Morgan McComb from The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, KS was one of two recipients of BookExpo's scholarship program that sent two booksellers from each region to the show. Thank you BookExpo for the generous program, and Morgan for the excellent review!
"This year was my inaugural BookExpo experience, and as a new bookseller, I felt so welcomed. The opportunity to meet and talk with other independent booksellers around the country was invaluable, and through them I have learned new ways to push our bookstore in Kansas to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The sheer volume of independent bookstores in the country and their various specialties is a testament to why independent bookstores are not only not in financial trouble, but are thriving--and it is all because so many of us take community engagement as a imperative in the work we do.
One of my most memorable experiences was getting to meet the editors of the Catapult/Soft Skull team, a press that we have long loved and supported at the Raven--getting the opportunity to meet the editors I have been exchanging e-mails and galleys with as well as to see an editorial team that takes representation and literature seriously. What I especially enjoyed was hearing about how publishers like Catapult are also engaging with their communities, both a New York City community and a more national and/or global community through their online writing courses. Being able to see first-hand how the publishing world is evolving was a special experience.
BookExpo itself is an overwhelmingly joyful experience, one where I was able to meet the best up-and-coming writers (Tommy Orange, especially!) and meet new writers and publishers who can help us at the Raven better serve the reading interests of our customers and beyond. Though BookExpo is an excellent opportunity to develop essential professional connections and skills in the bookselling world, it ultimately felt like the largest book club I have ever been a part of, and the magic of why we all love books and literature was certainly still the core of all of our reasons for being there."
BookExpo generously sent two booksellers from each region to New York for the 2018 show. In our region, booksellers from The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS) and Zenith Bookstore (Duluth, MN) were the lucky recipients.
Here's a review from Beth Burnett, the assistant manager of Zenith.
"Representing Zenith Bookstore, a small local indie bookstore out of Duluth, Minnesota, I had the phenomenal opportunity to travel to NYC for my first Book Expo. Still fairly new in the bookselling world, I had no strong connection with the greater book world nor a solid understanding of it. I was beyond thrilled to hear I would be attending, and even though I was quite nervous to fly into such a big city, I was able to immerse myself in the greater book world with the scholarship and accommodations by ABA & BEA, with the added resource of my mother by my side as a travel partner and an awesome boss, manager, and cohort.
As a first time attendee of Book Expo, I was warned I could be fairly overwhelmed. However, some awesome coworkers and contacts from the Duluth and regional area prepared me for what was to come. Because of this, I was able to appreciate the Book Expo on a much greater level. While everything was memorable and worthwhile, I found the educational sessions the most helpful in learning about different aspects of bookselling, which I'm sure will help in the continued success of our store. In addition, I connected with so many incredible booksellers.
In all, I found the experience of getting together with other booksellers, librarians, publishers, authors, and representatives incredibly impactful while I establish my own role in the industry. I am so appreciative of many individuals; Book Expo gave me a plethora of valuable connections and allowed me to bring back ideas and tools to help our store continue in its success."
Publicist Speed Dating for Booksellers
May 11, 10:00-11:00 am
Bookseller social after the event from 11:00-11:45 am
1011 South Washington Ave
Space is limited to 20 booksellers!
Apply today by emailing email@example.com. Please confirm that are you are the events manager for your store, or an owner or manager to also handles events.
We've discovered an opportunity to give booksellers a chance to pitch their stores for author events directly to publicists at various publishing companies both nationally and locally.
The Loft Literary Center is hosting Wordplay in April 2019 and has invited about 20 publicists to Open Book to learn about the author opportunities available at this exciting new book festival. Since so many publicists will already be gathered at Open Book, The Loft has graciously allowed us to seize this opportunity to host Publicity Speed Dating for Booksellers.
