SIBA Discovery Show
The Spartanburg Marriott
● The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has long had first-in-the-nation status when it comes to the fall regionals. Like all the regionals, education at SIBA encompasses how-to sessions, such as one on the romance genre with Cindy Hwang and Erin Galloway, v-p/editorial director and deputy publicity director, respectively, of Berkley Publishing Group—as well as ones on handselling, returns, and Independent Bookstore Day. In addition, Resource Roundtables offer booksellers a chance to meet one another and discuss running a micro store or an off-season store, as well as increasing sales on the web. SIBA has also gone all-out to encourage buyers to place orders at the show, not just through a raffle (the winner of which receives $1,000 in cash) but also by highlighting individual exhibitors in the weeks leading up to the conference.
● Place is particularly important at SIBA, which moves its show each year. (Next year it will be in New Orleans.) Early birds, who arrive on September 12, can visit the Chapman Cultural Center, take a bus tour to the community of Glendale with Tom Poland (The Last Sunday Drive, Arcadia), and enjoy a cheese and wine reception at TJC Gallery, followed by an additional reception at Hub City Bookshop. Two nights later, Hub City Press invites showgoers to a party with local books and booze, along with local bands. For those looking for quiet time, a quiet room is open each day of the show for yoga, meditation, and reading. There’s also a Milk & Cookies Pajama Silent Reading Gathering on Friday night.
● While many shows are author-centric, SIBA has found a way to be even more intensely focused on authors by featuring as many as 130 adult and children’s writers from small presses, university presses, and major houses. Diversity in books, authors, and presses has long been a key feature of SIBA’s programming. “I try to take all the authors that get pitched to me,” says executive director Wanda Jewell. That may be, but she also finds unique ways to juxtapose them. A session on Herstory Comes Alive features the daughters of Jackie Robinson and George Wallace in conversation: Sharon Robinson (Child of the Dream, Scholastic Press) and Peggy Wallace Kennedy (The Broken Road, Bloomsbury). It will be moderated by Katheryn Russell-Brown (A Voice Named Aretha, Bloomsbury Children) and livestreamed on Facebook.
● Groups of authors are key to a number of events, including the First 180 Days Party, for those with books due out in the first half of 2020, such as Marie Therese Anne Fowler (A Good Neighborhood, St. Martin’s), Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Just like Me, Knopf BFYR), and Tom Threadgill (Collision of Lies, Revell). Parapalooza on late Saturday afternoon gives booksellers a chance to hear a single paragraph read by authors, such as Mark de Castrique reading from Murder in Rat Alley (Poisoned Pen), Dale Neal from Appalachian Book of the Dead (Southern Fried Karma), and Ron Rash from In the Valley (Doubleday). In addition, every meal features authors. And for those who just can’t get enough chances to meet and hear writers and illustrators, the show closes with a movable feast, in which authors move from table to table. Among the nearly two dozen writers are Grady Hendrix (The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampires, Quirk), T.J. Smith (The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery, Univ. of North Carolina), and Emma Copley Eisenberg (The Third Rainbow Girl, Hachette).
● In addition, author panels are an integral part of Friday’s day of education. A fiction panel titled “Too Good to Be True” features Patti Callahan Henry (The Perfect Love Song, Thomas Nelson), Diane Chamberlain (Big Lies in a Small Town, Macmillan), and Rita Woods (Remembrance, Forge). One on nonfiction delves into the need for real stories with Tom Clavin (All Blood Runs Red, Hanover Square) and Lee Standiford (Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu, Atlantic Monthly), among others. Children’s authors, including Shanda McCloskey (T-bone the Drone, Little, Brown BFYR), Frank Sileo (Snitchy Witch, Magination), and Deborah Wiles (Anthem, Scholastic Press), serve on a panel titled “Read Early, Read Often.” EUREKAsiba sessions, which function as mini TED talks, cover subjects such as preparing for death, hosted by Dana Trent (Dessert First, Chalice Press), and why we need true stories, hosted by Cameron Dezen Hammon (This Is My Body, Lookout Books).
