In sessions on topics ranging from hiring to politics, industry leaders discuss the big issues facing publishing.

The Future of the (Publishing) Office

Scores of publishing employees have been working remotely since the pandemic hit in early 2020. Now, mass vaccinations and declines in positivity rates have made returning to the office seem possible. But what will the return to office life look like?

Moderator: John Maher, PW’s news and digital editor


Thad McIllroy, principal, The Future of Publishing

Tsedal Neeley, Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of Remote Work Revolution

Lorraine Shanley, president of Market Partners International

Adrienne Vaughan, executive director and COO, Bloomsbury Publishing

Tuesday, May 25, 11–11:45 a.m. ET

Hiring: How to Prioritize Inclusivity in Your Workforce

The publishing industry’s long-term inability to diversify its workforce is no secret. While publishers seem to be responding to renewed calls for more diversity and inclusion efforts, the industry’s struggle to hire and retain young people of color remains a frustrating constant. Why?

Moderator: Shelly Romero, assistant editor, Scholastic


Carrie Bloxson, head of diversity and inclusion, Hachette Book Group

Stacey A. Gordon, author of Unbias: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work

Jason Low, publisher and cofounder, Lee and Low Books

Ayesha Pande, proprietor, Ayesha Pande Literary, and head of the Association of Authors’ Representatives diversity committee

Tuesday, May 25, 12:15–1 p.m. ET

Political Books: What Does the Post-Trump Landscape Hold?

Hate him or love him, former president Trump was the focus of the nation’s attention like no other politician in recent memory. He was also great for book sales, allowing publishers to pump the bestseller lists with titles either celebrating or demonizing him. So what does this category hold as we enter the post-Trump political scene? Has the market for political books changed? If so, how?

Moderator: Jimmy So, editor, Columbia Global Reports, Columbia University


Eamon Dolan, v-p, executive editor, Simon & Schuster

Tanya McKinnon, principal, McKinnon Literary

Eric Nelson, v-p, editorial director, Broadside Books

Keith Urbahn, president and cofounder, Javelin

Tuesday, May 25, 1:30–2:15 p.m. ET

Is Literary IP as Valuable in a Postpandemic Hollywood?

Books will never be out of style in Hollywood, but what does the term “Hollywood” even mean these days? With the movie theater business on its knees and the film industry reeling from nearly a year without theatrical releases, the already fast-changing movie landscape is even more in flux than usual. How has the pandemic changed the kind of literary content that gets optioned?

Moderator: Zander Bauman, scout, 20th Century Studio


Angela Cheng Caplan, president and CEO, Cheng Caplan Co.

Mac Hawkins, film/TV literary consultant and founder, Pragmatic

Erin Hennicke, director, film/TV, Franklin & Siegal Assoc.

Mary Pender, media rights agent, United Talent Agency

Tuesday, May 25, 2:30–3:15 p.m. ET

Leading booksellers and industry members discuss changes to the bookselling landscape

Postpandemic Bookselling: Hot-Button Issues Facing Bricks-and-Mortar Bookstores

As customers return to in-store shopping, how have the fights for social justice and fair wages, as well as efforts to stop Amazon’s encroachment on sales, changed the way booksellers work? With sales stalled at many stores in 2020, what are the prospects for the future?

Moderator: Ed Nawotka, PW’s bookselling and international editor


Nina Barrett, owner, Bookends & Beginnings (Evanston, Ill.)

Danny Caine, owner, Raven Book Store (Lawrence, Kans.), and author of How to Resist Amazon and Why

Bryanne Hoeg, store manager of Powell’s City of Books (Portland, Ore.)

Kwame Spearman, co-owner and CEO, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver)

Tuesday, May 25, 12:15–1:15 p.m. ET

How to Sell More Books Online in 2021

Many bookstores made a successful pivot to online bookselling during the pandemic. Will this shift continue to benefit bricks-and-mortar bookstores going forward? What are the best practices for bookstores that want to incorporate online selling?

Moderator: Ed Nawotka


Phil Davies, director, IndieCommerce, the American Booksellers Association

Sarah High, partnerships manager,

Mark Pearson, CEO and cofounder,

Tuesday, May 25, 3–4 p.m. ET

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