2002 SEBA Trade Show Preview

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The 2002 Southeast Booksellers Association (SEBA) Fall Trade Show will be held this year at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from September 20-22. SEBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell told BTW that there was once again an emphasis on education and event programming that showcased a wide range of authors. And this year, she said, "I feel it's an especially good lineup of authors."

The professional development programming will begin on Thursday, September 19, with a day-long booksellers school, "The Business of Bookselling: Sustaining and Growing Your Retail Business with Professionalism, Passion, and Profit." (There is a $50 ticket required for the school, which covers up to three booksellers per store.)

On Friday, September 20, there will be 12 educational sessions and panels throughout the day. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., there will be three concurrent panels: "Reading Groups: New Ideas to Increase Participation and Build Sales in Your Store," "Jump Start Your Business Brain," and "Succession Planning."

The reading groups panel will focus on how booksellers can market to this growing customer base beyond regular in-store displays, and panelists will include Vintage authors Chris Bohjalian (The Buffalo Soldier) and Elinor Lipmann (The Dearly Departed). The "Jump Start…" session will look at how small businesses can grow top line sales and bottom line profits, and will be lead by Jeffrey Stamp of the Eureka! Ranch. The succession planing session is part of ABA's educational programming offered at the regionals this fall. It 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 ABA COO Oren Teicher, and will feature panelists John Barringer, former owner of Little Professor in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Perry Tanner, new owner of Chapter 11 Bookstore in Atlanta. This program is modeled on a well-received session offered at BEA in New York City this past spring.

At 10:30 a.m., attendees will again have a choice of three sessions. "The Perfect Pitch: The Art of Requesting Authors for Events," which will talk about how booksellers can improve chances for success when requisitioning an author appearance. Scheduled panelists include Jonathan Schwartz of Random House, Inc.; Carla Jimenez of Inkwood Bookstore; Keebe Fitch of McIntyre's Fine Books; Dolly Kelly of Davis-Kidd Booksellers; and Caren Lobo of Sarasota News & Books.

Also at 10:30, another of ABA's education programs, "What's New from the ABA? Latest Major Developments at Book Sense and the New Electronic Book Buyer's Handbook." ABA's Teicher will share the latest with booksellers about Book Sense including how booksellers can report to the Book Sense Bestseller List in a matter of minutes (and about the up-to-the-minute data reporting stores receive), as well as updates on key book promotions (Lord of the Rings and the History Channel), new Book Sense 76 plans, and regional bestseller lists. In addition, show attendees will get the latest info on the new ABA Book Buyer's Handbook online, now updated throughout the year. Booksellers will learn more about the Handbook's flexible search features, and they will be able to preview a major new feature, the listings of publishers' special short-term offers, and ask questions.

The third 10:30 a.m. session is "Co-op: How Bookstores Are Making the Most of Co-op Money and You Can Too!" where booksellers Kelly Justice of Fountain Bookstore, and Joan Scott of Country Bookshop will join other booksellers in talking about how to maximize co-op usage. There will also be an opportunity to meet with sales reps, who will explain relevant co-op polices.

Beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Friday are three sessions, "Selling Sidelines Successfully," "Graphic Novels: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know and Didn't Know to Ask," and "Growing Sales, One Story at a Time."

The sidelines session will be led by Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands Bookstore and will give booksellers ideas to take back to their stores, a list of vendors, samples of products, and a time for sharing and questions. In "Growing Sales…," Eileen Hutton, president of the Audio Publishers Association and vice president, associate publisher of Brilliance Audio, will moderate a session that will show the best way to increase sales of audio.

At 3:00 p.m., booksellers can attend "Jump Start Your Brain II," or one of two author-rich panels, "Writers of the Civil War Era" or "New Stories from the South." The Civil War era panel will feature William R. Trotter (Sands of Pride, Avalon Publishing); Mort Kuntsler (Gods and Generals, Greenwich Workshop); Diane Haeger (My Dearest Cecelia, St. Martin's Press); and John C. Waugh (Surviving the Confederacy, Harcourt). The "New Stories…" session, moderated by Algonquin Books' Shannon Ravenel (who is the editor of New Stories from the South), will feature William Gay (I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, Free Press); Bev Marshall (Walking Through Shadows, MacAdam/Cage); George Singleton (Half-Mammals of Dixie, Algonquin Books); and Sonny Brewer (Stories from the Blue Moon Cafe, MacAdam/Cage).

