by Anna E. Jordan
Follow Islandport Press on Instagram and you'll come across the hashtag #whereinMaineisHollyEddy but who is Holly Eddy and why does she travel so much?
Holly Eddy travels the state of Maine connecting with gift shop owners and managers as our sales representative and gets to see our mission, "to publish stories rooted in the essence and sensibilities of New England," in action. Every day she interacts with Mainers who embody the grit, heart, beauty, and infectious spirit of the region. Holly joined the Islandport Press staff in July of 2010 after years of retail store management. When she moved to Maine, she helped open the sales market for the Massachusetts publisher Commonwealth Editions then found a new home with Islandport. "I liked that Islandport was a local Maine publisher, with local authors. My 100% focus is to sell books. I love selling books," she says.
Holly attributes much of her success to her love of the process, as well as her attention to detail and data collection. She uses the data to set sales goals and to personalize her visits to Islandport clients. Selling might seem like it's only about the bottom line, but for Holly, it's also about the relationships that she sows and grows. The data is a part of understanding the client's needs and building trust.
By looking at the numbers, she can tell a seller which Islandport Press books they ordered when—and how many they sold. Holly says, "I can maximize their sales and suggest Islandport titles that are the perfect fit for their bookstores." The benefit of working with a smaller publisher is the personal touch.
During the summer season, you can find Holly in the Yarmouth office contacting stores via phone and email to check in on reorder requests. When the tourists leave though, don't look for Holly at her desk. She's in her car traveling from the beaches of Kennebunk, to the fields of Presque Isle, to the mountains in Rangeley, to Eastport's shore. She meets some sellers who are more experienced, and some who are just starting out.
"The face-to-face is the joy of doing this job," she says and also points out that parking spaces are plentiful in the off season. Holly isn't a fan of audiobooks; she prefers the feel of a book in her hand. To pass the time on her long drives, she listens to a lot of radio: talk radio, and indie rock. "Now that I have Sirius," she says, "life is good."