Sunday, December 20, 2009

First Post!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my world! I spend all day at work surrounded by books and I come home to more books and I talk with my friends about books and I started a local chapter of a book trade organization and I am in a book club. A little nutty. I should probably tell you a little bit about myself.

When I was a kid, people used to tell me I was going to be an author or an English teacher and I was annoyed becuase I don't like being told what to do. I resisted as best I could. In college I postponed declaring a major until second semester junior year when they threatened to kick me out if I didn't. I was annoyed to declare English as I felt I was proving everyone's assumptions correct. For a couple of years after college, I thought I didn't know what to do with my life. I took some night classes at a community college thinking I might go to graduate school, and I even met with a career counselor and took a battery of interest and skills tests I could ill afford on my subsistence-level wages working at a B&N. Finally, my mother told me about a woman she met at the Jane Austen Society (yes, it is heriditary) who was in charge of the book buying department at another big wholesaler (not where I currently work) who was looking to hire someone with both a degree (check) and experience (check). My entire interview was which JA movie adaptations we liked best (Clueless). In retrospect looking back at those couple of anxiety-ridden years when I decided that even if I didn't know what I was going to do, it obviously wasn't going to be bartending or working for TicketMaster, it seems plainly obvious what career was inevitable. In college all 4 years I was the student assistant to the business manager at the library. In the summers, I worked at the university bookstore in my hometown. After graduating and the bartending and ticketing, I went to work at Bookstar (which is owned by Barnes & Noble) because even though it was a pay cut, I wanted to at least have customers who were sober and literate. And it was while there that I was struggling to discover what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Obviously, I just needed a good kick in the head because I was already doing it. Heck, during the ticketing stint, I was volunteering to shelve books at my local library.

So off I went to be a junior buyer! That was a fairly interesting job although it did have its tedious parts. I bought all the backlist (all books 1 year old and older) for the 8th largest publisher. And after a short while there, I decided I had to persue my dream from when I was 12, and try going to New York to become an editor. My super-awesome boss asked all the senior buyers to help me out and they set up 15 informational interviews for me. I came home to 3 job offers.

Since I was already 25, I felt I couldn't wait any longer and so I took the job at the publishing house with a reputation for throwing editorial assistants into the deep end, but also promoting more quickly. Not my wisest choice but the best decision I could make at the time with the knowledge I had. I certainly learned a lot. And five years later, after three years of job hunting (while on the job), I finally came to a realization and a decision. All the time I was trying to get out of Editorial Job #1, I was convinced that Editorial was for me and so those were the only jobs I was applying for. I was trying my best to like New York, and I wasn't looking back. But I came to accept that there were parts of Editing that I just didn't like (more on that later). And so I didn't have to stay in Editorial. Which meant I didn't have to stay in New York. And so I could come back South.

Now I really did like working for the wholesaler, but not-so-great things had happened there since I'd left. Luckily for me, the second largest book wholesaler had relocated their headquarters not only South, but in the city closest to where I went to college. Which meant I knew people in town and vaguely knew my way around. So I applied for a bunch of jobs there, moved, and eventually got a job (yes, sadly, in that order.) And I've been here ever since. I was first an Inside Sales Rep, then a Territory Manager (aka Outside Sales Rep), Category Manager, and now a National Account Manager (even if management won't give me the official title yet.)

Due to my love of all things media including TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, movies, etc., I do not read as much as I could. But I read more than most people I know. I read very broadly. That's something I'm pretty proud of actually, and something I strive for. I do certainly have some blind spots, but I do my best. I read about 2/3 nonfiction to 1/3 fiction. Even though I don't have kids, I love children's books. (My friends' children are very lucky.) I will be posting a lot of reviews, but also my thoughts on this wonderful business I am in.

So, welcome to my world! I'm very glad to have you along for the ride.

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