NCIBA Discovery Show
The Hyatt Burlingame
● The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association is testing a new venue this year, one with lots of natural light: the Hyatt Burlingame. As in previous years, the two-day show will focus on children’s books and authors on Friday and adult authors on Saturday, when most children’s booksellers have to be back at their stores. If anything, the division has helped net the association an exceptionally strong slate of authors on both days. “It is a really phenomenal list,” NCIBA executive director Calvin Crosby says. “Publishers have been really generous.” That generosity extends to filling two separate author receptions. The children’s reception on Friday features Steven Banks (Middle School Bites, Holiday House), Dorothy Hearst and Pamela Berkman (Filigree’s Midnight Ride, S&S), Anna-Marie McLemore (Dark and Deepest Red, Feiwel & Friends), and Parker Peevyhouse (Strange Exit, Tor Teen), among others. At the adult reception, Andy Weinberger (An Old Man’s Game, Prospect Park), owner of Readers’ Books in Sonoma and one of a number of bookseller/authors at the show, will be joined by Cara Black (Three Hours in Paris, Soho), Adam Hochschild (Rebel Cinderella, HMH), Ian Williams (Reproduction, Europa), and others.
● Diversity has long been woven into NCIBA’s fall show. Its Mirrors & Windows dinner, celebrating diverse and inclusive books, has been turned into a breakfast, making it the very first event of the show. It will be emceed by Books Inc. bookseller-turned-author Maggie Tokuda-Hall, who will talk about her first YA novel, The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea (Candlewick). Da Chen (Girl Under a Red Moon, Scholastic), Mitali Perkins (Forward Me Back to You, FSG BYR, a Junior Library Guild selection), and Gabby River (Juliet Takes a Breath, Riverdale Avenue) are among the authors who will be joining her. Other events are equally diverse, including the Friday author lunch with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (Children of the Land, Harper), Jennifer Longo (What I Carry, Random House BFYR), Monique Morris (Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues, New Press), and Laura Taylor Namey (The Library of Lost Things, Inkyard), among others.
● To make sure that adult programming is just as diverse, NCIBA has started a Mirrors & Windows–style committee for adult books. According to Crosby, the committee influenced the author selection process and is working on a blog to promote diverse and inclusive adult titles. A presentation on the romance genre, “Mythbusters: ‘I’m Too Sexy for This Romance’ Edition,” showcases diversity with the inclusion of YA and LGBTQ romance in addition to more traditional romance. It’s also evident in programming such as the Saturday breakfast with Kira Jane Buxton (Hollow Kingdom, Grand Central), Saeed Jones (How We Fight for Our Lives, S&S), and Walter Thompson-Hernandez (The Compton Cowboys, Morrow). Diversity is front and center in the buzz lunch later that day with Alice Waters’s daughter, Fanny Singer (Always Home: A Daughter’s Recipes and Stories, Knopf); Peggy Orenstein (Boys & Sex, HarperCollins); and Shannon Pufahl (On Swift Horses, Riverhead).
● While much of the focus is on authors and education, including presentations on Independent Bookstore Day and CalSavers (California’s new individual retirement-savings account for small businesses), one issue of immense concern to NCIBA members is whether the regional will officially join forces with SCIBA. The subject is one of the topics slated for consideration at Saturday’s annual meeting. “We hope to have a firm direction afterward,” Crosby says. “This is really about having a stronger voice in California. We are the fifth to the eighth [depending who’s doing the figuring] leading economy in the world.” From a business-efficiency perspective, he would like to begin planning for the next stage by the start of 2020.
● Innovation has long been associated with NCIBA, which was behind IBD with SCIBA. Its latest project, with help from Wanda Jewell at SIBA, is the newly launched Indie Booksellers Marketplace, a portal for booksellers to wholesale unique items to other booksellers. In keeping with the emphasis on makers, NCIBA is launching an art/maker auction to benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. The auction will open online and then become a silent auction on Saturday afternoon, when the exhibit hall is open. Among the items available for bidding are original art by children’s book illustrators David Shannon and Rosemary Wells. Sales rep and children’s book author Andy Weiner is offering four neon objects created by Bill Concannon for Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. Also look for cut-paper art by Ann Seaton, operations director of NCIBA.
SCIBA Fall Trade Show
The Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel
(San Gabriel, Calif.)
