Southern Comfort

The South leads the pack in regional booksellers meetings and trade shows

Mid-South Independent Booksellers Association/Mid-South Independent Booksellers for Children

Trade show meets Thurs., Sept. 5—Sun., Sept. 8, at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, La.

After a year's absence MSIBA returns to "the Big Easy," where the sounds of jazz and blues and the aromas of Cajun and Creole foods greet visitors at every street corner. Educational programming starts Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. It's down to business in a three-hour seminar on basic bookstore finances. ABA's Avin Domnitz guides booksellers through the ABCs of Excel software. Attendees will get a complete instructional disk in addition to their newly honed skills in this easy and versatile tool. Advance registration required. The rudiments of personal bookselling are the focus of another afternoon session that starts at 2 p.m. From a panel of crackerjack retailers, learn how to use the four Ds (say what?) to become an A-plus bookseller. Peppy reps strut their stuff at a publishers' show-and-sell between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. This is a well-timed opportunity to check out fall titles as well as meet 'n' greet colleagues. Refreshments will be served—but remember to save some room for New Orleans jambalaya.

At 7:45 a.m. on Friday morning, MSIBC hosts the children's book and author breakfast featuring local socialite and author Coleen Salley and book illustrator Janet Stevens. Their recent collaboration is Epossumondas. Humorist Todd Parr, author of The Feel Good Book, joins this talented team. Tickets are required for meal events; plan ahead and partake of the good times. Afterward, the rallying cry is "children's books mean business" when the MSIBC children's committee presents a series of workshops on event planning and book promotion. Author and illustrator Eileen Christelow is one of the facilitators. The Children's Book and Author Luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. Denise Fleming (Alphabet Under Construction), Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spider and the Fly) and Mark Teague (Dear Mrs. LaRue) are guest speakers. Afternoon sessions start at 1:30 p.m.—the focus is bookstore promotion and marketing. Kathy Patrick, owner of Beauty and the Book, the only hair salon-bookstore in the country, gets the ball rolling with tips on how to get press coverage. As founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, Kathy knows her stuff. She and "the girls" have been featured regularly on television and in various newspapers and magazines. At a concurrent workshop, an ABA staffer gives an up-to-the-minute report on the Book Sense marketing initiative. A discussion on the new electronic book buyer's handbook is a part of the segment. Ready for more? Marilyn Ross, author of Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies, offers her popular seminar in the third and final installment of the afternoon. Catch the brief membership meeting at 4:45 p.m. The MSIBC Humpty Dumpty Dinner and Silent Auction commences Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Walk over to Crescent City Brewery, chum around with friends and authors over a tall cold one and take a chance to win an autographed illustrator's handprint. Stay until evening's end, at which time the winner of the Children's Choice Award will be announced.

Early on Saturday morning, Julie Smith (Louisiana Bigshot), Douglas Kelley (The Captain's Wife) and Robert McCammon (Speaks the Nightbird) come together to share breakfast buns, coffee and stories with a wide-awake audience. Exhibit hours: 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. No educational programming is scheduled. After the floor closes, unwind and listen to authors read from their recent publications. Then it's off to the evening's author autographing reception. As always in New Orleans, a large turnout is expected.

Sunday's breakfast features J.C. Watts (What Color Is a Conservative?), David Marion Wilkinson (Oblivion's Altar) and Daniel Woodrell (The Death of Sweet Mister). Exhibit hours: 9—11:30 a.m. During the show's final hours, seal a deal, order more books and collect a fistful of entry forms for the end-of-show drawing for cash prizes. Watch for the special signs and ask participating publishers for details. Stick around until noon—you must be present to win.

Contact:Andy Jackson, 15911 Whispering Falls Court, Houston, Tex. 77084; (281) 463-0438;; www.msiba.organd Susan Kent, Treehouse Readers, 2855 Lake Houston Pkwy., #107, Kingswood, Tex. 77339; (281) 361-6110;;

Southeast Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Fri., Sept. 20—Sun., Sept. 22, Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. SEBA booksellers head to the Sunshine State and to the beautiful beaches and gardens of Lauderdale. Though the show officially opens on Friday, some activities are scheduled for Thursday, including an all-day bookseller school (9 a.m.—4 p.m.). The focus of this program is sustaining and growing your business with professionalism, passion and profit. The $50 ticket price allows up to three people from one store to attend—well worth the price of admission. That evening at 7 p.m. everyone is invited to a rep appreciation and book awards reception at Books & Books in Coral Gables, a short drive down the coast. Transportation is provided. Baker & Taylor is sponsoring this social gathering.

Friday morning at 8 a.m. the proceedings start with an hour-long breakfast hosted by SEBA board members. The post-breakfast agenda includes educational seminars on author-event planning, small-business innovation, marketing and promotion strategies and reading-group ideas. Of particular note is Jeff Stamp's program, Jump Start Your Business Brain, a favorite with booksellers. Jeff completes his program in the afternoon.

