Jeff Tegge believes in the importance of including voices of all sizes in the marketplace. The publishing veteran also knows it can be difficult for publishers to get their titles noticed in a crowded market, and he is hoping to help change that. As Vice President of Client Services with Baker & Taylor Publisher Services, Tegge helps leverage the strength of Baker & Taylor and Follett for the benefit of his client publishers and help them get their authors noticed.
“I look to help level the playing field in terms of discoverability for our clients’ titles,” Tegge says. “Most are mid-level or smaller publishers, and they don’t have the deep pockets larger publishers have to spend on advertising. They have wonderful content that needs help getting discovered and we have the opportunity to increase their discoverability.”
Tegge earned his undergraduate degree in history from St. Norbert College and his graduate degree in history from the University of Cincinnati, where he was a Taft Fellow. He fell in love with the idea of working with books during his first job in the publishing industry: editing encyclopedias. Tegge covered Europe as an encyclopedia editor, and it was during this job that he discovered a great respect for content. From there he went on to work in various positions in publishing for nearly three decades, including serving as President of Legato Publishers Group and as Vice President of Sales with Independent Publishers Group, where he sold titles to Baker & Taylor and Follett. He joined Baker & Taylor a year ago.
With tens of thousands of titles being published each year, and all of them fighting for attention on a global scale, Tegge says leveraging the strengths of Baker & Taylor and Follett can really make a difference for client publishers. Tegge says Client Services is seen by the company as an important and strategic growth market and Baker & Taylor and Follett leadership is dedicated to investing in the resources needed to grow the businesses, including using existing technology and marketing capabilities to assist client publishers in making their titles more discoverable.
While Tegge has worked in many facets of publishing, it was his working on the distribution side of the business that made him realize the importance of ensuring voices of all sizes have a place in the market.
“Ultimately, philosophically, I believe the more voices in our culture the better, and these smaller and mid-size publishers often don’t have a chance to get an author in the marketplace. I’m glad we can help ensure they get a chance,” he says. “What better repository of our culture than libraries, schools and bookstores.”
Tegge and his wife have three children; one child is a college graduate, one attends college, and the third attends high school. When Tegge isn’t at work, he can likely be found on the soccer field. He has played competitive soccer for 40 years and estimates he may play 44 games this year. He plays midfield, a position and personality that fits him well.
“You have to be all -purpose as a midfielder, but your main role is to help others score goals,” he says. “It’s a perfect fit for client services as my main role is to help our client publishers succeed. I’d rather get an assist than a goal.”
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