● After moving around the region, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association returns to San Gabriel, home to the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel (founded in 1771), for the second year in a row. And depending on how the voting goes at the annual meeting, this could be the last separate Southern California show: SCIBA members could decide to join forces with their colleagues to the north at NCIBA to create a united California regional association, or simply choose to hold a joint California show following the model that MIBA and GLIBA have perfected since launching the inaugural Heartland Fall Forum in 2012. Once again, the show will take place over the course of two full days, with the exhibit hall open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
● SCIBA executive director Andrea Vuleta likes to shake things up by inviting authors who may be known for one type of writing and having them appear for a new book in a different genre. L.A.-based writer Walter Mosley is a case in point; he may be best known for his Easy Rawlins mystery series, but he will be at Saturday’s Awards Luncheon promoting a work on craft, Elements of Fiction (Grove). Children’s author Julie Berry will appear for her new picture book about the medieval world, Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book! (Getty), rather than one of her many middle grade or YA novels. And former member of the boy band Streetwize Donal Skehan will participate in the author reception for his cookbook Donal’s Meals in Minutes (Quercus).
● Romance is back at SCIBA, which held a panel on the topic two years ago and wanted to remind booksellers not to overlook this increasingly popular genre. Julie Slavinsky, director of events at Warwick’s Bookstore in La Jolla, will host a panel titled “Romance: Love It... And Don’t Leave It off Your Shelves!” with Wicked Wallflowers Club podcaster Jenny Nordbak and authors Tessa Dare (The Wallflower Wager: Girl Meets Duke, Avon) and Alisha Rai (The Right Swipe, Avon). The Children’s Book Awards Breakfast will be on Saturday, where Cynthia Kadohata (A Place to Belong, Atheneum/Dlouhy) will serve as emcee. Other authors appearing with her are Elana K. Arnold for her YA novel Red Hood (Balzer + Bray) and debut novelist Ernesto Cisneros, author of Efrén Divided (HarperCollins).
● Authors will be in conversation in several sessions. Donna Rifkind will talk about The Sun and Her Stars (Other Press), her biography of little-known screenwriter Salka Viertel, who wrote the scripts for five of Greta Garbo’s films. Joining Rifkind is writer Debra Ginsberg, frontlist buyer at Bay Books in Coronado. Children’s bookseller Brein Lopez, general manager of Children’s Book World, will lead a panel on the importance of exploring the past, “Setting Our Future Free by Writing About Our Past,” with Hope Anita Smith, coauthor with Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet of It Rained Warm Bread (Holt), and Cisneros.
● Though SCIBA is very familiar with Independent Bookstore Day—it helped launch California Bookstore Day, the precursor to IBD—it will be one of many regionals to host outgoing ABA CEO Oren Teicher, who will speak about IBD, which is now a project of ABA. Other educational sessions taking place on Friday will be more nuts-and-bolts, including a roundtable on buying in the wake of Baker & Taylor’s exit from trade distribution. The session will focus on how to manage buying with a 10-day window for lead time.
NEIBA Fall Conference
RI Convention Center Ballroom
● After taking on the role of executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association last year, Beth Ineson has begun shaking up one of the country’s oldest regional fall shows, NEIBA (this year will be the 46th). “Most of our new initiatives,” Ineson says, “are totally centered on what bookstores tell me they value: talking with their peers and connecting with editors.” This year, NEIBA will be one of several regional trade shows to mix panels with roundtables, which allow booksellers with similar concerns, such as managing bookstores with cafés, to address their needs directly. And it is adding two editors’ buzz panels, one for adults and one for kids. Their lunchtime placement, in the middle of the exhibit day, is meant to give booksellers a lunch option and an incentive to go back to the exhibits to pick up copies of the spring 2020 titles that are presented.
● Typically, the conference opens with either an industry panel or a keynote. But before this year’s Wednesday keynote with Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, Crown), early birds will have a chance to attend a session titled “Boosting Profits with Co-op.” It’s part of Ineson’s overriding goal to use the show to make a material difference in member stores’ business. Even the food served at the author reception and other events will be connected to new and forthcoming cookbooks that could do well regionally. Other sessions are meant to move the needle on a number of marketing concerns, with panels titled “Visual Merchandising for Inclusion” and “Digital Branding.”
