Help/Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Publisher Alley

Publisher Alley features all book titles published since January 1997 (with sales since January 1999) that Baker & Taylor, YBP, and Majors Education Solutions represent in all channels - retail, library, international, medical and government/other. In addition, Pub Alley includes actively selling deep backlist titles published prior to January 1997.

Table of Contents

SEARCH FORMS – All Titles, Children's Titles, Profiled Titles, Profiled Series, Summary

Q:   When should I use the All Titles search form and when should I use the Children's Titles or Profiled Titles search forms?

A:   Use the All Titles search form when you want to run reports for all of your titles regardless of whether they are adult or juvenile, profiled or not. Use the Children's when you know you only want to search for juvenile titles (adult titles are automatically filtered out). Use the Profiled Titles search form when you're looking for sales, demand, and bibliographic data for titles profiled on YBP's approval plans only.

Q:   Which is the quickest way to access the information: 'Display in Pub Alley' or 'Email'?

A:   For very large reports, it may be quickest to email the report to yourself.

Q:   If I email a report, what format is it in and what information will it include?

A:   Title reports are Excel spreadsheets that include ISBN level sales, demand, backorders, inventory, and select bibliographic information. Similarly, Market reports are Excel spreadsheets that include market and submarket sales breakdowns as well as select bibliographic data.

Q:   What is the Add Multiple ISBN link on the ISBN/Title field?

A:   If you would like to search for a group of ISBNs that you have in a spreadsheet or Word document, simply click the Add Multiple ISBNs link to open up the dialog window, then copy and paste the list from your spreadsheet or Word document, click "Add" and the list of ISBNs will populate the ISBN field. You can add up to 100 10-digit and/or 13-digit ISBNs at a time. There is no need to format the list; the system will automatically parse the list.

Q:   Is there a limit to the number of titles retrieved in a search?

A:   No, but in the interest of efficiency, after 2000 records, the system will prompt you to email the report to yourself (or a colleague using the email option on the menu bar of the search results page), or refine your search. Note that the maximum number of rows for a single Excel report is 65,000. Reports with more than 65,000 titles will fail to generate, and no email will be delivered.

Q:   What is the YBP Profile Date?

A:   This is the date that YBP profiles the book in-hand and makes it available for sale in the YBP system through approval plans.

Q:   How do I search by imprint?

A:   The imprint box shows all of your imprints highlighted. To select one or more, hold down the CTRL key and click the imprint name(s). For other imprints or a mix of yours and others publishers', click the "browse" link to search and select imprints directly from the imprint pop up menu. A keyword search box is at the top of the screen. Search results are highlighted so that you can identify the best match to your search criteria. When you click an imprint name, that imprint shows up in the Selected Imprints box. Our imprint list is updated regularly. Also, note the "My" option before the alphabetical listing. This lets you quickly reload all of your imprints.

Q:   What are Speedstock titles, and how do I search for them?

A:   Speedstock titles are those designated by B&T as fast-moving books requiring special attention and stocking considerations. To locate Speedstock titles, using the Universe box, you can select All, Published, Speedstock, Not Yet Published or Out of Print titles. You can search for your own Speedstock titles or any other publishers'. Speedstock titles reflect a 'moving book' icon on the title level reports on-screen and a yes/no indicator in the Excel reports (Totals).

Q:   Can I search for titles with reviews and awards?

A:   Yes, there are hundreds of "mentions" that you can choose from. Click the "search" link to browse and select a list of the key review sources, awards, award nominations, and B&T promotional programs that interest you. The search and select mirrors the functionality of the imprint browser and the BISAC and LC browsers. Note that you may need to try multiple entries for publications like Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. In other words, try "LJ" and "Library Journal" or "PW" and "Publishers Weekly". In search results, titles with reviews, awards or other mentions will have a paper and pen icon to the left of the publication date. Click this icon to see a complete list of mentions that a title received. On the title information page for an ISBN that has been reviewed in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Choice, or Booklist, you will see links to the appropriate publications just below the cover image. Click these to access those independent websites and search for actual review text (Choice and Booklist require paid subscriptions to do this).

Q:   Can I search for titles featured in B&T Promotional Programs?

A:   Yes, there are hundreds for "mentions" that you can choose from. Click the "search" link to browse and select a list of the key review sources, awards, award nomination, and B&T promotional programs that interest you. The search and select mirrors the functionality in the imprint browser and the BISAC and LC browsers. On the search results, titles with reviews, awards or other mentions will have a paper and pen icon to the left of the publication date. Click this icon to see a complete list of mentions. You can access this list from the Title Information screen as well by clicking the "full list of reviews, awards ..." link in the right-hand margin. Please note, most but not every B&T promotional program is coded for inclusion in Publisher Alley.