A number of sessions are devoted to ABA initiatives—a 9 a.m. program covers succession planning and a 10:30 a.m. Q-and-A covers the latest developments at Book Sense and the electronic book buyer's handbook. Random House is the sponsor again this year. The noontime Kick-Off Author Luncheon features Frances Mayes (Swan), Elise Primavera (Auntie Claus andthe Key to Christmas), Cassandra King (TheSunday Wife), and Bruce Feiler (Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths). Sponsor Hyperion picks up the tab. The postlunch agenda includes workshops and panels at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Discussions on co-op management, graphic novels and short stories top the list. Gayle Shank's 2 p.m. seminar on successfully selling sidelines is a must. At 5:30 p.m. jump into the pool (literally!). While party-goers cool off with refreshments, song-master Captain Luck and guitar wizard Cool John Ferguson play songs from their splashy compilation Outsider Lounge Music. The two are travelling to promote Music Maker: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America, a 194-page book/22-track CD to be published by Hill Street Press. The 7 p.m. SEBA supper, sponsored by Time Warner Trade Publishing, features Pat Conroy (My Losing Season), Philip Gulley (Christmas in Harmony), Donna Tartt (The Little Friend) and Michael Graham (Redneck Nation). Festivities continue when actress-author Marlo Thomas (The Right Words at the Right Time) makes a late-evening appearance at 10 p.m. All-in-all, a very good day!

At 7:30 a.m. wake up with Sleeping Bear Press. They are the sponsor of the Saturday morning breakfast. Admired children's book authors Carol Crane (L is for Lonesome) and Devin Scillian (A is for America) are guest speakers. Exhibit hours: 9 a.m.—noon and 1:30—5 p.m.; autographing hours: 2—5 p.m. Michael Fraser of the Joseph Beth Group conducts a 15-minute orientation program for first-time show attendees at 9 a.m. Midmorning, engage in a conversation with leadership expert John C. Maxwell, author of more than 25 books, including the bestselling 21 IrrefutableLaws of Leadership and the forthcoming title Running with Giants. The book and author luncheon features more well-known children's and young readers book authors—Chris Raschka (I Pledge Allegiance), Patricia Polacco (When Lightning Comes in a Jar) and Carl Hiaasen (Hoot). Action on the show floor resumes. Stay around for the late afternoon drawing (worth $500) at 4:45 p.m.; SEBA's annual meeting at follows at 5:30 p.m. Evening get-togethers start at 6 p.m. with an hour-long "mixed-up files" party hosted by children's book illustrator Elaine Konigsburg and sponsored by Simon & Schuster—it's a 35th anniversary party celebrating the publication of From the Mixed-UpFiles of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Then it's off to SEBA's version of a moveable author feast sponsored by Ingram Book Co. The impressive invitation list includes Jeff Abbott, Robert Ashcom, Sallie Bissell, Carlos Eire, Robert Inman, Tayari Jones, Barbara Parker, Lynn Pruett, Brad Watson and Mark Winegardner.

On Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. the Publishers Association of the South sponsors a breakfast showcase featuring authors whose books have been published by Southern presses. These authors and publishers are Harry B. Knights (The Boy with a Wish: The Nicholas Stories #1, Pelican Publishing), John Egerton (Cornbread Nation, Univ. of North Carolina Press) and Thomas Hal Phillips (Red Midnight, Univ. Press of Mississippi). Exhibit and autographing hours: 9 a.m.—1 p.m. Coleen Salley, author of Epossumondas, hosts this year's Sunday morning readings at 10 a.m., featuring authors Dara Horn, Andrew Glaze, Louis Rubin Jr., Mary Robison, Deborah Smith, Lee Smith, S.V. Date, Louise Shaffer, P.T. Elliott and E.M. Lowry—an enjoyable way to spend two hours. There's one last piece of business before the show closes at 1 p.m.—another floor drawing. Show organizers have upped the ante to $1000 to encourage booksellers to stick around until the very end. Guess what? It works!

Contact:Wanda Jewell, 2730 Devine St., Columbia, S.C. 29205; (803) 252-7755;;

Western Corral

Four West Coast regionals offer awards and authors galore

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Fri., Sept. 13—Sun., Sept. 15, at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Ore.

All educational programming is scheduled on Friday, prior to the weekend's trade show and round of meetings. Morning sessions start at 8 a.m., end at 11:45 a.m.; afternoon sessions start at 1:15 p.m., end at 4 p.m. First up to bat, DeeDee Teeters of Armchair Books eases first-time show goers' jitters with her pearls of wisdom at a brief introduction designed especially for retailers. At the same time, a similar workshop for publishers and authors takes place. A series of workshops starts at 9 a.m. Jay Gesin of leads off with a program on bookstore Web site marketing while industry veteran Anna Johnson gives advice on marketing new authors. Don't know much about PNBA's Book PROSE Program? Stop by this informative session and find out the details about "Professional References On Simply Everything." And if you are curious about the fall season's crop of books, get a glimpse at reps' "picks of the lists." This session ends at 11:45 a.m. and is repeated in the afternoon at 1:15 p.m. A set of two panels and a workshop follows. Doug Hall of Jump Start Your Business Brain fame has been asked by show organizers to manage the discussion. Representatives from the Children's Book Council do their best to convince booksellers that "children's books are not just for children anymore" in a panel bearing the same name. And author Kymm Nelsen instructs aspiring writers and accomplished authors on the ins-and-outs of do-it-yourself Web sites.

A separate fee-based bookseller school aptly called "Bookselling Behind the Scenes" is also a part of the day's prospectus. This intensive course starts at 8 a.m., runs until 5 p.m. Advance registration is required and seating is limited to the first 25 people who sign up. Act now.

