SIBA Discovery Show
The Innisbrook Resort in Tampa, Fla.
• This year’s Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show is set at a golf resort, but don’t expect any time to get in a round, or even nine holes. All three trade show days are packed, as is the day before the official show launch, which opens with a morning-long session with Eureka! Ranch founder Doug Hall titled, “Driving Eureka! Problem Solving with Data Driven Methods and the Innovation Engineering System.” The day continues with a bookstore tour led by guides knowledgeable about Florida history provided by Arcadia Publishing.
• Breakfast will be served at a “Make Your Mark”–themed show launch event with this year’s Pat Conroy Legacy Recipient, to be named just prior to the show. Sessions include presentations by TED Talk star Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful, Little, Brown Spark) on the roots of joy, Shawn Harris (illustrator of What Can a Citizen Do?, Chronicle) on how bookstores can become hubs of civic engagement, and James Mustich (1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, Workman) on the ultimate reading bucket list.
• For fans of role-playing, SIBA is offering a locked-room team-building session. Other special sessions include a screening of the film The Bookshop, based on the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald; a 50-minute stage production of the stories of William Gay, whose lost novel, The Lost Country, was released by Dzanc in July; and Books Bourbon Banter on the exhibit stage with authors from Southern Fried Karma and Blair with, of course, Maker’s Mark on tap.
• Genre fiction is front and center at a number of regional shows this fall. At SIBA, it’ll be featured in panels such as “The Rise of Alt Science Fiction and Fantasy” with Nicky Drayden (Temper, Harper Voyager) and Ann Leckie (The Raven Tower, Orbit); “Making a Mark on the Genre—Short Stories in the Round” with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black, Mariner), Michael Croley (Satellites, Catapult), and Nathan Ballingrud (The Atlas of Hell, Small Beer Press); and “Making a Mark on the Grave—Mystery, Thriller Suspense Writers” with Lynn H. Blackburn (In Too Deep, Revell), J.T. Ellison (Tear Me Apart, Mira), Tim Johnston (The Current, Algonquin), and Gary McPherson (Joshua and the Shadow of Death, Berserk).
• Many more authors will make appearances at the discovery show, which is known for offering opportunities for booksellers to meet well over 100 authors. For kids’ books fans, there’s a special “Middle Grade and Picture Book Authors Twitter Together” session featuring Sherri Rinker (Construction Site on Christmas Night, Chronicle), Paul Tillery (Thunderstruck, Macmillan), Leslie Youngblood (Love Like Sky, Disney-Hyperion), Camille Andros (The Dress and the Girl, Abrams), Pablo Cartaya (Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, Viking), and Brittney Kempink (Three Friends Limeade, Richter). There’s also a kickoff lunch with Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Hey Kiddo, Graphix), Geanna Culbertson (Crisanta Knight: To Death and Back, BQB), and William Joyce (Jack Frost, Atheneum). Children’s authors are also featured throughout the week, including the “First 180 Days Part” session for books being published in the first half of 2019, including Margaret Mincks (President of Poplar Lane, Viking), A.G. Howard (The Stain, Amulet), Yoon Ha Lee (Dragon Pearl, Rick Riordan Presents), and Corey Ann Haydu (Eventown, HarperCollins/Tegen).
• Nor has SIBA neglected the nuts and bolts of bookselling, which are highlighted in bookseller-to-bookseller sessions like “How to Beat Your Real Competition,” presented by Kelly Justice of Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Va., and “Is Profit a Dirty Word?” presented by past SIBA president Jill Hendrix of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C.
NEIBA Fall Conference
Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence
• The 45th annual New England Independent Booksellers Association show kicks off with a statement about diversity in its opening keynote by Valerie Jarrett (Finding My Voice, Viking), the longest serving senior advisor to President Obama and one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.”
• Fostering diversity has long been a concern of the association. Its children’s group, NECBA, helped launch the Windows Mirror Project with its counterparts on the West Coast to encourage more booksellers to hand-sell diverse books, particularly during the holiday season. At the show, the group will present its picks for 2018 in categories ranging from infants to YA at an educational session on the first day.
• Education is always an important element of the NEIBA show. This year, like the other seven regional shows, NEIBA will hold a session presented by the ABA called “Maximizing Pre-order Campaigns.” The goal is to help indie booksellers take part in what has become a growing part of the business. It will also include processes and protocols for marketing, tracking, and reporting preorders, which were tested by ABA’s Pre-orders Task Force. Other educational sessions include “Unlocking the Market Power of Social Media” with Winter Institute rock star Sarah Benoit, “How to Be Smarter About Inventory Management,” “Creative Event Marketing,” and “Selling Outside Your Comfort Zone.”