How does it work? We are arranging timed "dates" for 20 booksellers to promote their store and discover what publicists look for when planning author tours. Booksellers come prepared with a printed press kit to give to the publicists. Booksellers describe the strengths and personality of their store, ask questions about the publicist's (and his or her imprint's) approach to booking author tours, and review the upcoming season's releases for event opportunities. The speed dating will be arranged to allow booksellers to meet formally with half of the publicists, with an opportunity to leave your one-sheet behind with all attending publicists.
MIBA member bookstore owners, managers, and event coordinators are eligible. Booksellers must commit to preparing a one-sheet in advance of the event and bringing 20 copies to share. Tips and sample one-sheets will be provided.
Note: Due to the serendipitous nature of this event, we're considering it a prototype. We'd like booksellers to stick around after the speed dating to tell us how it went. This is the first event of this type we will have hosted, so we're eager to hear how it went, allowing us to fine-tune our approach and consider hosting speed dating on a bigger scale for more booksellers in the future.
MIBA is thrilled to unveil the first annual Midwest Indie Bookstore Roadmap! Featuring the iconic work of Twin Cities-based illustrator Kevin Cannon, the Booktore Roadmap celebrates the vitality of indie bookselling in MIBA's region while encouraging customers to make visiting bookstores a part of their travel plans. The map also includes a "Bookstore Journey Contest" in which one bookstore customer a month will receive a $25 gift card to any store featured on the map. Anyone who participates in the contest throughout the year will be entered to win a $500 gift card to any store featured on the map.
Each MIBA member bookstore will receive 400 free copies of the map to distribute throughout the year, beginning on Independent Bookstore Day. Nonmember stores in MIBA's region will also receive a limited number of maps.
The map will be 22" x 28" and will fold into 4.4" x 7" panels to fit easily into glove compartments, backpacks, and purses. Fore more information about the map, the bookstore journey contest, and information for advertisers, click here.
Additional Opportunities for Booksellers
MIBA will produce a limited number of poster versions of the front of the map for stores to sell as souvenir items. Furthermore, all stores are invited to purchase the original illustration of their store featured on the map. Once purchased, there are no restrictions on how this artwork can be used.
For more information about ordering posters or your store's original illustration, contact Robert Martin at Robert@MidwestBooksellers.org
The Women’s National Book Association is pleased to announce the 2018 WNBA Pannell Award winners.
General Bookstore Category: NORTHSHIRE BOOKSTORE in Saratoga Springs, NY
Children’s Specialty Bookstore Category: RED BALLOON BOOKSHOP in St. Paul, MN
Upon hearing the good news, Nancy Scheemaker from Northshire Bookstore exclaimed, “We are deeply honored and so thrilled to be chosen for the WNBA Pannell Award. To be singled out from the prestigious list of nominees this year is all the more extraordinary. I cannot think of a stronger form of encouragement for a young and growing bookstore. We are so grateful and so excited!” Jurors noted that the store is one the most energetic bookstores and lauded its passionate staff and year-round schedule of creative programs and events.
Holly Weinkauf from Red Balloon Bookshop, upon hearing the news, said “We are thrilled to win the WNBA Pannell Award! What an incredible honor for our talented and hardworking booksellers, as well as our community that has supported us for 34 years. We are deeply grateful.” Jurors praised Red Balloon Bookshop for its outstanding service to authors, children, and the community.
This year, dozens of bookstores across 16 different states received enthusiastic nominations from loyal customers, authors, bookstore employees, and publishing professionals. A five-member jury selected the 2018 WNBA Pannell Award recipients. The winning stores will each receive a check for $1,000 and a piece of original art from a children’s book illustrator, to be presented at BookExpo America’s Children’s Book and Author Breakfast on Friday, June 1, 2018.
The WNBA Pannell Award jurors for 2018 are:
· Brenda Bowen, literary agent, Greenburger Associates
· Susan Katz Radin, publisher emeritus, HarperCollins Children’s Books
· Emily Romero, senior vice president of marketing, Penguin Young Readers
· Roger Sutton, editor in chief, The Horn Book
· Lisa Von Drasek, curator of Children’s Literature Research Collections, Univ. of Minnesota
The Pannell Award co-chairs are Susan Knopf, President of Scout Books & Media, and Sally Kim, Marketing Director at Callisto Media.
