Along with my work as an arts journalist, I've long been employed as a bookseller. It's my "day job." I enjoy the work because I love books and enjoy meeting authors. I worked at The Booksmith in San Francisco, and am now employed at Book Passage in nearby Corte Madera, California.
As a bookseller, I'm a jack of all trades, and am widely experienced in author and book-related events management and promotion. Over the years, I've been an assistant manager, section buyer, publicist, webmaster, and liaison to both community groups and the publishing industry - though primarily I've worked as an events coordinator.
Here are some highlights from my years as a bookseller:
-- As events coordinator at The Booksmith, I developed and managed all aspects of an events program recognized by my peers as one of the very best on the West Coast. As such, I acted as producer on nearly 1000 events over the course of a decade; the events program received wide-ranging coverage, and was twice named Best in the City by the SF Weekly. Over the years, I put on many memorable and historic events with historians, novelists, poets, journalists, celebrities and other bestselling writers while hosting multiple Pulitzer, Booker, and Nobel Prize winning authors. A few highlights include the first ever Bay Area bookstore appearances by Chuck Palahniuk, Sarah Waters and China Mieville, blockbuster events with David Sedaris, Dave Eggers and Neil Gaiman, exclusive events with musicians Neil Young and Patti Smith, and the last ever reading by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Other authors with whom I worked, often on more than one occasion, include Art Spiegelman, Lemony Snicket, Jim Harrison, Annie Leibovitz, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and members of the Grateful Dead.
-- I created The Booksmith's pioneering website, which launched in 1995. As webmaster, I initiated wildly succesful & newsmaking promotional features in partnership with publishers & authors including the dramatist Arthur Miller, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and comix artist Lynda Barry. My efforts received coverage in the Bay Guardian, Mademoiselle, and TIME magazine.
-- For nine years, I served on the Board of Directors of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, a regional trade association. I served as secretary, chairman of the Free Expression committee, and launched the organization website. During my tenure, the NCIBA developed the Book Sense branding campaign, which was later adopted for national use by the American Booksellers Association. I coined the phrase "Independent bookstores for independent minds."
-- I also served on the Bookseller Advisory Board of the Paris Review, and have over the years advised and consulted other publishers, authors and booksellers on business and marketing strategies.
-- As a bookseller, I have been a speaker and panelist at both regional and national conventions. My articles on best practices and related topics have been published in American Bookseller, Publisher's Weekly and other industry newsletters. (Some of my articles have also been adapted for coursework by the American Booksellers Association and as promotional materials by the National Poetry Foundation.) As a recognized authority, I have been quoted or featured in numerous publication including the Wall Street Journal, and on MSNBC, etc....
-- For 16 years, I served as author coordinator and book sales manager for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, a bi-annual events held at the Castro Theater. I organized events with numerous film historians, biographers, actors, Hollywood directors and Academy Award winners.
Selected Linkable Bibliography
Robbins, Cynthia. "Little booksellers big with readers." San Francisco Examiner, 1996.
Garchik, Leah. "Personals -- Assessing the Haight." San Francisco Chronicle, 1997.
Mantell, Suzanne. "In the Shadow of the Giants." UTNE Reader, 1997.
Orrick, Phyllis. "Unspun." SF Weekly, 1997.
anonymous. "Internet Filter Program Blocks The Booksmith." Bookselling This Week, 1997.
Fost, Dan. "High-Tech Storytelling." San Francisco Chronicle, 1998.
High, John. "Booksmith Issues Author Trading Cards." Publishers Weekly, 2000.
High, John. "Web Sales Rising for Independents." Publishers Weekly, 2000.
Rosen, Judith. "Just a Click Away." Publishers Weekly, 2000.
anonymous. "The Summer Paperback Book Sense 76." Bookselling This Week, 2003.
anonymous. "More Potter Pictures." Bookselling This Week, 2005.
Tranter, John. "Booksmith." Jacket, 2006. (Australia)
Toole, Michael T. "Interview with Thomas Gladysz." Turner Classic Movies, 2007.
anonymous. "Best Author Appearances - 2008." SF Weekly, 2008.
Robbins, Trina. "The Unsinkable Fear of Blogging." RedRoom, 2009.
Garchik, Leah. "Personals." San Francisco Chronicle, 2009.
Champion, Edward. "Thomas Gladysz Laid Off from Booksmith." Reluctant Habits, 2009.
anonymous. "Cool Idea of the Day." Shelf Awareness, 2011.