At high noon, it's time for PNBA's holiday catalogue lunch at which Judy Ness and a group of creative booksellers talk about effective ways to use this great marketing tool. After lunch, panels and workshops resume. Larry Addison moderates a panel covering the cooperative relationship between independent bookstores and independent publishers; this session is sponsored by the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. Christy MacDonald of Secret Garden Bookshop leads a group of children's book buyers/sellers as they look at the fall lists, and Lifestyles owner Ronda Gates investigates the subject of contract books in a workshop designed for publishers. In the last session of the day, Sharon Castlen of Integrated Book Marketing unlocks the magic to increased sales. At 3 p.m. a two-hour celebration of authors gets under way. Carrie Hoops, the executive director of Oregon Literary Arts, emcees this popular event. Eleven lucky authors will have a chance to talk uninterrupted (hopefully!) about their new books in front of a captivated audience. So listen up! At 8 p.m., after a three-hour break from activity, authors, booksellers and publishers reconvene on the Windows Terrace/Holiday Inn for an autographing and dessert party—a wonderful and scrumptious way to end a hectic day.

Saturday's 8 a.m. book and author breakfast is to be held at the Holiday Inn/Portland Convention Center across the street. Holly Myers of Elliott Bay Book Company welcomes booksellers to this early morning nosh intended for the young at heart. Children's and young readers authors T.A. Barron (The Hero's Trail), Chuck Palahniuk (Lullaby) and Jill A. Fredston (Rowing to Latitude) are guest speakers. Exhibit hours: 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Autographing hours: 10 a.m.— noon and 2—4 p.m. A booksellers roundtable lunch is planned for the noontime break. PNBA's Book Awards Committee meets at 10 a.m., its Education Committee at 1:45 p.m. and its Literacy Committee at 3:30 p.m. With the general membership meeting at 4:45 p.m., business concludes for the day. On Saturday evening, conviviality and cheer start at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail party, followed by a banquet at 7:30 p.m. Lynda Barry (One Hundred Demons), William H. Gates Sr. (Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes) and Rosemary Wells (Getting to Know You! Rodgers and Hammerstein Favorites) are set to make appearances. A warm reception is anticipated.

The Sunday book and author breakfast features Jill Conner Browne (The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner), Nikki Giovanni (Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems) and Mark Teague (Dear Mrs. LaRue). Be prepared. Post-coffee-and-Danish speakers' comments promise to range from the outrageous to the sublime. Exhibit hours: 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. Autographing hours: 10 a.m.—12:30 p.m. and 2:15—4 p.m. At 1 p.m., break for lunch and chew the fat (it's now good for you!) with nationally known authors as they roam from table to table sharing stories. David James Duncan (My Story as Told by Water) and Jayne Ann Krentz (Light in Shadow) have signed up—and with a little bit of luck G.M. Ford (Black River) and Jack Prelutsky (Scranimals) will accept the invitation. Advance-ticket purchase is required for food events set up for Saturday and Sunday, so plan ahead and reserve your place—and that delicious boxed lunch! Booksellers at the banquet and breakfasts will receive one copy of each speaker's book.

Contact:Thom Chambliss, 317 W. Broadway, Ste. 214, Eugene, Ore. 97401; (541) 683-4363;;

Southern California Children's Booksellers Association

Annual Dinner and Golden Dolphin Award Presentation to be held on Sat., Sept. 14, at the Atrium Hotel, Irvine, Calif.

The pleasure of your company is requested at this year's SCCBA award dinner and presentation to be held at the Atrium Hotel, a resort just minutes away from tony Newport Beach and frolicsome Disneyland. Amidst tropical-landscaped gardens, more than 350 guests will gather to celebrate independent children's bookselling. The festive occasion starts at 4 p.m. with a "mini" trade show where publishers' reps are invited to show appealing displays of their recommended books of the season. Dinner follows at 6:30 p.m. Well-known and much-esteemed authors Joan Bauer (Stand Tall) and Neil Gaiman (Coraline) and illustrators Brian Selznick (When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson) and David Small (So, You Want to Be an Inventor) will be in the limelight as the evening's speakers. Afterwards the regional Golden Dolphin Award will be bestowed on a well-deserving author or illustrator. The name of this year's winner is still a secret. Past recipients include Bill Peet in 1999, Theodore Taylor in 2000 and Eve Bunting in 2001. Believe it or not, there's more on the menu—receivers of the SCCBA's annual literacy grants will also be announced. Now in its fifth year, this grant program is popular among area teachers, librarians, day-care providers and social workers, who are encouraged to submit their ideas for promoting literacy in the community through member bookstores. Publishers and interested groups are welcome to become grant sponsors. At evening's end, each guest will receive a "dessert" bag filled to the brim with what else—books! Want to join the party? RSVP now. Reservations must be received by September 5.

Contact:Betty Takeuchi or Candace Moreno, San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe, 2424 Huntington Dr., San Marino, Calif. 91108; (626) 309-0222;;

Northern California Independent Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Fri., Oct. 4—Sun., Oct. 6, at the Oakland Convention Center/Oakland City Center Marriott, Oakland, Calif.

