mean it will be available to trade customers through Word Alive trade distribution?    Currently, neither the author or the title are listed at the company website, which is too bad, because this sounds like a title — and an author — many Canadian Christian stores would want to support.