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."