I graduated from Davidson College (B.A., English) in Davidson, North Carolina. While in college I worked for the business manager at my campus library. In that position, I began to learn about the business behind books. My summer job was at the Vanderbilt University Bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee (my hometown). I worked the customer service desk, so again, I didn’t directly work with books, but was learning the business. Meanwhile, in my creative writing course, I was frequently told that while my stories were good, where I really excelled was in critiquing. After college, I worked at Bookstar (a Barnes & Noble superstore). The first year I was a regular staffer, shelving and working the cash register. The second year I was Shipping & Receiving Supervisor which I loved. I got to see every single book that came in the store, and I really understood inventory and returns a lot better from that vantage point. After that, I moved on to Ingram Book Company, the largest book wholesaler in the U.S., as a publisher coordinator (junior buyer). I was responsible for backlist buying and returns for Hearst Books, better known for their imprints Avon Books and William Morrow (now a part of HarperCollins). After a couple of years there I decided to pursue my dream and obtained a job as an editorial assistant in New York at St. Martin’s Press, under the imprint Thomas Dunne Books. Thanks to my previous experience, I started buying manuscripts early. I was successful, having a B&N Discover Great New Writers selection and a New York Times bestseller my second year.
After five years, I realized editing wasn’t really for me and I missed the South. I moved back to North Carolina and I got a job in sales at Baker & Taylor, the second largest book wholesaler in the U.S. After a year in the office, I took over the New England territory and traveled throughout the region, visiting every single New England independent bookstore (any independent retailer carrying books) that I could, usually five a day. After two years I was promoted and worked in National Accounts for three years. There, I selected the titles for several large chain non-bookstores. In 2009 I founded my local chapter of the Women's National Book Association and was elected president. I am the President of the WNBA on the national level for 2014-2016.
I left Baker & Taylor in 2010, and started my own business doing freelance editing. In 2016 I became Sales Manager at Soho Press in New York and moved back north to Montclair, New Jersey. I am currently a field sales representative for MacMillan.
If you want to know more about what I like to read and why, check out my book blog, Caroline Bookbinder at Blogspot.