● The format for this year’s author reception is also changing to a Winter Institute–style one, with one large room to accommodate even more authors, up from 20 in past years to 25. Among the featured writers are Lily King (Writers and Lovers, Grove), Oge Mora (Saturday, Little, Brown BFYR), Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa, Morrow), and Richard Stengel (Information Wars, Atlantic Monthly). To up the excitement, author and illustrator Elisha Cooper (River, Orchard) will create a painting during the reception. The details are still being worked out, but the goal is to use his work to raise money for a local literacy organization.
● Another aim this year is to respond to what Ineson calls “a youthquake” in NEIBA. While she wants to appeal to all booksellers, she’s added several events designed especially for younger store owners and frontline booksellers, including a closing keynote with Erin Morgenstern, who will appear in conjunction with the publication of her sophomore novel, The Starless Sea (Doubleday). Her debut, The Night Circus, inspired a bookseller-themed wedding; the cover of her new novel provided the source for another bookseller’s tattoos. In addition, Ineson is hoping to appeal to younger book people with a late-night pajama/costume party with Australia-based author Tamsyn Muir (Gideon the Ninth, Tor.com) via Skype from one of the conference hotels.
● No major tinkering was needed for the association’s popular author breakfasts or awards banquet, although this year, for the first time, the New England Book Award winners will be announced at the latter. The children’s breakfast features Kate Messner (Chirp, Bloomsbury Children’s), Jessie Sima (Spencer’s New Pet, S&S BFYR), and Renée Watson (Some Places More than Others, Bloomsbury Children’s). The closing breakfast features a mix of children and adult authors, including Jon Clinch (Marley, Atria), Nikki Grimes (Ordinary Hazards, WordSong), Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist, Dey Street), and Aarti Namdev Shahani (Here We Are, Celadon).
Heartland Fall Forum
(MIBA & GLIBA)
Cleveland Renaissance Hotel
● Place is an especially important piece of this year’s Heartland Fall Forum, which is on the move from its usual two locations, Chicago and St. Paul, Minn. “Cleveland and the Renaissance are proving to be an extraordinary city and venue for our attendees, and we hope our strong excitement shines through the programming,” says Carrie Obry, executive director of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association. The show, a collaboration between MIBA and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, will kick off with a bookstore tour that includes Appletree Books, Mac’s Back Books on Coventry, and Visible Voice Books. The opening night party will be off-site at another local bookstore, Loganberry Books, which will feature music by Chan Poling of the Replacements. Poling and Lucy Michell will sign copies of their book, Jack and the Ghost (Univ. of Minnesota), at the show. On Thursday, Cleveland’s Belt Publishing is welcoming booksellers with a cocktail hour and a chance to meet authors and staff, including some with spring 2020 titles, such as Danny Caine (El Dorado Freddy’s), Phil Christman (Midwest Futures), and Raechel Anne Jolie (Rust Belt Femme).
● This year, Heartland is also changing up its education to make it more interactive. “We wanted to break from the framework we’ve had,” says Larry Law, executive director of GLIBA. “You can only go to so many panels like ‘Introduction to Social Media.’ ” Like many of the regionals, Heartland will devote a room to roundtables on specific topics of concern to booksellers. It’s also planning new workshops, including one conducted by author Peter Geye (Northernmost, Knopf) on how to write a blurb. Other sessions with reps and booksellers will incorporate games. The programming is geared to frontline booksellers, owners/buyers, and event managers.
● One marquee keynote is not enough for this year’s show, which features children’s author Ruta Sepetys (The Fountains of Silence, Philomel), who will give Thursday’s talk, and Books Are Magic! store owner and adult author Emma Straub (All Adults Here, Riverhead), who will speak on Friday. They are just two of the many authors coming to Cleveland. The opening night reception kicks off with a mix of authors for children and adults, including Jeni McFarland (The House of Deep Water, Putnam’s), Sherri Duskey Rinker (Three Cheers for Kid McGear!, Chronicle), Cassandra Snow (Queering the Tarot, Weiser), and Kat Zhang (Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, Aladdin).
● Children’s authors shine at Thursday’s authors breakfast with Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath, Dial), Sharon Robinson (Child of the Dream, Scholastic), and Raina Telgemeier (Guts, Graphix). But they are intermingled throughout the rest of the show, as well. Kids’ authors such as Betsy Bird (The Great Santa Stakeout, Scholastic/Levine), Jordan Ifueko (Raybearer, Amulet), and Sydney Smith (Small in the City, Holiday House/Porter) are among the participants of the Moveable Feast. Sarah R. Baughman (The Light in the Lake, Little, Brown BFYR), Paul Gilligan (King of the Mole People, Holt BFYR), and Jenn Harney (Underwear!, Disney) will be available at the author lounge.
