The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association announced Tuesday that long-time HarperCollins rep Kate McCune will receive this year’s Voice of the Heartland Award.
Voice of the Heartland used to be a GLIBA award, but since 2014, the honor has been doled out by the two organizations; it recognizes “outstanding individuals who uphold the value of independent bookselling and who have made a significant contribution to bookselling in the Midwest.” Past recipients include Studs Terkel, Jim Harrison, Kate DiCamillo and legendary commission rep Ted Heinecken.
“There are few sales reps that more fully embody this, and have garnered more respect, in this industry than Kate McCune," GLIBA said. "Her advocacy on behalf of the books published by HarperCollins is legendary.”
McCune, who began her career as a part-time bookseller at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, worked for several indies in Massachusetts and Michigan before being hired in 2002 by HarperCollins as a sales rep for adult trade titles in a territory that came to extend from northern Michigan through Mississippi. In 2006 HarperCollins named her its in-house sales rep of the year and, in 2007, PW named her its publishers’ rep of the year.
McCune, who lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., currently serves on the board of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
This year’s awards ceremony will take place at a dinner kicking off Heartland Fall Forum in Minneapolis on October 3.
This story contains updates regarding the history of the Voice of the Heartland Award.