Although publishers' and booksellers' budgets may be shrinking, industry organizations that offer educational programs are still hoping their members find the events necessary. Many of the existing educational programs are targeted toward independents, and beginning with the upcoming BookExpo America and running through the fall, there are an array of choices for industry members to stay current on new developments.
On May 28, the day before the BEA exhibits opens, the American Booksellers Association's seventh annual Day of Education will take place, and the panels will build on the educational program begun at the Winter Institute held in January in Salt Lake City. The event is free for ABA bookstore and provisional members, and is sponsored by Ingram Book Group/Ingram Publisher Services. Seminars will address marketing bookstores through multimedia, making a store a community center via innovative events and creating communitywide “Local First” celebrations. Other sessions and panels will cover monitoring sales and expenses, best practices for hand-selling, and children's bookselling. Speakers include authors Sherman Alexie, James Patterson and Lisa Scottoline, as well as booksellers Cathy Langer of Tattered Cover in Denver; Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshops in Naperville, Ill.; and Karen Corvello of R.J. Julia Booksellers, in Madison, Conn.
Also leading up to BEA is Publishing University, a three-day event for publishers hosted by the Independent Book Publishers' Association (IBPA). Celebrating its 25th year, Pub U will take place from May 26 through May 28 at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan. Pub U is IBPA's cornerstone and features exhibits and sessions on publicity, marketing, legal issues, POD, budgeting, working with online retailers and other aspects of the business of publishing. There will be a presentation on Google Book Search this year, too. Speakers include Mark Suchomel, president of Independent Publishers Group; Eric Kampmann, president of Midpoint; Rudy Shur, publisher of Square One Publishers; Jacqueline Deval, v-p and publisher of Hearst Books; Chase Bodine of the CBS Early Show; and many others. IBPA offers one scholarship to Pub U for each of its affiliate publishing organizations (up to 25 per year). The organization also hosts monthly webinars for publishers with industry professionals. Recent online sessions have covered tips for getting book exposure on TV, picking the right books to publish and maximizing revenue channels. The next IBPA webinar will be “Building a Strong and Integrated Social Web Presence,” with Deltina Hay, publisher of Dalton Publishing, on June 24. IBPA's affiliate organizations also offer additional educational programming. Check its Web site, pma-online.org, for details.
More than 60 independent publishers attended the Association of American Publishers' first digital marketing session—“Bright Independent Lights, Big Independent Ideas”—in February, and AAP hosted a similar session for library marketing last week. The next programs will be in early September and in November. Dates and topics have not yet been determined, and AAP v-p Tina Jordan is asking independent presses to let her know what types of topics they would like to see by contacting her at email@example.com. AAP will host its Smaller and Independent Publishers' annual meeting October 9 at Hotel 480 in San Francisco, ending a three-year hiatus since AAP's last West Coast program. Details have not yet been announced.
The West Coast is also home to Stanford University, which may be best known for its weeklong Professional Publishing Course (this year July 11—17). But it also offers a pre-course for internationals who will be attending the full course, consisting of a series of classes and field trips providing foreigners with information about the U.S. publishing industry. This year, Stanford is also offering what it calls an Executive Refresher Course, “given the current downturn in the economy and the digital transformation of the business,” according to program materials. This year's course will offer new sessions on digital publishing, Web marketing, new media tools and “change management.” Course organizers are offering alumni/ae a 50% break on tuition for this year's course if they bring a colleague. And for the first time, IBPA will offer a full scholarship to one of its members for this summer's course.