Spring Road Trip

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On May 2, 2023 booksellers from 40 bookstores throughout our region met in Des Moines, IA for a mini summit of independent bookselling, featuring seven host stores. We had such a wonderful experience we're planning to do it again, and we're excited to offer you the opportunity to propose your community for the 2024 Spring Road Trip. This would be an extraordinary time to show off your store and community and form lasting connections with our bookseller members.

To apply

  1. Reference the past proposal examples below to be inspired and send us a pitch to re-create this type of experience in your store's town.
  2. Email your pitch to Melissa Peterson (melissa@midwestbooksellers.org). The deadline for proposals is July 31, 2023

Our Spring Road Trip is a time to strengthen our network of bookseller and industry members in a close-knit setting that allows for relationships to form. While Heartland Fall Forum will always be held in a major metro area near an airport, the Spring Road Trip is designed to celebrate our booksellers' own communities, highlight what each store does well, and bring our members together to get reacquainted and have fun while also having in-depth conversations about the new realities of bookselling operations.

Past proposal examples

Points to consider

When: The road trip is typically scheduled in March, April, or May.

Location: Your bookstore, along with surrounding venues for education, pre-event kickoff party, and lodging (preferably independent)

Content: What does your store do best? What what you love to show off about your bookstore and your town to 60-70 of your industry friends and colleagues? The pitch doesn't have to include programming descriptions in great detail; just a taste of the programming is fine.

Past feedback from Des Moines
"My co-worker and I were both very energized on our drive home, with SO MANY tangible ideas to increase sales and focus our mission in our bookshop."
"Having an association of like-minded and supportive bookshops and individuals to lean on is so important. I can't wait until next year!"
"It was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot, met fantastic people, and walked away enthusiastic about the industry."

See our 2023 spring event


We would love to hear from you as well about collaborating with us on Spring Road Trips. These meetings bring 80-90 independent booksellers who are eager to connect and learn from one another--and we want publishers to be a part of this authentic experience. Would you sponsor a meeting? Send us your author(s) and educational ideas. Please let us know if you're intrigued and we'll flush out a collaboration together.