Catalogues are King. This writer certainly thinks they are, they do sell a catalogue product on the site, and he has a point. He gives a detailed look into the history of mail-order catalogues, from the first one in 1498 until the present day, with an analysis on how well they really work!
“The first catalog was published in Venice in 1498, even before the Gregorian Calendar was issued.
It was a hand-lettered and hand-bound pamphlet of sorts. The inside included a list of books available for purchase. The pamphlets were created for distribution at the town fair.
This method was used by a handful of book publishers, seed sellers, and nursery sellers (nursery = young plant). This limited use of catalogs continued on for the next three centuries.”