In Episode 89, Elizabeth Barnhill (book buyer for Fabled Bookshop) goes behind the scenes about what it’s like to buy books for an independent bookstore.
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Highlights How Elizabeth got her job as book buyer at Fabled Bookshop with no “official” previous experience (and if the owner was nervous to hire someone with no experience). The most surprising thing Elizabeth discovered about being a book buyer. What Elizabeth’s relationship with publishing sales reps looks like (including how far in advance they meet). What happens when Elizabeth ends up not liking a book she’s ordered for the store. How far in advance of publication date Elizabeth reads and orders books. How Elizabeth factors in other readers’ opinions of a book into her orders (traditional media reviews, early readers on #bookstagram, etc). How Elizabeth handles ordering in relation to trends (and her take on the trends of 2021). How Elizabeth decides how many of a particular book to order. How COVID impacted her ordering. The biggest book buy she’s ever done for a single book. How Elizabeth decides how much of each order should comprise a specific genre. What the initial book buy for Fabled looked like when it first opened. How Elizabeth decides which books to feature most prominently around the store. If she hand sells books she doesn’t personally like. Elizabeth’s Book Recommendations [30:19] Two OLD Books She Loves
The Iron House by John Hart | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [30:51] All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [34:35] Two NEW Books She Loves
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [37:38] The Ride of Her Lifeby Elizabeth Letts | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [40:45] One Book She DIDN’T LOVE
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [43:17] One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (October 5, 2021) | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [46:24] Last 5 Star Book(s) Elizabeth Read [49:18] When the Stars Go Darkby Paula McLain | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Bookshop.org [49:26] Other Books Mentioned The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles [11:17] The Push by Ashley Audrain [15:34] American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins [16:14] Falling by T.J. Newman [20:04] Hostage by Clare Mackintosh [20:04] How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior [23:02] Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez [23:41] God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney [24:24] Circe by Madeline Miller [29:14] The Unwilling by John Hart [30:55] The Hush by John Hart [33:17] The Best Cook in the World by Rick Bragg [35:16] Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg [35:16] The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg [35:16] The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls [36:06] The Speckled Beauty by Rick Bragg [37:20] Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts [41:08] A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles [46:42] About Elizabeth Instagram
Elizabeth Barnhill is the book buyer for Fabled Bookshop and Cafe located in Waco, TX. Originally from Alabama, she has lived in Texas for most of her life.
Elizabeth graduated from Baylor University and worked as a speech pathologist before landing her dream job reading books for a living when Fabled opened in 2019.
Elizabeth has been married for 25 years and has three kids in high school and college.