• This author-centric conference features plenty of children’s authors, including picture book author Megan Dowd Lambert (Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See, Charlesbridge), who will lead a panel on “The Secrets of Storytime.” Other kids’ favorites to look for include illustrator Grace Lin (When You Grow Up to Vote, Roaring Brook), Rob Sanders (Stonewall, Random House BFYR), Jerry Craft (New Kid, HarperCollins), Monica Hesse (The War Outside, Little, Brown BFYR), and David Ezra Stein (Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise, Candlewick).
• Adult authors are also in abundance this year, including local bookseller favorites such as Christopher Castellani (Leading Men, Viking) and B.A. Shapiro (The Collectors’ Apprentice, Algonquin) at the Author Cocktail Reception, and Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere, Penguin) and John Hodgman (Vacationland, Penguin)—New England Award winners for fiction and nonfiction, respectively—at the awards banquet. Breakfast will feature speakers Walter Mosley (John Woman, Atlantic Monthly) and Adriana Trigiani (Tony’s Wife, Harper). The closing keynote luncheon features Andre Dubus III, who will speak on his latest novel, Gone So Long (Norton), about an estranged father who must seek out the daughter he hasn’t seen in decades.
Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash.
• The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association is known for packing in a full weekend of events, many with authors; this year’s show, which is back in Tacoma, is no exception. Each day opens and closes with author gatherings, sometimes as many as 20 or more for popular events such as the Nightcapper Autographing Party. Author events are also sprinkled throughout the day, including a late-afternoon conversation with Nicole Chung (All You Can Ever Know, Catapult) and Karen Maeda Allman, a bookseller at Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle.
• The Kids’ Table dinner brings together a host of big-name authors including Marie Lu (Wildcard, Penguin), Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos (I Am Sonia Sotomayor and I Am Neil Armstrong, Penguin), and Suzanne Selfors (Wish upon a Sleepover, Imprint). Laurie Halse Anderson will appear at breakfast to talk about her latest, Shout (Penguin). And children’s authors are part of the popular 7 Coming-Up author showcase of 2019 titles, including former bookseller Lillian Clark (Immoral Code, Knopf) and graphic artist Faith Erin Hicks (Comics Will Break Your Heart, Roaring Brook).
• At the show, publishers aim to introduce as many authors of new and forthcoming books as possible. Altogether, on both the children’s and adult side, the association received proposals for 190 authors and has booked just over 100. Among them are writers such as Reema Zaman (I Am Yours, Amberjack), a 2018 Oregon Literary Arts’ Writer of Color Fellow, who will speak at “7 Coming-Up.” Other adult authors will participate in the book and author breakfasts, including Leif Enger (Virgil Wander, Grove Atlantic) and Marlon James (Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Riverhead), as well as at group events such as the “Feast of Authors” with Stephanie Land (Maid, Hachette) and Kristina McMorris (Sold on a Monday, Sourcebooks Landmark).
• Rep picks from publishers and rep groups ranging from PRH (in both the U.S. and Canada) to Norton, University Press Sales Associates, and Cypress House are offered throughout the opening day. Four additional tracks of programming also run on the first day. Some standout topics for sessions include “Reading While Disabled,” “The Future of Digital Audiobooks,” “Buying Outside Your Comfort Zone,” and “Community Buy In” (on crowdfunding, subscription and delivery services, and shopping local).
Heartland Fall Forum
The Depot Renaissance Hotel in Minneapolis
• The Heartland Fall Forum, sponsored by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, is one of two shows that will host a daylong ABA seminar titled “Principles of Bookstore Finance.” The 101-level presentation will be led by ABA CFO Robyn DesHotel and PW blogger Cynthia Compton of 4 Kids Books Toys in Zionsville, Ind. Advance registration is required.
• This year, organizers Carrie Obry of MIBA and Larry Law of GLIBA are planning a “reimagined attendee experience” with more time for booksellers to socialize with each other and to meet with authors, including a “(Re)discovery Opening Reception” focused on backlists, followed by an off-site party at local bookstore Moon Palace. Booksellers will also be able to give their undivided attention to the show floor, which will be open for two days
with no conflicting programming. The Forum will have two keynotes this year: an opening one with Kate DiCamillo (Louisiana’s Way Home, Candlewick) and a closing one with Valerie Jarrett (Finding My Voice, Viking).
