Congratulations to Kate McCune, who has won the Voice of the Heartland Award, given by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association to "outstanding individuals who uphold the value of independent bookselling and who have made a significant contribution to bookselling in the Midwest."
There are few sales reps that more fully embody this, and have garnered more respect, in this industry than Kate McCune. Her advocacy on behalf of the books published by Harper Collins is legendary- best on display in her rep pick presentations, and her Edelweiss markups.
After working as a bookseller for many years, Kate McCune began repping for Harper Collins in 2002, and has served on the board of Binc since 2014. Additionally, McCune, who lives in Ann Arbor, has been a cheerleader for Above the Treeline and Edelweiss since the early days and says it’s always “been fun to jump on my bike and go to their offices when they need a guinea pig.”
Kate has received warm and enthusiastic endorsements from so many colleagues in the industry. Kelly Estep, manager and buyer at Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville KY, says, “A sales appointment with Kate is more like a lovely visit with a friend. She knows her stores so well that when she says "buy more" or "don't skip it" you listen and trust her. She knows Edelweiss inside and out (deserving of a separate award, in my opinion) and always helps navigate. She comes to every appointment with the best books for my staff based on what she knows each of them reads, the best current articles and radio pieces to listen to about books, technology and the future, and always brings a few pointers from other stores in the region. She understands the time constraints, work, and ultimately the love we all put into our stores and has great respect for the booksellers in our region. I treasure our conversations about bookselling, but even more, the stories we share and the wisdom I glean about travel, teenagers, music, aging parents, and navigating our modern world.
Pamela French, Executive Director of Binc, writes “Kate joined the Binc board in January 2014. She has served on the program committee the entire time and has been instrumental in helping Binc determine both the second phase of our strategic plan, and how Binc moves into the future. She has made more introductions and connections for us than I can count. She is an advocate for booksellers with a capital A. I'd be thrilled to sing her praises to everyone.
Johanna Hynes, field sales manager at IPS, notes, “although the very job description of a rep is to create buzz and hype around every book one is asked to sell, Kate is among the most rare of us who retains her authenticity and authority in her recommendations. She conveys the interests and hopes of the publisher, without ever compromising her reputation as a gifted and honest reader. My professional mantra for many years has been, “WWKD?” and it has never failed me once.
McCune will receive the award during the book awards dinner on Wednesday, October 3, during the Heartland Fall Forum.