New England Booksellers Association
Annual meeting and trade show meets Fri., Oct. 24—Sun., Oct. 26, at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, R.I.
America's Renaissance City is host to the 30th annual NEBA meeting and trade show. Show goers meet downtown at the convention center for day activities and evening socials unless otherwise noted. On Friday, a full day of educational programming is scheduled, sponsored by Random House Inc. Marketing guru Doug Hall presents a day-long workshop based on his book Meaningful Marketing (co-written with Jeffrey Stamp). Their unique understanding of the marketplace and distinctive approach to sales has captured the attention of booksellers across the country as one of the two co-authors goes from region to region. Robert D. Putnam and Lewis M. Feldstein, authors of Better Together: Restoring the American Community, are keynote speakers at the midday Industry Luncheon. "Revitalize" is the gist of their speech. NEBA president Linda Ramsdell presents the Gilman Award for outstanding service as a New England sales representative to the entire Random House New England sales force, including telemarketing reps. This group recognition is unprecedented in the history of the award. Bravo! Last but not least, Doris Kearns Goodwin accepts the New England Booksellers Association Presidential Award for lifetime contribution to the arts and letters. Her new book, tentatively titled Abraham Lincoln's White House, is due this fall—another landmark work. After lunch, more heady stuff from Doug Hall. That evening, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 3: Lucinda's Secret), Jim LaMarche (The Elves and the Shoemaker) and Walter Dean Myers (The Beast) are guests at the children's books author/illustrator dinner sponsored by Bookazine Kids. Dinner is slated for 6 p.m. in the Narragansett Ballroom at the convenient Westin Providence.
On Saturday morning, Caroline Alexander (The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty), Tracy Kidder (Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World) and Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude) share the dais at an 8:30 a.m. breakfast. Exhibit hours are 9:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.; autographing sessions, 10 a.m.—4 p.m. Panels and workshops are planned throughout the weekend. During the morning hours, ABA staffers and NEBA board members again conduct the popular BEA session on succession planning. Later in the day, the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council (NECBA) presents a workshop on marketing to schools and libraries. NEBA's annual meeting is slotted at 4:45 p.m. At this weighty meeting, the main order of business is the installation of new officers—as president, Eric Wilska of Bookloft; as vice president, Dale Szczeblowski of Concord Bookshop; as treasurer, Allan Schmid of Books Etc.; as clerk, independent sales rep Debra Woodward. The day's business ends on an auspicious note. Everyone is welcome to a cocktail party in the Rotunda Room at the convention center; dinner for invitees follows in the Ballroom. More than 150 booksellers plan to attend this much-anticipated dinner with authors, aka the "moveable feast." Places are set for Khassan Baiev (Oath), Eleanor Clift (Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment), Jake Halpern (Braving Home), Margo Howard (A Life in Letters: Ann Landers' Letters to Her Only Child), Edward P. Jones (The Known World), Robert K. Massie (Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea), Christopher Moore (Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings), Dale Peck (What We Lost), Nathaniel Philbrick (Sea of Glory), Cathleen Schine (She Is Me), R.A. Scotti (Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938), and Alec Wilkinson (Mr. Apology). Thanks goes to dinner sponsors Houghton Mifflin Co., Ingram Book Co., Koen Book Distributors and AOL Time Warner Book Group for their support for a rollicking time!
The highlight of Sunday's 8:30 a.m. breakfast is the New England Book Awards presentation. 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. The author category includes fiction, nonfiction and children's books. Congratulations to this year's winners—for fiction, Jodi Picoult; nonfiction, Simon Winchester; children's, Lois Lowry; publishing, Candlewick Press. Exhibit hours: 10 a.m.—3 p.m.; autographing sessions: 10 a.m.—2 p.m. Mid-morning, Avin Domnitz presents the results of the ABACUS Survey on bookstore finances. Take a break from floor action and drop in.