Beyond the era of the sales rep force
I was reading a very interesting article in The Bookseller here today, about the ‘death’ of the publishing sales rep, the general gist of which elaborated on the scaling down of large on-the-road rep bodies as more and more buying decisions become centralised or via one-stop wholesalers. As some of you out there may know, Allison & Busby proudly represent our own titles to the trade with a grand total of three people; Susie, myself and our super-rep Graham (available for weddings, bar mitzvas…). And chatting at the bookfair we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that this structure has been picked up by other smaller, but perfectly formed, houses. The long and the short of it is that this system is working far better for us than an arguably unwieldy and unnecessary sale force ever did or could.
I was a year at A&B before we brought sales in-house and have to say that even with fewer people on the ground, we’re closer to readers and booksellers than we have ever been before. Take the gleaming example of our new website, selling to people far and wide (a copy of Mariana went off to Stockholm the other day, I’ll have you know). Or the palpable enthusiasm from booksellers UK-wide about our Morganville books and Rachel Caine’s visit to the UK in May. Anyhoo, onwards and upwards for all I say.
Lesley-Anne Brown, Sales & Marketing Manager