Southeastern Book Travelers, LLC



Chip Mercer: SBT Principal. Territory: American Wholesale Book Company/Books A Million, Ingram Book Company, and select independent in AL, MS, and TN.  Residence: Birmingham, Alabama.
Chip began his career with Book A Million. After six months, promoted to a trade publisher buyer for American Wholesale Book Company. Over a four year period of time, Chip gained experience buying all categories of book product from a variety of publishers. This experience culminated to the position of Director of Internet Sales with American Wholesale Book Company. In the Spring of 2002, Chip put on the hat of commission sales rep responsible for representing our publishers to American Wholesale Book Company, and the independents in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Chip has continued to provide excellent service for publishers to Ingram, AWBC, and independents in the Southeast. Effective Fall of 2006, Chip formed Southeastern Book Travelers, an independent publisher rep group based in Birmingham, Alabama. Chip makes his home in Birmingham with his wife Stephanie, and their boys, Nolan, Nathan, and Wyatt.  When not selling books, Chip is an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and activly involved with his sons sporting activities.

Jim Barkley:  Territory; New Leaf, Southern Book Service, Hudson News, Select Media, Beyda & Associates, Crowley Distributors, Florida, Georgia, and select independents in East Tennessee.  Residence:  Atlanta, Georgia.  
Some of the accounts in Jim's territory are among the accounts that Jim has called on throughout his entire career, first with Scribner/Macmillan and in recent years, NBN. Jim is our most senior rep in both experience and on the job training.  Jim was first hired into the book industry by Charlie Scribner Jr. and has been a national account manager for those companies as well as overseeing junior reps and commission reps. Jim's service to our group is only the third job that Jim has held since his college days at the University of Georgia!  Jim was a founding member of SEBA, has been honored as both SEBA Sales Rep of the Year, AWBC Sale Rep of the Year, and has been a first runner up to PW's Sales Rep of the Year. Most of the accounts Jim calls on consider him one of the greatest reps to travel the Southeast. He is a great Georgia Bulldog fan, so as a warning, don't ask him about it unless you've got a lot of time to listen.

Stewart Koontz: Territory; Appalachian/STL,  NC, SC, VA, and WV. Residence: Chapel Hill, NC.
Clifton "Stewart" Koontz has lived in 5 states and two countries, Germany for a year, outside of Munich, and Italy for 5 months, Bologna. Our web master, Stewart brings us into the 21st century. His passions in life are golf, books, and travel. His love for golf took him to Scotland to play the old courses like St. Andrews, Troon, and Turnberry, and is very proud of his 83 at St. Andrews. When not traveling for work, Stewart enjoys reading 3-4 books a week, fishing, and playing golf around the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Stewart was born and raised in North Carolina and it is befitting that Stewart is now back on home turf and doing what are his first loves, book selling and travel. Stewart has been involved in sales since graduating from Alabama. He brings an immense amount of enthusiasm and energy to our group and will no doubt be one of the industries bright stars.

Rich Thompson: Territory; Davidson Titles, AL, MS, West Tn, and the Florida panhandle. Residence: Helena, Alabama.
Rich got his start in the book business working for Half Price Books in Dallas, TX. We're not sure if it was his Texas sense of independence or his entrepreneurial spirit which took over, but he eventualy started his own used book store called the Book Return in Birmingham, AL. After a successful 8 years, and growth to two locations, Rich's business continued to thrive predominately on-line and the brick and mortar store fronts were phased out. Rich went on to pursue a career in management as the store manager for a leading retail book chain. Once again that independent spirit, combined with his love of books finds a perfect fit with SBT. When not working, you will find Rich coaching or enjoying time with his son Donnie and daughter Andie, and yes often reading his beloved tomes.  

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