Since 1983, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) has awarded one of the most prestigious honors in children’s bookselling. Along with WNBA, Penguin Young Readers Group co-sponsors the award, which was established in honor of Lucille Micheels Pannell, founding member of one of the WNBA chapters.
From Midwest Booksellers
The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association is deeply disappointed by Chronicle Books’ recent decision to make A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo available upon publication only at Amazon.
Independent booksellers have a long and successful history of handling confidential information about forthcoming books, acting as reliable, established partners in releasing countless books while exhibiting all the necessary discretion. Chronicle ignored that record of success for a very visible and important book, and in doing so harmed independent bookstores.
In agreeing to an unequal and unfair release of Marlon Bundo, Chronicle made independent bookstores appear irrelevant--not only to potential customers, but also to the customers we've worked so hard to establish. They reinforced the mistaken idea that the first and best source of desirable, topical books is a single online retailer, not any of the hundreds of local independent bookstores in communities across the Midwest and the country.
Independent bookstores have long championed free and full access to books, and we expect our partner businesses to do the same. We invite Chronicle Books to consider the lasting implications of their actions. We call on them to acknowledge the unfortunate results of their decision and to take steps to reassure booksellers and readers that they are committed to a fair and equitable marketplace for their books now and into the future.
With much respect,
The board of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association
From Chronicle Books
Dear ABA board, Regional Independent Trade Association Executive Directors and Presidents,
On behalf of Chronicle Books, I apologize for any frustrations you have experienced these past few days following the launch of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. I hope you know from your history working with us as an indie ourselves that this was certainly not our intention.
Among the myriad ways you uphold civil rights every day, MANY THANKS to all of you who’ve pledged support for ‘every bunny who has ever felt different’ as well as to the work of the Trevor Project and AIDS United, which will be receiving proceeds from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Chronicle Books, and so many of you through sales of this book.
We had to ensure that the book was a complete surprise for the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver audience. So, after much deliberation and exploration of other options, we ultimately agreed to make the book available for purchase at the time of the on-air surprise by allocating a percentage of the print run to Amazon and making the rest of the first print run available to all our other retailers as soon as possible. We knew it wasn’t a matter of embargoing the book, nor did we think a blind release would guarantee the integrity of the surprise.
While its launch isn’t how we’d normally go about business, none of us predicted how phenomenally viewers and readers would respond to John Oliver’s announcement – and that we’d go from 40,000 copies in print to 400,000 in the pipeline in 4 days. Our #1 goal right now is to get this book into your store and into those eager readers’ hands. I recognize this is not moving as quickly as we would like with current orders and we have addressed this with our distributor, Hachette Book Group. We are working with multiple domestic printers to print more books quickly as possible. In the meantime, we thank you very much for your patience and your understanding.
I would be grateful if you shared this missive with your members as well.
With gratitude, appreciation, and renewed apologies,
In conjunciton with Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, 2018, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association will distribute 50,000 copies of the first inaugural Midwest Indie Bookstore Roadmap. Featuring colorful original illustrations by Twin Cities artist Kevin Cannon (whose artwork is also featured in the Twin Cities Independnt Bookstore Passport), the map will feature approximately 150 bookstores across MIBA's region, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The 22" x 28" roadmap will fold to 4.4" x 7" and will be provided to regional booksellers to give out to their customers for free beginning on Independent Bookstore Day, but the map will continue to be used as part of a year-long contest and promotion.
The back of the map will feature publisher advertisements and details about the customer contest, which rewards readers for visiting bookstores featured on the map, taking a photo at the store, and posting it to social media using the hashtag #BookstoreRoadmap. Every month, MIBA will select one Twitter post to receive a $25 gift card to any store on the map. On the following year's Independent Bookstore Day, MIBA will select one post to receive a $500 gift card to any store on the map.
