There is a lot going on at this year's regional trade shows—amid the planning and between the lines there is a real sense of relevance, balance, and excitement that has been conspicuously absent from recent gatherings. Sure, there are jitters about the economy and market share, about e-books and social media, but overall the mood is confident, even expectant, true to the resilient character of the independent bookseller.
What follows is a sampling of all that is going on at this year's regional trade shows. Be sure to check the individual association Web sites for show updates throughout the weeks to come. Also of note this year, Above the Treeline (www.abovethetreeline.com) is hosting dedicated digital catalogues in support of the regionals.
New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association
Tues., Sept. 21–Wed., Sept. 22, at Trump Marina, Atlantic City, N.J.
Director's Perspective: "We're committed to frontline booksellers," says Eileen Dengler. "For many, the annual trade show provides a lightbulb moment, when they see bookselling as a profession as well as a passion. We're here with hundreds of colleagues to encourage and enable booksellers to master their trade. Our conference programming is the means to that goal."
Education Highlights: Tuesday starts with the morning show (9:45 a.m.). This year's emphasis is social entrepreneurship. The remainder of the day is divided into three parts (nine one-hour workshops): 10:45–11:45 a.m.; 3:30–4:30 p.m.; 4:45-5:45 p.m. Individual workshop topics cover one of three categories: community, marketing, and finance. Watch for "Radical Bookselling," "Create Displays That Work," "Games for Fun & Profit," "Claim Your Co-op Dollars," "Bloggers on Your Sales Team," "Writing Book Reviews," and "Partnering with Schools." ABA presents two programs, "Buying and Spending Your Way to Success" at 10:45 a.m. and "Practical Ways to Use IndieCommerce" at 4:45 p.m.
Authors: Tuesday's children's breakfast (8–9:30 a.m.) features Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray), James Howe (Brontorina), and Sharon Robinson (Jackie's Gift). Confirmed authors for the Moveable Feast (noon–1:45 p.m.) include Joyce Hinnefeld (Stranger Here Below), Darin Strauss (Half a Life), Tea Obreht (The Tiger's Wife), Jay Varner (Nothing Left to Burn), M.T. Anderson (The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen), Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate Strikes Again), and Lauren Oliver (Delirium). After the opening reception (6–7:30 p.m.) and awards dinner (7:30–9 p.m.), many well-known mystery/thriller authors will hit the "noir bar." On Wednesday, stick around for the "Last Word" author interview (2–3 p.m.).
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on Wednesday. Autographing sessions are held during exhibit hours. Show closes Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Contact: Eileen Dengler (info@naiba
.com); (516) 333-0681; www.newatlanticbooks.com.
Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association
Thurs., Sept. 23–Sat., Sept. 25, at Denver Marriott Tech Center, Denver.
Director's Perspective:"Trade shows must evolve to stay relevant," says Lisa Knudsen. "It's a challenge to create an event that satisfies everyone. Hopefully, we've managed to do that through our programming—one day devoted to education (Thursday), one to publisher-bookseller face time (Friday), and another to exhibits and author events (Saturday). And new, a concurrent one-day conference called ‘Writers & the Independent Marketplace' on Saturday."
Education Highlights: Thursday's sessions include: "Pictures and Wrds, Words and Pictures—Two Children's Authors & Their Editor" at 9:30 a.m., "Independent Publishers & Independent Booksellers—Can We Talk?" at 1:45 p.m., and "Beyond a Love of Books—How to Transform Booksellers into Industry Advocates" at 4:15 p.m.
Authors: Thursday's "Reading the West" author breakfast (8–9:15 a.m.) features Craig Childs (Finders Keepers) and Bruce Machart (The Wake of Forgiveness). At the Children's Author and Illustrator Luncheon (noon–1:30 p.m.), Laurie Halse Anderson (Forge) joins David Wiesner (Art & Max). More than 30 authors will sign books at the 5:30 p.m. reception. Friday's breakfast (8–9:30 a.m.) sets the stage for the regional book awards presentation. Award recipients are Anne Hillerman (Tony Hillerman's Landscape), Karla Oceanak and Kendra Spanjer (Artsy-Fartsy), and C.J. Box (Below Zero). Though autumn in the Rockies, it's springtime at Saturday's author breakfast (8–9:15 a.m.) when Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), Philip Connors (Fire Season), and Jonathan Evison (West of Here) talk about their forthcoming books. The author luncheon at noon features Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn) and John Shors (The Wishing Trees). The emcee is local radio personality Dom Testa (The Cassini Code). The show's grand finale is the Author Banquet for Literacy at 7 p.m., open to attendees and the public. Ian Frazier, Nevada Barr, and Holly Arnold Kinney are already booked for the event.
