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Kristin Keith Award for Sales Rep of the Year
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Judy DeBerry, 2018 Sales Rep of the Year

Judy DeBerry of Hachette Book Group is receiving the recognition and accolades she so richly deserves as the recipient of the 2018 Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award, presented by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA).

“First just let me say I LOVE my accounts! And I LOVE my job,” said DeBerry when she caught her breath after receiving the news. “I am very, very appreciative of this award. It means so much to me. Thank you!”

DeBerry is a senior field sales rep, national account manager at Hachette Book Group. She starting with the company in 1991 for, what was then, Warner Books as one of their original sales reps. “I remember Scarlett being our first really big book to sell, and sell we did. While the company name and publishers have evolved through the years, my territory has remained constant. This includes several Mid-Atlantic and Southern states. I work with many accounts in both the NAIBA and the SIBA regions.”

“Judy is a treasure to all booksellers,” wrote Debbie Scheller, A Likely Story Bookstore, Sykesville MD.  “She goes above and beyond for her stores, from getting them the books they need to making sure authors get into the stores.  She comes to events on her own time and helps out wherever needed. Judy's knowledge and experience of over 25 years shows.”

DeBerry started in publishing 35 years ago as a telephone sales rep in her hometown of Westminster, MD for Random House. One of the special things about being a rep, for DeBerry, is that she’s learned to read everything. That has helped her discover, love and share a wide-range of titles with her buyers. She has an affinity for stories with kick-ass female characters, historical romance, and history.

“My job is to bring my knowledge of books and authors to my buyers. To know their stores, what they will sell well, and what they don’t. Books they need to have in the store, books that will be in demand, books that you help to make into bestsellers. Over the years I’ve met so many authors, and it’s a great feeling to know I was able to get their books into the buyers hands and then into the stores where booksellers share with their customers.” 


DeBerry’s family, her beloved husband, Steve, two beautiful daughters, Amy and Jill, and four wonderful grandkids, Joshua, Brooke, Garrett, and Isabella, are understanding of her devotion to the work she loves. When not reading and handselling books, DeBerry loves gardening and riding her Harley. “I’ve had my motorcycle license for 42 years.”

Lelia Nebeker, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA, knows how hard DeBerry works. “No one goes to the lengths that she does to ensure that booksellers have everything we need in order to do our jobs. She's always a delight to be around, even when she's just had knee surgery, been sick with the flu, or just sat in traffic for an hour. I always know that when I have an issue or a question, Judy will drop whatever she's doing to help me. I really appreciate how hard she works for us, and how friendly and dependent she is as a sales rep.”

“I still smile when I’m in a store and see, out of all the books there, one of mine in the hands of a customer walking to the register. That’s my happy dance!”

NAIBA Rechristens Sales Rep of the Year Award to Honor Kristin Keith

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association will rename the William Helmuth Sales Rep of the Year award to the Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award.

The award was first given to Bev Chaney in 1987, and named after the beloved William Helmuth of Book Travelers. At the inception, NAIBA wanted to recognize the sales rep “who is the sort of person who does their homework all the time, is patient and tolerant of customers and colleagues, who makes mistakes from enthusiasm, then owns up to them.”

In 2013, Kristin Keith won this award for her dedication and enthusiasm for the book industry and book people. Sadly, we lost Keith to cancer in 2017. In kind, this same industry wants to immortalize her dedication, enthusiasm and heart to a new generation of book people through the renaming of the Sales Rep of the Year award.

In honor of Kristin Keith, starting with the 31st presentation of the annual Sales Rep of the Year award in Cherry Hill, NJ on October 7, 2017, this award will be a tribute to her and forevermore be called the Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award.

Previous winners of the NAIBA Rep of the Year Award are:


2017 - Linda Cannon

2016 - Ian Doherty

2015 - Eric Stragar

2014 - Joe Ginis

2013 - Kristin Keith
2012 - Nicole DuFort
2011 - Bill Getz
2010 - Bob Werner
2009 - Tim Hepp
2008 - Trudy Kallman
2007 - Kim Gombar
2006 - Sam & Adele Herman
2005 - Sue Flynn
2004 - Jim and Lisa Sirak
2003 - Jerry Goodman
2002 - Chris Kerr
2001 - Charlie Young
2000 - Lou Cohen      

1999 - Chesapeake & Hudson
1998 - Cinda VanDeursen
1997 - Annette Hughes
1996 - Edward H. Ponger
1995 - Jeanie Guman
1994 - John Broderius
1993 - John L. Crowell
1992 - Michael Rockliff
1991 - Franlee Frank
1990 - Ned Melman
1989 - Stuart Hirsch
1988 - George Csemovics
1987 - Bev Chaney