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Sales representative

Publisher’s agent or employee whose job is to solicit orders, especially for the publisher’s forthcoming titles, especially from booksellers but also from library suppliers, wholesalers, etc.

Especially because of electronic ordering but also owing to the rise of new Internet-based forms of promotion, the importance of sales representatives has declined in recent years. However, because they are about the only publishing professionals who – on a regular basis – actually visit bookshops and talk at length to booksellers, ‘sales reps’ offer publishers in-depth knowledge of the market (a unique insight that publishers all too frequently ignore).

This definition is extracted (and expanded on) from the book Getting Published: A Companion for the Humanities and Social Sciences by Gerald Jackson and Marie Lenstrup.

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