Q:   Can I search for titles by first printing quantities?

A:   Yes, use the Initial Print Run field on the All Titles and Children's Titles search forms. You can look for print quantities in a range or over or under a specified amount.

Q:   Can I search for titles by ad budgets?

A:   Yes, use the Ad Budget field on the All Titles and Children's Titles search forms. You can look for budget levels in a range or over or under a specified amount. Please note, this information is a new title information requirement at B&T so it will be available mostly on new titles.

Q:   What kinds of 'notes' can I search for on Profiled Title searches?

A:   The notes field is data entered by YBP's book-in-hand profilers and it's a bit of a catch-all where you can search by keyword for author affiliations, review citations for New York Times Book Review and Times Literary Supplement (NYTBR & TLS), secondary imprint listings on the verso, subject keywords such as 'civil liberties', reprints, and book awards.

Q:   Can I search by editor?

A:   Yes, type the editor's name in the Author/Editor field. You may also use the "Other Responsible Party" field to search for illustrators, photographers, narrators, and translators.

Q:   Can I search for multiple LC ranges or multiple BISAC codes?

A:   Yes. Click the radio button for LC or BISAC and then click the "browse" link to search for and select one or more individual codes and/or ranges. You may also type in LC Classifications or BISAC codes in the free text field. Click the arrow icon and your entries will appear in the subject box above.

Q:   How do I run a bestseller report?

A:   Use the Sales Criteria box on the search forms. Select the second radio button called "Show titles with" then enter a figure for units sold >= (say 200) and select a predefined date range. If you want to see bestseller reports regularly, you can save the report query by clicking the "Save Search" icon after your search returns. You can also use this field to search for worst-sellers too. Note that there is a selection of preconfigured bestseller reports available for daily email delivery on Alley Talk.

Q:   How are 'My Imprints' populated?

A:   When your company signs up for a subscription, we include the imprints covered by your company's subscription agreement (this may be some or all of your imprints).

Q:   How do I search for competitive imprints or my imprints combined with competitive imprints?

A:   Delete your imprints and then click the "browse" link at the top of the Imprints box to select the names of the imprints you would like to include. Click the "My" button to include your imprints. For best results, we recommend limiting searches to 15 imprints or less.

Q:   How do searches by Profile date and Pub date differ?

A:   Profile date is YBP's book-in-hand date. The Pub date is set by the publishers and is updated in Pub Alley as often as the publisher updates B&T and YBP.

Q:   How do I find sales for a group of titles priced in a certain range, say $100-$150?

A:   On any of the title search forms, scroll down to the List Price field in the bottom section of the forms. You can use >=, <=, or range. Enter 100-150 as a range.

Q:   Can I sort the results of reports?

A:   You can sort your report after it has run. Simply select the "Sort" button from the top menu bar and specify your primary and/or secondary sort preferences, click OK, and your report will refresh. Note the default sort is sales in units descending then by imprint ascending.

Q:   How can I look for sales trends for one or several of my titles?

A:   The Summary Sales report allows you to compare sales for all of your titles or titles by imprint for up to 3 date ranges. The summary report will display time periods (and show percent changes between the 1st and 2nd and 2nd and 3rd periods) in the order your entered them. For chronological reports remember to enter, for instance, 2001 in the first date range box, followed by 2002, and then 2003. To compare sales for individual ISBNs (yours or others) in up to three time periods, bring up the ISBNs in search results and add them to a Sales Comparison report.

REPORT DETAILS - All Titles, Children's Titles, Profiled Titles, Profiled Series, Summary

Q:   What data does Publisher Alley include?

A:   As a general rule, Pub Alley includes all titles published since January 1997 (with sales since January 1999) that Baker & Taylor, YBP Library Services, and Majors Education Solutions represent in all channels. We have included too most active deep backlist titles published prior to January 1997.

Q:   Do net sales reflect only my company's titles?

A:   Yes. You see net sales and list sales for your own imprints. For all others, you see list sales only. Also, you may sort by net sales on the search results pages.

Q:   Where are the on-hand and on-order figures coming from?

