Bowker and book and music retailer Borders Group last week announced that Borders has extended an agreement to license the Global Books in Print database. The database will become the backbone of information in the bibliographic systems at Borders corporate offices as well as customer computer information kiosks located in Borders stores.
Borders customers looking for specific titles will benefit from the ability to access bibliographic details on more than 14 million books organized according to 30 key search criteria. The agreement between the two companies also gives Borders access to Bowker’s "Publisher Authority" database, which includes company and contact information for more than 200,000 publishers around the globe, and other data modules (containing comprehensive descriptions of books, audiobooks and videos.)
Database publishers can learn a lot from this alliance: it's the perfect example of the powerful combination of information and commerce. Publishers that have good quality databases in their stable really do have endless opportunities to generate revenue. They just need to continue looking past the image of the traditional customer and seriously consider these larger corporate partnerships. Retail organizations such as Borders are always seeking ways in which to improve the entire customer experience and increase sales. (Obviously, this latest alliance is designed, in part, to help Borders sell more books.) Publishers need to understand they could be sitting on a real goldmine; that their databases could be a strong revenue generator for organizations in their segment. They need to seek out partnerships similar to this Bowker-Borders one and stake a claim in that revenue too.