2002 NEBA Fall Trade Show Preview

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The 2002 New England Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show will be held from September 27 - 29 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Once again, attendees will find a wide range of educational and topical programming, popular authors featured at numerous events, and a bustling exhibit floor.

NEBA's education programming kicks off on Friday, September 27, at the Convention Center. Advance registration is required for Friday's programming, and the day's offerings are sponsored by Random House.

At 10:00 a.m., booksellers can get the latest on how to "Jump Start Your Business Brain," when Jeffrey Stamp, co-author with Doug Hall of Measurably Smarter (F&W Publications), presents a day-long workshop. The program's goal will be to show booksellers how to increase profitability (without spending more money) by "following six data-driven strategies, rather than opinion-based rules." The session will break at noon, and will continue from 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. A similar session was presented at BookExpo America to very positive reviews.

At noon on Friday, NEBA will present its popular Industry Luncheon. This year the keynote speaker is Gary Fisketjon, Knopf vice president and editor-at-large. Another highlight of the lunch will come when NEBA President Linda Ramsdell of Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vermont, presents the President's Award for lifetime contribution to arts and letters to Donald Hall. Hall won the 1993 New England Book Award for Nonfiction, and his most recent collection of poetry is The Painted Bird (Houghton Mifflin). Also Nanci McCrackin will be honored with the Gilman Award for outstanding New England sales representative. (Advance tickets are required for the luncheon.)

On Friday, from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., NEBA will host its Children’s Books Author/Illustrator Dinner. Guest speakers include Judy Blume (Double Fudge, Penguin Putnam), Jack Gantos (What Would Joey Do? Farrar Straus & Giroux), and David Wiesner (The Three Pigs, Clarion). The dinner will be held at the Narragansett Ballroom in the Westin Hotel, and the event is sponsored by Bookazine Kids (advance tickets are required).

The trade show exhibit will be open on Saturday, September 28, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Show registration will be available from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.) The trade show exhibit will also be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, the association will present the Saturday Breakfast with Authors. Scheduled guest speakers are Derrick Bell (Ethical Ambition, Bloomsbury), Donna Tartt (The Little Friend, Knopf), and Brad Watson (The Heaven of Mercury, W. W. Norton). The event will be hosted by Susan Novotny of Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, New York, and advance tickets are required.

There will also be a full day of programming on Saturday. At 10:30 a.m., booksellers can get a report from ABA on "Using the New Electronic Book Buyer's Handbook." Dan Cullen, director of the ABA's Information Department, will update attendees on this major new service, highlighting its flexible search options and previewing new features, including listings of publishers' special short-term offers. Booksellers are encouraged to come with questions. (This panel will be repeated on Sunday from 10:15 a.m. - 10: 45 a.m.)

At 11: 15 a.m. on Saturday, there will be a noteworthy -- and topical -- panel sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), "Harry Potter and '911' -- Current Challenges to First Amendment Rights." The session, moderated by ABFFE President Chris Finan, will discuss the privacy and civil rights implications for booksellers of the U.S.A. Patriot Act, as well as the traditional dangers of accommodating censors. Also participating will be bestselling author Judy Blume (Double Fudge, Penguin Putnam) and Wendy Kaminer (Free for All, Beacon Press).

At 12:15 p.m. that day, booksellers will have the opportunity to share ideas, questions, and solutions at "What Do You Do About...?" In an informal atmosphere, experienced booksellers who serve as NEBA "Book Doctors" will be on hand to share their knowledge and suggestions. Participating will be "generalists" Gilda Bruckman, New Words Bookstore, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Fran Keilty, Atticus Bookstore, Middleton, Connecticut; "specialists" Janet Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, Massachusetts, on children's books; Tom Bowler, WordStock, on Web design; Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Massachusetts, on personnel; and Peter Sevenair, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, Rhode Island, on buying. Tables will be grouped by topics and questions that booksellers will identify on your pre-registration forms. Advance ticket required only for the optional boxed lunch.

"Sex and Drugs and Children's Books," a panel organized by the New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council (NECBA), will be presented on Saturday from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. The session will focus on issues regarding what teens find compelling reading and the possible conflicts with parental tastes. Booksellers Alison Morris, Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Josie Leavitt, The Flying Pig Bookstore, Charlotte, Vermont, join renowned young adult editor Sharyn November from Penguin Putnam, and author M.T. Anderson (Burger Wuss and Feed, Candlewick) to address the topic.

At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council (NECBA) will hold its Annual Meeting, and booksellers are encouraged to attend. And at 4:45 p.m., NEBA will be having its Annual Meeting, which serves as the association's annual town meeting.

NEBA will hold its Annual Reception from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. The event is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Company, Ingram Book Company, Koen Book Distributors, and Time Warner Trade Publishing and is open to all attendees. Following the reception, the association will debut a new event format, a "Dinner With Authors." At the dinner, 12 authors will move from table to table of booksellers as each course is served, presenting the opportunity to meet authors and have a dialogue not possible at breakfasts and autographings. Attendees will also receive an assortment of five or six autographed books or galleys. The scheduled authors are: Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs, Penguin Putnam), (Kathryn Davis (Versailles, Houghton Mifflin), Mark Dunn (Ella Minnow Pea, Anchor Books), Ha Jin (The Crazed, Pantheon), Michael Keith (The Next Better Place, Algonquin Books), Rosemary Mahoney (The Singular Pilgrim, Houghton Mifflin), Malachy McCourt (Voices of Ireland, Running Press), Matthew Pearl (Dante's Club, Random House), Alexandra Robbins (Secrets of the Tomb, Little, Brown), Beth Saulnier (Bad Seed, Mysterious Press), James Siegel (Derailed, Warner Books), and Samrat Upadhyay (The Guru of Love, Houghton Mifflin). The emcee for the evening will be Pam Price, Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. Advance tickets are required, and the event is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Company, Ingram Book Company, Koen Book Distributors, and Time Warner Trade Publishing.

More notable authors will be on hand on Sunday, September 29, at the "Breakfast with 2002 New England Book Award Winners," which will begin at 8:30 a.m. The recipients for 2002 are Chris Bohjalian for Fiction, Leonard Everett Fisher for Children's Books, Howard Zinn for Nonfiction, and the University Press of New England for Publishing. Advance tickets are required, and the event is sponsored by Baker & Taylor.

At 11:00 a.m., booksellers can get a valuable update on the critical question of succession planning at a panel that is part of ABA's educational programming offered at the regionals this fall. The session will address a number of key issues regarding valuing and selling businesses, including insights from booksellers and industry professionals who have been involved in the process of exiting various-sized businesses. It will be moderated by Ivan Barkhorn, formerly a partner at McKinsey and Company and strategic consultant to ABA, and it will feature panelists David Didriksen, Willow Books, Acton, Massachusetts, and Bob Hugo, Spirit of 76, Marblehead, Massachusetts. Advance tickets are required. This program is modeled on a well-received session offered at BEA in New York City this past spring.

Note: this schedule is subject to change. An updated version will appear in the September NEBA newsletter. For more information, consult the NEBA Web site at www.newenglandbooks.org, call (800) 466-8711, or e-mail rusty@neba.org.