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 5–7 p.m. on Friday; 9:30 a.m.–noon and 1:30–5 p.m. on Saturday. Autographing sessions are held on Thursday (author reception: 5:30–7:30 p.m.). Show closes Saturday at 5 p.m.
Contact: Lisa D. Knudsen (firstname.lastname@example.org); (800) 752-0249; www
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
Fri., Sept. 24–Sun., Sept. 26, at the Plaza Resort & Spa, Daytona, Fla.
Director's Perspective: "Most SIBA booksellers are excited about the potential of the Web and social media," says Wanda Jewell. "We're trying new things to make our organization relevant and the show engaging—introducing innovative programming like Sunday's Steal This Idea Breakfast, while keeping bookseller favorites like the Moveable Feast."
Education Highlights: Sessions are planned on Thursday (9 a.m.–4 p.m.) and Friday (9:45–10:45 a.m., 3–4 p.m.). Thursday's bookseller school is dedicated to social networking. Organizers claim to "build relationships that last with a small learning curve" and "maximize online presence with some tips 'n' tricks." At 7 p.m., booksellers and reps test their newly learned skills at "Tweet Up a Rep Pick!" Friday morning schedule: "Get in Bed with a Book Blogger" and "Social Networking Success Stories." Afternoon schedule: "Monetize More Than Books" and "Produce the Goods, Produce the Event." There's a promising workshop called "Coulda' Woulda' Shoulda' or What Two Writers Learned on a Wing and a Prayer Tour."
Authors: Friday's Kick-Off Kids Lunch (noon–1:30 p.m.) features Jerry Pinkney (Three Little Kittens), Jennifer Holm (Turtle in Paradise), and Debra Frasier (A Fabulous Fair Alphabet). Fannie Flagg (I Still Dream About You, Honey) headlines the annual SIBA supper (7–9 p.m.). Late-night "new book" author readings (9:30–10:30 p.m.) cap the evening. At Saturday's "Here's to Morrow" Breakfast (7:30–9 a.m.), Robert Barclay (If Wishes Were Horses) and Christy Jordan (Southern Plate) share the stage, while Patti Callahan Henry (The Perfect Love Song) is confirmed for the Southern Writer's Lunch (1–2 p.m.). For a second year, SIBA hosts the Writers' Block—Feed-an-Author Silent Auction (5:30–7 p.m.) at three local restaurants. Winners claim dinner with a favorite author. On Sunday, the show ends with the annual Moveable Feast of Authors (noon–2 p.m.), spotlighting 20 authors at 20 tables. Confirmed authors include Lisa Black, Jasmin Darnik, Lou Dischler, Kim Edwards, Michael Knight, Michael Koryta, Mark Mustian, and James O'Neal.
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on Saturday (closed 1–2:30 p.m.); 9 a.m.–noon on Sunday. Autographing sessions are held on Friday (1:45–2:45 p.m., 5:30–6:30 p.m.) and Sunday (2–3 p.m.). Show closes Sunday at 3 p.m.
Contact: Wanda Jewell (info@sibaweb
.com); (803) 994-9530; www.sibaweb
New England Independent Booksellers Association
Thurs., Sept. 30–Sat., Oct. 2, at Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, R.I.
Director's Perspective: According to Steve Fischer, "We will continue to make better the parts of the show that really work for our booksellers, authors, and publishers. We absolutely want to ensure that our trade show connects all the right people."
Education Highlights: Sessions take place on Thursday (1:45–5:30 p.m.) and Friday (10:15 a.m.–noon, 2:15–3:15 p.m.). Programming includes a panel discussing "Large-scale Author Events" at 1:45 p.m. Meanwhile, Jack McKeown (Verso Digital) repeats his BEA presentation "Mind Share, Market Share." ABA representatives report on "Tax Equality State by State" at 4:30 p.m. Friday's agenda includes a bookseller-author workshop on "Multicultural Kids Books" at 10:15 a.m. At 2:15 p.m., the ABA makes its pitch for Google Editions, its proposed source of e-books for member bookstores.
