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A Newsletter to Keep EBMA Members Informed

Letter from the President

Dear EBMA Members,

Good prioritization is a big part of what drives a successful business and a good life. There isn’t much more important than having gratitude for what we have and acknowledging those who came before us set the stage for our success. In that vein, there are just two things I’ll cover in this fall newsletter. First, I’d like to pay my respects to the Jaffe family in the wake of Sandy’s passing, and you’ll see more on that below. I’m glad I got to meet Sandy. I only met him a few times, but I remember a firm handshake and a ready smile. Even in brief encounters, he managed to endear himself and leave an impression.

And lastly, as we enjoy some crisp fall sunshine and leaves crunching under our feet, I hope we’ll take a moment to think of the warm ocean breezes that will be blowing in Puerto Rico in January, and the wonderful people that we’ll see and meet. Maybe take an extra moment to ensure that you leave an extra wonderful impression on someone at our meeting, or as I tell my husband, try, every once in a while, to make someone’s day. Our businesses and our happiness depend on those solid human relationships and making them a priority can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of our never ending to do lists. 

See you in Puerto Rico! 

Joyce Skokut
President, EBMA
Director, Sales, Ingram Library Services, LLC 

EBMA Remembers Sandy Jaffe, Past EBMA President

On September 12, 2019, Sandy Jaffe, founder and CEO of The Booksource and Past President of the Educational Paperback Association, passed away at his home in St. Louis. He was 80 years old. 

In 1974, Mr. Jaffe, who had a demonstrative love for reading, took over The Paperback Supply Company, a small paperback wholesale company located in St. Louis. A dream that began with humble beginnings eventually grew to be a classroom library industry leader that honed in on supporting educators to create a world where every child loves to read. Under Mr. Jaffe's leadership, the company was renamed The Booksource and it grew from 7 employees to over 400, eventually reaching sales revenues of over $100 million. He implemented policies at work that put families first and recognized the value of community support. 

The Booksource became a member of EBMA (then the Educational Paperback Association) in the 1980s. Early on, Mr. Jaffe was a known leader within the organization and as such, he joined the board in 1989. He co-chaired the program for the 1990 Annual Meeting.  A newsletter from 1990 noted that it was a "knock-out program" having included sessions on improving business skills and knowledge of the markets. Mr. Jaffe and his co-chair, Mary Sunden, hosted authors Judith Viorst and Jean Little at the annual meeting. Directly following the annual meeting, Mr. Jaffe was appointed Membership Chair and Vice President of the organization. Following his tenure as Vice President, he was elected President of the organization in 1992 until January of 1996. Mr. Jaffe served as chairman of the Ludington Committee in 1996 and 1997, awarding Barbara Elleman and Doris Bass respectively with the lifetime achievement award. He remained on the board until January 2002. 

The St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote that "Mr. Jaffe encouraged all staff members to donate time to philanthropic efforts and set an example." This encouragement coupled with his vision to support literacy in early readers spilled over to his works within EPA. In 1993 he created the EPA Corporate Community Service Program. The goal of this program was to get EPA members involved in community service volunteer projects within their communities. Specific community organizations that battled the problem of literacy were selected as the beneficiaries of the community service. Mr. Jaffe had a distinct vision for boosting company morale while teaching adults and children alike to learn to read, love reading and use reading for their own benefit. He went on to be a founding board member of Ready Readers. 

Mr. Jaffe has a rich legacy in the EBMA/EPA community. He will be remembered for his commitment to "Do the Right Thing" and his service to literacy as he created many opportunities to teach the love of reading. In honor of Mr. Jaffe and the legacy he leaves, EBMA has made a donation to the Alzheimer's Association, of which he was also a board member of in Missouri. 

Hot Off the Press


Check out recent press releases and articles from member companies with notable news. If you have a press release or article you wish to share with EBMA for publication in our next newsletter, please email 

October 10, 2019 - Fast 50 2019: Classroom Library Company 

New Members

We are pleased to welcome several new EBMA members. Please be sure to lookout for these new members at the annual meeting and give them a big welcome! 
American Reading Company
Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Lorito Books
Baker & Taylor Publisher Services
Blue Door Publishing
Clavis Publishing
Gakken (GKKN Publishing, Inc.)
Kaplan Publishing
Novel Units
Schiffer Publishing LLC
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Now Accepting Member Applications 

Member applications are still being considered for the 2019-2020 membership year. If you have a wholesaler or publisher contact that you would like us to reach out to regarding membership in EBMA, please forward their information to Maureen Gelwicks at You may also refer them to the member applications found on the EBMA website. Please note that the last day to apply for membership in 2019 to be guaranteed a spot at our 2020 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico is October 29, 2019.

Connect with Members

EBMA is always looking for ways to keep our community informed about the professional activities and personal events of its members. Please email if there have been changes within your company, such as new employees, or if you have press releases that you would like to
share with the EBMA membership. EBMA wants to connect at the personal level too, so if you have any notable anniversaries, birth or marriage announcements, or other fun events, please let us know those too!
The deadline to register for early bird rates at the 2020 Annual Meeting is two weeks away - October 31, 2019! After this date, registration prices increase by $100. In case you haven't heard, the meeting will be held Tuesday-Friday, January 7-10, 2020 at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort. Hotel rooms will cost $199 per night (plus taxes & fees). Rooms rates are available January 1-15, 2020, so makes plans to come early or stay late for fun in the sun (rates subject to availability).  

The program, Separating Fact from Fiction, is centered around the importance of non-fiction books in schools and libraries. It will answer questions such as how to reintroduce non-fiction in libraries, the benefits of non-fiction, how to position non-fiction for sale, and how to use non-fiction in the classroom at the Middle School and High School levels. Click here to see the agenda and meet our speakers.  

Also of note, EBMA will be once again host a webinar on how to get the most out the annual meeting and one-on-one sessions. Stay tuned for the webinar date and details on how to register. EBMA is also reviving the new member and first time attendee welcome reception. If you're a new member or first time attendee, keep an eye out in your inbox for your invitation to this reception. 

If you have questions regarding the meeting, please contact Maureen Gelwicks at
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Children's Book Week! 

Did you catch the nine-minute webcast hosted by Shaina Birkhead, Associate Executive Director of the Children's Book Council and Every Child A Reader? The webcast featured resources available to you, your team, and your customers to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Children's Book Week in November. Click here to view the webcast. 


The mission of the Educational Book and Media Association is to foster a unique community that brings together a wide range of wholesalers and publishers in order to address the ever changing book & media buying needs of the educational marketplace.



Annual Meeting
Jan 7-10, 2020

Copyright © 2019 Educational Book & Media Association, All rights reserved.

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