Rep Night is the Best Night

Monday night I experienced one of the coolest things ever. It’s called Rep Night. It’s when representatives from publishing houses come and basically showcase titles they think we should pay attention to so we can handsell them to the customers. I came in late, so I missed most of everyone’s names, but I did see that we had reps from Penguin Random (forever Random Penguin in my mind), HarperCollins, Hachette, and Chronicle Books. Forgive me if I missed someone.

There were a lot of great titles pitched. Here are a few that interested me. Some are out already and some will be published soon.

There were also a number of winter picks of books that are already out, but I might save that one for a big holiday post. 😉

So besides telling us which books they thought we’d like, they also brought ARCs. The greatest thing was watching all my coworkers load up bags of galleys all while saying “I really shouldn’t do this, I have a stack at home I need to get to” even though we do need to. Bookselling is not just looking up “the book with the blue cover that might be about mediating” or ringing up that stack of kids books. It’s also being about to make recommendations to the customers when needed. It’s what separates us from Amazon or even Barnes and Noble. We don’t carry every book obviously because its impossible, but what we can do, is have a carefully curated selection that at least someone in the bookstore can tell you something about and be passionate about it. Recommending books and handselling can be its own topic so I won’t go down that rabbit hole, so basically bringing home a bag of ARCs is fundamental to my job. At least that’s what I’m telling both myself and my husband when he side-eyes yet another bag of books coming into the house.

So I bet you’re asking what was in that bag? Have I ever let you down on not telling you about my literary loot? Some were ones mentioned before and some were new-to-me titles

Any of these sound like your bag? Let me know!

Slinging Books is Hard Work

As previously posted, I recently went back to work since my youngest is now in school. I got really lucky and was hired at my dream job, selling books at my local indie. So far the experience has been AMAZING. Tiring, but so much fun. There’s a lot to it (definitely not getting paid to sit around and read), but I feel pretty satisfied. No longer are my friends the only ones who are harangued into reading all the books, now random strangers are too as well as my coworkers (who do their own haranguing, so it’s fair). Whoopee!

I’m still rather new so mostly I’m filler for full time staff who need time off or what not. So far that’s meant that I’m working A LOT since we recently had some people leave at the same time others went on extended vacations. recently finished a  seven-day-in-a-row stretch. It’s a lot to get used to after 8 years of home with my kids.

There are awesome benefits in the way of access to books. We have access to ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) in both print and digital, which means I’m now officially on Edelweiss so look me up! We also have book borrowing privileges if we have plenty of copies on hand. And then there’s the best of all…the employee discount. My book budget really needed this.

Also I just started helping out with events which has been a lot of fun. I have done two so far with five more (I think?) this month. I love the experience of watching people interact with their favorite authors. I am an author fan girl as you might remember so these are my people.

Anyway, the staff is delightful, the customers a joy (except for the ones who shoplift or grump at me that the book is cheaper on amazon, they’re jerk faces), and the work is satisfying. I have a huzzah feeling every time I’m able to get the book a customer is looking for into their hands. Double that when they come up asking for a recommendation and they take it. So far, I haven’t been there long enough for those people to come back and either smack me with the book because they hated it or give me a high five because they loved it, but it’s only a matter of time (i’m practicing my ducking for the former).

Well, I’m out of here. Those books aren’t going to sell themselves.