In a continuing effort to attract booksellers to the show, BookExpo and the American Booksellers Association have launched the Bestsellers Grant program, an initiative that will offer indie booksellers financial support to attend the annual book industry trade show.

The program plans to offer up to 200 grants, of $1,000 each, for travel expenses to BookExpo. The program is open to independent retailers who have not attended BookExpo in the last five years. The first round of grant recipients were notified at the end of January, and the next round of recipients will be notified shortly.

Oren Teicher, ABA CEO, said the new program was an effort “of outreach and support to bookstores that have not had a chance to recently attend the event—and experience the new programming." He added: "This participation of new bookstores and others can only make BookExpo an even stronger event.”

The program is part of a continuing effort by show organizer ReedPop to encourage booksellers and other book professionals to attend BookExpo, a key annual event in the book publishing and bookselling industries. Other new features aimed at BookExpo attendees include New York Rights Fair, the ABA's Speed Dating events, dedicated stages for indie publishers, and UnBound, a new show within BookExpo devoted to book-related merchandise.

BookExpo event director Jennifer Martin said, “We are always looking for ways to broaden BookExpo’s audience and bring in up-and-coming booksellers who have not been able to attend BookExpo in the past. We look forward to discussing their experiences after the show and using those learnings to improve and grow BookExpo in years to come.”