The Friday program starts at 10 a.m. with discussions on various topics pertinent to booksellers. Field sales gurus Ruth Liebmann of Random House, Katya Olmstead of Penguin Putnam, and Roger Williams of Simon & Schuster step up to the microphone to answer indie questions about corporate issues while participants talk about employee issues at a roundtable discussion. In a third session, veteran book people exchange views on the concept of the bookstore as community center and compare notes about the value of nonauthor events in the same environment. ABA CEO Avin Domnitz and other ABA staffers make the rounds with two programs that have proved popular at the other regional shows—a workshop in budgeting and monitoring finances, and another on succession planning. Registration and exhibitor setup: 12—6 p.m. The Friday lunch features H.W. Brands (The Age of Gold) and James Conaway (The Far Side of Eden). Educational programming continues in the afternoon. Catch one of the two ABA programs. The day closes with a welcome reception at 5 p.m. featuring author Kathi Goldmark (And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You). Kathi's publisher, Chronicle Books, hosts this festive event with food, drink and live music—in part celebrating her success and toasting independent booksellers throughout the region. Come and hang out.

On Saturday morning, booksellers meet at the hotel for the 8 a.m. breakfast. Frances Mayes (Swan) joins Daniel Ellsberg (Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers) and Jim Lehrer (No Certain Rest) on the dais. Refill your coffee mug and head off to the convention floor. Exhibits open, 10 a.m.—4 p.m. No educational programming scheduled. Autographing hours: 10 a.m.—4 p.m. More than 80 authors are on the roster for the weekend. Check the schedule and find time to meet your favorite author. In lieu of the standard refreshments and hors d'ouevre on Saturday night, there's a "moveable feast" planned. Dinner gets under way at 7 p.m.; a reception and book-signing follows. At the time of this writing, Dave Barry, Bruce Feiler, Joanne Harris, Aimee Liu, Sebastian Junger, Maxine Hong Kingston, Daniel Mason, Thomas Steinbeck, Scott Turow, and Wendelin Van Draanen are confirmed guests.

The Sunday 8 a.m. children's author breakfast features Judy Blume (Double Fudge), Mark Teague (Dear Mrs. LaRue) and Rosemary Wells (Ruby's Beauty Shop). Exhibit and autographing hours are the same as on Saturday. If the idea of a boxed lunch isn't appealing, then swing around to the "cookbook celebration." Everyone is invited to sample light fare prepared from recipes found in this fall's best of the bunch, including Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café and Fran Gage's A Sweet Quartet. Breakfast treats and Sunday sweets—a wonderful finale!

Contact:Hut Landon, The Presidio, 37 Graham St., Ste. 210, P.O. Box 29169, San Francisco, Calif. 94129; (415) 561-7686;;

Southern California Booksellers Association

Authors Feast and Fall Seminars scheduled for Sat., Oct. 26, at the Doubletree Hotel, Plaza las Fuentas, Pasadena, Calif.

Historic Pasadena once again hosts the annual Authors Feast, now in its tenth year. Activities are planned from dawn to dusk—and well into the night. Baker & Taylor is the premier sponsor this year, while Bookpeople, Ingram Book Co., Partners/West and Random House are giving their overwhelming support to social events and workshops. On Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., booksellers first gather at the children's author breakfast. Pam Muñoz Ryan (When Marian Sang), Philip Ardagh (A House Called Awful End) and Kathleen Duey (Esperanza: Spirit of the West) are honored guests. Educational programming takes place throughout the day (10 a.m.—4 p.m.). Booksellers can choose from an array of topics and formats from which to choose. Sessions cover managing co-op, book-buying on a budget and mixing new/ used/remainder titles, in addition to roundtable discussions on staff training, Web site development, children's events and inventory management. ABFEE's Chris Finan holds a morning discussion with other impassioned panelists and audience members about the impact of the Patriots Act on the publishing industry and bookselling community. Rally behind this issue and attend this important meeting. At midday hungry booksellers take a break and have lunch with T. Jefferson Parker (Black Water). Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones) may join the group at the main table. At 1 p.m., folks return to the order of the day. The afternoon lineup includes two ABA programs, one about succession planning and another on Book Sense and related issues. While waiting for dinner, booksellers have a chance to peruse the season's new offerings at a 6 p.m. reception at which publishers and distributors man exhibit tables. Baker & Taylor, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin, Ingram Book Co., Partners/West, Penguin Putnam, Ramer Associates and Scholastic plan to participate.

The guest list for the 7:30 p.m. dinner is mind-blowing: Philip Ardagh, Mawi Asgedom, Steve Atinsky, Rebecca Bloom, Janell Cannon, Christopher Darden, Paul Feig, Leland Fetzer, Chris Finan, Debra Ginsberg, Fiona Horne, Shirley Kerins, Ron Koertge, Rochelle Krich, Diane Lesley, Aimee Liu, Chuck Palahniuk, T. Jefferson Parker, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Jeffrey Schwartz, Carolyn See, Thomas Steinbeck, Ian Stewart, Ayelet Waldman and Joseph Wambaugh are among the invited authors.

