In a day of mixed news for independent booksellers in the Midwest, one big regional event has been canceled, while another will be held virtually and make a donation to James Patterson's #SaveIndieBookstores campaign.
The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association has officially canceled its spring forum road trip to Bayfield, Wisc. The spring forum, originally scheduled for April 4-5, was postponed to June 1-2. It now will be held in 2021, also in Bayfield. In an announcement posted in its website, MIBA stated that the road trip was canceled due to safety concerns, as the new coronavirus pandemic shows little sign of abating in time for booksellers to safely congregate in the northwoods resort town.
“We don't have plans to offer a virtual replacement for this event because so much of it was built around in-person interaction,” MIBA said in its announcement. “But we do plan to promote the authors we had confirmed to attend.” A dozen authors were scheduled to meet and greet booksellers and talk up their new and forthcoming releases, including Peter Geye, Alex George, and Mary Logue.
In better news, the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association announced on Monday that its board has voted to donate $5,000 to the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign, which is a national fundraiser for indie relief spearheaded by James Patterson, Reese Witherspoon’s book club, the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation, and the ABA. GLIBA will also hold the second installment in its virtual spring forum series of events on Zoom. This week’s installment will feature a representative of Binc discussing and answering question on the foundation’s mission.