Judy Parker on Selling UMP

I have the privilege of presenting University of Manitoba Press titles to bookstores throughout the prairies and in Yellowknife. In the last few years I have seen growing interest in their publishing program and appreciation for the importance of their work, particularly in indigenous studies.

_A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada_. Foreword by Phil Fontaine. Afterword by the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation’s Aimée Craft. An essential introduction to one of the most pressing questions Canada faces. Cover design by Jess Koroscil. This book will be out in January 2016.

For many of us the publication of A National Crime was the first we had heard of residential schools and was the beginning of an important conversation. Publications like A Knock at the Door have continued that conversation and have reached a wider audience.

I have heard from trade bookstores that members of book groups are buying A Knock At the Door for their group discussion.

Series like First Voices, First Texts are also extremely well regarded and are finding a real place in the bookstores. Recognition like the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher for Life Among the Qallunaat is evidence of this high regard.

I sell to a bookstore in Yellowknife so naturally I am also a fan of the Contemporary Studies on the North series. But even southern readers are becoming more interested in our North and it is important to have books which speak to increasing our understanding of this significant part of our country.

Traditionally university presses have not always been easy to sell in a regular trade bookstore but I am seeing much more willingness on the part of bookstores to stock titles. The fact that the Press prices their books accessibly for the general trade buyer is wonderful and it makes my job much easier!

I am looking forward to the fall publication of a new edition of John Paskievich’s book The North End. The original edition came out before I was working with the Press but I was a huge admirer and I am eagerly anticipating the new edition.

Another of my favourite books has been Sanaaq, not just for the content but also for the beautiful design and production.

As a life-long Manitoban and a graduate of the University of Manitoba it makes me proud to be associated with the University of Manitoba Press and to work with the great people there.

I want to wish the Press a happy 50th anniversary and look forward to sharing many more wonderful books!

As a lifelong book nerd Judy Parker found her calling first as a bookseller at McNally Robinson Booksellers where she could be surrounded by books and talk books all day. From there it was an easy jump to Sales Representative for H.B. Fenn and Company where she was able to talk to booksellers about books. In 2012 Judy joined Ampersand Inc as Account Manager for Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. It is pretty much the ideal job—learning about books, reading books and sharing books with booksellers across the prairies!