chain (which would later be
acquired by Barnes & Noble) in
1968, the order was “$80 net.”
After six years at Oxford
University Press, Heinecken
and another rep, Jay Ide, formed
their own commission sales group in 1969. “Working for a
company where you don’t have control over your destiny,”
Heinecken notes, “wasn’t such a great idea.” There were very
few commission groups in the region at the time. Fujii, who
mentored Heinecken and Ide as they set up shop, had launched
his own group, Fujii Associates, two years earlier.
The Heinecken-Ide Group launched with six publishers.
Heinecken recalls, “They’re either imprints now or totally
gone.” They included Heinecken-Ide’s two primary clients,
Crowell and Regnery.
After the partnership dissolved nine years later, Heinecken
formed his own group with two employees—one of whom is
Charlie Boswell, PW’s 2005 Rep of the Year. In 1972, Heinecken
says, they picked up “this odd little publisher called Workman”
In 2008, Heinecken wanted “to stay involved, without the
hassles of running a business,” and so he merged with Fujii
Associates, which is now owned by Eric Heidemann. After he
joined Fujii, Heinecken says, the company’s 10 employees real-
ized that he was the only one that knew its founder, who had
died in the mid-1960s.
Reflecting on publishing’s future, Heinecken is unabashedly
optimistic. “It’s never been easy,” he notes—except for those
early days, when he and Ide provided a service that “very few
others else were doing.” But, he insists, even in an industry
where “the only constant is that it is always changing,” it is
essential for booksellers and publishers to maintain a constant
connection with one another. Sales reps are a “direct conduit”
between booksellers and publishers, he points out, adding that
“what keeps us going is our customer [the bookseller]. Our
obligation is as much to the booksellers as it is to the publishers.
And that’s the way it is.” ;
Congratulations to MITCHELL KAPLAN
And the entire team at Books & Books,
PW Bookstore of the Year
With gratitude for all your support of our books and authors
THE KNOPF DOUBLEDAY
PW will present a special lifetime
achievement award to Heinecken
during this year’s BEA.