Authors: The NEIBA President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and Letters will be presented to children's book illustrator Dahlov Ipcar at Thursday's award luncheon (noon–1:30 p.m.). The New England Book Award winners are Lily King (Father of the Rain) for fiction; Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home) for nonfiction; Mo Willems (City Dog, Country Frog) for children's. And Ellen Pyle of Macmillan is the recipient of the Gilman Award. Featured speakers at Thursday's NECBA Children's Author and Illustrator Reception and Dinner (6–10 p.m.): Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution), Jon Muth (Zen Ghosts), and Jerry Pinkney (Three Little Kittens). At Friday's breakfast (8:30–10 a.m.): Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall), Liz Murray (Breaking Night), Richard Peck (Three Quarters Dead), and Simon Winchester (Atlantic). This year's Author Cocktail Reception (5:30–7:30 p.m.) provides a "first look at the show," where booksellers, publishers, and authors can mingle on the exhibit floor. Invited authors: Susan Cheever, Carolyn Coman and Rob Shepperson, Carol Newman Cronin, Jud Hale, Rowan Jacobsen, Daphne Kalotay, Katrina Kenison, Kathleen Kent, Scott Magoon, Neil Miller, Louise Penny, and Meg Wolitzer.
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday. Autographing sessions on Saturday (10 a.m.–2 p.m.). Show closes Saturday at 3 p.m.
Contact: Steve Fischer (email@example.com) or Nan Sorensen (firstname.lastname@example.org); (781) 316-8894; www.newenglandbooks.org.
Midwest Booksellers Association
Fri., Oct. 1–Sat., Oct. 2, at RiverCentre, St. Paul, Minn.
Director's Perspective: "Now in its 30th year, our show enables booksellers and exhibitors to network and do business together," says Susan Walker. "The concentrated two-day schedule, with Friday devoted to education and author events and Saturday focused on the exhibits offers the best value for our dollars."
Education Highlights: Programming (Friday, 9:30–10:30 a.m., 3:15–5:15 p.m.) is provided jointly by MBA and ABA, with additional support from Above the Treeline and others. Topics range from local-first initiatives, indie commerce, and digital content sales to e-marketing, Edelweiss, and creating buzz and community. Two sessions are devoted to children's books.
Authors: At Friday's book and author breakfast (8–9:30 a.m.), Walter Mondale (The Good Fight) joins Jonathan Evison (West of Here) and Antonya Nelson (Bound). Next up is the Authors Lunch—A Moveable Feast (noon–1:45 p.m.). Joan Steffend (...and She Sparkled) gives the keynote address. More than 30 authors will attend. A partial list includes adult book authors Lori Armstrong, Alex Cohen, Carl Elliott, Peter Geye, Robert Hellenga, J. Harley McIlrath, John Reimringer, and Stanley Gordon West, as well as children's book/young adult authors Andrea Cremer, Kat Falls, Michael Hall, Margi Preus, Dr. Cuthbert Soup, and Clare Vanderpool. The Sixth Annual Midwest Booksellers' Choice Awards Reception (5:30–7 p.m.) crowns the day's events. Guest speakers: Jeffrey Zaslow, Loren Long, Maggie Stiefvater, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, Jim Perlman, Deborah Cooper (and/or Mara Hart), and Kathy-jo Wargin. 2010 Award recipients and books: Lorrie Moore (A Gate at the Stairs), Fiction; Jeffrey Zaslow (The Girls from Ames), Nonfiction; Bill Holm (The Chain Letter of the Soul), Poetry; and Loren Long (Otis), Children's Picture Books. On Saturday, the Children's Book Author Breakfast (7:30–9 a.m.) features Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay), Anna Dewdney (Llama, Llama, Holiday Drama), Tony DiTerlizzi (The Search for WondLa), and Joyce Sidman (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night).
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 9:15 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Autographing sessions are held on Saturday (exhibit floor: 9:15 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; cocktail reception: 4:30–6 p.m.). Show closes Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Contact: Susan Walker (email@example.com) or Kati Gallagher (firstname.lastname@example.org); (763) 544-2993; www.midwestbooksellers
Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association
Thurs., Oct. 7–Sat., Oct. 9, at the Holiday Inn Portland Airport, Portland, Ore.
Director's Perspective: "We will focus on authors attending the show who are willing to visit stores and promote their books," says Thom Chambliss. "We're excited about the plethora of author events, including the newly created Award Authors' Luncheon, and we're doing more this year to encourage booksellers to bring orders with them to support the exhibitors."
Education Highlights: Sessions are planned on Thursday. The morning segment runs 8 a.m.–11:45 a.m., the afternoon, 2:30–5:15 p.m. Panel and workshop topics range from local-first initiatives to digital content management, free speech issues to social media applications, and used-book sales to reps' pick of the lists. Dedicated session rooms will be set aside for booksellers, librarians, authors, and small presses to parse particulars.
