Spanning the globe to bring you ... books. Bookspan is a direct marketer of books, operating book clubs under such familiar names as the Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Club, and The Literary Guild. The company operates about 20 clubs that offer bestsellers and feature titles from specific genres, including history, military, mystery, and science fiction. Book selections are chosen by editors in various areas. The company was created through a partnership between Bertelsmann and Time Warner, which sold its stake to Bertelsmann in 2007. Najafi Cos. bought Bookspan, Columbia House, and its other direct marketing operations in the US from Bertelsmann in 2008. Pride Tree Holdings bought Bookspan in 2012.
Change in Company Type
Pride Tree Holdings acquired Direct Brands in 2012 from Arizona-based investment firm Najafi Companies.
Alongside its sister company, Direct Brands, Bookspan is the nation's largest direct-to-consumer distributor of media products. It is the parent company two dozen multi-platform businesses, including Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Club, and Columbia House. It is also the parent of cultural and lifestyle retail communities such as Black Expressions Book Club, Science Fiction Book Club, Quality Paperback Book Club, and One Spirit.
Based in Garden City, New York, Bookspan is a global company, thanks to its Internet business.
Sales and Marketing
It provides the products through direct mail and e-commerce portals. Also sells through Amazon.com and through online websites.
Book continuity clubs in recent years have suffered from increasing member attrition rates and aggressive competition from discounters, including wholesale club operator Costco and online sellers, most notably Amazon. Consumers are also flipping to audiobooks, which can be downloaded at sites like Audible's or purchased in stores.
Despite the bleak outlook, Bookspan is relying more on the Internet and social networks for membership prospecting. In addition, Bookspan has pared down the number of clubs it operates, from about 40 at its peak.