Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt will deliver a state of bookselling keynote during the midday program at the U.S. Book Show on Tuesday, May 23. Curated by the Association of American Literary Agents (AALA), the daylong program includes 10 panels, featuring 35 agents, editors, and publishers. Andrea Chambers, associate dean of the Center for Publishing and Applied Liberal Arts at the NYU School of Professional Studies, and Jennifer Weltz, president of AALA, will give opening remarks.
The in-person event will take place at NYU’s Kimmel Center, and will also be livestreamed.
“Our goal is for conference attendees to leave with a wealth of practical insights and actionable takeaways that they can leverage to offer their clients the highest level of representation,” said Regina Brooks, AALA v-p and CEO of Serendipity Literary Agency. “We also envision networking opportunities to foster relationships within the publishing community that will lead to new business and collaborations. We can’t wait to see the impact this experience will have on literary agents’ continued success.”
The program will bring together literary agents from across the industry to discuss selling book, film, and other rights on behalf of writers, authors and rights-holders, and to meet with editors and other publishing professionals about best practices and the state of the industry.
The opening roundtable includes Arthur Levine, CEO of Levine/Querido; Sally Kim, publisher and senior v-p of Putnam; Karen Rinaldi, publisher and senior v-p of Harper Wave; and Cindy Spiegel, co-CEO of Spiegel & Grau. Later, Simon Element publisher Richard Rhorer, Codex Group president Peter Hildick-Smith, and Circana BookScan executive editor David Walter will discuss the increasing role data plays in driving book sales and category selections.
Additionally, with audio the biggest growth format, “audiobook whisperer” Scott Sherratt, the producer behind the 2021 Grammy winner for Best Spoken Word (Blowout, narrated by Rachel Maddow), will join Anthony Goff, president of Blackstone Publishing, and others to discuss the booming market for audio originals.
Afternoon session panelists include New York Times Opinion editor Vanessa Mobley, a former book editor who edited three Pulitzer Prize winners; Michelle Aielli, v-p and associate publisher at Hachette; Alison Rich, senior v-p of author development at Penguin Random House; Brianna Yamashita, executive director of marketing at Scribner; and Nathalie Ramirez, director of marketing at Zando Projects. Also, Felicity Vallence, director of digital marketing at Penguin Random House, will delve into the rise of BookTok.
Among other discussions, the final panel for agents, editors, and publishing professionals, “When the It Hits the Fan,” features writer and transgender activist Charlotte Clymer, of Charlotte’s Web Thoughts, a 2023 GLAAD Media Awards finalist for Outstanding Blog, joining Adrian Zackheim, publisher of Portfolio Books and the Penguin Random House conservative imprint Sentinel and Lisa Sharkey, director of creative development of HarperCollins.
Created for publishing professionals, librarians and booksellers, the hybrid U.S. Book Show, now in its third year, runs May 22-25, 2023 and highlights fall 2023 books. Click here to view the full U.S. Book Show schedule.