Authors: Thursday's Celebration with Authors (noon–1 p.m.) features Evelyn Searle Hess, Paul Michel, Tara Rae Miner, Peter Mountford, Barbara Corrado Pope, Inara Scott, Julian Smith, Ken Tape, and Urban Waite, all authors who will appear at a PNBA-member store. At the Nightcapper Party (8:30–10 p.m.) more than 20 authors are expected, including Patrick Carman and Ken Scholes. At Friday's book and author breakfast (8–9:30 a.m.): Bonny Becker (A Bedtime for Bear), Ivan Doig (Work Song), Jonathan Evison (West of Here), and Nancy Pearl (Book Lust to Go). Friday evening's annual Feast of Authors (7–9 p.m.) is an embarrassment of riches with such authors as Diane Hammond, Lisa Jackson, Eric Kimmel, Joseph Skibell, and Nancy Tillman. At Saturday's book and author breakfast (8–9:30 a.m.): Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From), Ingrid Law (Scumble), Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn), and David Wiesner (Art & Max). The Award Authors' Luncheon (11:55 a.m.–12:50 p.m.) spotlights seven familiar PNBA award recipients with new books: Cherie Priest (Dreadnought), Roland Smith (Storm Runners), Lauren Kessler (My Teenage Werewolf), Robin Cody (Another Way the River Has), Nikki McClure (Mama, Is It Summer Yet?), Robert Michael Pyle (Mariposa Road), and Kathleen Dean Moore (Moral Ground).
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Friday; 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday. Autographing sessions are held on Thursday (Celebration of Authors: 1:15–2:15 p.m.; Nightcapper: 8:30–10 p.m.); on Friday (general: 4:45–5:45 p.m.); on Saturday (exhibit floor: 9:45–11:45 a.m.; Award Authors' Luncheon: 12:50–2:10 p.m.). Show closes Saturday at 2:15 p.m.
Contact: Thom Chambliss (info@pnba
.org); (541) 683-4363; www.pnba.org.
Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association
Fri., Oct. 8–Sun., Oct. 10,
at Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, Mich.
Director's Perspective:"This year's show is all about change," Jim Dana muses. "The way we handle events and autographings, conduct our membership meeting, and even consider our bylaws reflects what is happening in the industry, our association, and bookstores, and even to the book itself."
Education Highlights: Multitrack programming is divided into four segments on Friday (10:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:15 p.m.) and two on Sunday (8:45 a.m., 10:15 a.m.). Friday's highlights: the Technology Track ("Google Editions," "Social Media," "Digital Content"), plus two important single sessions: "How a Publisher Markets a Title" (1:45 p.m.) with Bloomsbury's George Gibson, and "New Words in Publishing" (4:15 p.m.), an introduction to recent entries in the bookseller lexicon.
Authors: Friday's Author Luncheon (noon–1:30 p.m.) features regional writers Blue Balliett (The Danger Box), Paul Clemens (Punching Out), and Loren D. Estleman (The Left-handed Dollar). After the 6:30 p.m. reception, François Lelord (Hector and the Search for Happiness), Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), and Jay Varner (Nothing Left to Burn) join booksellers in the "reading room." Then it's off to the Author Feast (7:30–9:30 p.m.) with more than a dozen authors. On the guest list: Andrea Cremer, Deborah Diesen, Peter Geye, Laura Kasischke, Caroline Leavitt, Kristina Riggle, and Dan Wells. Saturday night's festivities start with a 5:30 p.m. reception and book signing. Attendees include Stacey Ballis, Ari Berk, Will Hillenbrand, Steve Lehto, and Kristen McDermott. The Saturday's Booksellers Banquet follows at 7 p.m. with Masha Hamilton (31 Hours) and Kathleen Kent (The Wolves of Andover). Sunday at 10:15 a.m. the "genre" panel features mystery writers Jamie Freveletti (Running Dark), Bryan Gruley (The Hanging Tree), Willetta Heising (Willetta's Guide to Police Detective Stories), and Paula Tutman (Deadline!! Second Block). Children's and young adult book authors at Sunday brunch (11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m.): Mem Fox (Let's Count Goats!), Jennifer Holm (Turtle in Paradise), Laurie Keller (Birdy's Smile Book), and Richard Peck (Three Quarters Dead).
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. on Saturday (closed noon–2 p.m.). Autographing sessions are held on Saturday (author reception: 5:30–7 p.m.). Show closes Sunday at 2 p.m.
Contact: Jim Dana (email@example.com) or Joan Jandernoa (firstname.lastname@example.org); (800) 754-2460; www.gliba.org.
