Best part about being a rep: Visiting bookstores and meeting with my buyers.
What were you doing before you became a rep? I was the children’s buyer for Books & Books in Coral Gables. I also ran the bookfair operation and managed the kid’s room with Michelle Krinzman. Before that, I was a flight attendant with Air Florida back in the late 70’s!
What's the coolest thing/a great idea you've seen at one of your stores? I love the Goodnight, Moon room at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia. It’s magical!
Do you see Edelweiss reviews from booksellers? Yes, I do. All the time. I encourage my buyers to make sure they praise the galleys they love in Edelweiss. Knowing that once a buyer has gone through the catalog and marked their order that they may not ever go back in, I tell them I will sit right there while they write a review, even if it is in the middle of our sales call.
Do you follow any stores especially closely on social media? What are they doing right? I follow many of my accounts on social media. In the last couple of years I have seen so many of them step up their game on social media, specifically Instagram. Many have assigned a specific employee to manage their social media accounts, which I think is a great idea. Also, at Penguin Young Readers, we make sure to send out Social Media ready assets that make it super easy for our accounts to post a picture or post a contest or pre-order campaign, without them needing to put it all together in their very limited amount of time. We would rather they are hand selling in the store, rather than trying to figure out how to post something. I am really impressed with a few of my newer stores, that have jumped right into social media.
What can a bookseller do to make a sales call more effective? I always hope that my buyers have gone through my Edelweiss mark up ahead of time and marked up their initial order, so that we can spend our time wisely…….fine tuning the order and making sure they have noticed some of the mark up notes that I have added, such as where the author lives or possibly something local that we can use as a selling tool.
Most memorable thing that’s happened during a sales call?
I can’t think of one most memorable thing, but probably my favorite thing is when my buyers gets called away for a few minutes and I get to be a bookstore staff member again…….doing what I love best……hand selling!
What’s one thing you wish bookstores would do, or do more often? I love feedback. I tell all of my buyers to write me a quick email or text me or call me and let me know any little thing that is happening in their store or with their customers, so that I can stay on top of trends in the marketplace. If a new employee is madly in love with one of my books and is hand selling it like crazy, I want to know, so that I can make sure to send galleys specifically to that staff member and be better able to target my mailings.
Favorite book you’re currently promoting: Picture book: Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse, (on sale in August 2018), Jackie Woodson’s new books……The Day You Begin and Harbor Me and Sheila Turnage’s finale to the Mo & Dale Mysteries which began with Three Times Lucky……The Law of Finders Keepers. Sooooo good!
What do you enjoy most about the SIBA Discovery Show? Seeing all my fellow reps and finding out what books they are excited about. Catching up with my customers and getting to know new-comers to the bookselling world. I really enjoy getting a chance to talk to some of the owners and buyers at some of the smaller accounts in my territory that I won’t necessarily see while on the road. It is a great way to build relationships and to personally show them the exciting books we have coming up!