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Mary Prete of the J.S. Paluch Company wins an ACP Lifetime Achievement Award.

2/2/2012 - 2:20 PM PST

Catholic PRWire

FRANKLIN PARK, IL (February 2, 2012) - The Association of Catholic Publishers announced that it will bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Prete, vice president of parish services of the J.S. Paluch Company.

This award is granted for the many years of her dedication to working professionally in the Catholic book publishing industry, and her significant accomplishments that have advanced the industry. This, along with other industry awards, will be presented in May at the 2012 Religious Booksellers Trade Exhibit in St. Charles, Illinois.

According to Bret Thomas, vice president of ACP and president of Bayard, "Selecting one or two recipients for the Lifetime Achievement Award was especially difficult this year because of the number of long-time publishing executives who are retiring after incredibly significant careers in the industry. We felt that Mary exemplified the commitment and creativity needed during these years of change and upheaval in publishing."

Mary began her career in 1968, attending her first American Booksellers Association Meeting held in Washington DC. At the eager young age of 14, she bought the fall line from Harper Books, and has been in the publishing business ever since. In the late 1970s, she built a national bookstore with a direct mail catalog approach, catapulting the family business, Alverno Religious Art and Books, from a gift shop into one of the largest bookstores in the Catholic marketplace.

One of the highlights of her career was developing a direct sales market for Catholic Books. "When we published the first retail book catalog for consumers for the Catholic professional market in 1976, no one had put all the publishers' best offerings in one place. There were book clubs, but this was different." says Prete.

The next milestone for Ms. Prete was in 1995 when she launched presence on the internet along with the advent of Mary knew that this was going to be a huge game-changer. "I think the most ‛holy Spirit' moment for me in my professional career was seeing advertise itself at the 1995 Booksellers meeting in Chicago and realizing that our business was going to profoundly change. There was a different influx of money at play, and small players were going to be at a distinct disadvantage. Unfortunately that has proven to be the truth."

Even though Ms. Prete has moved and adapted to new business models, she laments the loss of bricks and mortar stores, and the significant changes in the book publishing industry. "The inability to reach out to the greatest audience has a chilling effect on sales. If you monitor your own purchasing habits, you might find that we have all become hunters... instead of gatherers. We read a review, or watch an interview, and order that book. Because of the monetary concerns with display results, browsing is now dictated by who paid for it, versus us finding a gem."

In addition to book publishing, Ms. Prete has served as a board member of the National Catholic Educators Exhibitors (NCEE) for many years, the Pastoral Press (an arm of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians), and the Catholic Book Publishers Association, now known as the ACP. For many years, she reviewed Catholic books on national Catholic radio. At Resources for Christian Living, she expanded their direct-to-consumer market through print and the Internet. For the last thirteen years, Ms. Prete has served as general manager of World Library Publications, and most recently as Vice President for Parish Services for J.S. Paluch.


World Library Publications  IL, 60131 US
Lisa Bagladi - Public Relations Manager,  847-233-2749


Mary Prete, ACP, Catholic Publishing Award


Catholic Publications

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