● Adult authors will also be well represented throughout the show and will dominate the Tasting Notes Dinner with Geye, Jacquira Diaz (Ordinary Girls, Algonquin), Lily King (Writers and Lovers, Grove), Andre Perry (Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now, Two Dollar Radio), and Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa, Morrow). Look for in-booth signings with two authors from the Univ. of Wisconsin Press: Steve Hannah (Dairylandia) and John Hildebrand (Long Way Round). Nefertiti Austin (Motherhood So White, Sourcebooks), Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne (Holding On to Nothing, Blair), and Jodie Adams Kirshner (Broke, St. Martin’s) are among the adult authors at the Moveable Feast.
The Red Lion on the River
● One way that the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association is trying to build more time into its show for booksellers, librarians, and publishers to talk is by continuing to host its Portland show on Hayden Island, outside Downtown Portland, and holding every event at the hotel. But in case that’s not enough to foster sharing, PNBA added a mixer for the first time, the Unwind Hour, which will close out the opening day of education and take place before PNBA’s many author events get underway.
● As part of its efforts to shake up the opening day, PNBA executive director and marketing director Brian Juenemann says that the board also decided to replace the traditional 10-author lunch with a 90-minute rep-pick lunch, featuring 10 selections. This so-called Big Pitch is intended to encourage all 150 attendees to focus on the books, since no programming is planned opposite it. To create the event, PNBA did have to cut a few education tracks, but it still has a number of nuts-and-bolts sessions for small and large stores, including sessions focusing on cash flow in the wake of B&T getting out of trade distribution as well as ones on book clubs and the romance genre, with an emphasis on inclusivity. As for those 10 authors, they’ve been moved to the next morning’s breakfast, and two meals will feature an additional author to make sure that booksellers and librarians still have plenty of opportunities to meet local and national writers from presses large and small. The total number of authors will remain at just under 100.
● This year’s opening author event, Dinner at the Kid’s Table, is one that Juenemann’s daughters, ages nine and 14, highly recommend, because it brings together some of their favorite writers and illustrators: Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson (Just in Case You Want to Fly, Holiday House), Nikki McClure (What Will These Hands Make?, Abrams BFYR), Sharon Robinson (Child of the Dream, Scholastic), Rebecca Stead (The List of Things That Will Not Change, PRH/Lamb), and Raina Telgemier (Guts, Graphix). It’s followed by the Nightcapper, a Winter Institute–style author reception with more than 20 adult and children’s authors. They include Lacy Jane Bledsoe (Running Wild, Holiday House), Vicki Conrad (Just like Beverly, Little Big Foot), and Danielle Dufayet (Fantastic You, Magination Press) on the kids’ side and J.P. Gritton (Wyoming, Tin House) and Kathryn Trueblood (Take Daily as Needed, Univ. of New Mexico) for adults.
● With breakfasts, lunches, and dinners over the course of the show, booksellers will have the chance to hear from longtime favorites such as Matt Ruff, a PNBA Award winner, who will be presenting his latest novel, 88 Names (Harper), at the “Authors Over Easy Breakfast,” and from mystery writer Clyde W. Ford, who will present a memoir of his father, the first black software engineer at IBM (Think Black, Amistad), at the Signature Dish dinner (previously known as the Authors’ Feast). The name may have changed, but the Signature Dish will still feature 20 authors. The biggest difference is that this year, the authors will rotate for shorter periods of time so that booksellers can meet more authors, and vice versa. No changes are anticipated for the closing lunch, 7 Coming-Up, which focuses on those with new books due out early next year. The lunch is so popular with publishers that it maxed out within days of PNBA’s call for authors. Among those appearing are Melissa Crandall, author of Elephant Speak (Ooligan), a biography of a zookeeper at the Oregon Zoo and his devotion to the Asian elephants in his care; Abigail Hing Wen, who will present her YA rom-com, Loveboat, Taipei (HarperTeen); and Daniel Mathews, author of Trees in Trouble (Counterpoint), about the effects of climate change on Western and Rocky Mountain states.
