During a normal selling season, I usually travel every other week, seeing local Atlanta area accounts and catching up on office work in between trips. Keeping up with the never ending flow of "crash titles" (books that publishers ask that we sell after the official close of the season), sending out catalogs and ARCs (advance reading copies of books that have yet to be published) and just dealing with accounts is more than a full time job, as every rep will tell you.
This week at home, I travel down to the big city, and call on
A Cappella Books in Atlanta.
A Cappella is the king of "event" stores in Atlanta, in that most of their business comes from hosting author signings in and around the city. Frank Reiss, seen below on the right, with right hand man Glen Thrasher (who's bio you just have to read on their website), knows how to not only survive but to thrive, by bringing authors to town and treating them well. He has built an enviable reputation in this business, and publishers usually go to him first when Atlanta is on their author's tour list. Frank would like to take complete credit for his success, but I'm afraid I won't let him. His world famous dad, Jake Reiss, who owns the Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, AL, is the real king of event stores. Jake taught Frank not only how to survive in a location with little to no foot traffic but probably how to ride a bike and be nice to girls too.
Frank has initiated what he calls, very appropriately so, the
A Cappella Choir, a way to receive increasing discounts on purchases for higher up front support of his store, quite ingenious actually.
Frank also attracts many famous authors, one of his most successful events has been for Atlanta writer Jeffrey Small who wrote the thriller (and one of my personal favorites), The Breath of God.
Next post....Charis Books!