Children's Institute 2019 Program

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Sessions marked with this symbol require pre-registration.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019  

9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Pick up your badge, the official Ci7 welcome bag from Baker & Taylor, and a full schedule of Institute events. Group and table assignments are printed on bookseller badges.

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Pre-registation irequired; $45 fee per person; space is limited and lunch is provided. Hosting events in-store and offsite is a great way to strengthen a customer base, build goodwill within your community, and make money. But tackling the ins and outs of events, no matter how large or small, is daunting, time-consuming, and, let’s face it, overwhelming. This full-day, two-part workshop led by aces in bookstore event management will teach attendees:

  • Best practices for in-store author events
  • Tips for navigating events in a small space
  • Best practices for off-site author events, including partnering with schools and libraries,hosting large-scale events, and using alternate venues
  • Best practices for ticketing events and anticipating turnout
  • How to launch a book festival in your community

Events University is open to all booksellers, including those who are not registered for Children’s Institute.

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10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Gather your bookselling friends, hop on your broom, and get ready for the first-ever Children’s Institute quidditch match! This year, booksellers have the opportunity to play their favorite wizarding world game for a chance to win the Ci7 Quidditch Cup. Rules and referees will be under the guidance of Steel City Quidditch Club, a nationally recognized quidditch team located in Pittsburgh. Brooms will be provided; who will take home the trophy? A minimum of 30 players is needed to find out. Pre-registration is required.

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1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

IndieCommerce and IndieLite are ABA’s online platforms for marketing events and author appearances as well as selling books and other merchandise. Both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite are invited to schedule a one-on-one time with a program specialist from the IndieCommerce team. Space is limited, but walk-ins are welcome. Hours are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Appointments are encouraged and scheduling will begin in May 2019.

4:15 pm to 5:00 pm

First time at Children’s Institute? Don’t panic! Join us before the Welcome Reception & Costume Party to get the 411 on the ins and outs of Children’s Institute, as well as to meet other attendees new to the event. Together, we will assist you in making the perfect game plan that ensures you get the most out of your Ci7 experience. If you requested a mentor, now is also the time to meet them so that you can connect throughout the conference.

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Celebrate the opening of the ABC Children’s Institute in the company of your colleagues from around the country with costume party! Come dressed as your favorite book character or collaborate with fellow booksellers with a group costume.

Thursday, June 27, 2019  

7:00 am to 5:00 pm

Pick up your badge, the official Ci7 welcome bag from Baker & Taylor, and a full schedule of Institute events. Group and table assignments are printed on bookseller badges.

7:45 am to 8:45 am

9:00 am to 12:00 pm

The Consultation Station offers booksellers the opportunity to meet with representatives from ABA’s affiliated business solution partners, POS vendors, and other service providers.

9:00 am to 7:00 pm

The always-popular Galley Room is filled with ARCs of upcoming titles from Ci7 sponsors. The room will open after the morning breakfast keynote on Wednesday and will remain open for the duration of the Institute.

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

IndieCommerce and IndieLite are ABA’s online platforms for marketing events and author appearances as well as selling books and other merchandise. Both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite are invited to schedule a one-on-one time with a program specialist from the IndieCommerce team. Space is limited, but walk-ins are welcome. Hours are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Appointments are encouraged and scheduling will begin in May 2019.

9:00 am to 10:00 am

NPD Book will present a review of the most recent data on the U.S. children’s book market with a deep-dive into the latest trends in genres, formats, buyer behavior, and more. Attendees will emerge with plenty of new insights to help them better understand their business in the coming year.

10:15 am to 11:15 am

You don’t need an infinite amount of space to remain competitive in independent bookselling. Bookstores under 2,000 square feet share what they do to maximize their selling space and host events without having to knock down walls. Attendees will learn from panelists who call a small store home:

  • The logistics of hosting an in-store event
  • Crowd management in a small space
  • Inventory management in a small stockroom
  • Keeping it fresh with inventive displays

Twilight and Harry Potter are just two examples of how a series can positively impact a store’s book sales. But series’ like those aren’t a dime a dozen. Booksellers attending this roundtable discussion will share ideas for:

  • How to best handle large series
  • Best practices for stocking series
  • How to re-order series
  • When to return a series

With an increased focus on diversity, book buyers are challenged with curating a selection of titles for young readers that is inclusive and welcoming for all. In this session, buyers and children’s booksellers who lead their stores toward an inclusive selection will share with attendees:

  • The definitions of a trope, archetype, and stereotype
  • How to recognize problematic language in children’s literature so that they may be informed when recommending and discussing a particular book
  • How tropes, archetypes, and stereotypes perpetuate falsehoods about segments of the population
  • Advice on how to navigate the varied terrain of classic children’s literature

When your wallet is slim and margins are small, every penny counts. But there are little things that can be done every single day to boost a bookstore’s bottom line. Bookstore panelists who have effectively pinched a penny here and saved a penny there will teach attendees:

  • How to identify small costs that add up
  • Where to look for savings
  • Small actions employees can take to impact overall savings and sales

Title 1 schools work with minimal resources and even smaller budgets to bring authors to their schools, host book fairs, and keep accounts with independent bookstores. Luckily, many bookstores do manage successful and profitable partnerships with Title 1 schools. Panelists with ongoing success in partnering with Title 1 schools will share with attendees:

  • How to approach Title 1 schools
  • How these partnerships are effective and profitable
  • How to assist a school in maximizing monies received from a granting organization
  • How to build community goodwill through partnership with a Title 1 school

11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Developed for author guests at ABC Children's Institute, this lunch panel features booksellers who have formulated best practices for creating events that benefit both stores and authors. This session will cover a number of issues, from author publicity to dealing with pre-event nerves.