● Traditionally PNBA is one of the regionals with particularly long exhibit hours, one and a half days. Nearly a decade ago, when some large houses asked to skip the second day, the association made day two optional for exhibitors. But that has changed. “Over the past several years,” Juenemann says, “we’ve seen the commitment to two days grow again.” Part of the reason for that, he adds, is that ordering has increased consistently after dropping to almost nothing 10 years ago. He attributes that to the growth of indies and to the fact that reps have found that if they offer specials and give booksellers an incentive to buy at the show, they will get orders. This year, buyers can do business with new exhibitors, including Artemis Book Sales, Expedition Press, Fox Chapel Publishing, Magnets USA, Oregonian Publishing, Retrospect Group, and Tonya Gray Artworks.
MPIBA FallCon: Trade Show & Conference
Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel
● To signal to booksellers and publishers that the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade show means fun and business, the association rebranded it this year as FallCon. “It’s also more affordable,” says MPIBA executive director Heather Duncan, noting that many author events are $15. “While attendance is free for booksellers, I’d eventually love to make all of FallCon free.” Other changes include scheduling in more time for networking and conversation, such as the Member Meet & Mingle at a brew pub down the street from the convention hotel. New this year is Pub-Lunch, for publishers to chat with booksellers and vice versa, as well as “Conversations with Colleagues,” which is a series of bookseller roundtables, something that worked well at MPIBA’s spring conference in Texas. Titles of the individual roundtable discussions include “Creating Events in a Small or Remote Store” and “Life After Baker & Taylor.” Both the roundtables and the lunch take place on Friday, when the exhibit hall is open. The exhibition area, too, has been tweaked with the addition of publisher booths, rather than tables, around the perimeter of the room, and more sideline offerings.
● “There’s going to be something for everyone,” Duncan says about this year’s programming. “The author events are diverse. Everyone will see themselves in the show. My 12 states are as diverse as any part of the country.” Several roundtables address diversity and inclusion directly, including “Best Practices for Hiring for Diversity” and “Difficult Conversations: How to Talk About Diversity and Inclusivity with Store Management and Colleagues.” Education sessions are designed to address additional bookseller concerns, including lowering the cost of goods, handselling outside booksellers’ comfort zones, and marketing stores as a safe spaces for all viewpoints. Like the other regionals, MPIBA will hold an ABA session on Independent Bookstore Day. Duncan says that she is “very excited” to see ABA take over IBD and give it an even stronger national push.
● Popular programming around children’s authors returns, including the Children’s Author and Illustrator Breakfast, featuring Alan Gratz (Allies, Scholastic), Isaac Fitzgerald (How to Be a Pirate, Bloomsbury), Sharon Robinson (Child of the Dream, Scholastic), Rebecca Stead (The List of Things That Will Not Change, PRH/Lamb), and David Yoon (Frankly in Love, Putnam’s BFYR). There’s also a very packed kids’ book speed-dating session: Young Readers Roundup. Authors include Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson (Just in Case You Want to Fly, Holiday House/Porter), Ruan Melmed (Monster Diary Series, Familius), and Celia C. Pérez (Strange Birds, Kokila). And by moving the Reading the West Awards celebration to spring, Duncan was able to free up another meal for kids’ authors on the last day. A dozen writers will take part in the “YA Lit Lunch,” including Kathryn Gonzales (Trans+, Magination Pres), Samantha Mabry (Tigers, Not Daughters, Algonquin Young Readers), and Eric Smith (Don’t Read the Comments, Inkyard).
● The closing night banquet has been transformed into the Gala Author Dinner Party with a buffet dinner, music, and even a photo booth. The six featured writers include W. Bruce Cameron (A Dog’s Promise, Forge), Therese Anne Fowler (A Good Neighborhood, St. Martin’s), Colum McCann (Apeirogon, Random House), Ransom Riggs (The Conference of the Birds, Dutton BFYR), Emily St. John Mandel (The Glass Hotel, Knopf), and Raina Telgemeier (Guts, Graphix). The show ends with the popular Books & Brews author speed dating event featuring 14 authors, among them Megan Angelo (Followers, Graydon House), César Cuauhtémoc Garcia Hernández (Migrating to Prison, the New Press), and John Frank (Beer Lover’s Colorado, Globe Pequot).
