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Third Thursday: What Makes Books Sell?

9/21/2017 From 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM


Third Thursday

Our Third Thursday program offers free and open to the public monthly discussions on the craft and business of writing. Each month, we focus on a specific topic of interest to writers and readers, bringing together four distinguished panelists for a conversation moderated by a Writers' League of Texas staff member.

September Third Thursday

Thursday, September 21, 2017

7:00 pm start


603 North Lamar Blvd.

Austin, TX, 78703


"What Makes Books Sell?"

Every year, thousands of books are published by major publishing imprints, not to mention books from independent publishers and self-published authors. What makes some books stand out while others seem to vanish as soon as they're released? How do publishing houses decide which books will receive their biggest marketing pushes? Join this panel of industry professionals for an inside look at the book-selling process.


Brian Contine is a Sales Manager for Penguin adult sales and sells to independent bookstores in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Prior to taking his position at Penguin, he worked at The University of Texas Press, where he spent time working in Sales, Marketing & Publicity, Editorial (acquisitions), and the Director’s Office. He began his bookselling career at BookPeople Bookstore, where he managed the floor for a number of years. He runs a public discussion of literature called The Voyage Out Book Group, which has been meeting the last Sunday of each month at BookPeople for the past eight years. He lives in Austin with his wife and two boys. 

Gillian Redfearn has been in the book business since the ripe old age of 15-1/2 years old, actually has a degree in publishing from the University of Georgia, and has been a sales rep for the last 28 years after a very short stint as a publicist. She is a National Accounts Manager for Macmillan Publishing and works closely with the national retailer Books-A-Million. Her account base also includes etailers that are not Amazon, truckstops and Independent Booksellers in Utah. When not selling books and reading, she can be found teaching fitness or hanging on the football field with her one perfect son.





Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of women's fiction, college romance, and middle grade books under three pen names. She has written over thirty books and regularly speaks to authors about marketing and the business side of being an author.'







Julie Wernersbach is the literary director for the Texas Book Festival. She has ten years of experience as an independent bookseller, most recently serving as marketing director for BookPeople and, prior to that, as publicist and events coordinator for Book Revue, a large independent bookstore on Long Island. Julie is the author of the nonfiction books Vegan Survival Guide to Austin and The Swimming Holes of Texas. Her fiction has been published in Arcadia magazine.