Bio's of SBT

Chip Mercer

 SBT Principal. Territory: AWBC, Ingram, AL, MS, West TN and the FL panhandle. Residence: Birmingham, Alabama

Began his career with Books a Million. After six months, Chip was 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 broad 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. Chip is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting with his boys when not selling books

Jim Barkley


Territory: Beyda, New Leaf, Southern Book Service, FL peninsula, and GA. Residence: Atlanta, GA

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 lastly, 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 Sales Rep of the year, and has been a first runner up to PW’s sales rep of the year. Most all Jim’s accounts 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 have a lot of time to listen.

Larry Hollern


Territory: North Central TX and OK. Residence: Amarillo, TX

Since March 2000 Larry has represented a multitude of national publishers in the Texas, and Oklahoma area as a partner with McLemore Hollern & Associates. Prior to becoming an independent representative, Larry was a national buyer in three national chains, managed a large independent bookstore in Minneapolis and was Director of Merchandising for a book superstore chain. Larry has been on the board of the American Booksellers Association sitting on the Marketing committee and was on the board of the National Association of Independent Reps. Married to Ruth for over 3 decades and the father of two daughters living in Austin TX. Larry holds two degrees from The Ohio State University and is an avid Buckeye fan as well as a University of Texas fan since his two daughters graduated from UT. Larry and Ruth enjoy camping, reading and rushing over to New Mexico every chance they get, yet always forgetting the affect Hatch Chiles can have on senior digestion. Larry has been a historical war board game enthusiast since his Dad introduced him to the thrill years ago. Larry is ranked #2 in the world in a Battle of the Bulge Wargame. He also plays a popular WW1 game called Paths of Glory and a Pacific WW2 game called Empire of the Sun. He claims to suck at both of them. In Larry’s estimation, he has read over 1500 books on World War 2….a little too obsessed in his wife’s opinion…

Sal McLemore


Territory: Territory: South Central TX, AR, and LA. Residence: Kingwood, TX

A Louisiana native, Sal McLemore is right at home in his territory. Sal is a die-hard road warrior and long-time independent rep who loves his craft. After the merger of McLemore Hollern and the Southwest territory into the SBT fold, Chip Mercer commented, “Sal and Larry are the gift with purchase”. “It is my honor to work with such a seasoned professional”. Sal McLemore make his home base in Kingwood, TX with his wife and daughter. Passion is the only word to describe this man of so many talents and gentlemanly pursuits.

Stewart Koontz


Territory: NC, SC, VA, WV and select accounts in North Alabama and East TN. 

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 tech guru, Stewart helps keep our website current as well as our online marketing efforts. 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, hiking, camping, and playing golf.  Stewart has been involved in sales since graduating from college. He brings an immense amount of enthusiasm and energy to our sales group and will no doubt be one of the industries bright stars.