When not in a session or educational panel on Friday, show attendees can begin the day with a wake-up session with Jane Trechsel, author of Morning Cup of Yoga (Crane Hill Books), and, following that at 8:00 a.m., attend "Breakfast With the SEBA Board," for which a free ticket is required.

At noon, attendees can enjoy the SEBA show "Kick-Off Author Luncheon," featuring Frances Mays (Swan, Broadway Books); Elise Primavera (Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas, Harcourt); Cassandra King (The Sunday Wife, Hyperion); and Bruce Feiler (Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, William Morrow). The lunch is sponsored by Hyperion, and a $25 ticket is required. At 5:30 p.m. on Friday, a 90-minute "Pool Party" kicks off, featuring musicians Captain Luke and Cool John Ferguson and author Tim Duffy, whose Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America will be published by Hill Street Press.

Following the pool party will be the "SEBA Supper," featuring Pat Conroy (My Losing Season, Doubleday); Philip Gulley (Christmas in Harmony, HarperCollins); Donna Tartt (Little Friend, Knopf); and Micheal Graham (Redneck Nation, Warner Books). The event is sponsored by AOL Time Warner Trade Publishing, and a $30 ticket is required.

And, just in case you had thoughts of turning in early, at 10:00 p.m. that night there will be "Late Night with Marlo Thomas," author of The Right Words at the Right Time (Pocket Books).

On Saturday, September 21, the SEBA trade floor will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. At 7:30 that morning, there will be a "Wake Up with Sleeping Bear Breakfast," which will feature Sleeping Bear authors Carol Crane and Devin Scillian (The event is sponsored by Sleeping Bear Press and a $5 ticket is required.)

The exhibit floor will be closed from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. for lunch, and during that time SEBA will have its "Saturday Book & Author Luncheon," featuring Chris Raschka (I Pledge Allegiance, Candlewick Press; Be Boy Buzz, Jump at the Sun; and John Coltrane's Giant Steps, Simon & Schuster); Coleen Salley (Epossumondas, Harcourt); and Carl Hiassen (Hoot, Random House Children’s Books). (A $25 ticket is required.) Other author events on Saturday include "A Conversation with Pat Williams," the author of Paradox of Power (Warner Books), which begins at 10:00 a.m., and "From the Mixed-Up Files Party with Elaine Konigsburg," which begins at 6:00 p.m. and celebrates 35 years of the classic children's book.

At 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, SEBA holds its "Moveable Feast of Authors," which will feature 33 authors, and which is sponsored by the Ingram Book Company. (For a full list of authors go to http://www.sebaweb.org/Tradeshow/showsched.htm.)

The SEBA Annual Meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and there will be author autographings scheduled that day as well from 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

On Sunday, September 22, the exhibit floor will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Attendees can begin the day at the "Publishers Association of the South (PAS) Showcase Breakfast," which will feature Harry B. Knights (The Boy With a Wish: The Nicholas Stories #1, Pelican Publishing); Kimbra Cutlip (Firefighter's Night Before Christmas, Pelican Publishing); John Egerton (Cornbread Nation, University of North Carolina Press); and Thomas Hal Phillips (Red Midnight, University Press of Mississippi). The event is sponsored by PAS and a $5 ticket is required.

At 10:00 a.m. that day, a two-hour "Sunday Morning Reading" begins, which will feature Patricia Polacco (When Lightning Comes in a Jar, Penguin Putnam); Dara Horn (In the Image, W.W. Norton); Andrew Glaze (Remembering Thunder, NewSouth); Louis D. Rubin Jr. (My Father's People: A Family of Southern Jews, Louisiana State University Press); Mary Robison (Tell Me: Thirty Stories, Counterpoint); S.V. Date (Black Sunshine, Penguin Putnam); Louise Shaffer (Three Miss Margarets, Random House); P.T. Elliott and E.M. Lowry (Cracker Ingenuity: Tips from the Trailer Park for the Chronically Broke, St. Martin's Press); Jane Leavy (Sandy Koufax, HarperCollins); and Lee Smith (Last Girls, Algonquin Books). From 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., there will also be author autographing sessions that day.

For more information about the SEBA trade show, visit http://www.sebaweb.org/, e-mail info@sebaweb.org; or call (803) 252-7755.