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Panel Discussion in Houston: What Makes Books Sell?

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Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005

1/26/2018 From 7 pm to 9 pm


What Makes Books Sell?

Join us for a panel at Brazos Bookstore in Houston.

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.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley is the national bestselling author of more than 40 books, most of which have been published by Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books picked up the book. A well-respected journalist for more than two decades her bestselling books have been featured in USA Today, Jet, People, Essence, and Ebony. ReShonda, along with National Best Selling author, Victoria Christopher Murray, is the co-founder of Brown Girls Books, a boutique publishing company aimed at producing quality books from fresh voices and fan favorites. She is the proud mother of three beautiful children ages 17, 15, and 10.


Jan Coco Day is a field sales representative for Hachette Book Group to independent bookstores in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. Jan has an MLIS in Library Science/Archival Science and has worked in and out of independent bookstores for much of her life, including as a bookseller and inventory manager at BookPeople. She hosts the New and Noteworthy book club which meets monthly at BookPeople, and is more likely to post Instagram photos of books than faces or food. She lives in Austin with her husband, a bookseller and filmmaker. Her favorite reads are literary fiction, lit fic in translation, speculative fiction, and medical, science, and true crime nonfiction.


Mark Haber was born in Washington DC and grew up in Florida. He has taught both middle and high school English. He has been a bookseller for four years at Brazos Bookstore where in 2015 he won a James Patterson Holiday bonus for bookselling. He has also been a juror on the Best Translated Book Award for three years.



Marina Tristán is the assistant director of Arte Público Press, where she manages day-to-day operations with an emphasis on marketing and promotions. A graduate of the University of Houston, she has been with Arte Público for more than 30 years. Prior to that, she worked for Houston's NBC affiliate and USA Today's Houston Bureau.