Enjoy lunch with reps and learn about great upcoming titles from the Ci7 publisher sponsors. Seats are assigned; table numbers are printed on bookseller badges. Booksellers are expected to attend.

1:30 pm to 5:30 pm

The Consultation Station offers booksellers the opportunity to meet with representatives from ABA’s affiliated business solution partners, POS vendors, and other service providers.

1:45 pm to 2:45 pm

Everyone wants to be a book influencer on social media, but not everyone has what it takes. Instagram influencer and debut author Hafsah Faizal will teach attendees:

  • What it means to have an Instagram persona and how to establish a unique voice
  • How to gain followers
  • Best practices for targeted messaging
  • How to effectively use hashtags
  • Tips to curate beautiful, attention-grabbing photos
  • How to establish profitable partnerships with other businesses and organizations

Holiday gift buying is not a last-minute task, but how does a gift buyer not only source but anticipate what will be a popular gift six months down the road? In this session, bookstores that have a unique collection of non-book items will teach buyers:

  • The role seasonal non-book items play in holiday sales
  • Best practices for discovering the next “it” holiday gift
  • Efficiencies and systems for ordering and reordering, shipment scheduling, and storing holiday gift items
  • How to move, move, move items that may not be selling

Bookstores are important fixtures in every community. They serve as places to gather, to find and research new ideas, to explore new worlds, and to find refuge. But bookstores can also be intimidating for people who are part of minority groups. That’s why it is important for a store to not only reflect its immediate community but also the larger community. In this session, HR leaders will share with attendees:

  • The importance of hiring a diverse staff
  • The impact a diverse staff has within the store and on the greater community
  • How to find great bookstore employee candidates outside your store’s community

In this idea swap, booksellers will share with each other how they effectively charge for services like book clubs, readings, and other bookstore staples without alienating customers.

Almost every bookstore has a story time, but not every bookstore has a story time that keeps customers coming back again and again. This session is designed to teach attendees:

  • The performance aspect of story time and how to turn up the energy
  • Tips and tricks to be the best reader in the world
  • How to keep little ones engaged
  • Ways to adjust your approach when the crowd gets restless
  • How to read to kids of all ages

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

This new event replaces the broad Bookseller Focus Groups with a series of 15 more intimate meetings between participating publishing sponsors and booksellers, thereby providing opportunities to more productively address issues of concern one-on-one. Participating sponsors and bookstores will meet one-on-one with each other (one sponsor/one bookstore per table) for five minutes each in a reverse speed dating format where booksellers will travel from sponsor to sponsor as participating publishers and distributors remain stationed at their tables.

4:45 pm to 5:30 pm

5:45 pm to 7:15 pm

Thanks to the generosity of ABA’s publisher sponsors, many authors and illustrators will be on hand to chat with booksellers and autograph new and forthcoming titles at the Author Reception. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

9:30 pm to 12:00 am

Friday, June 28, 2019  

7:00 am to 3:00 pm

Come by the Welcome Desk to chat with Member Relationship Managers Elizabeth Roberts and Daniel O’Brien who will be available to answer your questions about ABA or Ci7.

7:45 am to 9:00 am

Indies Introduce is about what independent booksellers do best: Discovering exciting debut authors and sharing the best with readers across the country. You will hear about the title selection process from the bookseller panelists who curated the list and many of this season’s debut authors will be present to read a short passage and answer a question posed by one of the panelists.

9:00 am to 6:00 pm

The always-popular Galley Room is filled with ARCs of upcoming titles from Ci7 sponsors. The room will open after the morning breakfast keynote on Wednesday and will remain open for the duration of the Institute.

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

IndieCommerce and IndieLite are ABA’s online platforms for marketing events and author appearances as well as selling books and other merchandise. Both users and non-users of IndieCommerce and IndieLite are invited to schedule a one-on-one time with a program specialist from the IndieCommerce team. Space is limited, but walk-ins are welcome. Hours are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Appointments are encouraged and scheduling will begin in May 2019.

9:00 am to 11:30 am

Booksellers will have the opportunity to meet with small and mid-size publishers for informal conversations. These publishers will have sample copies of their books as well as additional copies for giveaways at their discretion.

