One day I was Googling Above the Treeline, the company that runs Edelweiss and I discovered that I lived only a short drive from the main headquarters. I was surprised and excited about the possibility going there to see how the company was run.
I shot off an email to their customer service and Lynne one of their main service reps was extremely friendly and willing to show me around. An appointment was set up and I stopped by.
Below is what I learned!
Above the Treeline started about 10 years ago and has became a huge part of the book industry. Staffing: They have 13 staff members that are developers, management and customer service.
Above the Treeline has 3 products that they offer, but I’ll only cover 2 of them.
Treeline Analytics is used by bookstores in a variety of ways. They can:
- Check inventory (what books they have in stock)
- How the books are selling
- What books are popular and selling in other stores
- Trends in books
- A month by month break down of each book and how many they sell
Lynne randomly picked a bookstore in the system to show me how it worked. In that particular store the top 2 most sold books for the month of January 2016 were Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated Edition.
They really hope that libraries will also start using the Analytics. I definitely could see this being useful for libraries as well as bookstores!
I learned a lot about Edelweiss and it’s functionality.
Originally Edelweiss was created and designed for bookstores and publishers. It never had reviewers or bloggers in mind when it was designed which would explain a lot of “issues” bloggers have come to feel frustrated by.
What is Edelweiss used for and how?
You can think of Edelweiss as being a giant database for books. You can find a book’s “feed”, which is book summary, author, publisher, etc., but it’s also used as the place where bookstores purchase all their books!
As a blogger (not a bookseller) I had no idea that that was it’s purpose!
Publishers send in catalogs of what books they have in order that bookstores will see them and buy the books. Along with the catalogs, publishers will include publicity elements like Kirkus reviews, Reader’s Digest Articles and the alike to promote their books.
Publishers —–> Edelweiss
Publishers send the feeds and the books to Above the Treeline.
Edelweiss is only the host, the online website that is used by publishers and booksellers. Edelweiss designs the website along with putting everything in their databases.
ABOVE THE TREELINE (EDELWEISS) DOESN’T DO ANY OF THE APPROVAL FOR BOOKS!
Yes, they themselves have absolutely NO part in the approval or denial of arc requests, that is totally the publishers. Edelweiss, like I said, is just the online website used by publishers to do sales with bookstores. So when those requests sit there for MONTHS that’s because the publicity staff at the publisher’s offices, who make those decisions, are leaving them for whatever reason. It has nothing to do with the actual site itself.
Changes! 🎉 🎉 🎉
Huzzah! Many people have complained about the design of Edelweiss as well as the overall laggy-ness of the site. Lynne, the customer service rep I met with, said that they, as a company, hear you! They really do, and GOOD NEWS everyone, Edelweiss Plus is on the horizon!
If you go to http://edelweiss.plus/ right now you can sign in and check the box to be a Beta Tester!
When you login (once Edelweiss + is launched) it be geared toward the user:
Reviewers, Booksellers or Publishers
Depending on what you are, the site will look slightly different for you.
- Clean Lines – More User Friendly
- Increased Speed (Eliminating Processing)
- Geared Toward the User
Provided below are a couple differences that mostly will interest book bloggers.
Quoted from Lynne: “The main difference is that we have added a dashboard at the top to make managing downloads, reviews, etc a little easier.” (click image to make larger)
Even though Above the Treeline doesn’t do any of the approving for books, I asked Lynne if she had any advice on what to say in the request box. She simply said, you need to give reasons why a publisher would want to send YOU a FREE book.
Publishing Houses are getting rid of print catalogs and moving completely to online catalogs only. Example: Penguin Random House no longer print physical catalogs.
I had a VERY positive experience vising Above the Treeline! Everyone was helpful and excited to sit down with me to explain how they worked. I must say, I was very impressed. I’m really excited about all the changing coming with Edelweiss Plus and I hope you learned something new today!