The first Annual SCBA Book Awards will also be announced during the evening. This new program is open to authors and illustrators residing within the SCBA region whose works reflect the southern California experience or culture. Fiction, nonfiction and children's books will be recognized. Congratulations to the five finalists in each of these categories: for fiction, Noel Alumit (Letters to Montgomery Clift), T.C. Boyle (After the Plague—and Other Stories), Michael Connelly (City of Bones), Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones) and Susan Vreeland (The Passion of Artemisia); for nonfiction, Leland Fetzer (A Good Camp), Patt Morrison (Rio L.A.), Charles Phoenix (Southern California in the '50s), Deanne Stillman (Twentynine Palms) and Joseph Wambaugh (Fire Lover); for children's, Steve Atinsky (Tyler on Prime Time), Tony Johnston (Any Small Goodness), DeLoss McGraw (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Pam Muñoz Ryan (Mice and Beans) and David Shannon (Duck on a Bike). Dinner concludes with the last acceptance speech, but feelings of conviviality continue as diners rendezvous at a postfete networking party with music and a cash bar.

Contact:Jennifer Bigelow, 301 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste. 501, Pasadena, Calif. 91101; (626) 791-9455;

Changes on the Plains

Preweekend educational programs abound

Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Thurs., Sept 19.—Sun., Sept. 22, at the Marriott Denver Tech Center, Denver.

"Change is in the air" at this year's MPBA trade show. Registration opens on Wednesday afternoon (2—5 p.m.) and continues through Thursday, Friday and Saturday (7:30 a.m.—5 p.m.). Educational programming is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, earlier than in previous years. On Thursday morning, there's a two-hour session on customer service at 8:30 a.m., followed by a multipart seminar on inventory management, conducted by Nancy Colalillo, owner of Tome on the Range in Las Vegas. The second half of the program is booked at 2 p.m. Lunch with motivational speaker and author Rosamund Stone Zander is set for noon. In her specially designed seminar, "The Art of Possibility," Zander will offer insight into the ways professional booksellers can realize their stores' full potential. At 3:15 p.m., Nancy Colalillo is back. She shares center stage with Heather Duncan of Tattered Cover to present a program on store promotion.

On Friday, exhibitors can set up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Educational programming continues to be the focus. Classroom doors open at 8 a.m. First up are the ABA folks with news about Book Sense. Get a sneak preview of exciting new Book Sense marketing ideas and learn about the extended free trial for Booksellers who know about Book Sense can spend their time at a presentation about magazine selling instead. Paula Steige of MacDonald Bookshop and Mary Ann Duffy of Magwest will share tips on how to successfully integrate magazines into the bookstore mix. Grab a cup of coffee at the 9:30 a.m. break before the main event of the morning. Booksellers are encouraged to "say yes to change" at an inspiring two-hour workshop conducted by George and Sedena Cappannelli.

Lunchtime features roundtable discussions at which bookstore owners, managers and employees can compare notes on various issues. A brown bag lunch is available. Ready for the afternoon program? At 2 p.m., Marilyn Ross leads her program on "shameless marketing." In a concurrent session, ABA representatives return—this time with advice on succession planning. Meanwhile novice show goers are briefly shown a few tricks on how to cover maximum ground during the next two days of exhibits. The MPBA general meeting takes place at 4 p.m. in the Aspen Theater, followed by a welcome cocktail party at 5 p.m.

Saturday morning's Author Breakfast for Literacy, slated for 7:30 a.m., is new this year. It replaces Saturday night's traditional banquet. John Hickenlooper is the master of ceremonies. Russell Martin (Picasso's War ), Christina Schwarz (All Is Vanity) and Sandra Dallas (The Chili Queen) are featured speakers. This event is definitely worth the cost of admission, with proceeds going to MPBA's literacy programs. Then— show time! Exhibit halls open at 9:30 a.m., with staggered closings for lunch: Columbine Center Exhibit Hall (noon—1 p.m.), Evergreen Ballroom Exhibit Hall (1—2 p.m.). Hour-long autographing sessions are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.; check announcements for designated rooms. At noon, hurry over to the Atrium and grab some quick takeout (cash only). MPBA's winter catalogue is hot off the press, and lunchtime is the right time to get a peek and to hear reps' picks of the lot in 15-minute skits. The afternoon showcases more of the same—books! books! books! Doors close at 5 p.m. Join the fete at the Regional Book Awards Reception, where you can congratulate the winner of the adult nonfiction award, Donald Worster (A River Running West), and the recipient of the children's chapter book award, Michael Spooner (Daniel's Walk), before the evening's end at 7 p.m. Presentation of the Gordon Saull Award is also on the bill of fare. Thanks to Baker & Taylor and Kent News for supporting this affair.

There's a lot more on Sunday! Caldecott Medal—winning author and illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky (Knick-Knack Paddywhack!) joins Pulitzer Prize—winning author and illustrator Jules Feiffer (The House Across the Street) at the Children's Author and Illustrator Breakfast for Literacy. As in previous years, this event is open to the public. And, as with Saturday's breakfast, MPBA's literacy programs benefit from ticket sales. Exhibit halls open at 9 a.m. Hour-long autographing sessions are scheduled at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. The show closes at 1 p.m.—a great four days comes to an end.

Contact:Lisa D. Knudsen, 19 Old TownSquare, Ste. 238, Ft. Collins, Colo. 80524; (800) 752-0249 or (970) 484-5856;;

Rhode Trip

NEBA moves to R.I. and adds a moveable feast to its schedule

New England Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Fri., Sept. 27—Sun., Sept. 29, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, R.I.