9:15 am to 10:15 am

You know you want to bring authors to your store and into area schools, but how do you begin to ask publishers? Two words: “Author Grids.” In this session, panelists who have mastered the author grid will share with attendees:

  • Tips for a perfect pitch
  • The power of your sales rep
  • How to create a stellar general event profile
  • How to anticipate attendancet
  • How to request access to grids

Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, The Little Prince, Pippi Longstocking, Asterix — what do they all have in common? They are all beloved classics that have been translated form the authors’ original languages and have enriched the U.S. children’s book landscape as well as readers of all ages. In this informational session, publishing personnel will share with attendees:

  • An overview of the translation and rights process
  • Why translated books are important
  • How to promote and sell these books to U.S. audiences
  • How books can be used in outreach to schools and community groups
  • How translated books can foster diversity, cultural awareness, and cross-cultural understanding

Representation matters. Own Voices matters. As bearers of knowledge and information for children, it is imperative that a bookstore’s inventory reflects the experiences of all kinds of people to cultivate cultural awareness and empathy in youth. One step toward a more inclusive collection of books is to conduct a diversity audit on your store’s inventory. This session will teach attendees how to:

  • Assess their inventory
  • Conduct an audit
  • Identify where attention needs to be focused
  • Use an audit to inform the ordering process

With holiday buying initiated in the second quarter, bookstores are challenged with allocating current funds and predicting future income to contribute to increased buying for the fourth-quarter holiday season. This session will prepare bookstores by sharing:

  • How to determine what should be spent on holiday inventory
  • When to begin buying for the holiday season and how to pace yourself
  • Tips on anticipating money needed for reordering holiday inventory

Market research shows that teens have money to burn, but that they are spending it on clothing brands like Adidas and Nike, tech products like the iPhone, and food. During this roundtable discussion, booksellers will brainstorm how to harness the buying power of the teen market as well as what types of programming can lure teens away from their phones and get them inside your bookstore.

10:30 am to 11:45 am

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Enjoy lunch while hearing about great upcoming titles from more of Children's Institute publisher sponsors. Seating is unassigned for this lunch.

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

You have a good idea for an event, but it’s not catching fire. You’ve sent out emails, created fliers for the store, and have even posted on all of your store’s social media channels, so what gives? In this session, marketing and events managers teach attendees:

  • Best practices for creating marketing campaigns
  • Opportunities for advertisement
  • Areas for potential partnerships for cross-marketing
  • Marketing timelines
  • Using social media methodically to get the most out of your posts
  • Thirteenth-hour efforts for the final push

With hundreds of subscription boxes to choose from, how will a customer know that yours is the right one for them? Attendees will learn the following from bookstores that have successful subscription box programs:

  • Best practices for marketing
  • Inventory control
  • Options for special services
  • How to select categories
  • Fulfillment management
  • Order tracking

Over 50% of Generation Z (people between the ages of 13 and 20) identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and a recent survey by the Human Rights Campaign shows that many of them have fears and anxiety regarding their personal safety. In this session, booksellers will have the chance to share ideas, programs, and actions they have taken to make their store an inclusive, welcoming, and safe environment for today’s LGBTQ+ youth.

Optimize your bookstore search and reordering process by implementing tags for categories and sub-categories in your point-of-sale system. Attendees of this session will learn:

  • The benefits of using tags
  • Tag suggestions
  • How to begin implementing tags in the system
  • How to onboard staff

There’s nothing like walking into your favorite bookstore and being on a first-name basis with the staff. Why not say, “Thank you for being a friend,” and reward customers’ loyalty with a frequent buyer card, membership subscription, or other benefit program that will keep them coming back over and over again? A panel of booksellers with robust customer loyalty programs will share:

  • Background on their store’s customer loyalty programs
  • How to create a program that rewards the customer but also the store
  • How to onboard customers
  • How to market the program
  • How to integrate a new program into your store’s culture

1:15 pm to 5:00 pm

Booksellers will have the opportunity to meet with small and mid-size publishers for informal conversations. These publishers will have sample copies of their books as well as additional copies for giveaways at their discretion.

2:30 pm to 3:15 pm

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

As the purveyor of young people’s literature, children’s bookstores and booksellers can be an aide to young readers as they navigate the world. Books and bookstores are in a unique position to speak for the underdog and lift silenced voices so that they are heard. In this roundtable idea exchange, children’s booksellers will discuss how to use their bookstore as a platform and a space to create opportunities for activism and young activists in their communities.

Bookstores that sell direct to schools are an invaluable resource to the local community and have made use of a successful strategy for increasing cash flow and profits. Bookseller panelists who have worked closely with their school districts will share with attendees how they, too, can foster a relationship with school districts and add to their store’s bottom line. In this session, booksellers will learn:

  • How to find appropriate school contacts
  • How to create teacher wish lists
  • How to become a school’s one-stop book fair distributor
  • How to manage in-school author visit orders
  • Best practices for orders
  • How to establish and manage subscription services with schools

“Co-op” is a word booksellers often hear from publishers, but it can be quite confusing to try to decipher what it is. In this session, bookstores that maximize their spending using co-op dollars will share with attendees:

  • What co-op is
  • Where co-op comes from
  • How a store can save by using their accrued co-op dollars

In this session, a panel of diverse publishers, editors, and authors will share their experiences in publishing, including how the industry is changing, where it still needs to grow, and efforts bookstores can take to raise awareness, lift voices, and support authors of color.

4:45 pm to 6:15 pm

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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