A:   The on-hand and on-order figures are aggregated, representing totals for the Baker & Taylor warehouses (Momence or IL, Somerville or NJ, Commerce or GA, Reno or NV, Dallas or TX [now closed: historical sales only], Indianapolis or IN, and YBP/Contoocook or NH). To see inventory by warehouse, click on the on-hand or on-order figures.

Q:   Are there units on-hand that are NOT visible in Publisher Alley?

A:   Yes: Pub Alley does not show units that are being picked or allocated. These are committed to Baker & Taylor customers and will quickly convert to units sold.

In addition, B&T places inventory on reserve for a select group of accounts in order to support special promotions and specific inventory needs. Reserve inventory is sometimes not included in “on-hand” totals within Pub Alley. While inventory is on reserve, it is available for purchase only by one designated account. The expectation is that the account will sell through all or most of that inventory, though there is no guarantee. Unsold stock is returned to available inventory when the program ends: normally, programs run no more than several weeks.

Q:   The ISBN I'm looking at has a firm on-sale date in the future. However, Publisher Alley shows that some units have already been sold. How can this be?

A:   B&T provides a "Street-Date Shipping" option to its customers. Those who sign and return a Street Date Shipping Early Ship Agreement can view and reserve inventory of not-yet-published titles (as allowed by publisher guidelines). Read more here.

Q:   What is the difference between demand and sales?

A:   All books ordered from B&T generate demand for the quantity ordered. If the book is in stock it will generate a sale. In this case the demand and sales numbers will be the same.

At the time of order entry the customer has the option to backorder or cancel any books not in stock. If the customer backorders the title, the demand appears at the time of order entry and the sales number will occur when the product comes back into stock and is shipped to the customer.

If the customer instructs B&T to cancel books that are out of stock, the demand will appear when ordered, but there will be no corresponding sale either now or later.

We include the following order types in Pub Alley demand figures: a. Approval, b. Continuations, and c. Special buys to support special customers or events.

Occasionally with demand from very large customers that order electronically multiple times a day from all warehouses, the actual demand is filtered before it appears in Pub Alley to more accurately reflect the true customer demand.

Sales are invoiced orders. Demand may be higher than sales if a). A title's publication date slipped, b). If B&T did/does not have enough stock on-hand to fulfill orders, etc.

Q:   How do I see detailed bibliographic data on titles?

A:   Click the ISBN links on the reports or right-click your mouse to open a separate window. The separate window is useful when you want to look at detailed title information on many titles in a long list.

Q:   Do you distinguish between US and UK editions of titles?

A:   Yes, however the top level title reports only reflect whether an edition is considered a US edition. To see whether a title is a UK edition, click on the ISBN link for full bibliographic data.

Q:   What is Net Price?

A:   The amount YBP/B&T paid for the ISBN (or list price minus the YBP/B&T discount).

Q:   How are net sales calculated?

A:   These are your dollar sales at YBP/B&T cost, less customer returns to B&T.

Q:   How are list sales calculated?

A:   These are your dollar sales at list price (which may be average list price if the price has changed over time), less customer returns.

Q:   I multiplied list price x unit sales and my figures don't match those displayed in Publisher Alley. Why would that be?

A:   List price can change over time; we show the most current list price. Also, UK sales are converted to dollars, but the conversion will often yield a dollar list that differs from the US list price.

Q:   Can I see sales by market or channel?

A:   Yes, from the Title Sales Report, check the boxes to the left of the ISBNs of interest (or Select All) and then click the "Markets" icon from the horizontal menu bar. This will enable you to see list sales by market (Retail, Library, International, Govt/Other and Majors) and submarket. To analyze sales by market for one or more of your imprints, email yourself reports from the Markets view and then sort the Excel report by the market and publisher columns. Also, you may elect to email yourself a markets report from the title search screens. Please note: the system allows you to view 50 or less titles at a time in markets view. To see more titles than that, please email yourself a markets report.

Q:   What do you mean by Govt/Other?

A:   Government refers to books sold to government entities at local, state and national levels. Other refers to sales to entities such as YBP/B&T employees and other domestic wholesalers.

Q:   What are Internet Sales?

A:   Internet sales are sales to web-based stores such as or independent retail stores that may have their own online presence through Internet sales may also include occasional web-based sales to professors and libraries.

Q:   What are International Sales?

A:   International sales are sales to any non-US address, with the exception of any Internet sales shipped outside the country (those are classified in the Internet market channel). International sales are broken down into retail, library, and government/other submarkets.

Q:   What are Majors Sales?

