An It's Complicated! — Book Covers guest post by Felicia Frazier, Senior Vice President & Director of Sales at Penguin Young Readers Group.
I would like to begin my post with a point of clarification that my opinions regarding diversity in publishing are based on my opinion and experience that may not be the perspective of my publisher. As a 20 year publishing veteran I have held many positions including Event/Exhibit Planning, Marketing, and Brand Management but my greatest and longest tenure has been as a sales strategist. I currently lead the best sales team in publishing. It is a position of strategic planning and challenging assumptions with the goal of reaching our consumers.
The Role of a Sales Team
A great sales team has the ability to position a book for optimal sales and builds a strategic plan around longevity of an author. A great sales team is a consultant, an educator, and a partner internally and externally. A great sales team identifies trends and/or creates them; a great sales team can make a book. A great sales team is focused on reaching the end user.
On the matter of selling content that reflects diversity…well there are as many questions as there are answers. But as in all selling, it begins and ends with the consumer, and the question, “Is what I have ‘in my bag’ as a sales strategist relevant to the consumer?”