Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:

Mass Merchandise Sales Manager

FLSA Status: Exempt
Reports to: Vice President, Sales
Employment Status: Full-time

Established in 1971, Independent Publishers Group (IPG) was the first organization specifically created for the purpose of marketing titles from independent presses to the book trade. With consistent growth each year, IPG’s success has come from supporting and encouraging the growth of its client publishers in the United States and worldwide. IPG has a wide reach in the market with its distribution of publishers with academic, Spanish-language, computer, and general trade nonfiction and fiction titles. IPG was acquired by Chicago Review Press in 1987. In the fall of 2006, the senior management of Chicago Review Press, Inc., the parent company of IPG, bought Trafalgar Square Publishing, Inc., the leading U.S. distributor of UK publishers. Trafalgar Square Publishing was founded in 1973 and distributes for clients such as Penguin Random House UK, Australia, New Zealand, and China; Summersdale; Pavilion Books; Allen & Unwin; The History Press; Amberley Publishing; HarperCollins UK; Pan Macmillan; and John Blake.

IPG is the second largest independent distributor of books and e-books in the world, and one of the top 10 suppliers of book content to Barnes & Noble, Apple,, and Kobo, among thousands of other retailers globally. Want to know who’s behind that new book on your coffee table? Chances are good that your bookstore sourced it from IPG.


The Mass Merchandise Sales Manager is responsible for achieving the company’s sales goals and growth objectives in the mass merchandise channel. This includes overall management of the company’s sales to mass merchandise and related customers, direct sales responsibility for assigned accounts, and managing the mass merchandise sales team. The manager works closely with client publishers and distribution program directors to assist in positioning their titles as appropriate for maximum sales in this channel. Success in this position will be achieved through effective management of the sales team, inter-department cooperation that supports sales efforts, demonstrating leadership skills within the company, and achieving sales and profitability goals established by the VP, Sales.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Actively sell to assigned mass merchandise accounts, including national retailers and key wholesalers/distributors in this channel, including but not limited to: Target, Costco, Readerlink Distribution Services, Readerlink Marketing Services, Hudson News, Paradies, and America West Books.
  • Manage sales to key national pay-per-scan retailers, including Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, 7-11, Circle K, and others.
  • Develop a seasonal sales plans with strategies to expand sales and raise company profile with all stakeholders.
  • Manage the mass merchandise sales team, including the mass merchandise field sales representative.
  • Work closely with the in-house mass merchandise sales associate on preparation of sales presentations. Effectively delegate account support responsibilities to the sales associate to achieve efficient account management and quick overall responses to customers, client publishers, and IPG departments.
  • Review and approve monthly commission reports for the outside sales representative no later than the 5th of each month.
  • Support direct reports in attaining their individual goals through establishing standards and goals, assigning and prioritizing tasks and projects, and assisting with creating strategies and approaches to achieve goals.
  • Achieve sales objectives while working within the department’s established budget guidelines.
  • Analyze sales and returns data to best identify new books most likely to be successful in the mass merchandise channel.
  • Communicate with program managers and client publishers on the sales track record of their books with mass merchandise customers. Conduct regular discussions with relevant clients on which books should be presented in this channel as well as advising clients on which books will not work well in this channel. Clearly communicate sales potential versus risks to client publishers.
  • All other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum education requirement: Bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum five years’ experience in the book industry.
  • Minimum three years of sales experience, management experience preferred.
  • Clear written and oral communications.
  • A proven ability to cultivate and maintain business relationships.
  • Leadership traits, including the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, delegate to team members, establish goals, and follow up with performance assessments.
  • High level of MS Office proficiency preferred, especially in Excel. Experience with MS Dynamics CRM helpful but not required.
  • Physical abilities: none
  • Seasonal travel to accounts a minimum of twice per year and occasional travel to industry events. Overall travel required: approximately 15% to 25% of the year.

Interested and qualified candidates should submit their cover letter, résumé, and salary requirements to Jessie Jonik at No phone calls, please.