April 25, 2018

Talia Sherer | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Community Builders

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Talia Sherer, Mover & Shaker

A New Script

What makes Talia Sherer great at what she does—directing library marketing for adult trade books at Macmillan (with publishers like Henry Holt, St. Martin’s, and Farrar) and traveling the United States to reach out to librarians nationwide, speaking with them at huge conferences and small-town library staff meetings? “Well, I did go to college to learn how to think independently and cultivate personal taste,” she says. What else? “I have read important books like Lenny Bruce’s How To Talk Dirty and Influence People and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.” (Her current reading runs to the gorier thriller/mystery.)

OK, but seriously. Thinking provocatively yields results. As chair of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Trade Libraries committee, Sherer came up with a revolutionary idea. Instead of pitching their own books, they would get excited about books—gasp—published by competing houses. The idea—more fun for marketers and audience—stuck. One result? LJ‘s biweekly e-newsletter, BookSmack!, now includes an AAP library marketer’s review of another publisher’s title.

Departing from the script to sell books and have fun is key to Sherer’s modus operandi. During the AAP Publisher 2010 Book Picks Sneak Preview in January, she invited each marketer to ad-lib about the last great book they read. Not surprisingly, she says, “The librarians ate it up!”

And the future of promoting, er, content? No problem for this marketing maven. “People will always love stories, and, regardless of the format, librarians will always look to us to help them sift through it all.”


Talia Sherer, Macmillan Publishing, New York

CURRENT POSITION Director of Library Marketing, Adult Trade

DEGREE BA, Barnard College, 2000

IN HER OFFICE Poster by children’s author and illustrator Laurie Keller listing the best things about going to the library. Her favorite: “The very best thing about going to the library is everyone is welcome. EVEN SMELLY FISH”