After a two-year hiatus, NEBA returns to the Ocean State and the revitalized port city of Providence. Show goers meet downtown at the new convention center for day activities and evening socials unless otherwise noted. On Friday, a full day of educational programming is scheduled. Expert of the moment Jeffrey Stamp, known as Chief Trained Brain at the corporate innovation and research facility Eureka! Ranch, presents the daylong workshop based on Jump Start Your Business Brain by Doug Hall and Tom Peters. Random House is the sponsor. Keynote speaker at the midday Industry Luncheon is Knopf senior editor Gary Fisketjon. NEBA president Linda Ramsdell of Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., presents the Gilman Award for outstanding service as a New England sales representative to indie Nanci McCrackin. After lunch, it's back to brainstorming with Stamp. That evening, Judy Blume (Double Fudge), Jack Gantos (What Would Joey Do?) and David Wiesner (The Three Pigs) are guests at the children's books author/illustrator dinner sponsored by Bookazine Kids. Everyone is welcome at a complimentary cocktail party slated for 5:45 p.m. in the Rotunda Room; dinner for invitees follows at 6:30 p.m. in the Ballroom. This is a delightful way to ease into the weekend's schedule.

On Saturday morning, Derrick Bell (Ethical Ambition) and Donna Tartt (The Little Friend) join a roomful of booksellers for an 8:30 a.m. breakfast. Exhibit hours are 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.; autographing sessions run 10 a.m.—4 p.m. Panels and workshops are planned throughout the weekend. Midmorning, ABFEE president Chris Finan steers a panel discussion between Judy Blume, Wendy Kaminer (Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today) and others on the civil rights implications of the Patriots Act and the events of last September. Midafternoon, members of the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council give a presentation on sex, drugs and children's books. Later, ABA representatives hold a workshop on the new electronic book buyer's handbook, followed by NEBA's annual meeting at 4:45 p.m. This hour-long gathering closes the day.

There's a new twist to Saturday night's program. Gone is the traditional party—in its place is an author dinner in the form of a moveable feast. This popular format gives authors and booksellers a chance to chat one-on-one while moving from chair-to-chair between courses. Mark Dunn (Ella Minnow Pea), Kathryn Davis (Versailles), Rosemary Mahoney (The Singular Pilgrim) and Samrat Upadhyay (The Guru of Love) are among those who have accepted invitations. Thanks goes to dinner sponsors Houghton Mifflin, Ingram Book Co., Koen Book Distributors and Time Warner Trade Publishing for their generous support during lean times.

At Sunday's 8:30 a.m. breakfast, the New England Book Awards presentation takes center stage. Established in 1990, these awards are given annually to an author and a publisher who have produced a body of work that stands as a significant contribution to the region's culture. Over the decade, the author category has been expanded to include fiction, nonfiction and children's books. Congratulations to this year's winners—for fiction, Chris Bohjalian (The Buffalo Soldier; Midwives; Trans-Sister Radio); for nonfiction, Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train; Three Strikes; A People's History of the United States); for children's books, Leonard Everett Fisher (Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt; Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya; Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse); for publishing, the University Press of New England. A round of applause is well deserved. Exhibit hours: 10 a.m.—3 p.m.; autographing sessions: 10 a.m.—2 p.m. During the morning hours, circulating ABA staffers talk about succession planning with interested bookstore owners. A repeat session on the ABA's electronic book buyer's handbook is on the agenda too. That's the extent of the day's programs. What you do with the time remaining is up to you. Doors close at 3 p.m.

Contact:Rusty Drugan, 1770 Massachusetts Ave., #332, Cambridge, Mass. 02140; (800) 466-8711 (general inquiries) or (617)576-3070 (exhibitor inquiries); ;

Midwest Bookends

GLBA offers a sprawling show while UMBA streamlines

Great Lakes Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Fri., Sept. 27—Sun., Sept. 29, at the Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, Mich.

This year booksellers of the Great Lakes region gather in "Ford country" for their 13th annual trade show. Just steps away from historic Greenfield Village, the Hyatt Regency provides attendee accommodations and show exhibit space. On Thursday afternoon, HPI shareholders conduct their annual meeting. Afterwards GLBA board members have their own meeting and dinner. Show volunteers meet at 8 a.m. Friday morning to get their weekend assignments and pick up their gifts while expectant show greenhorns chat with GBLA staff members at an 8:30 a.m. breakfast. Educational programming starts at 9:30 a.m. and continues throughout the day. The focus is building skills in customer service and store operations. GBLA's Polly Verbanic and Suzanne DeGaetano of Mac's Backs Paperbacks, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, are in charge of an eight-hour training program for frontline booksellers.