Northern California Independent Booksellers Association
Thurs., Oct. 14–Sat., Oct. 16, at Oakland Convention Center and Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, Calif.
Director's Perspective: "Last year was a transitional time for us," remarks Hut Landon. "We made important changes to our trade show—realigning the exhibit days, moving author autographings to exhibitors' booths, and shrinking show-floor space. The response was positive across the board, with solid attendance both days, so we figure, why mess with a good thing."
Education Highlights: Thursday programs (9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) include a demonstration of ABA's IndieCommerce Web site, a presentation on the new health care reform law and its impact on small-business owners, and a set of separate round-table discussions on merchandising and shop local topics. Several rep picks are scheduled throughout the show.
Authors: Thursday's author lunch features Michael Cunningham (By Nightfall) in conversation with NCIBA president Michael Barnard. The evening's welcome reception headlines Justin Taylor, coauthor of The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide. Amy Sedaris (Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People) headlines Friday's adult author breakfast (9:30–11 a.m.). Expect two other notable authors to join her. The popular author reception takes place 6–7:30 p.m., a combination book signing and meet 'n' greet featuring 24 authors mingling with 100-plus booksellers. Among the authors expected: Bill Barich (Long Way Home: On the Trail of Steinbeck's America), Bo Caldwell (City of Tranquil Light), Brock Clarke (Exley), Karen Joy Fowler (What I Didn't See), Walter Mosley (When the Thrill Is Gone), and Rosemary Wells (On the Blue Comet). Saturday's children's author breakfast (8–9:45 a.m.): Richard Peck (Three Quarters Dead), Jon Scieszka (Spa©eheadz Book #1!), and Paul O. Zelinsky (Dust Devil).
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 10–11 a.m. (appointment only), 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday. Autographing sessions are held on Friday (11 a.m.–3 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.–2 p.m.) at exhibitors' booths and/or tables. Show closes Saturday at 3 p.m.
Contact: Hut Landon (email@example.com); (415) 561-7686; www.nciba.com.
Southern California Independent Booksellers Association
Sat., Oct. 23, at Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa, Hollywood, Calif.
Director's Perspective: "The annual Authors Feast and Trade Show is a long-standing tradition celebrating our diverse book community," says Jennifer Bigelow. "At SCIBA, we strive to understand and meet the needs of that community. We put great effort into the Authors Feast and Book Awards Dinner, a festive gathering of booksellers and booklovers who enjoy one another's company."
Education Highlights: The day's sessions are mainly presented by the ABA and ABC. At 9:30 a.m., there's a workshop called "Linked by Passion—Growing Sales Through Local Retail Partnerships," followed at 11 a.m. by "The Value of IndieCommerce." After lunch, children's programming (two offerings) takes center stage, at 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. For others, there's a 2 p.m. "best practice" workshop, "Constant Contact." Three reps' pick of the list round off the schedule: 9:30 a.m. (children's) and 11 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. (general).
Authors: There's the author lunch at 12:15 p.m. with Ally Condie (Matched), Ellen Hopkins (Fallout), Weird Al Yankovic (untitled), Matthew Kirby (The Clockwork Three), and Andrew Smith (The Marbury Lens). Don Winslow (Savages; Satori) delivers the keynote at the Authors Feast and Book Awards Dinner (7–9 p.m.), while T. Jefferson Parker (The Border Lords) and SCIBA president Andrea Vuleta introduce award recipients. Paul Cimusz from Baker & Taylor will do the honors. Award categories include fiction and nonfiction, children's fiction, and children's picture books. Special commendations: T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award and Glenn Goldman Art, Architecture, and Photography Award. More than 50 authors are invited, with many confirmed. The roster includes Katie Arnoldi, Marie Brennan, Stephen Cannell, Laurel Corona, Kim Dower, Jonathan Evison, Debra Ginsberg, Deborah Harkness, M.L. Malcolm, Joseph Mattson, Tracy McMillan, Dana Reinhardt, Stephen Jay Schwartz, Adrienne Sharp, Brando Skyhorse, and P.G. Sturges. From children's/young adult: Robin Benway, Ben Boos, Cecil Castellucci, Lisa Desrochers, Adam Jay Epstein, Michael Grant, Andrew Jacobson, Kazu Kibuishi, Barney Saltzberg, and John O'Melveny Woods.
Trade Show Details: Exhibit hours: 4–7 p.m. Autographing sessions are held after the authors' lunch (2 p.m.).
Contact: Jennifer Bigelow (firstname.lastname@example.org); (626) 793-7403; www