● Altogether MPIBA will feature more than 80 authors. Many of the author event changes are minor. A women’s breakfast has been turned into the Women’s Voices Author Luncheon with a dozen adult and children’s writers, including Julie Murphy (Dear Sweet Pea, Balzer + Bray) and Jenn Shapland (My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, Tin House). And the “Thrilling & Mysterious Author Panel” featuring Peter Swanson (Eight Perfect Murders, Morrow) and Megan Tifft (From Hell to Breakfast, the Unnamed Press) is among the education sessions.
NAIBA Fall Conference
(Cherry Hill, N.J.)
● Eileen Dengler, executive director of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, is growing this year’s show through additional programming on the opening day, which in past years kicked off at dinnertime, as well as by expanding the amount of time that the show floor is open on Wednesday afternoon to include an extra hour. As always, cocktails are served at the exhibit hall. “Reps asked for the extra time, and I was happy to give it to them,” Dengler says. The first day’s programming came from bookstore owners’ and frontline booksellers’ requests for more retreats like the popular owner’s and kids’ spring retreats that the association has run for more than half a decade. This year there will be five afternoon-long retreats for both groups, as well as gatherings specifically designed for store managers, events managers, and frontline hand-sellers. The preview supper, which traditionally opened the show, is still in place with a mixture of adult and children’s authors, including Laura Zigman (Separation Anxiety: A Novel, Ecco) and Tom O’Donnell (Homerooms and Hall Passes, Balzer + Bray).
● Last year, NAIBA did away with educational panels and replaced them with roundtables. The change occurred after Dengler attended a session at Winter Institute where her questions remained unanswered. “It bothered me,” she says, “that there are only a few minutes at the end of the session to answer questions. That’s why I created roundtables.” With roundtables, everyone has a chance to be heard, and Dengler chooses topics that booksellers tell her throughout the year they’d like to learn more about. These include setting up a pop-up store, buying for margin, and helping booksellers navigate the resistance or unconscious bias that can surface when promoting diverse children’s books. In keeping with this year’s show theme, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” the programming is designed to keep booksellers up to date on a range of subjects.
● NAIBA continues to maintain its book buzz panels for adults and kids with presentations by editors. Another popular session that made the cut and is back is a standalone presentation on a topic that booksellers have been buzzing about. This year that’s human resources; the session is titled “Managing Our Greatest Assets: Our Staff.” Stephanie Steinberg, HR director for Hachette Book Group, will be joined by Rebecca Fitting, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstores in Brooklyn, N.Y., to recreate scenarios encountered in bookstores and provide guidance for responding to them.
● When it comes to diversity, for NAIBA that extends to the presses themselves. “We’re really trying to make sure that independent presses are represented at the Movable Feast and the Editors’ Buzz, and on the trade show floor,” Dengler says. The annual independent press author reception is also back. This year it will run concurrently with the Wine-Down Author Reception, which follows the awards banquet.
● From the opening night all through the conference, authors are front and center. The opening author breakfast on the first full day brings together kids’ authors, including Susan Isaacs (Takes One to Know One, Atlantic Monthly), Kaela Noel (Coo, Greenwillow), Emma Straub (All Adults Here, Riverhead), and Raina Telgemeier (Guts, Graphix). Thursday’s author breakfast focuses on adult writers, such as Leslie Jamison (Make It Scream, Make It Burn, Little, Brown) and Elizabeth Wetmore (Valentine, Harper). The closing event, the Movable Feast lunch, brings together nine authors, including Megan Angelo (Followers, HarperCollins), Jeffrey Colvin (Africaville, Amistad), Deborah Heiligman (Torpedoed, Henry Holt BFYR), Sara Hosey (Iphigenia Murphy, Blackstone), Rafi Mittlefehldt (What Makes Us, Candlewick), Shelly Oria (Indelible in the Hippocampus, McSweeney), and Anne Gardiner Perkins (Yale Needs Women, Sourcebooks). And while he may not have written or illustrated a book, ABA CEO Oren Teicher will be honored with a NAIBA Legacy Award alongside Jennifer Egan at the awards banquet. Other honorees include Carla Cohen Free Speech Award–winner Jarrett Krosoczka for Hey, Kiddo (Graphix).