For those interested in shorter learning sessions, several panels and workshops are listed on the board for various time slots (9:30 and 10:45 a.m.). Seasoned facilitator Terry Whittaker of Viewpoint Books, Columbus, Ind., gives booksellers a chance to brag about ideas that really work in a discussion slated for 9:30 a.m., while Shirley and Rebecca Mullin from Kids Ink, Indianapolis, Ind., offer a "kids picks" of the fall list. Attendees get "plugged in" at a 10:45 panel about online technology—and receive GLBA's new "connectivity package" to boot. At another midmorning program, African-American novelists Jewell Parker Rhodes (Douglass' Women) and Hilda Gurley-Highgate (Sapphire's Grave) confront the issue of limited distribution channels. A representative from the Great Books Foundation is on hand to tell interested booksellers about its ongoing collaboration with Penguin Books and its book group support program. At noon, the Great Lakes Book Awards Presentation takes center stage. The proceedings start at 11:45 a.m. in the Marquis Ballroom and end at 1:30 p.m., when award recipients proudly sign their books. Panels and workshops resume at 2 p.m., with further sessions at 3:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. A half-hour autographing session is wedged in between. During the first round, Jerry Dennis (The Living Great Lakes) and Mark Winegardner (That's True of Everybody) join a panel of other well-known regional writers to examine what it means to write with a Midwestern "voice" while Jill Miner of Saturn Booksellers takes workshop participants through the basics of creating store promotional packets. In another session, ABA's Jill Perlstein, Bill Cunningham and Rosemary Hawkins update booksellers on the latest developments at Book Sense; they return later to go over the nuances of the new electronic book buyer's handbook. For the second round, prize-winning young-reader authors Laurie Halse Anderson (Thank You, Sarah) and Gloria Whelan (Fruitlands) talk about the current "golden age," while Chicago Merchandise Mart's Megy Karytes shares the ins-and-outs of buying sidelines at area gift shows. Third round, a newsletter guru provides useful tips on newsletter production while CIROBE's Brad Jonas heads a discussion on inventory enhancement with remainders. Perhaps saving the best for last, motivational speakers George and Sedena Capannelli (Say Yes to Change) guide workshop participants through the issues most affecting their business, while providing audience members essential mental tools for dealing with change, challenge and transition.

Next up—Biblio-imbibers!, a goofy name show organizers have given the cash-bar gathering between the workshops and the authors feast. Fun, laughter and good gossip encouraged. Cheerfulness sets the tone for the rest of the evening as diners stroll to the Hubbard Ballroom for the 7 p.m. authors feast. Guess who's coming to dinner: Kevin Baker, Darryl Brock, Jeffrey Denman, Jerry Dennis, Denise Fleming, Patricia Henley, Laura Kasischke, Doug Marlette, Mary Pope Osborne, Devin Scillian and John Smolens are among the twenty or so participating authors. Thomas Lynch has been invited to give the keynote address. For party animals, Broadway Books, publisher of Michael Rosen's Midnight Snacks, provides unusual tidbits at a late-night mixer.

Saturday is the only day for exhibits; hours are 9:30 a.m.—5 p.m.; no educational programming or autographing sessions are planned. At 8 a.m., a complimentary continental breakfast sponsored by Baker & Taylor is offered at GLBA's annual meeting. Come meet new board members and listen to officers review year-end reports and introduce initiatives such as Advance Access. Back talk encouraged! The only break from a full day on the exhibit floor is a "get-it-while-you-can" lunch. By 5 p.m., floor activity tapers off. Exhibitors pack up and join booksellers at an informal "cookbook sampler" reception paying respects to reps and authors. Amble over to the reading room and give an ear to new voices Michael Perry (Population: 485), Bonnie Jo Campbell (Q Road) and Nancy Zafris (The Metal Shredders) as they read. Carol Rueger of Wooster Book Co. is salon emcee. The Marquis Ballroom is the setting for the 7:30 p.m. banquet sponsored by Ingram Book Co. Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex), Erik Larson (Devil in the White City ) and Jennifer Crusie (Faking It) are featured speakers.

At Sunday's 7:45 a.m. children's book and author breakfast, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Jerry Pinkney (Albidaro and the Mischievous Dream) and Lois Lowry (Gooney Bird Greene) regale audience members with stories. More workshops follow, including a 9:45 a.m. session on co-op management conducted by Dave Kaverman from Million Story Book Co., Fort Wayne, Ind., and another on the rep-bookseller relationships. Willetta Heising, author of Willetta's Guide to Police Detective Series, moderates the popular mystery-author panel at which rising stars Ace Atkins (Dark End of the Street) and Joseph Heywood (Blue Wolf in Green Fire) talk about the genre. In a plenary session at 11 a.m., David Schwartz leads a candid discussion on the independent's role in bringing "the new, the radical and the unconventional" to public attention. Nikki Giovanni and other outspoken writers will join the conversation. Before heading home, show goers are tempted (again!) to sample some of the culinary concoctions prepared from this fall's trendsetting cookbooks. No leftovers please! Autographing hours are 12:45—2 p.m.; the trade show and convention close at 2 p.m.

Contact:Jim Dana, 208 Franklin St., P.O. Box 901, Grand Haven, Mich. 49417; (800) 745-2460 or (616) 847-2460;;