• Education is divided into four concurrent tracks: “Nuts Bolts,” with sessions on topics such as strategies for display; “Bookstore Culture,” with a panel on how not-so-big bookstores can have a large impact; “Technology,” with a panel on getting the most out of social media; and “Publisher and Industry Relations,” which includes the ABA’s “Maximizing Pre-order Campaigns” session slated for all eight regional shows. In addition, authors will talk about science fiction and fantasy at a special panel with John Scalzi (The Consuming Fire, Tor), Taran Matharu (The Summoner’s Handbook, Feiwel Friends), and Mary Robinette Kowal (The Calculating Stars, Tor). Graphic artists Jarrett J. Krosocka (Hey, Kiddo, Graphix), David Small (Home after Dark, Liveright), and Lucy Knisley (Kid Gloves, First Second) will discuss graphic memoir.
• Other opportunities to meet authors abound, mostly in connection with meals: the Moveable Feast lunch, the Tasting Notes dinner, and a children’s breakfast. In addition, some authors will be available at the authors’ lounge, and another 25 authors will participate in the closing reception. Among the featured authors are Alex Gino (You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly, P!, Scholastic), Sophie Blackall (illustrator of Winnie’s Great War, Little, Brown BFYR), Sarah Smarsh (Heartland, Scribner), Ross Gay (The Book of Delights, Algonquin), and Amelia Levin (The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook, Storey).
NCIBA Fall Discovery Show
The Oakland Convention Center in Oakland, Calif.
• Children’s books are usually key at the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, which traditionally kicks off with a children’s dinner, and this year is no exception. Rafael Lopez (We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands, Scholastic), Susan Verde (I Am Human: A Book of Empathy, Abrams BFYR), and Yuyi Morales (Dreamers, Holiday House/Porter) are among the featured writers. Children’s authors are featured throughout the conference, including Jacqueline Woodson (The Day You Begin, Penguin/Paulsen), Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer (To Night Owl from Dogfish, Dial), Deb Caletti (A Heart in a Body in the World, Simon Pulse), and Carrie Lara (Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family, Magination).
• Adult authors will be integrated into the author lunch and Buzz Brunch—among them Daniel Mason (The Winter Soldier, Little, Brown), Reyna Grande (A Dream Called Home, Atria), Tom Barbash (The Dakota Winters, Ecco), and Christopher Castillani (Leading Men, Viking). They will also participate in the 30-author closing reception featuring John Fried (The Martin Chronicles, Grand Central), Diane M.T. North (California at War: The State and the People During World War I, Univ. of Kansas), Kathy Wang (Family Trust, Morrow), and others.
• Both adult and children’s authors will give featured presentations at NCIBA on timely concerns, such as racism and addiction, as well as a subject of particular interest to Northern California: computers. Lisa Brennan-Jobs (Small Fry, Grove) will speak about her memoir on Silicon Valley and how her father, Steve Jobs, changed it. Psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt (Biased: The New Science of Race and Inequality, Viking) will talk about how unconscious biases lead to racial disparities and suggest solutions. And Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Hey, Kiddo, Scholastic) will talk about his memoir about a family grappling with addiction. He will be joined by his editor, David Levithan, publisher and editorial director at Scholastic.
• Additional education seminars include “Budgeting for Your Bookselling Career” and “Maximizing Pre-order Campaigns.”
NAIBA Fall Conference
Hyatt Regency in Baltimore
• For its return to Charm City after a one-year gap, the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association will kick off its show with a very full opening day. It’ll begin with a bookstore tour of several area stores that have opened in the interim—Bird in Hand/The Ivy Book Bookshop, Greedy Reads, and a new pop-up—as well as an owners’ retreat. In the evening, NAIBA will hold its popular Preview Supper with authors including Adam Gidwitz (Unicorn Rescue Society, Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot, Penguin Young Readers) and Walter Mosley (John Woman, Atlantic Monthly). Afterward, Baltimore booksellers will introduce their favorite local authors: Dan Fesperman (Safe Houses, Knopf), Sujeata Massey (The Widows of Malabar Hill, Soho), and Michael Downs (The Strange and True Tale of Horace Wells, Surgeon Dentist, Acre).
• This year, NAIBA is trying a new, more personal way to cover education. It is replacing traditional panel sessions with shorter 30-minute roundtables on a variety of topics, including “Unusual Community Partnerships,” “Hybrid Stores,” “Chalkboards,” and “Buying for Margins.” According to NAIBA’s Eileen Dengler, the roundtables will give booksellers a chance to pick and choose the topics that matter most to them and to share successes and challenges with colleagues in a less formal setting.
• NAIBA is also testing a new theme, “Solutions,” and, with the help of Arcadia Publishing, has created a “Solutions Journal” that is being mailed to booksellers in advance of the show to help them make the most of their time. The journal has tabs for “Things to Ask About,” “Problems to Solve,” “Things I Wonder About,” “Ideas I Heard,” and “Contacts.”