A:   Majors sales are sales through our medical division known as Majors Education Solutions. These sales are broken down into Retail (including sales to college bookstores and hospital libraries), Hospital, and Library/Academic (including medical libraries). The Majors-related data includes present demand, sales going back to January 1, 2002, and nightly product updates.

Q:   What are YBP sales, and are they broken out?

A:   YBP sales are not broken out specifically. However, all sales from the NH warehouse are linked to YBP, which serves the academic library market. To varying degrees, the following types of libraries purchase through YBP: research, college and university, corporate, public, school, agricultural, art, government, historical society, law, medical, military, museum, music, technical, and theological.

Q:   What are YBP approval sales?

A:   Click to learn about the YBP approval program. Generally speaking, every book issued by an approval plan publisher is profiled for potential sale on approval to academic libraries. In addition, select titles from other non-approval-plan publishers are profiled through the AP Plus! program. Read more about the types of books featured through AP Plus!

Q:   Where do the Market Breakdown figures come from?

A:   These are combined sales by market from YBP, Majors Education Solutions, and B&T.

Q:   How are the Returns figures obtained?

A:   The returns figures on the Summary Sales reports represent total returns from Baker & Taylor to the specified imprints for the period(s) entered on the Summary Search form. (Note: returns are batched, so the returns figure could be larger than the sales figure in some instances). On the title search forms, returns are for individual ISBNs and again returns mean overstock returns from B&T back to the publisher. Customer returns are already reflected in the sales figures.

Q:   How do I search for returns by time period?

A:   If you run a title-level sales report for a specified time period, the returns period will match. In other words, if you want to research your returns by title for the period of 6/1/05-6/31/05 then you would run a title report with a sales criteria range of 6/1/05-6/31/05.

Q:   I received a Vendor Stats report from my buyer at B&T, and it does not match a Publisher Alley Summary Report for the same sales period. Why?

A:   There are a few differences between a Vendor Stats report and a Summary Report:

  1. In Publisher Alley, customer returns are subtracted automatically from "sales." This means that if 2 units sell and 1 is returned to B&T, Publisher Alley will display sales of 1 as soon as the return is registered. The Vendor Stats report would still show sales of 2. (There is a Returns section on the Vendor Stats report, but this refers to returns made to the publisher - not customer returns to B&T).
  2. The YBP column on the vendor stats report shows all YBP sales, both domestic and international. YBP sales are not specifically broken out in Publisher Alley reports. This does not affect the total annual sales.
  3. Titles published prior to 1997 are included in the Vendor Stats report but are not always included in Publisher Alley.
  4. A small number of titles are sold by YBP only (not handled by any other division of the company). Sales for these titles may not be included in Vendor Stats reports, though they are in all Publisher Alley reports.
  5. When titles are moved from one vendor to another (as in the case of acquisition or distribution changes), the Vendor Stats report will show only the sales attributable to the selected vendor's performance with those titles. In Pub Alley, all sales travel with the ISBN regardless of vendor changes.
  6. There is the possibility that a different set of imprints is selected in a Publisher Alley Summary Report versus a Vendor Stats report.

Q:   Do we link editions of titles?

A:   Because of the differences in how YBP and B&T link editions of titles, we felt it best not to link titles in Pub Alley.

Q:   What is the "exclude titles in series" check box on the Profiled Title screen?

A:   If you're running a pricing study or title comparison report, you may want to exclude titles in series since those titles can be priced high enough to skew results significantly. To exclude titles in series, click the check box. This option is only available on the Profiled Title search form.


Pub Alley includes a tool for researching and compiling complete seasonal buy reports for your B&T buyers. This tool allows you to prepare buy reports that are based on demand and sales, and comparable titles are not restricted to your own titles. The steps required to build the spreadsheet are efficient; please see the Buy Report tutorial under HELP for details.

Q:   How do I know whether my press is required to do category buying?

A:   Contact a member of the Pub Alley team. We will check this for you.

Q:   How are the categories determined, and who assigns them?

A:   A category assignment is most often based on the primary BISAC code the publisher associates with a title. In the case of Spanish-language books, the category assignment is based on the language designation. This means that the publisher's metadata ultimately determines the category assignment.

Q:   Which buyers are assigned to which categories?

A:   For a list of buyers, category assignments, and contact information, click here.


Snapshots are designed to bridge the gap between the 2-day sales delay in the regular reports and your need, especially for fast-moving titles, for daily sales, demand, customer backorder, inventory and returns information.