Order Processing & Customer Services

Our experienced and friendly Customer Service team handles orders from booksellers, libraries, wholesalers, businesses, local authorities and private individuals from around the world. All orders are keyed on the day of receipt and trade orders are merged with reprint and new title dues releases the following morning. There are no set due release dates which gives publishers flexibility with publication dates and allows for any delays with production or printing.

Express orders are despatched the same day for next day delivery within the UK and express delivery method overseas.

Standard features include:

  • Multi-currency invoicing: GBP USD and Euros are standard options within the system
  • Emailing of pro-forma invoices to facilitate faster payments
  • Consignment invoicing: to Amazon Advantage or to agents/distributors worldwide
  • Quick response to customer queries and enquiries
  • Dedicated staff to each publisher client
  • Dues reports and availability files by email

For our larger client’s, CBS provides a special customer service team with personalised publisher phone lines. Our office hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Credit Control/Cash Collection

CBS carry out all credit management functions on behalf of the client. To help reduce risk we have online access to one of the UK’s most trusted business credit reference agencies for company credit checks and credit ratings which are provided to the publisher at no additional cost. Customers are encouraged to receive copy invoices and statements (in pdf and csv formats) by email to help speed up the process of cash collection.

We offer 2 sales ledger/invoicing options as follows:

If your annual sales exceed £1 million – a “sole sales ledger” with invoice stationery and monthly statements branded with the publisher’s name and bank details. All receipts are banked directly into the publisher’s own bank account on a daily basis. This gives you absolute financial security and the facility to set your own multi-currency exchange rates. It also enables complete control of credit limits and account stops.

If your annual sales are less than £1 million – a CBS consolidated sales ledger, all sales ledger receipts are paid into a special Client Trustee account. This is entirely separate from the CBS trading account and all payments to our publishers are made from this account at the end of each month. Each month client publishers are sent a detailed payment schedule with a breakdown of sales, distribution costs, reps commissions and the current debtors figure. Payments are made by BACS directly into the publishers bank account on the payment due date.


CBS is a member of Batch is designed to help booksellers and publishers deal with one another electronically, and allow booksellers to view invoices, check them and then make a single payment to all their suppliers electronically. Payment is received a few days before the end of the month but we are able to view the remittance details by the middle of the month to check that the correct payment is being made.

Trade Debt Insurance

Publishers distributed by CBS may also join a ‘Credit Insurance’ scheme which provides indemnity against bad debt / insolvency. Participating publishers benefit from a competitive rate and advanced access to privileged financial and market risk information.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) / Teleordering

CBS has EDI links with all major book trade customers who require electronic invoices, credit notes, delivery notes and order acknowledgements. This EDI service is provided by Nielsen through the Booknet Plus network. Orders can also be received via PubEasy and teleordering.

Information Technology

CBS has developed its system using Sweetens’ software for over 25 years. Their Open Imprint package is designed with ease of use and rapid processing of data in mind. Sweetens have concentrated on a number of vital areas in the package such as high speed invoicing, flexible accounting, report management and software integration. These factors together with the wide range of optional modules enable CBS to furnish the client with an efficient and powerful solution at all levels.

- Management Reports

The system produces an extensive range of management reports. These can be tailored specifically to individual client needs. Reports are sent electronically in a variety of popular formats and can be shared easily amongst your sales and editorial staff. CBS can also email reports direct to your appointed sales team. A daily sales report is emailed each evening showing line by line sales detail for that day’s sales.

- BIC Supply Chain Excellence Award (SCEA)
In 2010 CBS became e4books accredited in recognition of its commitment to e-commerce. Since then CBS has been accredited each year with the Supply Chain Excellence Award (SCEA).

- Price & Availability
CBS provides daily price & availability feeds to major online retailers to ensure that they have the latest price and stock availability information. This data is also supplied to publisher websites to provide live price and availability data.

- PubEasy
CBS is a trade affiliate of PubEasy, allowing 24/7 access to UK and overseas customers to interrogate the system for price, availability, placing orders, and to view back orders.

- Online Sales Enquiry
Publishers are provided with 24 hour online access giving them the ability to check stock as well as make sales and dues enquiries by both title and customer. There is also the facility to see who has paid and value of funds collected during the month.

Warehousing & Distribution

CBS consolidated all stock and operations under 1 roof following its move to a larger warehouse and has ample capacity for future expansion. All stock is held securely and is managed by our fully computerised stock management system.

- Goods In
All deliveries received at the warehouse are quality checked for the correct quantity, price, title and ISBN. These are booked onto our system within 24 hours of receipt. An automated email is generated after the stock has been booked on to notify the publisher that stock has been received.

Any discrepancies or damages are reported to the publisher by separate email. We operate a ‘common sense’ approach to deliveries and do not turn away deliveries received on the wrong pallets or deliveries that have not been booked in. Books are made available for immediate release unless we have instructions from the publisher to hold until publication date. Dues releases take place on a daily basis.

- Hotlines
CBS operates a hotline during the run up to Christmas and any orders placed by 1.00pm are despatched the same day for next day delivery within the UK mainland.

- Despatch
We use a variety of delivery methods to help us deliver around the world and we are always at hand to advise publishers about the most cost-effective services available for any despatches ranging from bulk shipments, press review mailings to a single book purchase. CBS operates a 24-48 hour turnaround for orders to trade and private customers and same day despatch for urgent orders. For the UK mainland we use DPD for all parcels over 1kg and this is a 24 hour signed for service; for the rest of the UK the delivery time is 48 hour and for the lighter packages Royal Mail 1st and 2nd class are used.

Our overseas customers without shipping agents can benefit from a range of services from airmail to express courier. The majority of European parcels are despatched via ‘DPD Classic’ which normally takes 2-4 days and provides individual parcel tracking and proof of delivery. Smaller overseas packages are sent via DPD International Priority Mail.

Internet / Direct Mail / Magazine offers

CBS can handle all your internet orders, direct mail and magazine offers. These are processed for despatch within 48 hours and all details are captured for marketing purposes.

Review Copies & Catalogue Mailings

CBS can also handle all your press releases, rep samples and catalogue mailings. Simply provide a review list with the appropriate address labels and we will send them out on our priority service.

Returns Processing

CBS is a member of batch returns, therefore returns requests and physical returns are dealt with in accordance of BIC industry standards. It is optional for publishers to participate under the batch returns scheme and therefore we are flexible and can work to the publisher’s own stated policy when dealing with damaged or unauthorised returns.

Ancillary Services

CBS also understand that there are certain extras that are sometimes needed and therefore CBS can also offer the following services:

• Set Bundle/Counter Pack make-up
Point of Sales construction