Learn how Urban Spirit! Publishing was able to increase sales and show exponential year-over-year growth with the help of Ware-Pak’s book fulfillment services.
“Outsourcing my book fulfillment to Ware-Pak alleviated my need to worry about shipping – I don’t worry about it at all. This allows me to focus on creatives, financials, and all other aspects of a business that are necessary for growth. I know that I can count on Ware-Pak to do what they say they will do, and I have never considered changing providers.” – Mel Banks Jr., founder and owner of Urban Spirit! Publishing
While working for his father’s publishing business, Mel Banks Jr. noticed an important product line missing from the Christian book market: Bibles made distinctly for children of color. He saw this as an opportunity and went to work on creating a children’s Bible to meet this demographic. The need was realized when Mel sold approximately 20,000 of these Bibles out of the trunk of his car within 6 months’ time! Thus, he began Urban Spirit! Publishing in 1993.
At the start of his new business venture, Mel was supported by his father’s publishing company with shipping, and some fulfillment services, performed from their own warehouse space. When the fulfillment operation became too much volume for them to handle, his father’s company decided to outsource their book fulfillment to Ware-Pak. Mel remembers feeling reluctant about this move – if the fulfillment operation was working already, why should they change it? But his apprehensions were soon forgotten after he had a chance to see the warehouse and meet the staff. Visiting Ware-Pak changed his viewpoint, and he soon realized the growth possibilities associated with outsourcing to an experienced book fulfillment provider. In late 2019, Mel began outsourcing all of his fulfillment needs for his publishing business to Ware-Pak.
Throughout the year 2020, Urban Spirit! Publishing continued to sell more and more books, and their fulfillment volume grew. Previously only sold in bookstores, Mel began advertising his books directly to consumers on Facebook and selling from his own Shopify web store. This allowed him to diversify his product line by adding new titles and increasing print options for his existing titles. Mel also believes that the lockdown created by the Covid-19 pandemic helped boost his sales, simply because of the isolation it created and consumers being willing to increase their spending budgets on ways to pass the time. Ware-Pak continued to fulfill Mel’s orders, which he says alleviated all of his previous worries about shipping.
Urban Spirit!’s growth trend also continued throughout 2021. Overall, Urban Spirit! experienced an outstanding 176.5% year-over-year growth from 2020 to 2022.
Today, Urban Spirit! Publishing is no longer just a children’s Bible publisher. Urban Spirit! Publishing publishes other Bibles, devotionals, children’s Bible stories, and books about Christianity that are all specifically focused on people of color. From the content to the manufacturing, the company takes great pride in each book and Bible published and aims to “inspire people higher”.
Within the first 4 months of 2023, Urban Spirit! Publishing’s sales increased another 46% over the previous year. The business continues to grow due to the perseverance and dedication of Mel and his team. Many new exciting titles are in development to be sold later this year at https://urbanspirit.biz/
*Ware-Pak, we are a full-service warehouse located in University Park, IL with over 60 years of fulfillment services experience serving publishers. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.