BEA Spotlight: Programming for Children's, College & African-American Booksellers

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ABA's fourth annual Day of Education on Thursday, May 18, at BookExpo America will provide a wide array of seminars and panel discussions with one goal in mind: increasing sales. From Paco Underhill's Plenary Session on the science of shopping, to seminars on efficiency and public relations, to panel discussions on "Buy Local" campaigns and e-mail newsletters, the program is designed to provide booksellers with an understanding of both the theory and practice of how to grow a bookstore's top line. Open to all ABA members, the full day of education -- including lunch -- is free of charge; however, booksellers must register in advance through BookExpo America.

In addition to ABA's programming, Thursday features programs specifically geared towards children's booksellers, sponsored by the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) and the Children's Booksellers and Publishers Committee -- a cooperative committee of ABA, ABC, and the Children's Book Council (CBC); sessions for college store staff, sponsored by the National Association of College Stores; and programming for African-American book industry professionals, sponsored by the African-American Booksellers Consortium (AABC). These Thursday programs and events run concurrently with ABA's Day of Education and are open to all BEA attendees. See below for registration or RSVP information.

Programming for Children's Booksellers

From 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., ABC Discussion Group: Ideas That Work will provide an opportunity for booksellers to get together in an informal setting to share ideas that have worked in their stores. The winners of the 2006 Lucille Michel Pannell Awards will discuss some of their winning ways.

From noon to 12:30 p.m. will be the ABC Annual Meeting, followed by a Boxed Lunch and Speaker. This year's speaker is Watt Key, the author of Alabama Moon (FSG). ARCs will be provided to each lunch attendee. The ABC bookstore member lunch price is $10; for non-voting members the price is $14. To order lunch, contact Kristen McLean at (617) 699-6796 or [email protected]. Lunches must be ordered by Friday, May 5.

The Children's Booksellers Afternoon -- Selling Outside the Box: The Power of Independents -- from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. is sponsored by the Children's Booksellers and Publishers Committee. Open to all BEA attendees, this program will feature author/illustrator Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook) speaking with marketing director Lauren Wohl and Elizabeth Bluemle, owner of the Flying Pig Bookstore in Charlotte, Vermont.

Next is the Children's Book Buzz Workshop, featuring editors and marketing staff from a variety of publishing houses, who will present forthcoming titles by new authors and illustrators in small roundtable discussions with booksellers. Participating publishers include Atheneum, Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Charlesbridge, Clarion, Eerdmans, Harcourt, HarperCollins, HarperCollins Paperbacks, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin, Hyperion, Kingfisher, Lerner, Listening Library, McElderry, National Geographic, Peachtree, Random House, Scholastic, Shadow Mountain, Simon & Schuster, Tricycle Press, and Walker.

ABC's Annual Secret Garden Silent Auction & Evening with Children's Booksellers, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the National Geographic Society, will cap the day. Tickets are $75 for ABC bookstore members; $85 for associate and sponsor members; and $100 for non-members. A dinner ticket is required for admittance to the Secret Garden Silent Auction. To order a dinner ticket, contact Kristen McLean at (617) 699-6796 or [email protected]. Dinner will feature the presentation of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards; folksinger Connie Kaldor, who will perform music from her Parents' Choice Award-winning book and CD, A Poodle in Paris; and speakers Jerry Pinkney and Eoin Colfer.

Programming for College Store Booksellers

Sponsored by NACSCORP, this programming is open to BEA attendees, but it is aimed at booksellers working in college stores.

From 12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. will be the College Store Literary Luncheon. Featured speakers are Mark Siegel, editorial director of First Second Books and the illustrator of several picture books and graphic novels, including Seadogs by Lisa Wheeler, Long Night Moon, by Cynthia Rylant, and To Dance, A Ballerina's Story (S&S) -- one of only a few graphic novels aimed at girls and young women; and Canadian professor, novelist, translator, and performer Michael Wex, whose Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods is a smart and witty portrait of Yiddish and its relationship to both Jewish culture and American life.

To RSVP, contact Cindy Thompson ([email protected]) at the National Association of College Stores.

College Store Idea Exchange: Emerging Categories & Creative Strategies, from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., will feature a series of presentations and discussions focusing on categories and strategies that can help make a college store both more profitable and a more valuable resource for the campus community. Ideas and suggestions about this program should be sent to Thompson at [email protected].

  • Graphic Novels and Manga Demystified
    These are not your father's comic books. Graphic novels and manga have much to offer in a literary and artistic sense -- and in dollars and cents. Booksellers are invited to learn how to market and sell this exciting format to a dynamic and loyal readership.

  • Creating Excitement (and Profits) With Bargain Books
    Developing a strong bargain book section is critical to a book department's success because it can drive sales, profits, store traffic, and customer satisfaction. This program will explore the various options for buying, selling, and merchandising bargain books; the financial models that govern bargain book retailing; and merchandising and marketing strategies.

  • Two Minutes That Will Change Your Life ... or at Least Give You a Great Idea
    Booksellers are encouraged to come prepared to share a program, idea, marketing scheme, or event that worked well at their stores during the past year. This forum is expected to be exciting, dynamic, informal, and freewheeling. Visual aids are welcome, but presentations will be limited to two minutes.

  • Prospecting the Backlist Country
    An examination of how to choose titles that can help define a store's character and personality, attract attention through creative promotion, and engage staff in handselling their favorites.

For more information about College Store programming, visit or contact Thompson at [email protected].

Programming for African-American Book Industry Professionals

This program begins at 11:30 a.m. with an Opening Session and Luncheon, which at 1:00 p.m. will feature a Keynote Address by Queen Latifah, author of Queen of the Scene (Laura Geringer/HarperCollins Children's Books).

At 2:15 p.m., will be Conversations With Successful Booksellers moderated by Clara Villarosa and featuring Simba Sana, CEO of Karibu Books in Maryland and Virginia, and James Fugate of Eso Won Books in Los Angeles.

At 3:45 p.m., author, journalist, and social commentator Nick Childs will moderate Their Eyes Were Reading Smut: The Impact of Ghetto Fiction on African-American Literature. Panelists include Nelson George, writer, novelist, and TV and film producer; Nikki Turner, author of Hustler's Wife, Project Chick, and Street Chronicles; Malaika Adero, senior editor of Atria Books/Division of Simon & Schuster

A reception from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. caps the day.

For more information on the AABC, contact Emma Rodgers at [email protected].

More details about Thursday's schedule of educational programming can be found at