Kathy Space: Penguin Kids Inside Sales Rep Extraordinaire

Kenny Brechner - January 15, 2015

I wanted to take a moment today to recognize someone who has been an outstanding industry colleague of mine for many years, my Penguin Kids inside sales rep, Kathy Space. Kathy has been my rep at Penguin for her entire tenure there, 17 years. My Penguin inside sales reps have all been good, but Kathy has been exceptional. Always passionate about her job, always focused, effective and personal in her outreach, Kathy has been a consummate professional.


That’s Kathy in the middle on the right. When I was NECBA co-chair, back in the day, and was putting together an education program for the NEIBA trade show called How to Make Publishers Love You, we invited Kathy to be on the panel. A few of her NECBA buyers went out to dinner with her afterwards. None of us had met her in person before. Even the napkins were excited to get to meet her in person.

The depth of her professionalism has never been more evident than in this last year. With the Penguin/Random House merger the clock has been ticking on Kathy’s time there. Rather than coasting to the end, Kathy continued to be an enthusiastic and dynamic proponent of Penguin’s children’s books every day of her last year there. She continued to work with me on all my recent schemes to promote any favorite books that happened to be Penguin.
Over the years I worked with Kathy on all kinds of DDG educational outreach programs, in-store promotions, and institutional purchase order researching issues beyond number. We had a lot of fun and sold a lot of books by working together. When I first had the idea to bring a class set of ARCs for review in 2003 it was Kathy I called. Through Wereworld campaigns and Common Core price quote marathons, Kathy was my go-to rep.
Things change, as you may have had occasion to notice yourself. Things come to an end. The PRH merger means a new rep for me. It doesn’t mean my new rep won’t be great. It does mean, however, that it is time to take a moment to recognize someone who’s been a terrific book industry colleague to many of us for many years. It does mean that is time to say a goodbye, and the best wishes ever, to Kathy Space.

13 thoughts on “Kathy Space: Penguin Kids Inside Sales Rep Extraordinaire

  1. Ellen

    Kathy has been my inside rep since I bought Children’s Book Cellar (13 years ago on Feb 1). Kenny, your praise for her is spot on. She has come to know me and my store over the years and has truly been a partner in bookselling. Her professionalism, her enthusiasm, her wisdom have been an asset to me as well as to Penguin. I’m facing the prospect of a new inside rep with an open mind, but it will be hard to recoup from the loss of 13 years of experience and collaboration. My new rep will have some mighty big shoes to try to fill.
    All the best to Kathy (and maybe someday I’ll forgive PRH for this unhappy side effect of their restructuring).

  2. Pat Fowler

    Kathy was my sales rep for the first several years I dealt with Penguin and she was wonderful. I have spoken with her many times since then as a backup for my “new” Penguin Kids rep, Diane Quattrocchi (and my trade rep Peter Giannone). I am very sorry that we are losing such fountains of knowledge in our industry.

  3. Nancy Felton

    I have worked with Kathy for many years and I can’t say enough good things about her. Others have already talked about her knowledge, her enthusiasm and her professionalism. One thing I really appreciate about her is her understanding of our store and our market. She really got to know what would work for us and what wouldn’t. I will really miss her and wish her the best.

  4. Vicky Titcomb

    I, too, have enjoyed and benefitted from working with Kathy for many years. She is so knowledgeable, so helpful, so pleasant to work with. A true partner in this bookselling world!
    Kathy, I’ll miss you very much!! You have so much to offer. I wish you all the best in the future.

  5. Valerie

    I would like to add that I too have had great inside sales reps at Penguin – Jeanne, Karen and Connie – and none of them have coasted to the end either. It shows the caliber of their people in general. I too am sorry to see them go and have told them so.

  6. Janet Bibeau

    Kathy has been an excellent rep. She always read the books and could let you know if a book was more “mature” than suggested. You could ask her about a book and she didn’t just read the catalog copy back to you. She never steered me wrong with a book. She was honest. She would often call to see how a display was working. She knew me and my store! She always went above the call of duty. I will truly miss her.

    1. Nancy Oliveri

      Kenny, what a beautiful tribute! I sit on the other side of the cubicle wall from Kathy, and she has always amazed me with her professionalism, knowledge, humor and attention to detail for not only you, but all of her accounts. Her humility and grace in the face of the changes we faced here are unsurpassed.

  7. Dawn Zahorik

    What a lovely tribute. I have have the pleasure of work with Kathy, Diane , Jeanne & Carol for the past 4 almost 5 years I have been with the Penguin Young Readers Group. I will miss this group of fastastic , knowlegable, professional women. No matter what you may need these 4 women have always been there to help out. They will be missed by so many booksellers and well as sales reps. Thank you for all you do and have done!!!

  8. Sheila Hennessey

    Kathy has been my right hand for many years, supporting me and my field accounts when I couldn’t be there for them, cheer-leading, pulling rabbits from hats, remembering the finest details no one else would know, remaining unflappable in the wildest of storms. Kathy Space is a true gem and I will be lost without her. I’m grateful that we will remain friends for life. At least I have that!
    Diane Quattrocchi, Diane Burdick, Jeanne Conklin and Carol Thatcher have also been awesome friends, colleagues, and buoys in uncharted waters. I will miss you all desperately! Thank you so much for everything – the backup, the calm and the laughs!

  9. John Dennany

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kathy, Jeanne, Diane, and Carol for some time now. What a powerhouse of knowledge. Kathy is as professional as they come.. I will truly miss all the ladies of the inside sales group. You are all number !! And above everything else I’m grateful to call them friends. Kathy, What a write up. WOW! Thank you all for making my life a little less complicated. Love YA.


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