The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association fall trade show began Sunday in Tacoma, Wash., with an estimated 200 registered booksellers, 91 exhibitors, and 80 authors convening at the art-embellished Hotel Murano. Opening day meant marathon sessions of reps’ picks, a soft open of the exhibit hall that gave everyone a chance to mingle, and an evening Nightcapper reception with 17 authors signing work.

“The bookselling front is beyond dynamic right now,” PNBA executive director Brian Juenemann told attendees at the membership meeting. The organization’s bookkeeping report noted that due to Covid, the organization’s “2021 dues income was much less than normal,” yet PNBA is “in the black” and “still in a very strong financial position.” Juenemann said independent presses and Big Five publishers alike will be present at PNBA, and he was “thrilled to find [while planning the gathering] that there was no hesitation in the industry to support us.”

Where PNBA limited last year's Portland gathering to 75% of pre-pandemic attendance, Juenemann said they allowed 85%-90% capacity this year. Other budgetary considerations include the expansion of PNBA’s holiday catalog from print toward a greater digital presence. Although a print version is still available, Juenemann said a decline in small-town and neighborhood newspapers means that paper supplements are harder to distribute, and direct-mail circulars targeted to ZIP codes are more expensive, making the digital format more viable for certain locations.

At the membership meeting, ABA senior program officer Joy Dallanegra-Sanger urged booksellers to sign ABFE’s Banned Books petition, become Indies Introduce contributors, and plan well ahead for the already-waitlisted Winter Institute. (A hotel block for Wi23 in Seattle opens next week.) Following this season’s trade shows, ABA will compile ABACUS survey results, with data breakdowns by region for the first time. More than 400 bookstores submitted ABACUS data, including 34 PNBA member stores.

Judey Kalchik, communication and project manager of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, gave attendees an update on BINC, which she said receives “10 to 13 calls or emails per week” from booksellers seeking financial assistance for housing or healthcare. Hospitals often require full down payment of deductibles before scheduling surgery, Kalchik said, placing an enormous burden on bookstore owners and staff. BINC helps people get access to mental health services and professional development as well, and focus groups are under way for “a pilot program to help open bookstores in underserved markets.”

Ahead of the exhibit hall, book reps pitched titles and shared insider tips in a nonstop three-hour book binge. Introducing Alice Oseman’s forthcoming novel I Was Born for This (Scholastic, Oct. 18), Chris Satterlund added that “David Levithan says the second series of Heartstopper is due to drop any day.” Christina Foye boosted Legendborn author Tracy Deonn’s upcoming Bloodmarked (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Nov. 8). “Don’t even think about this one, just buy a carton,” Foye told everyone.

HBG’s Shaun Donley displayed a gold-embossed $29 hardcover edition of Colleen Hoover’s 2018 novel Verity (Grand Central, Sept. 29), which includes a letter from the author and a bonus chapter. “Most of you ordered a little light on this,” he cautioned, “but it could be gone between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve never seen reprints as aggressive as what we’re doing” on Hoover. “Order a carton, order two, her fans are rabid,” agreed S&S rep Megan Manning, touting Hoover’s It Starts With Us (Atria, Oct. 18).

PNBA organized the show by making Sunday s chance to meet and greet, Monday an exhibit-hall day with a BuzzBooks competition and night out, and Tuesday a wrap-up with education sessions.