Troubador grows in publishing facilities with £400k investment

They'll also be reducing their power use by 40% each year.

A new warehouse for a publishing company in Market Harborough can now hold 700 pallets of books after a move from premises in Kibworth.


Troubador Publishing was founded in 1996 and went on to start the Matador self-publishing imprint and the Self-Publishing Conference, which is now in its eighth year.


The company has invested £400k into creating a purpose-built office and expansion of their warehouse and distribution facilities.


The investment positions the company for growth in the author services market and will enable it to broaden its book distribution operation to other publishers.


Managing Director Jeremy Thompson said: “This marks a significant step up for the company as we have changed the way in which we distribute our titles to the retail trade for the better, with new arrangements that are faster, cheaper and more robust than when previously using a third-party distribution company.


"By investing heavily in new systems and processes, we can not only offer our authors and retail customers a better service, but we reduce our environmental impact by minimising road miles for our books.”


In addition, a new environmentally-friendly office building has been built from scratch, with over 40 solar panels generating enough electricity to reduce the company’s power use by 40% annually.


It also features automatic lights and super-insulation.


And for every new title that Troubador publishes, they plant a tree with plant.moretrees.eco.

In parallel moves, the company has improved its book distribution capabilities for its authors and publisher partners through a special arrangement with wholesaler Gardners Books, investment in the Nielsen PubEasy book buying system for retailers, and by offering sales representation from its own warehouse through Star Book Sales.


Significant investment in online systems now allows the company to automatically send daily 'Price & Availability' feeds direct to Gardners and to all bookshops using PubEasy, which makes ordering titles simple for any retailer.


This will particularly help self-publishing authors.


Operations Director Jane Rowland said: “We have been aiming for some time to strengthen our book distribution capabilities, as we knew that our distribution could be done more efficiently and at a lesser cost, financially and environmentally, if we managed this ourselves.


"This has meant significant investment in both back office systems to supply P&A data daily to retailers, and warehouse infrastructure to manage the distribution process. Both are paying off as we are seeing increased sales of titles across our imprints already.”

Troubador’s purpose-built office space includes not only fully- equipped meeting rooms, but a large meeting space used to host events. It also has a bookshop where titles from the company’s Matador, Book Guild and Troubador imprints will be sold directly.


The company acquired the new premises in June last year, and has spent the last six months of 2021 amalgamating stocks from three warehouses into a single warehouse.

The company plans to make its bookshop and retail distribution services available to smaller publishers in the near future. This will aim to give better market access to publishers or self-publishers who have multiple titles and who wish to make their books available through bookshops.

 

Written by Kerry Smith

Kerry is editor of Cross Production's Niche Magazine in Leicester and has a degree in film and journalism. She writes about business news, local people, entertainment, and has a particular interest in theatre.