Upper Midwest Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Fri., Sept. 27—Sun., Sept. 29, at the RiverCentre, St. Paul, Minn. "Out with the old, in with the new," is the unofficial slogan for this year's trade show. Although the convention center is familiar, organizers have streamlined the weekend's schedule while offering the best in educational programming, on-site activities and after-hours socials. At the top, there's a noticeable change to Friday's schedule. Gone are the morning sessions. Instead, the day's business starts at noon with an orientation program designed for first-time show goers. Educational programming starts at 1 p.m., with various seminars and panels by field experts and industry colleagues, sponsored by Random House. Topics include effective visual merchandising, synchronized team management, enhanced co-op advertising, pragmatic bookseller-rep relationships, competitive book-fair strategies, creative book-club ideas and successful author events. Sessions end at 5 p.m. The opening night reception starts at 5:30 p.m. Hosted by Ingram Book Co. and Minnesota Humanities Commission/Minnesota Center for the Book, this affair will be held lakeside at the beautifully restored Humanities Education Center. Formerly known as Dowling Hall, this architectural landmark is just five minutes from downtown St. Paul. Bus transportation is provided. Call it an early night—the soiree ends at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday morning, the tried-and-true UMBA Book and Author Breakfast features regional writers Jerry Apps (Stormy), Larry Millett (The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes), Michael Perry (Population: 485) and Susan Power (Roofwalker). A brief general membership meeting is slated for 9:15 a.m. Vendors and booksellers take note—the standing order for the day is "focus on the books." With this adage in mind another change is in store—Saturday is the only day for exhibits; hours are 10 a.m.—6 p.m.; no educational programming or formal autographing sessions are planned. Publishers who wish to have authors at their tables or booths during the day are welcome to do so. A schedule of informal signings is available. After a weary day on the show floor, everyone is invited to a cocktail reception sponsored by Partners Book Distributing from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at RiverCentre. Afterward, step around to the Radisson Riverfront Hotel, the setting for Saturday night's Book and Author Dinner. "The vitality of thought is in adventure," is the theme that guest speakers—Terry Brooks (The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Morgawr), Bruce Feiler (Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths ), Von Hardesty (Lindbergh: Flight's Enigmatic Hero), Christina Schwarz (All Is Vanity) and John Taliaferro (Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore)—will elaborate on as they take their turn at the podium.

At Sunday morning's Annual Children's Book and Author Breakfast, Hilary Knight (Eloise Takes a Bath) joins Reeve Lindbergh (On Morning Wings), Linda Sue Park (A Single Shard), David Shannon (David Gets in Trouble) and Paul O. Zelinsky (Knick-Knack Paddywack) at the dais. Remember—there are no exhibits today. Formal autographing sessions start at 10 a.m., end at 2 p.m. At the same time, educational programming also resumes with a full lineup, including a four-hour seminar on the elements of a great bookstore and shorter ABA presentations on management succession planning and the Book Sense marketing initiative. A panel on selling sidelines wraps up this segment. Sandwiched in between is lunch—a moveable feast, with more than 20 guest authors joining booksellers for light conversation. Now there's a novel approach! Doors open at 11:45 p.m.; lunch is promptly served at 12 noon. As designated keynote speaker, regional favorite Leif Enger (Peace Like a River) puts the final touches on a congenial gathering.

Contact:Susan Walker, 3407 W. 44th St., Minneapolis, Minn. 55410; (612) 926-5868 or (612) 920-3698 or (800) 784-7522;;


NAIBA's show runs Sunday and Monday

New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association

Trade show meets Sun., Oct. 13, and Mon., Oct. 14, at the Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia.

"Philadelphia freedom" rings loud and clear for booksellers attending this year's NAIBA trade show. It's a totally different venue, with a new host city and block of days. Sunday is dedicated to educational programming, with a total of nine workshops planned. The theme is "build a better bookstore." Hour-long sessions are offered at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Topics include organizing book groups, managing co-op, building a great children's section and better buying practices. Wedged in between is the ABA's program on succession planning. Also on tap—reps' picks of the lists and a sidelines show-and-tell. The final session of the afternoon is designed to knock your socks off! George and Sedena Cappannelli present their exhilarating yet practical 25-step program on change.

Sunday's lunch starts at noon and features crowd-pleasing author celebs. From the wonderful world of kids' books, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Brian Selznick (When Marian Sang) and David Wiesner (The Three Pigs); from the realm of adult trade publishing, Brian Haig (The Kingmaker). The NAIBA Book Awards will also be presented. There's a another treat in store—lunch attendees will receive a tote bag stuffed with books. The workshops begin at 2:30 and end at 5 p.m. The opening reception doubles as a sneak preview of the trade show setup. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. folks get a chance to socialize while perusing the season's hot titles and product offerings. NAIBA continues the popular four-course moveable feast on Sunday night. More than 20 authors will do the "rotating table" act with microphone in hand. Here are just a few of the names: Mark Bowden, Connie Briscoe, Diane Duane, Patricia Gaffney, Bob Graham, James Howe, Marni Muller, Howard Norman, Sister Diana Ortiz, Jerry Pinkney, Ann Rophie, Robert Sabuda, Peter Sïs, Jennifer Weiner and Thomas Yezerski.

The trade show officially opens on Monday at 9 a.m., with exhibit hours running until 5 p.m. Ready! Set! Go! More than 500 publishers and allied vendors are represented this year, with more than 100 authors signing their books in the autographing area from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There's so much to cover—remember to take a lunch break at 12 p.m. Noonday activities include the annual NAIBA meeting at which new officers and board members are introduced. Representatives from the ABA and ABFEE also give their program updates. Afterward booksellers may choose to return to the show floor or linger with colleagues over a last bite of pie and swallow of cold coffee. At the end of the two-day affair, one can anticipate many show goers saying, "I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

Contact:Eileen Dengler, 2667 Hyacinth St., Westbury, N.Y. 11590; (516) 333-0681;;