This Wednesday at 6:30 pm, Anacortes indie Watermark Book Company hosts Random House Reps Night, featuring Seattle-based book reps Katie Mehan and David Glenn. The pair will present favorites from the new season as well as some old stand-bys that are worth another look. “Having an opportunity to share books with Pacific NW book lovers is the best part of our job,” says Mehan. “We usually do a Q&A after our talk and bookstore customers seem to love hearing stories of how a book is published, what it’s like working for a publisher, what exactly we do, the book publishing process, etc. . . . Wine and cheese are served!”
Rep nights are generally referred to as “Book Group Nights” throughout the industry because many clubs that use the host store as a home base turn out in search of upcoming reads and a fun social evening. But Glenn makes sure to point out that these presentations are geared for any book lover, giving him and his colleagues “a chance to connect with serious readers, people who are devoted indie bookstore denizens and who have a built-in curiosity about not just learning more about which books they should read next, but about the publishing business in general.”
Host stores, like Watermark, love the chance to offer their core customers the opportunity for the direct-from-the-source excitement generated by these rep pitches, usually reserved for sit-down meetings with store staff. And though a full-house event never hurts, the impact of a good rep night can be felt much longer, as Mehan explains while—like every good rep—getting in a plug for one of her favorite books: “We did one reading group night and I selected a backlist title to present that had been a staff fave years before but had not been carried by the store in quite some time. The store sold a copy the evening of our event, put a new staff pick on it and basically “resurrected” the title. After our evening chat, the book started selling well again.”
As if the wine and cheese weren’t enough, all titles discussed will be available at a discount this Wednesday at Watermark.