Lori Tucker-Sullivan, Executive Director of the Independent Booksellers Consortium, and Kodi Scheer, author of the first Kindle Single, will discuss the relationships between publishers, booksellers, and writers with Carla Gray, Marketing Director for the combined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Moderated by former Simon & Schuster sales rep and current owner of independent bookshop Literati Bookstore, Hilary Gustafson.
Lori Tucker-Sullivan is the Executive Director of the Independent Booksellers Consortium, Inc., a collaborative group of twenty-six top independent bookstores working together to improve their businesses. In addition, she is a freelance writer, whose poems, essays, stories, and reviews have appeared in various magazines and journals, including Now & Then: The Magazine of Appalachia, The Sun, About the Girl, The Cancer Poetry Project, annarbor.com, and others. She is the author of the blog A Widow’s Apprenticeship. She holds an MFA from Spalding University with a focus in Creative Nonfiction. She is a founding board member of the Ann Arbor Book Festival, and currently serves on the board of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
Kodi Scheer teaches writing at the University of Michigan, where she earned her MFA. She was awarded the Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. As a recent fellow of the Sozopol Fiction Seminars, she traveled to Bulgaria to engage with an international community of writers, translators, and readers. Kodi’s story, “When a Camel Breaks Your Heart,” was the first Kindle Single exclusive. Other stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Chicago Tribune,The Iowa Review, The Florida Review, Quarterly West, and Bellevue Literary Review. Kodi also serves as writer-in-residence for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Carla Gray began working as a bookseller after graduating from college. She continued with independent bookstores throughout New England for the next decade, until she joined the sales department at Houghton Mifflin in 1997. As Marketing Director for the combined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Carla has spearheaded many successful book campaigns, including The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, and recent best-sellers including How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin, and We the Animals by Justin Torres. Carla and her team incorporate new digital strategies and direct-to-consumer promotions in all of their campaigns, always looking ahead for new methods and approaches.
Hilary Gustafson is co-owner of Literati Bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor, MI. Literati Bookstore is a general independent bookstore with a focus in literary fiction, poetry, and the social sciences. Previously, Hilary worked at Simon & Schuster as a sales representative for 60 independent bookstores, assisting them with their inventory, marketing, and events. Hilary is a native of Ann Arbor and co-owns Literati with her husband Michael Gustafson.
The Solarium Symposium is co-sponsored by MLibrary and Rackham Graduation School.