The map will not be to scale, but will include familiar landmarks for each locale as well as major highway systems. Urban areas will feature pop-out illustrations, as shown in the preview images below.
Booksellers do not need to place an order--they will automatically receive a box of maps prior to April 28, 2018.
For more information about the map, contest structure, and advertising opportunities, click here.
We're thrilled to announce BookExpo’s “Introduce an Indie” program, designed to get more indie booksellers to New York for this key industry event.
BookExpo is pairing with the nine regional bookseller associations to bring 18 booksellers to New York City from May 30 through June 1 to experience the BookExpo. Two booksellers from every region will be awarded travel and lodging expenses, as well as a custom itinerary that maximizes their show experience as an independent bookseller.
Booksellers will be selected by the board of their regional association and be treated to a scholarship to BookExpo which includes the following:
Please email Carrie if you have any questions.
The defunding of the University Press of Kentucky (UPKY) is an action that we condemn in the strongest possible terms. Taken together, our membership includes hundreds of independent bookstores and booksellers across thirteen states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This resolute, joint statement of support for the publishing program of the UPKY is consistent with our shared mission - the promotion of literacy, education, and the right of free expression.
On behalf of our members, we recognize the unique contribution of UPKY’s regional publishing program, as regional books represent a significant contribution to every bookstore in the United States.
Michael Boggs, co-owner of the three Carmichael’s Bookstores in Louisville, Kentucky, wrote us, “The recent decision by the governor of my state, Kentucky, to completely defund the University Press of Kentucky sounds a death knell for a concern that has for 75 years provided its citizens and libraries with books of history, fiction, biography, nature, food, music, and folklore that spotlight the culture of my state. As a bookseller here for 40 years, I have witnessed first-hand the high level of interest among my customers in books from the University Press of Kentucky, because nowhere else can they get essential stories of the place they call home. This decision is shortsighted and imprudent, robbing the citizens of Kentucky of connection to their land, their history, and their traditions and customs.”
Nathan Montoya, owner of Village Lights Bookstore, offers his praise for UPKY as well, “Titles from the University Press of Kentucky are part of the life blood of Village Lights Bookstore. We are located in Madison, Indiana, across the river from Payne Hollow, Kentucky. Harlan Hubbard, an artist who, with his wife, Anna, settled and homesteaded Payne Hollow in the mid twentieth century, has been likened to a modern-day Thoreau. Visitors from around the world come to our store, asking about the Hubbards and Payne Hollow. The University Press of Kentucky publishes most of titles written by or about Harlan and Anna Hubbard in print today. The loss of these titles would diminish not only the richness of our store’s offerings, but the literary and cultural heritage of our entire region.”
Kentucky writer Wendell Berry wrote recently in the Louisville Courier-Journal, “our political and economic life is not going to be adequately served by the great commercial publishing companies, or by the university presses of other states. That need can only be served, and it has been admirably served, by the University Press of Kentucky. . . . Because we have sustained that press for 75 years with a very modest investment of public money, we have The Kentucky Encyclopedia and Lowell Harrison’s and James Klotter’s A New History of Kentucky, books that have the distinction of being indispensable to Kentucky students young and old; and we have in print books by James Still, Harlan Hubbard, Jim Wayne Miller, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Crystal Wilkinson that will be needed by coming generations of literate Kentuckians . . . .” UPKY is indeed, as Berry puts it, “a priceless asset.”
The UPKY is a publishing consortium made up of Kentucky's state universities, five of its private colleges, and two historical societies. The UPKY has won countless prestigious awards for publishing in many disciplines, including history, Appalachian studies, African-American studies, and literature. The UPKY also produces a varied list of books for a national audience, including military, film, and cultural history. Major book review media consistently recognize the UPKY titles. We are grateful for the publishing program University Press of Kentucky offers to our customers, and its contribution to American arts and letters.
We ask that the Kentucky legislature restore the funding of the UPKY immediately.
Board of Directors, Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLIBA)
Board of Directors, Midwest Independent Booksellers Association (MIBA)