This series highlights success stories, tips and tricks, and more from our Penguin Random House reps across the country. Meet Sandy Ericksen, our PRH rep in the Greater Houston area, nominated this month!! Below she delves into her history as a rep, some really great advice for new reps, her favorite PRH titles, and more!
What is your favorite genre and/or book(s)?
I like to read books on different subjects just to learn something new. A customer recently recommended “Being Mortal” written by a doctor (Atul Gawande) about making end of life decisions. Many of my friends and buyers now have aging parents and we have questions and new circumstances to understand. The buyer told me she wished she read this while her parents were still living, it would have changed their approach to the situation with their parents.
What are you currently reading?
I have read Maria Shriver’s book “I’ve been Thinking” over and over again. I have purchased copies for gifts for my friends. Her advice is so good and she has a very candid way of writing. I’m also a fan of Barbara Kingsolver’s books. I’m reading “Flight Behavior” now.
Where is your territory? How long have you been a rep?
My territory is Greater Houston and I’ve been a rep with Anne McGilvray and Company 29 years this month. (An amazing accomplishment!! Congratulations Sandy!)
What are your go-to books for children’s, cooking, and gift for an easy sell-in?
As for children’s books, I also sell lots of Little Golden Books and the “Who HQ” series is popular with my buyers. I’ve been told that parents like to buy these books in anticipation of a family vacation (Where is the Eiffel Tower, Where is Mount Rushmore, etc). Teachers like to buy these titles for classrooms as well. The books are easy to read and very interesting.
What tip would you offer to a new rep?
Penguin Random House has the most balanced collection of titles for every category and every occasion. You will find a wide selection of cookbooks, gift titles, and children’s books that are perennial best sellers. Your favorite children’s books that you grew up reading are among the many titles from Penguin Random House. The terms are excellent, there is almost always a promotion, and they offer the gold standard in customer service.
What is your favorite resource to use while selling?
Edelweiss. I can look at all of the catalogs and the next season’s catalog is usually available too. I can also easily forward titles to retailers for review.
What’s a new store/ existing account you’re really excited about and why?
Kuhl-Linscomb in Houston is one of the most interesting independent retailers in the country. This account has seven buildings and buys every category that you can think of including German mattress’s for $100,000.00 and custom modular kitchens to games and lots of fun toys. The account buys lots of PRH books from every category to merchandise around their campus. Books sell incredibly well at this store.
Share a success story with us!
Books are the most important product line that I sell. I have books for every occasion and every category. If an account is looking for product to complement an exhibit or display, I will always have a book. I sell books everywhere I go and am so glad to represent Penguin Random House. Retailers and consumers find value in books and a child can never have too many books.
Interested in being highlighted next in this series? Reach out to us or nominate a colleague you would like to hear from and know others would benefit from! We’ll be touching base with reps who go above and beyond for future installments.