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American Independent Business Alliance to Hold International Conference

The American Independent Business Alliance will be holding its second international conference in Tampa, Florida, from April 8 - 11. The local host for the gathering, which is aimed at business owners and others seeking to develop, or already engaged in, a local Independent Business Alliance or Buy Indie/Local campaign, will be Inkwood Books co-owner Carla Jimenez of the Tampa Independent Business Alliance.

The conference's interactive panel and roundtable sessions will provide opportunities to learn about the movement's newest and most effective tools and programs from the people using them. Leading local, state, and national organizers are also scheduled to be on hand for discussions that tackle major challenges and opportunities for independent businesses and their supporters. "'Energizing, empowering, and fun' are words repeated by many booksellers who participated in the first such gathering in 2007," said AMIBA co-founder Jeff Milchen, who added that "plenty of fun is on the agenda in Tampa, too."

Early registration and program details are available on AMIBA's conference web page.

Ingram Marketing Group Unveils Catalog and Galley Platform

Ingram Marketing Group, the marketing and advertising agency of Ingram, this week announced the launch of PubLink, a specialized software/CRM tool that provides publishers with a platform to manage, track, and deliver product catalogs and galleys in print and electronic formats.

Ingram said that PubLink's functionality would allow "publishers to store and manage customer and publicity contacts, distribute galleys and catalogs in an electronic format, and order and deliver to customers printed galleys using the print on demand single copy technology and workflow from Ingram's Lightning Source."

Demonstrations of PubLink were being offered at the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in New York this week.

Poets & Writers Launches "Inside Indie Bookstores"

With its January/February issue, Poets & Writers Magazine began a new column, Inside Indie Bookstores, "a series of interviews with the entrepreneurs who represent the last link in the chain that connects writers with their intended audience."

In the second installment of the series, in the March/April issue, on newsstands now, Poets & Writers contributor Jeremiah Chamberlin talks with Michael Powell, owner of Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.

The inaugural column featured an interview with Richard Howorth, owner of Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi.

2010 PEN/Faulkner Award Nominees Announced

This week, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced the five finalists for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The nominees are Sherman Alexie for War Dances (Grove Press); Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (Harper); Lorraine M. Lopez for Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories (BkMk Press); Lorrie Moore for A Gate at the Stairs (Knopf); and Colson Whitehead for Sag Harbor (Doubleday).

The finalists were chosen by a panel of their peers from among approximately 350 novels and short story collections by American authors published by more than 90 publishing houses, including small and academic presses, in the U.S. during 2009.

The winner, who will receive $15,000, will be announced on March 23; the four finalists will receive $5,000 each. All five authors will be honored during the 30th Annual PEN/Faulkner Award ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 8. Ticket information is available online at

Books for a Better Life Award Winners Announced

On Monday, the New York City - Southern New York Chapter of the National MS Society presented its 14th Annual Books for a Better Life Awards. This year's winners are:

  • Childcare/Parenting: NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (Twelve Books/Hachette)
  • First Book: Josie's Story: A Mother's Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe by Sorrel King (Grove/Atlantic)
  • Green: Just Food by James E. McWilliams (Little, Brown)
  • Inspirational Memoir: Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (Random House)
  • Motivational: Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke (Grand Central)
  • Personal Finance: The Difference by Jean Chatzky (Crown)
  • Psychology: Connected by Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D. and James H. Fowler, Ph.D. (Little, Brown)
  • Relationships: You Were Always Mom's Favorite: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives by Deborah Tannen (Random House)
  • Spiritual: Writing in the Sand by Thomas Moore (Hay House)
  • Wellness: The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler, M.D. (Rodale)

Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, was inducted into the Books for a Better Life Hall of Fame, and Cami Walker, author of 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books), received the MS Awareness Award.