There are still a few openings for booksellers who are interested in attending the American Booksellers Association’s first-ever Events Specialty Institute (ESI), on Wednesday, October 3, at The Depot in Minneapolis, Minnesota, just prior to the Great Lakes and Midwest independent booksellers association’s Heartland Fall Forum.
ESI will feature a full day of educational programming covering a range of event-related topics for both seasoned booksellers and those in need of more introductory-level courses. There will also be an opening reception from 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, where attendees will have the opportunity to greet their bookselling colleagues and meet and have books signed by a number of notable authors. Authors scheduled to appear include:
- David R. Gillham, City of Women, Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, August 2012
- Jordan Matter, Dancers Among Us: A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday, Workman, October 2012
- Edward Kelsey Moore, The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat: A Novel, Knopf, March 2013
- Marissa Moss, Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, September 2012
- Julia Pandl, Memoir of the Sunday Brunch, Algonquin Books, November 2012
- Margi Preus, Shadow on the Mountain, Amulet Books, September 2012
- Marianne Richmond, If I Could Keep You Little, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, November 2010
- Erika Robuck, Hemingway’s Girl: A Novel, NAL Trade, September 2012
- James Sheehan, The Lawyer’s Lawyer, Center Street, January 2013
- Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles: A Novel, Random House, June 2012
- Cali Williams Yost, Tweak It: Small Changes, Big Impact, Center Street, January 2013
The institute will begin on Wednesday morning with a Q&A interview of bestselling author Kate DiCamillo by ABA Board member Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books in Wichita, Kansas. DiCamillo will talk about the many facets of indie bookstore events from the author’s perspective and will sign copies of her latest book following the interview.
Lunch at ESI will be highlighted by a panel discussion moderated by Gayle Shanks, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, that will feature three senior publishing publicity executives discussing best practices for raising a bookstore’s profile with publishers. Scheduled to participate are:
- Karen Fink, Assistant Director of Publicity at Random House, Spiegel & Grau, Dial Press, and Modern Library. Fink has led the publicity campaigns for many indie favorite authors, including Helen Simonson, Fannie Flagg, Mary Doria Russell, and Jim Lehrer.
- Jynne Dilling Martin, Director of Publicity at Riverhead Books. Martin is currently spearheading the campaign for Junot Diaz’s new book, and during her career has worked with literary stars, such as Norman Mailer, E.L. Doctorow, and Elizabeth Strout, as well as with celebrity authors Jane Fonda and Donald Trump.
- Jason M. Wells, Executive Director, Publicity and Marketing at Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books, and Abrams Appleseed. Wells has overseen the publicity programs for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Origami Yoda series, among many other popular books for children.
ESI will also features four breakout sessions and three roundtable discussions.
The breakout sessions are:
Events 101: The Checklist
What are the keys to creating a successful event? This session will cover a full range of best practices for a successful event — from conceiving that great idea to contacting the publisher, to using online and traditional media, to publicizing the event, to ensuring you’re fully prepared on the day of the event, right down to knowing how to evaluate and measure success.
Organizing and Running Offsite Events
You have an exciting event idea that has the potential to be held off site. Now what? This session will address the issues related to successfully staging an off-site event: Navigating publisher expectations, creating opportunity for sponsors; reaching out to other businesses and organizations to secure the best space; implementing pre- and post-event logistics; providing staff training; utilizing useful technology; and, of course, making sure it is a profitable event as well as a successful one.
Authorless Events 101
One way of building your store events experience and reputation (among your customers and the publishing community) is by offering authorless events. Authorless events can be a draw for both children (for instance, story times, birthday parties, etc.) and adults (trivia nights, classes, etc.). But how do you create a stellar schedule, provide staffing, and sell books at the same time? This panel will help you answer some of these questions.
Beyond the Traditional Author Event
It might be time to refresh your approach to author events. This panel will inspire you to creatively examine your traditional author events in order to take advantage of potential event attendees who are not the typical book event audience — as well as to create partnerships with groups beyond those that traditionally have relationships with bookstores.
The Events Institute will conclude with three roundtables, each moderated by a bookseller and one of the senior publishing publicity executives who took part in the day’s lunch. Roundtable participants will discuss topics and issues raised during the day and other bookstore best practices regarding events.
Watch for an announcement of ESI’s session and roundtable presenters in next week’s BTW.
The Events Specialty Institute is sponsored by the Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Random House, Sourcebooks, and Workman.
There are a limited number of spots still available. The registration fee is $59. Register now.
The special Events Institute hotel rate is no longer available, but there may still be rooms at The Depot Renaissance or at the nearby Comfort Suites Minneapolis Downtown. More hotel information is available on The Heartland Forum website.