ABA Event Aims to Bridge the Gap Between Editors and Booksellers

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Though booksellers and publishers are members of the same industry, their skills, knowledge, and day-to-day duties are distinctly different. ABA programming at BookExpo America 2014 includes an opportunity for editors and booksellers to come together to discuss their respective roles in turning a manuscript into a book and getting it into the hands of readers.

ABA’s Meet the Editor will take place on Wednesday, May 28, starting at 8:45 a.m., and will provide booksellers with a behind-the scenes look at the philosophy and process of book editing. Publisher reps will escort groups of 10 – 12 booksellers from Hotel ABA (the Grand Hyatt) to their various Manhattan offices. The structure of the meetings will vary by publisher, though all will aim to give booksellers insight into the minutia of an editor’s job –– and perhaps vice-versa.

“Obviously it’s a thrill to talk to the people who actually share our books with readers and find out who they are and what they love to read,” said Hilary Redmon, executive editor at Ecco. “I simultaneously want to shake booksellers’ hands and grill them with questions: what books do people love, hate, talk about? What books make them groan in frustration? Which ones are they eager to recommend?”

Meet the Editor is open to all booksellers from ABA member stores, regardless of their level of experience. Children’s booksellers need not worry as Meet the Editor won’t overlap with the ABC Children’s Group Illustrator Tours. ABC members will be able to get to the Czech Center, where the tours begin, by 11:00 a.m.

Booksellers will be randomly assigned to Meet the Editor groups and will receive their publisher information by e-mail prior to BEA.

The list of participating publishers, which is still growing, includes Abrams, Bloomsbury, Egmont USA, Grove/Atlantic, Hachette Book Group, Harlequin, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan, Other Press, Overlook Press, Penguin Group, Perseus Books Group / PGW, Random House Adult, Scholastic, Seven Stories Press, Simon & Schuster, Soho Press, Sourcebooks, The New Press, and W. W. Norton. Check BookWeb’s Meet the Editor page  periodically to find more publishers as they sign on.

To register for Meet the Editor, ABA members should log in to BookWeb and then proceed to the registration page.

Questions about Meet the Editor or anything else related to ABA programming at BEA should be addressed to ABA’s Member Relationship Managers, Catherine Cusick and Nathan Halter.