• NAIBA will continue its tradition of giving booksellers lots of opportunities to meet authors interested in booking store events. Numerous authors will attend this year’s conference, particularly at mealtimes and for drinks during such events as a late night Wine-Down Author Reception with two dozen writers and a predinner Independent Press Author Reception with a dozen more, including Adam Nemette (We Can Save Us All, Unnamed Press) and David Reichenbaugh (In Pursuit: The Hunt for the Beltway Snipers, Dartmouth College).
• Rather than segregate adults’ and children’s events, authors for different ages and genres will appear together at events throughout the show. Monday’s breakfast brings together children’s authors Mac Barnett (Mac B., Kid Spy #1: Mac Undercover, Scholastic) and Ben Phillipe (The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) and adult authors Kate Morton (The Clockmaker’s Daughter, SS) and Patricia Miller (Bringing Down the Colonel, FSG). The nine authors at the Moveable Feast are equally diverse and include Marion Winik (The Baltimore Book of the Dead, Counterpoint), Kitty Zeldis (Not Our Kind, HarperCollins), and Cadwell Turnbull (The Lesson, Blackstone).
MPIBA Fall Discovery Show
The Renaissance Denver Hotel in Denver
• For those who get to Denver a day early, the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association is one of two shows hosting an introductory daylong ABA seminar titled “Principles of Bookstore Finance,” which will be led by ABA CFO Robyn DesHotel and Len Vlahos of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver. Advance registration is required. Early birds will also have a chance to mingle in the evening with meet-ups set for first-time booksellers and exhibitors, followed by a Meet the Board gathering in the hotel bar.
• Look for even more authors this year, at least 15, along with more networking opportunities like a member meet and greet at a nearby brewery. The previous year’s buzz breakfast has also been transformed to celebrate women’s voices. Among the featured writers are Stephanie Land (Maid, Hachette), Carolyn Forche (What You Have Heard Is True, Penguin Press), Martha Hall Kell (Lost Roses, Ballantine), and Kate Morton (The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Atria). The Author! Author! Luncheon will include Brian Nelson (The Last Sword Maker, Blackstone), John Fried (The Martin Chronicles, Grand Central), and J.C. Cervantes (The Storm Runner, Rick Riordan Presents).
• Although children’s authors are sprinkled at events throughout the show, the association will feature nearly a dozen children’s authors at the Young Readers Roundup, aka Author Speed-Dating, including Lillian Clark (Immoral Code, Knopf), Dylan Thuras (The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, Workman), Cynthia Leitich Smith (Hearts Unbroken, Candlewick), and others.
• Also new this year is an author panel on speculative fiction, which includes Molly Tanser (Creatures of Want and Ruin, HMH/Adams), Ausma Khan (The Black Khan, Harper Voyager), and Seth Fried (The Municipalists, Penguin Press). But many popular events will be back as well, such as the Authors of Future Releases Breakfast, with Tim Johnston (The Current, Algonquin), Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (An Anonymous Girl, St. Martin’s), and others.
SCIBA Fall Trade Show
The Sheraton Los Angeles in San Gabriel, Calif.
• The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association has been moving its show around the region to highlight different areas in recent years, and this year is no exception. The show will take place in San Gabriel, home to the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded in 1771. It’s also moving from one or one-and-a-half days to two days. The exhibit floor will be open more hours this year, and booksellers can visit it in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday.
• Children’s books have long been front and center at SCIBA, which will kick off with children’s rep picks and a children’s awards luncheon featuring National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson (Harbor Me, Penguin/Paulsen) on the opening day. Caldecott Honor book artist and five-time Pura Belpré Award–winner Yuyi Morales (Dreamers, Holiday House/Porter) will also speak.
• Adult authors also abound, with Jonathan Lethem (The Feral Detective, Ecco) and Yagsze Choo (The Night Tiger, Flatiron) scheduled for the adult awards luncheon emceed by humorist Chris Erskine (Daditude, Prospect Park).
• One session that SCIBA’s Andrea Vuleta is especially excited about is on business-to-business sales. B2b is one area that some booksellers continue to struggle with, yet it can have a big impact on their bottom lines. In addition, SCIBA will hold a “Diversity Imprint” panel with Cheryl Klein of Lee Low, moderated by Mark Adam of Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company in Pomona. A kids’ nonfiction panel will include Jonathan W. Stokes, author of the Thrifty Guides (Viking BFYR); Shawn Harris, illustrator of What Can a Citizen Do? (Chronicle); Larry Dane Brimner, author of Blacklisted! (Calkins Creek); and Katherine Halligan, author of Herstory (SS BFYR). Alyson Beecher of Glendale Unified School District will moderate.